James Hansen says current ‘half-assed’ plans to reduce emissions will lead to dangerous climate change

The Guardian reports: One of the world’s leading atmospheric scientists has told the UN that its present attempt to limit emissions is “half-arsed and half-baked” and risks handing the next generation a climate system that is out of their control.

James Hansen, former head of Nasa’s Goddard Center and the man who raised awareness of climate change in a key Senate hearing back in 1988 said that the UN meeting was on the wrong track by seeking a 2C maximum rise in temperatures.

“What I am hearing is that the heads of state are planning to clap each other on the back and say this is a very successful conference. If that is what happens, we are screwing the next generation, because we are doing the same as before.

“[A rise of ] 2C is definitely dangerous. We are at the point now where temperatures are hitting the 1C mark and are are on a path above 1C. Even if we reduce emissions 6% a year we will still get 1C.

“Instead we hear the same old thing as Kyoto [in 1997]. We are asking each country to cap emissions, or reduce emissions. In science when you do a well conducted experiment you expect to get the same result. So why are we talking about doing the same again? This is half-arsed and half-baked.”

Hansen, who was speaking at a climate summit for the first time, said the planet was out of energy balance. “There is more warming in the pipeline that will take us into real danger. We are on the edge of handing our children a climate system that is out of control, and that could mean losing half our coastal cities.” [Continue reading…]

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