Dr. James Hansen is widely regarded as the leading climate change scientist in the country. For the past twenty-five years, he has headed NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Just over a year ago, Dr. Hansen went public with a charge that made headlines around the world — that the Bush administration had been trying to silence his warnings about the urgent need to address climate change. His story is detailed in a new book by author Mark Bowen titled Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming.
After listening to this testimony, those who advocate denial of global warming science or delay in response, at least cannot deny that the Bush Administration has repeatedly contributed to obfuscation on climate change. As cited in his wikipedia entry, Dr. Hansen considers himself a middle-of-the-road conservative, and would have voted for McCain in 2004, if he could have. What's significant here is that the fossil fuel industry, including countries like Kuwait, have co-opted parts of the political and media Right and used it sow doubts, see John Christy and Sen. Inhofe (R-OK), and Robert Balling Jr.
Update: once the "if" is pretty clear, the next step is to learn about the options. Recently, RAN21 and the Worldwatch Institute released their yearly audit of the Renewable Energy sector.
Thanks for our friends at Sustainablog, here's some highlights, in 2007:
wind power capacity increased about 28 percent and solar power capacity went up 52 percent. Renewable energy employs 2.4 million people and 65 countries [but not the US] now have national standards for accelerating the use of renewables.
- Renewable energy represents 5 percent of global power capacity and 3.4 percent of global power generation.
- The largest portion of the renewable power capacity increase has been wind power.
- The fastest growing technology in the world is grid-connected solar photovoltaics (PV), with an increase equal to 1.5 million PV-powered homes worldwide.
- Production of biodiesel is up more than 50 percent.
- Of the $71 billion invested in renewable energy, fuel, and heat, 47 percent was for wind power and 30 percent for solar PV.
- Policies to promote renewable energy have mushroomed. At least 60 countries — 37 developed nations and 23 developing ones — have some type of policy to promote renewable power.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/450