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James Hansen's Travel Report





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Dr. James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies has returned from his recent trip abroad with a comprehensive report on the need to define a global climate strategy:
Geophysical boundary conditions must be considered in defining a global climate strategy. The Kyoto Protocol and proposed extensions are an exercise in self-delusion and a prescription for global disaster.
In July, Dr. Hansen sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Japan, host of G8 conference, warning that we'd exceeded safe C02 levels (safe being below 350 ppm; current levels exceed 385 ppm). His new report begins with a recounting of his meeting with the German Minister of the Environment, Sigmar Gabriel, which included a warning about the use of coal-fired plants:
I am grateful for Minister Gabriel’s generosity with his time, and I have no doubt about his sincerity in dealing with climate change. However, we did not come to a common understanding about the implications of geophysical boundary conditions on fossil fuels. The stark policy implication of the data, I assert, is urgency for a moratorium on coal-fired power plants.
Fig. 1. (a) carbon sources, and (b) CO2 scenarios if coal emissions are phased out linearly over 2010-2030 period; return below 350 ppm can be hastened via reforestation and carbon sequestration in soil, and further via capture of CO2 at gas-fired power plants.

The report continues with the United Kingdom and offers Hansen's concerns about the problems inherent with geophysical boundaries while attempting to define a global strategy and his concern about the countries' position on carbon sequestration and "clean coal." Continued...


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