Hansen: President Has 4 Years To Save Earth

A few weeks ago (“Nasa Scientist: Cap & Trade Not Sufficient,” Jan 1st) we posted an item featuring the thoughts of climate scientist James Hansen criticizing elements of Obama’s likely climate change strategy. Now, in another Observer piece, he gives the administration a mere four years to take action concerning this problem, four years which are likely to be best with a whole host of other catastrophes vying for his attention and, potentially, increasingly limited political, financial and other means:

President ‘has four years to save Earth’
US must take the lead to avert eco-disaster

Read the full interview with James Hansen here

Robin McKie in New York
The Observer, Sunday 18 January 2009

Barack Obama has only four years to save the world. That is the stark assessment of Nasa scientist and leading climate expert Jim Hansen who last week warned only urgent action by the new president could halt the devastating climate change that now threatens Earth. Crucially, that action will have to be taken within Obama’s first administration, he added.

Soaring carbon emissions are already causing ice-cap melting and threaten to trigger global flooding, widespread species loss and major disruptions of weather patterns in the near future. “We cannot afford to put off change any longer,” said Hansen. “We have to get on a new path within this new administration. We have only four years left for Obama to set an example to the rest of the world. America must take the lead.”

Hansen said current carbon levels in the atmosphere were already too high to prevent runaway greenhouse warming. Yet the levels are still rising despite all the efforts of politicians and scientists

Read the rest of the article

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