Climate target is not radical enough - studyNo wonder the Bushies and wingnuts have tried to silence Hansen. He tells you like it is, and he has the data to back it up.
One of the world's leading climate scientists warns today that the EU and its international partners must urgently rethink targets for cutting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere because of fears they have grossly underestimated the scale of the problem.
In a startling reappraisal of the threat, James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, calls for a sharp reduction in C02 limits.
Hansen says the EU target of 550 parts per million of C02 - the most stringent in the world - should be slashed to 350ppm. He argues the cut is needed if "humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilisation developed". A final version of the paper Hansen co-authored with eight other climate scientists, is posted today on the Archive website. Instead of using theoretical models to estimate the sensitivity of the climate, his team turned to evidence from the Earth's history, which they say gives a much more accurate picture.
The team studied core samples taken from the bottom of the ocean, which allow C02 levels to be tracked millions of years ago. They show that when the world began to glaciate at the start of the Ice age about 35m years ago, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere stood at about 450ppm.
"If you leave us at 450ppm for long enough it will probably melt all the ice - that's a sea rise of 75 metres. What we have found is that the target we have all been aiming for is a disaster - a guaranteed disaster," Hansen told the Guardian.
And while the right-wing spin machine hasn't had time to get the Astroturf wound up and fighing the war for Exxon, we know it's just a matter of time before the Astroturf will deride the paper. Nothing like a measured, fact-filled paper telling you something important which requires you to change your business/life-style model to get the corporatist and economic ideologues frothing at the mouth. In fact, I'm sure McIntyre and the rest of them at 'Climate Audit' are ready to put their Exxon money to use.
Even worse is that 'Climate Audit' won "best science blog" of 2007. When it's not a science blog. It's a junk-science blog based on lies and seems to be indirectly funded by Exxon through one of the right-wing think tanks, with one rumbling saying McIntyre's work is funded by an Exxon pass-through grant from the George C Marshall Institute (GMI). And while that's not established fact and remains a speculative charge, it's because McIntyre refuses to divulge his finances and answers with vague generalities, even though he's got a very strong association with big Oil and GMI.
Ah well, as Mencken said: "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American middle class." And even if he's working for free, as he claims, he's a ideological clown and those that follow him down the path to disaster are rubes.