A Science Bomb Cyclone for the New Year
The model proposed by Hansen reveals ten degrees of heating is already baked into Earth’s surface temperature, but has been masked by aerosol cooling
James Hansen has always been a good climate scientist searching for an even better editor. Scientists, engineers, writers and poets all train differently and may even have different thought patterns and gut microbiomes. Occasionally you get a hybrid—Neil deGrasse Tyson; Carl Sagan; James Burke—who can both do the nerdy computations and communicate to receptive ignoramuses. Hansen is not one of those. He follows the orthodox scientist cast—defensive; assertions couched in equivocation; tentative conclusions; arcane arithmetic and acronyms.
When President George W. Bush, in his second week in office, created the National Energy Policy Development Group, headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, the Veep realized NEPDG would need to mention the risk of climate change in its report. His predecessor Al Gore had bequeathed him that as a job description. So, Cheney asked Hansen to come to the White House and make his best case. It was a disaster. Cheney, an oil man like the President, had no int…
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The Great Change to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.