NASA scientist James Hansen was the first government official with the knowledge and courage to appear before Congress in June 1988 and declare “Global warming is a reality.” Being first among his peers was good for Hansen’s biography. Prophets throughout history along with Hansen have been vilified and rejected. Many were killed.
Hansen is courageous as was Galileo’s insistence that Earth goes about the Sun. He has not wavered from his convictions on climate change. Hansen retired/resigned from NASA to devote his time to educating us about climate change. Half of our elected officials in 2013 denied conclusions that 97 percent of climate scientists and a growing number of ordinary citizens are perceiving. Climate is changing right before us. A bitter winter this year does not mean carbon dioxide from fossil fuels has diminished enveloping Earth. Ocean acidity has increased thirty percent in recent decades due to CO2 coming into contact with water. We learned that in high school chemistry.
Year 2013 was a very significant first as scientists at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii reported on May 10, 2013 that carbon dioxide emissions went beyond 400 parts per million(ppm) for the first time in human history. Carbon Dioxide at 400ppm is indisputable It is a scientific first that is certainly not good for Earth.
Energy experts predict the US will surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production by 2017. It is possible that the US will provide more natural gas than Russia in coming years. Good? Maybe not for warming Earth.
Russia is first and the United States second as leaders in their nuclear arsenals that total nearly 17,000 globally. We all know how humankind squeaked through an insane period of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) during the “Cold War.” between the US & defunct USSR.” One Superpower remains standing,” said Mikhael Gorbachev.
Movements directed to reduce nuclear weapons to zero are jubilant in reporting there were 70,000 city/country destroying weapons in 1986. The 2014 figure of 17,000 indicates a modicum of clear thinking about our planetary survival. Will CO2 be reduced too?
The atomic threat to all life on Earth is obvious after reviewing films of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Being first to develop atomic/nuclear weapons placed all life on the planet in jeopardy. Such military might is considered good by some, dangerous by others.
Will we eventually perceive being first in production of fossil fuels might mean billions in profits for a few, but 400 ppm of carbon dioxide and climbing, is a threat to the future of all life on Earth?
James Hansen was first in warning all of us and he is good for Earth. Courage to speak truth to power might be a separate intelligence.