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James Hansen Takes On Climate Change Skeptics

Pete Springer/OPB

Editor’s Note: This show will be broadcast live on OPB Plus television as well as OPB Radio.

Back in 1988, James Hansen testified in front of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee about a phenomenon called global warming. From the New York Times coverage at the time:

Today Dr. James E. Hansen of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration told a Congressional committee that it was 99 percent certain that the warming trend was not a natural variation but was caused by a buildup of carbon dioxide and other artificial gases in the atmosphere.

Dr. Hansen, a leading expert on climate change, said in an interview that there was no ”magic number” that showed when the greenhouse effect was actually starting to cause changes in climate and weather. But he added, ”It is time to stop waffling so much and say that the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here.’

Twenty-five years later, the country still lacks consensus on climate change. Recent polls show more than half of Republicans and some Democrats do not believe the earth is getting warmer.

James Hansen retired this month from his position as Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies to devote himself full time to his climate activism. Topping his list of retirement activities: testifying against the U.S. and state governments that he says have failed to limit carbon emissions.

Hansen’s work has drawn some criticisms from fellow scientists for his work. Some claim he should not be quite so outspoken, and others question his methods.

Are you familiar with Hansen’s work? 

climate change environment global warming

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OPB | Broadcast: April 25, 2013