Euractiv.com: A noted climatologist and recently-retired NASA research chief [Note: Hansen was not the NASA 'research chief '- he was only the director of GISS - a very tiny department within NASA] has entered the EU’s energy policy debate, with a warning that any re-industrialisation strategy which increases fossil fuels use can only be short-term, irrational and economically wasteful.
In a wide-ranging interview with EurActiv, James Hansen branded the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) “ineffectual” and flawed, and accused energy firms of preferring government bribes over investments in clean technology.
Hansen, whose Congressional testimony on climate change in 1988 first popularised the issue in the United States, also said that approving the proposed ‘Keystone XL’ pipeline to bring tar sands fuel from Canada to Texas would ‘gravely tarnish’ President Barack Obama’s legacy.
Keystone XL pipeline
Like the Keystone XL decision, which has been kicked back until late 2013, the new plant emissions rules have been delayed.
Hansen, who until last month headed NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said US Secretary of State John Kerry and Obama would realise "that their legacy is going to be gravely tarnished if they approve that pipeline so I’m cautiously optimistic that they’re going to come to their senses on this.”
While he had been disappointed by Obama’s climate policies so far, Hansen added a rider that the US president still had time to back up his words on climate change with actions.
“It is surprising we don’t have stronger statement from scientists [too],” he said. “Someone should be going in and pounding on the president’s desk saying ‘we have got to have policy changes’”.
A recent US government study denying a link between climate change and last year’s severe drought in the country’s midwest was down to “a particular scientist in NOAA who always makes that statement with every extreme event,” Hansen said, referring to the US government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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