March 24, 2009

James Hansen is angry

In The Times:
Hansen, director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said he believed scientists, the people who knew most about climate change, now had a moral obligation to become politically active. He has chosen Coventry to stage Thursday’s protest because it is home to E.ON, the power company that is planning a giant new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent.

“One power plant with a lifetime of several decades will destroy the efforts of millions of citizens to reduce their emissions,” he said. “If the government permits the building of new infrastructure which locks us into a future of high CO2 emissions, there is a moral obligation to try to stop them.”
First, the new plant will not destroy the efforts of those citizens. The CO2 concentration in the atmosphere will forever be lower than would be the case if those citizens had acted differently. Second, a new plant will not lock us into anything. It is up to citizens to decide how much electricity to use no matter how many power stations are built.

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