Hansen’s email to AFP on G8’s 50%-off by 2050 pledge

July 8, 2008 at 9:20 am | Posted in 2020, 2050, Carbon Capture and Storage, Carbon emissions, CCS, Climate change, Coal, Coal-fired power plants, Emissions reductions, Environment, Fossil fuels, G8, Global warming, James Hansen | Leave a comment
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Top climate scientist blasts G8 climate pledge

Agence France-Presse
First Posted 22:44:00 07/08/2008

PARIS — One of the world’s most respected climate scientists on Tuesday slammed the G8 summit’s goal of halving global warming emissions by 2050 as “worse than worthless.”

Leaders of the world’s richest nations, meeting in Japan, “are taking actions that guarantee that we deliver to our children climate catastrophes that are out of our control,” US expert James Hansen said in an e-mail to Agence France-Presse.

The G8 leaders have proved they do not understand the climate situation, have no idea how serious it is, have no sense of urgency, and are just playing a game with our children’s lives.

The Guardian video shows you what a good time our leaders are having in Japan, symbolically planting trees while they commit to nothing in particular to stop carbon emissions from coal.  (They’ll have to plant a LOT of trees to make up for that overarching failure on their part to address the coal-dependent climate challenge.)

The AFP article continues with consideration and adoption of a 2050 goal for which most of these leaders will not live long enough to be held accountable:

At their summit in the resort town of Toyako, the leaders of the Group of Eight nations — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States — agreed Tuesday to “consider and adopt” the goal of achieving the 50-percent cut in worldwide emissions by mid-centur

As far as a 2020 goal, in which timeframe most of these leaders should still be alive and kicking, and should be held accountable:

But they made no targeted pledge for action next decade, nor did they mention specific action against coal, which Hansen characterized as the greatest peril.

“A statement of any goal for percent reduction is worthless. Indeed, it is worse than that: it is a pretence that they understand the problem and plan to take needed actions,” said Hansen.

Since the leaders are so dense, we need some engaging gimmick to get Hansen’s message across that carbon emissions from coal MUST be eliminated (captured and stored).  They keep on missing his KEY point:

The only way to avoid climate catastrophe, argued Hansen, was to halt the emissions of coal, the most abundant and highly polluting of all fossil fuels.

He reiterated a call for a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants and for existing ones to be fitted with technology to capture the CO2 and store it deep underground.

“Otherwise we are sending a death sentence to uncountable species and are leaving our children with an ungodly mess,” he said.

Sky-rocketing oil prices have spurred energy-efficiency plans in many countries but at the same time have intensified the use of coal around the world, especially in developing juggernauts China and India.

In the old days, people read books about Practical Coal Mining,,, like these well-thumbed copies in the National Museum of Welsh Life, Cardiff.  I doubt a book on Practical Coal Moratoria would be opened, let alone thumbed, these days by any of the so-called leaders.  How are we going to get through to them?

Practical Coal Mining books on shelf in Welsh cottage in National Museum of Welsh Life 24 October 2007

Practical Coal Mining books on shelf in Welsh cottage in National Museum of Welsh Life 24 October 2007


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