NASA Scientist: Climate Change Is a Moral Matter, Like Slavery

Erika Johnsen
Posted: Apr 07, 2012 3:35 PM

It is truly amazing to me that conservatives are so often dismissively labeled as "extremists," "radicals," and plain old "crazy," while leftists constantly reward their own for tossing around intellectually cheap and practically deranged statements like this one. No, global warming does not share a moral basis with slavery: slavery is fundamentally, philosophically wrong, while climate change is based on the conflicting claims of a not-personally-disinterested scientific community -- and personally, I think our crushingly unsustainable rate of spending and debt accrual is a much larger travesty for future generations than our energy usage.

Averting the worst consequences of human-induced climate change is a "great moral issue" on a par with slavery, according to the leading Nasa climate scientist Prof Jim Hansen.

He argues that storing up expensive and destructive consequences for society in future is an "injustice of one generation to others".

Hansen, who will next Tuesday be awarded the prestigious Edinburgh Medal for his contribution to science, will also in his acceptance speech call for a worldwide tax on all carbon emissions.

In his lecture, Hansen will argue that the challenge facing future generations from climate change is so urgent that a flat-rate global tax is needed to force immediate cuts in fossil fuel use. Ahead of receiving the award – which has previously been given to Sir David Attenborough, the ecologist James Lovelock, and the economist Amartya Sen – Hansen told the Guardian that the latest climate models had shown the planet was on the brink of an emergency. He said humanity faces repeated natural disasters from extreme weather events which would affect large areas of the planet.

"The situation we're creating for young people and future generations is that we're handing them a climate system which is potentially out of their control," he said. "We're in an emergency: you can see what's on the horizon over the next few decades with the effects it will have on ecosystems, sea level and species extinction."

Hansen is one of global warming's original chief promulgators, having created one of the first global climate models, and his 'pioneering' research is often cited by such august 'scientific' figures as Al Gore. I wonder... what possible incentives could he have to keep the global-warming hysteria going?

Of course global warming exists. For that matter, so does global cooling. The earth is not a stable place, and never has been. But as for warming up at a disasterous rate, right now, that heralds imminent, deadly, worldwide disaster -- er, no. Plenty of scientists agree that the 21st century really hasn't actually seen any measurable warming. From Environmental Trends:


Recently in The Wall Street Journal, Princeton physics professor William Happer noted how the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO) has not produced the rapid temperature increase predicted by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). ...

While there are obviously some dramatic swings in temperature over the past 34 years—such as the cooling after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in the early 1990s and the El Nin~o warming of 1998—the overall trend shows only a slight increase in global surface temperatures.