Shit storm over Copenhagen

He has a new book to plug, does NASA climatologist and sexagenarian dad James Hansen, but I have no hesitation in providing him with free PR. Hansen is a good man, and even though he may not be right in all he says about solutions to man-made climate change, Hansen has as much right as anyone else to comment publicly on policy.

The publicity storm surrounding the launch of “Storms of my grandchildren: the truth about the coming climate catastrophe and our last chance to save humanity” includes an interview in Nature. The title of Hansen’s book may be a tad over the top, but that’s commercial publishers for you.

“Due out in December, the book is also the silver lining of Hansen’s recent fight with prostate cancer. The illness afforded him a six-week recuperative period during which he hammered out the last chapters, Hansen tells me during an interview in mid-November at the rural Pennsylvania home he shares with his wife Anniek. Now cancer-free, Hansen is ready to take on the world again, and with it the politicians who, in his view, are simply failing to protect his grandchildren from dangerous climate change. In a wide-ranging discussion, Hansen focuses largely on the urgency of the climate problem and the political inertia against solving it, both prominent themes in his book. ‘I am sorry to say’, he writes, ‘that most of what politicians are doing on the climate front is greenwashing – their proposals sound good, but they are deceiving you and themselves at the same time.’”

Take it from me, Copenhagen is damp, chilly and very grey at this time of year, and the presence of thousands of suits at the climate summit is unlikely to raise the temperature significantly. After all, they’ve already told us not to expect anything meaningful, so that’s that, I guess.

Or not.

Long may Jim Hansen continue to stir it up!