“It’s a fraud really, a fake,” he says, rubbing his head. “It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target
and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just
worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil
fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued
to be burned.”
Hansen, 74, has just returned from Paris where he again called for a
price to be placed on each tonne of carbon from major emitters (he’s suggested
a “fee” – because “taxes scare people off” – of $15 a tonne that would
rise $10 a year and bring in $600bn in the US alone). There aren’t many
takers, even among “big green” as Hansen labels environment groups.
“We all foolishly had such high hopes for Obama, to articulate
things, to be like Roosevelt and have fireside chats to explain to the
public why we need to have a rising fee on carbon in order to move to
clean energy,” he says. “But he’s not particularly good at that. He
didn’t make it a priority and now it’s too late for him.”
Hansen is just as scathing of leading Republicans who have embraced
climate science denialism to the chagrin of some party elders.
“Many of the conservatives know climate change is not a hoax. But those
running for president are hamstrung by the fact they think they can’t
get the nomination if they say this is an issue. They wouldn’t get money
from the fossil fuel industry.”
For what it’s worth, I fully agree with Hansen’s capitalist-based solution. Full thing here.