James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change

Gaia, life on earth, all interact to create feedback loops that maintain the environment within narrow parameters, that in turn creates the conditions for life to exist.

But it is only possible to push these feedback loop so far.

If we look to Venus, we can see the result of runaway global warming, a surface temperature of 900C

CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

In 1981, James Hansen, a Nasa scientist, co-authored a paper predicting the results of increased CO2 emissions.

Fifteen years later, many of his predictions had come true. When he tried to speak out, the Bush White House tried to have him silenced, because he was criticising US oil policy.

We know, if we are to limit global temperature rise to 2C, we have to keep 80% of known carbon reserves in the ground.

Why are we therefore trying to recover dirtier, more hazardous, sources of oil and gas: fracking, Alberta tar sands, deepwater, Arctic?

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