Someone sent me this letter from Jim Hansen. You should read it, especially the part about VP choice. I like to include anything by Hansen, who is actually a nice curmudgeon, if there is such a person..
A new post at http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/20081030_Target.pdf contains:
1. the note below (2 pages).
2. Draft press release for “Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?” (2 pages).
3. Draft “Q&A” re that paper (2 pages).
will appear in 3-4 days in The Open Atmospheric Sciences Journal. Thanks for suggestions, which improved the clarity.
This journal is one of the new ones with free worldwide access [we submitted the paper there after Science would not accept it because it had already been published on blogs and discussed in the media.] This experience with an Open Journal was good, so I will probably try The Open Environment Journal for a paper now in preparation. Publication would have been faster except their referee suggestions required adding a section on caveats and uncertainties, which took a long time because of other commitments. The additions (sections 4.5 and Fig. 7 in the main text and section 18 and Fig. S21 in the Supplementary Material) are useful, I believe.
Below is a draft press release that I am providing to both NASA and Columbia University, and an incomplete draft of personal “answers to frequent questions” aimed at avoiding the need to respond to the same questions multiple times. Criticisms are welcome.
2. “Obstruction of Justice”. Thanks to several people who pointed out that the correct character for comparison in “Grapes of Wrath” was Tom Joad. Responses to my “Obstruction” post show that I left a number of misimpressions.
“Gets it”. My statement that neither presidential candidate “gets it”, based on their enthusiasm for “clean coal” and “carbon cap and trade”, generated a few angry responses. I am sorry if I left the impression that I saw no difference between candidates. One reader concluded I would vote for Ralph Nader! I am surprised, because I attached voting recommendations (based on the astute analysis of the League of Conservation Voters) including the presidential race. I believe the United States needs a third party, but the groundwork has not been laid for an effective one. Besides, there is hope that the 2008 election could bring transformational change.
I understand one being jaded, even cynical, due to failure of previous candidates (both parties) to deliver on promised transformation. But the vice presidential choices should jolt even the most jaded and somnolent into getting their fannies to the polls, if they retain any concern about life and the planet left for our children. Our best chance is to elect someone who has the capability of “getting it”, if we can ever succeed in making the climate story clear enough.
My caution about what a winning candidate will actually deliver is based on experience. If my “Trip Report” ( http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/20080804_TripReport.pdf), recounting dismal failure to help officials in various countries “get it”, did not convince you, I offer another example: Australia. Response to my “Dear Prime Minister Rudd” at ( http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/20080401_DearPrimeMinisterRudd_reply.pdf ) hardly illuminates the Australian position, but their subsequently stated goals of 450-550 ppm CO2 does. That plan appears to have been written by the coal industry, and, if adopted globally, practically guarantees destruction of most life on the planet. I would be more critical, except that much of the problem is probably due to our failure to make the climate story clear enough. More later on this topic and the ways in which moneyed interests finagle “cap and trade” to everybody else’s detriment.
PowerVote. Apologies to Andy Revkin, who responded to my “Obstruction of Justice” post thusly: “I never said you advocated ‘unlawful protest’ but that you endorsed ‘civil disobedience’.” I should be careful in getting precise quotes. However, I do not recall endorsing civil disobedience either (yet).
My recommendation has been that young people spend maximum effort on the democratic process, affecting upcoming elections on all levels, and then, after the election, demanding that those elected deliver on their promises. I have cooperated with the (nominally non-partisan) PowerVote, Virginia Powershift, ReEnergize Iowa, 350.org, 1sky.org, etc., and have my t-shirts to prove it. Of course, there will be time to reassess later, depending on whether elected leaders show that they “get it” or, instead, return to “business-as-usual”.
In this regard, I draw your attention to a note from Holly Garrett:
I am writing to let you know that we are accepting National Council Applications for SEAC (Student Environmental Action Coalition) at this time. This is a great opportunity for students and other youth to gain more skills and develop as leaders in the climate movement. If you’ve met any stellar youth in your travels (especially in the UK or other countries!) please forward this to them and invite them to apply! We’re looking for dedicated and effective leaders and organizers to join the 2009 SEAC. (Obtain application from http://www.seac.org)
Media. In “Obstruction” I forgot to raise the question about our American media. Why is it that the Kingsnorth case is on the front page and the 6 o’clock news in the UK, but the Wise County case is ignored by U.S. media? The damage in the U.S. case, both climate and mountaintop removal, exceeds that in the UK. A case with 20-year-olds standing up for their and future generations, against powerful interests, without support of Greenpeace-level organizations, would seem to warrant coverage. Is this a case of media, in a company-town, company-state, company-country situation, intentionally looking the other way? Or is it simply that these young people are not as media savvy as Greenpeace?
3. “Dear Governor Paterson”. Letter to the New York Governor is at
1. “Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?”