A conversation with James Hansen
Dr. James Hansen, Director of NASAs Goddard Institute for Space Studies, is considered by many to be the foremost climatologist in the world. From his New York City office, he spoke with Climate Crisis Coalition Coordinator Tom Stokes, on May 10, 2008, about the science of climate change, the urgency of enacting effective climate legislation and why he is speaking out about it. Dr. Hansen believes that we should enact a carbon tax with the revenue recycled back to the people, rather than a cap-and-trade system.
James Hansen is perhaps best known for bringing global warming to the world’s attention in the 1980s, when he first testified before the US Congress. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University and at Columbia’s Earth Institute, and director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, he is frequently called to testify before Congress on climate issues. Dr. Hansen’s background in both space and earth sciences allows a broad perspective on the status and prospects of our home planet.
Sixty Minutes with James Hansen
Dr James Hansen, Adjunct Professor at Colombia University’s Earth Institute and director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, talks to the University of Canterbury community about anthropogenic climate change and the future.
Below: 5,000,000 hits later, high school science teacher Greg Craven must be doing something right. Here’s his common-sense lecture on Climate Change.
The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See
From CTV News’ Canada AM: It’s called “The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See” and while it’s not a horror movie, it is rather disturbing. And it’s sweeping the Internet. The YouTube video (above) is actually a 10-minute lecture on global warming, delivered by Oregon high school science teacher Greg Craven. It may sound preachy, but it’s hugely popular and has generated millions of hits on multiple websites.
Craven delivers the low-tech, video treatise from his home in Monmouth, Ore., armed with a black marker and a whiteboard. He methodically argues that the debate over whether humans caused global warming is moot; instead, Craven says, “the risk of not acting far outweighs the risk of acting.”
The film bears plenty of similarities to Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” but Craven argues that Gore didn’t go far enough in his film, noting that the way the globe is heading because of climate change will make “Gore look like a sissy Pollyanna with no guts who sugarcoated the bad news.”
Craven says at its worst, climate change could bring droughts, famine, floods, dust bowls, economic collapse and the displacement of millions. He concedes that the policy changes that are needed to counter global warming will be economically painful. But he insists that the costs of maintaining the status quo will be worse.
The main purpose of the following videos is to explain in simple terms the conclusions of scientific research, and correct some of the unsourced crap we get fed on the Internet.
The Climate Change series explains how greenhouse gases work, looks at alternative theories to climate change, and debunks the huge number of urban myths that are zipping round the Internet.
1. Climate Change — the scientific debate
A basic look at how climate scientists infer that man-made carbon gases are changing the climate, and how this view is contradicted by other climate scientists who are skeptics. I am a former science correspondent with an interest in reporting the facts, not the media hype. My thanks to 9thgate for checking my script for errors.
2. Climate Change — the objections
This video, the second in the series, looks at alternative hypotheses explaining global warming. I am only looking at alternative hypotheses put forward by real, professional climate researchers, and the findings of real, professional climate researchers who disagree with them. Yes, I’ve left a lot of the detail out. This is a 10-minute video summarizing the arguments and counter-arguments, not a PhD thesis. The comments forum will be free and open, as always, but if you disagree with what real, professional climate scientists say, please take it up with them and dont expect me to defend their point of view. If you have a stunning piece of scientific evidence that disproves one side or the other, dont waste time on my channel, write a paper, and get it peer-reviewed and published in a reputable journal.
PLEASE NOTE ERROR — I quoted from an Oreskes Paper and incorrectly stated that nearly 700 papers “explicitely endorsed the view that man-made gases are responsible. This should read that these papers “explicitly or implicity endorsed the view that man-made gases are responsible.” The papers that “implicitly” implied it were those that dealt with effects or mitigation measures. The original should not have been in quotation marks either. My apologies for the error.
3. Climate Change — Anatomy of a myth
I had planned to put several myths in this video, but discovered such an appalling web of deceit and fabrication in this first one that I felt I had no choice but to thoroughly debunk it. Like many ingrained myths, this one is so ubiquitous that it takes an awful lot of hard evidence to convince true believers that it’s been fabricated. A paper cited in this video was incorrectly dated. It is “The myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Consensus” by TC Petersonet al, September 2008 volume 89 issue 9, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
4. Climate Change — Gore vs. Durkin
This video, the fourth in my Climate Change series, looks at urban myths spawned by two iconic films — An Inconvenient Truth and The Great Global Warming Swindle. Whatever you “believe” about climate change, there is no excuse for the kind of exaggerations, fallacies and fabrications we see in films like these. My aim is to cut through the junk science designed to evangelize this issue, and show what the actual scientific research shows us. The video cuts short at the end, and the final sentence should read: “As I look at more of the urban myths theyve spawned.”
5. Climate Change — isn’t it natural?
More urban myths about climate change are busted as I look at the Earth’s climate over the last 500 million years. What causes it to change? Since carbon dioxide was much higher in the past, why do climatologists say higher CO2 now poses a problem? And of course there’s the familiar myth that CO2 can’t influence temperatures because the climate was much colder in the past when carbon dioxide levels were much higher. (References at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5hs4KVeiAU)
6. Climate Change — Those hacked e-mails
Now that the conspiracy theorists have blown off steam, it’s time for a more sober analysis of those e-mails and what they mean. I can’t go through all of them, there are far too many, and . So I’ve taken the two that seem to be getting conspiracy theorists most worked up — Phil Jones’s e-mail about “Mike’s Nature trick” and Kevin Trenberth’s e-mail about a “travesty.” I’m glad to see that skeptic websites that cover the science understand what these e-mails actually mean. As you’ll see, very few commentators who jumped on the conspiracy bandwagon even before reading the e-mails managed to get it right.
7. Climate Change — “Those” e-mails and science censorship
Are climatologists censoring scientific journals and silencing alternative hypotheses on climate change? This is the second part of my look at the hacked/stolen e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit in the UK. I welcome intelligent opinions in the forum, but please refrain from posting the same inane comment a dozen times. Debates in science aren’t settled by those who argue the longest or the loudest, but by the accuracy of facts and the consistency of hypotheses with the facts.
8. Climate Change — Has the earth been cooling?
This video also looks at whether other planets are also warming, and an Internet myth that NASA is now attributing warming to the sun. In this video I examine the importance of sources — tracking information back to a source and making sure the source is credible. My sources are cited in the video, but I’ll also post them here. Sources are also cited throughout my climate change series.
These videos are not a personal opinion or a theory of my own; I’m not a climate scientist or a researcher and I have no qualifications to do anything other than report on what real climate scientists have discovered through their research. So there’s no point in disagreeing with me. If you dislike their conclusions, take it up with the researchers I cite. If I’ve made a mistake in reporting their conclusions, please pooint out the mistake and I will happily correct it. If you think you know better than the experts, write a paper and have it published in a respected, peer-reviewed scientific journal.
8a. Climate Change — Phil Jones and the ‘no warming for 15 years’
The perfect example of what I was saying in my last video appeared soon after it was uploaded. The Internet was abuzz with a quote from Professor Phil Jones that there has been no global warming since 1995.
But is that what he actually said? Once again, we need to go to the source — Jones’s own words — rather than Internet gossip based on an interpretation of what he said. If we check the primary source, it’s a very different story. In fact, Jones and his team did detect warming since 1995. In this video I go to the source, and find out why the tabloid press got things so wrong. I have to correct part of the video where I gave an example of what an 80% statistical significance would mean (for the statisticians out there, this is a p-value of 20%). I said this would mean 80% confidence that global warming was a real, underlying trend, and not the result of background fluctuations.
While some statisticians accepted this as a broad explanation for the layperson, others felt it deviated too far from the precise meaning, which is this: = If global warming was not happening, there is only a 20% chance we would see this result. = A 90% statistical significance (if that’s what Jones achieved) of the 1995-2009 temperature data would mean If global warming was not happening, there is only a 10% chance we would see this result.
9. Climate Change — Meet the scientists
References on the YouTube video.
10. Climate Change — An imminent ice age debunked
In 2005 the media told us we were on the brink of another ice age. What happened?
11. Climate Change — Hurricanes, atolls and coral
Three more myths, misunderstood by both proponents and critics of climate science: Global Warming means more hurricanes, drowned islands and dead coral reefs. It’s not that simple. References on the YouTube video.
11a. Climate Change — Sources for my last video
References on the YouTube video.