Thursday, December 26, 2013

Hansen: How to Know When Politicians Are Lying

"You will hear politicians and others say something like, "We have a plan. We will reduce emissions 25 percent by 2020, 90 percent by 2050." Or they will give some other numbers. But the numbers are meaningless, as you can easily prove. Just ask them this question: "Are you going to continue to use coal, and maybe even permit another coal plant to be built?" If they say yes, then ask them how they plan to convince Russia and Saudi Arabia to leave their oil in the ground. When they tell you that they are going to solve the problem via a "goal," "binding target," or a "cap," you know they are lying. Yes, lying is a harsh word, so you may instead say "kidding themselves." But I expect that one day your more perceptive grandchildren will say that you let the politicians lie to you."

-- James Hansen, Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity
(I definitely recommend reading this book. Not only does it give some insights into the political machinations Hansen experienced during the Bush Jr. administration, he clearly makes his case for why the level of atmospheric CO2 needs to be 350 ppmv or less (achieved, from here, mostly by reforestation and changes in agricultural land use practices.)

1 comment:

Richard Lawson said...

I thought the key sign that politicians are lying is when you can see their lips moving.

[Sorry. Not original, but someone had to say it]