Choice Words for James Hansen From Big Coal Exec

Wed, 2008-06-25 20:45Page van der Linden
Page van der Linden's picture

Choice Words for James Hansen From Big Coal Exec

Andy Revkin's New York Times Dot Earth has published a letter from Vic Svec, Senior Vice President for Peabody Energy, the largest private coal company in the world, reacting to the statement made earlier this week by NASA's Dr. James Hansen that top executives of coal and oil companies should be tried for “crimes against humanity and nature.”

Here's an excerpt of the Svec letter:

“Blaming big oil and big coal for the broad array of opinions about climate change is disingenuous. If he would imprison those who don’t march in lockstep with his views, the jails would be very, very big. It would include thousands of scientists and university professors and the likes of the president of the Czech Republic, a former founder of Greenpeace and the former founder of The Weather Channel.”

Read the entire letter from Vic Svec on Andy's Dot Earth site.

Previous Comments

It is beyond ironic that James Hansen would complain about others attempting to silence his ability to speak freely that when Dr. Hansen does make an important speech he calls for the imprisonment of those with opinions different from his own.

Pumping stuff into the atmosphere isn’t “speech” or “opinion”. It’s pollution.

By the way, all DeSmoggers are hereby invited to crash this online poll!
http://tinyurl.com/5rln88

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http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

Expressing an opinion different then Dr. Hansen’s is not a crime. For someone who has complained so bitterly about censorship, he should understand this better then most.

I’ll say this again, because obviously you either can’t get it or you don’t want to get it:

CO2 emissions are not speech.
Pollution is not speech.
Causing massive flooding is not speech.

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http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

How would imprisoning oil execs stop you from emitting C02 Frank? And are you willing you share a jail cell? ;)

Hansen looks to the future.

He sees a time coming when many will starve and die.

At that time, if we have the misfortune to be among them, (as we probably will), prosecuting the oil men will most likely seem to be ‘letting them of lightly’ compared other things we might think of.

…and what should be the fate of the politicians who have facilitated the domination of bigoil over our planet?
Republicans are funneling billions into the coffers of their oil baron backers; it’s no surprise Bush and McCain aren’t pushing for renewable energy. (http://www.alternet.org/environment/89426/)

Wow poor muzzled Jimmy must be getting desperate as he sees his global catastophe scenarios coming up empty. Now he wants to throw those who disagree with him in jail. Where have we heard that before? Ah yes, right here in Canada from none other than the Lord of the Fruit Flies, the patron saint of Desmoggers.

So apparently the words of Vaclav Klauss, Patrick Moore, and John Coleman are greater in weight than those of anyone with actual experience in climatology itself. And they call Hansen ‘disingenuous’.

And of course, causing massive flooding is merely “free speech”.

I guess after they repeat, repeat, and repeat this line ad nauseam, they actually start believing their own lies and think that there’s a “tsunami” of opposition against Hansen. Even though it’s obviously just a few guys regurgitating the mantra for the thousandth time.

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http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

I love the way the response implies lack of scientific consensus on this issue, when in fact there is an overwhelming SCIENTIFIC consensus. Just because the well-funded oil company disinformation campaign seeks to portray it differently doesn’t make it so.

Claim all the consensus you want, that won’t make the temperatures rise, and that won’t change the fact that Hansen’s global warming predictions from 20 years ago are proving to be further and further away from the truth. Given the level of CO2 in the atmosphere now, we should be easily warmer than we are, according to his projections.

In addition, having the majority on your side does not mean you have the right to persecute those who disagree with you. People can not be tried for crimes that have not even occurred yet, and there is absolutely no guarantee they will occur. This is not Minority Report.

Everything you have just stated is completely wrong. Why not read up on the science instead of spending your time on denier blogs?

Ian Forrester

What denailsists refer to is the projections for Scenario A. Well the forcings for scenario A did not happen. What happened was a change in forcings that were like his scenario B. And guess what? The actual observations and the scenario B projections were very close.

You find a full discussion here:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/hansens-1988-projections/

So, to put it simply. You have no idea what you are talking about.

“I love the way the response implies lack of scientific consensus on this issue, when in fact there is an overwhelming SCIENTIFIC consensus.”

Sure, just like there was overwhelmiing consensus that the Sun rotated around the Earth.

How’s that working out for you?

Ah yes, the “help, help, we’re being oppressed nugget” largely co-opted by the creationists when their crazy assed ideas also get rejected. Nice diversionary tactic, but thinking people don’t really buy it. I agree with Svec on the first point however but his reasoning goes downhill from there.

Reid Bryson (a real climatologist) commented that you would have more of an effect on the climate by going outside and spitting than you would by doubling CO2. Hansen by comparison is an astronomer and a bold faced liar.

Ahem, a “real” climatologist in the sense that he gets his information on global temperatures from ancient books written by Norse mariners. I’m sure the mariners’ books had detailed graphs showing global – or even regional – temperatures of the times.

Who cares about Vostok ice cores or any of that crap? Who cares about hard science? Dump Hansen! Dump Hansen!

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http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech!

Wait, CO2 emissions aren’t a form of “free speech”… argh, shut up, you freedom-hating witch-burning gulag-building warmist! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech! Hansen hates free speech!

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http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

in the inherent common sense and reason of mankind, but trolling deniers have convinced me there is still a trace of the troglodyte among us.

This “crimes against humanity” thing, although I believe he meant it, seems incidental to his message. Read his testimony. (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2008/TwentyYearsLater_20080623.pdf)

He’s made a major change in the way he speaks about global warming compared to only months ago. He’s saying that his recent work and recent observations of effects of global warming add up to there is too much CO2 in the atmosphere already. All the talk about limiting global warming to 2 degrees Centigrade or somewhere around 450 ppm CO2 to avoid “dangerous” climate change, as found in statements coming from EU leaders, the I.P.C.C. scenarios, his own statements, most people advocating doing something about this problem, etc., are “a recipe for global disaster”. Although he used to sign off on statements saying 450 ppm might be good enough if it could be achieved, he is now very firm “that the safe level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is no more than 350 ppm (parts per million) and it may be less.” As he himself says, this conclusion that he and several of the world’s leading climate experts have arrived at is “stunning” as it means some way must be found to not only ramp down emissions until the composition of the atmosphere stabilizes, but it means some carbon dioxide has to be taken out of the atmosphere somehow, or what we will leave our descendants is among other things, a planetary system where “no stable shoreline would be reestablished in any time frame that humanity can conceive” as he fears the Earth may enter a state where there is no turning back from no ice at the poles. Wholesale global climate change, and now, at no additional cost, extra added flooding. What a plus. If there is no ice at the poles the global sea level will be 260 feet higher than it is today.

Given that he has concluded this, and that this is a major change to the position he and most of his colleagues held until recently, it is no wonder that he finds himself using such strong language as saying he expects to testify at the trials for crimes against humanity of people he believes were responsible for delaying civilization in saving itself from this.

This is what caught my attention anyway. I was part of a group of scientists and others trying to get through to civilization in 1988 in our own way up in Toronto at the Changing Atmosphere conference which was held a few days after Hansen hit the news with his “99%” confidence statement that global warming was real. I’ve been aware of global warming, and Hansen, for twenty years. He stepped into the spotlight then to bring attention to what a number of others also believed, and he’s stepping into the spotlight now to do the same thing.

Let’s not miss his point.

I heard Hansen on the radio talking about why he made his statement about the CEOs. In the first place, he’s talking about only those people who knew that climate change was a significant problem caused by the products they were selling who deliberately set out starting more than twenty years ago in a systematic and well financed way to do the same thing tobacco companies found themselves in court for, i.e. sow misinformation about their products and delay action aimed at ending their sales. I don’t have any way to prove that there are people like this. It looks to me, after seeing how things have gone for twenty years on this issue, that there could well be a somewhat centrally directed well financed disinformation campaign going on, although there were and are so very many buyers of what the lobbyists are selling it will be hard to sort it all out. Hansen was speaking very calmly, saying he wanted to send a message to these people, that they should think how history will judge them. I don’t see why people think these CEOs need defending: why not let them defend themselves. Do people forget that the tobacco companies were convicted?

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