After Copenhagen – James Hansen in Adelaide

Dr. James Hansen, one of worlds leading scientists on climate issues, is giving a talk on the 11th March in Adelaide.

The event will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre (Hall B), 6:30pm for a 7pm start. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear James Hansen share his lifetime of research in climate change and have the opportunity to engage with him through audience discussion. Tickets are $22 AUD, for bookings please visit Environment Institute website.

Thirty years ago, he created one of the world’s first climate models and is sometimes referred to as “father” or “grandfather of global warming”. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.

Best known for his research in the field of climatology, a watershed testimonial to the US congress in 1988 on global warming and his advocacy to limit the impacts of climate change, James will be speaking at a public event in Adelaide about his new book “Storms of My Grandchildren“, covering his views on climate change and obtaining real solutions to these problems.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear James Hansen share his lifetime of research on climate change and have the opportunity to engage with him through audience discussion.

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Purchase your Tickets Online ($22 per head, to cover venue and other costs) — hurry, there are only 350 seats in total.

Details: 7:00pm – 9:00pm, 11 March 2010, Adelaide Convention Centre, Hall B.

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For coverage of Jim’s work on BraveNewClimate, click here. Jim is a founding member of the Science Council for Global Initiatives.

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35 Comments

  1. Hi Barry,
    great!

    I’m just wondering, if the IPCC is so dead-in-the-water with their now totally out of date 450ppm goal and very silly estimates of fossil fuel availability for 2100, who are the new ‘consensus’ of climatologist? Which actual team of climate science represents the new consensus? A specific journal? 350.org? James Hansen himself? Just wondering how you guys get a vibe for where the climate consensus is moving towards now that the IPCC is a bit of a dead-duck.

    Regards for all the work you do.

  2. Damn, wish I lived in Melbourne. This would be a fantastic debate to attend. Dr Diesendorf should have his arse handed to him in this one – he can’t play the authority on the matter by attacking the affirmatives’ credentials.

    Is this likely to be flimed/recorded?

  3. I suspect it will be filmed, but I cannot be sure.

    eclispsenow, Hansen has co-authored a paper that is relevant to your query:

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/2008/Kharecha_Hansen.html

    Kharecha, P.A., and J.E. Hansen, 2008: Implications of “peak oil” for atmospheric CO2 and climate. Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 22, GB3012, doi:10.1029/2007GB003142.

    Unconstrained CO2 emission from fossil fuel burning has been the dominant cause of observed anthropogenic global warming. The amounts of “proven” and potential fossil fuel reserves are uncertain and debated. Regardless of the true values, society has flexibility in the degree to which it chooses to exploit these reserves, especially unconventional fossil fuels and those located in extreme or pristine environments. If conventional oil production peaks within the next few decades, it may have a large effect on future atmospheric CO2 and climate change, depending upon subsequent energy choices. Assuming that proven oil and gas reserves do not greatly exceed estimates of the Energy Information Administration, and recent trends are toward lower estimates, we show that it is feasible to keep atmospheric CO2 from exceeding about 450 ppm by 2100, provided that emissions from coal, unconventional fossil fuels, and land use are constrained. Coal-fired power plants without sequestration must be phased out before mid- century to achieve this CO2 limit. It is also important to “stretch” conventional oil reserves via energy conservation and efficiency, thus averting strong pressures to extract liquid fuels from coal or unconventional fossil fuels while clean technologies are being developed for the era “beyond fossil fuels”. We argue that a rising price on carbon emissions is needed to discourage conversion of the vast fossil resources into usable reserves, and to keep CO2 beneath the 450 ppm ceiling.

  4. Barry,

    As Nick Minchin lives in Adelaide would it be possible to ask him to come along to the meeting and explain to everyone present just where James Hansen and other scientists have got the science wrong…….

    Oh…. Nick Minchin declined…. Oh well, I’m sure he has good and honest reasons.

  5. I understand the SA State election will be held a week after the talk. As of now it looks like a continuation of the current policies. That includes taking uranium mining royalties while opposing nuclear power, unsustainably high feed-in tariffs for solar, boasting about wind capacity which is near useless for meeting heatwave electrical demand and reliance on desalination for future water needs.

    Barry I hope someone can prep Hansen on these factoids. It would be good if during the Q&A the State’s faux-green credentials were pricked.

  6. FYI…../Chris

    Hansen in Sydney:

    After Copenhagen: Looking for Real Solutions with James E Hansen
    Dr James Hansen, an internationally renowned scientist and active researcher in climate science for nearly 30 years looks beyond Copenhagen and offers some solutions. Dr Hansen is best known for his US Congressional testimony on climate change in the 1980′s which raised broad awareness of global warming.
    Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm Mar 08 Cost: $20/$15
    Venue: Seymour Theatre Centre, Cnr Cleveland St and City Rds, Chippendale
    Bookings: Sydney Ideas http://www.usyd.edu.au/sydney_ideas/lect.. 02 9351 7940

  7. thanks for this -
    i will definitely go and hear hansen, i have just bought my theatre ticket and bus tickets to sydney

    i hope he gets sell-out audiences. he deserves to – a towering figure in cliimate science.

    tony kevin, author of ”crunch time’ (scribe, 2009), canberra

  8. hi barry,

    Are you going to open a discussion thread about Hansen’s book before his talk? I’m reading his book and have some questions / comments. Or would you prefer I asked them here?

  9. I have just got home from the Hansen/Diesendorf/Switkowski et. al. debate in Melbourne.

    Hansen was very good, very persuasive. It’s a shame we couldn’t have Brook on the stage with him – people with a climatology background are very persuasive advocates for nuclear.

    The arguments from the anti-nuclear side were all the same old predictable stuff, and to be honest I’m surprised the pro-nuclear side wasn’t better prepared for some of the claims from Diesendorf et. al.

    To be honest I was actually surprised and pleased that 1000+ people came and paid good money to watch a debate about nuclear power.

    By far the worst anti-nuclear nonsense came from Molly Harriss Olson, who carried on with a load of rhetorical fluff and nonsense, as you can imagine – nuclear power is too expensive, too dangerous, and not necessary. She even ironically described nuclear energy as “quite unscalable”.

    The no-nukes-kooks had that bloody stupid big inflatable white elephant there too. Wonder how much energy it takes to inflate?

    Olsen also quoted Severance’s rubbish on costs, quoted Lovins and RMI, and made claims of “massive new government subsidies” for nuclear power in the US, even actually claiming that the current US budget includes 500 billion dollars in subsidies for nuclear power, including but not limited to loan guarantees!

    Olsen even described nuclear energy as an “even greater threat” to mankind than anthropogenic climate forcing effects.

    Olsen also described TMI as a “catastrophe”, even though it didn’t hurt anyone.

    Furthermore, Olsen closed by stating that “Every Australian state and Territory opposes the transport and storage of nuclear waste” – even though, of course, every Australian state and Territory generates and stores radioactive waste.

    Diesendorf made his predictable and entirely false statement that no Gen. IV reactors exist.

    Diesendorf (or maybe Jim Green, I’m not sure from memory) also stated that if governments possessed an IFR, they could still take core material and run it through a separate plutonium-separation process in order to build weapons – but of course if they wanted to do that they’d just build a graphite pile loaded with natural uranium instead.

    The anti nukes also mentioned that large scale solar thermal with storage was “on the brink” of being available in the future – just like IFR, I suppose.

    Diesendorf also made a lot of predictable mendacious claims about increases in renewable “generating capacity”, and percentage increases in renewables compared to nuclear.

    Jim Green made the ludicrous claim that at least 21 countries have diverted peaceful nuclear energy technology towards the development of nuclear weapons, and 5 countries have built and tested nuclear weapons based on diversion of peaceful nuclear energy programs.

    Green (might have been Diesendorf) also made the statement that “the 9 Nuclear Weapons States account for 58% of nuclear energy generation – and that’s not a coincidence!”. Absolutely ridiculous.

    Diesendorf also made an interesting statement: “It’s possible to have advanced reactor designs which make proliferation very hard – but it’s also possible to envisage reactor designs that make it very easy”.

    Yeah – it’s just a big graphite pile with slugs of natural uranium in it!

    He also claimed that India’s thorium reactors require co-existing fast breeder reactors to produce weapons-grade Pu which is removed and taken to the thorium reactors to start them up.

    The above is all fairly accurate but may contain minor errors or attributions – we’ll need to wait until the video and/or audio recordings and/or transcripts are released.

  10. Oh, yeah: The anti-nuclear lobby in Australia really, really seem to have a special hatred of Switkowski – I really don’t know why, but I’ve seen it before.

    I was really appalled by the morons in the audience who deemed it necessary to boo him at the end of the debate.

    Diesendorf has a new favourite catchphrase, too:
    “renewable energy deniers”. If you question the ability of magical renewable energy to provide all our energy needs at a sensible price, you’re a “renewable energy denier”.

    By the way, what’s with those “Beyond Zero Emissions” folks? How can they be so deluded? Replace every bit of coal and gas energy in this country with wind and solar inside 10 years? You’re dreaming.

  11. Luke, thanks for the report on the debate. It’s a pity we didn’t have a chance to cross paths — I was sitting up in the front row.

    My thoughts on the debate that are additional to Luke’s assessment, with which I agree:

    – Switkowski spoke very well, in a practical manner that focused on real-world experience of the adoption, expansion and costs of nuclear energy, rather than cherry picking, which was the modus operandi of the opposition. It was amusing that Olson referenced the Severence ‘report’, when this guy has strongly argued for no subsides for renewables either!

    – The debate was well organised by the St James Ethics Centre, for which they should be commended. But frankly, the format didn’t work, much as the Adelaide debate format failed. Having 9 minutes per speaker to deliver *prepared* speeches is not a useful discussion in my view, it is a ‘he said, she said’ affair. There is only one format that I’ll agree to in future — one in which I am allowed to cross-examine the opposition and they are allowed to cross-examine me. Anything else is prone to obfuscation and spin with little opporunity to rebut the majority of the Gish gallop that is rapidly machine gunned at you.

    – I’m amazed that the opposition has the audacity to argue that nuclear power is hideously expense, and to then further argue that the only logical course of action is therefore to pursue renewables (plus lots of subsidies). Ohhhh, for a chance to cross-examine!

    – There was a session afterwards where a dozen or so audience members on each side of the debate got to give a 1 min min-speech, without any real chance for the panel to respond (they got 2 min summing up at the end, after the audience vote had been taken). What we got was a dozen polemics. Hardly useful.

    – They did a pre-debate poll and had 37% pro, 28% anti and 35% “undecided”. After the debate, it was 38% pro, 60% anti and 2% undecided. There were many large organised groups there (anti nuclear and climate action groups), and I suggest that the vast majority of them had made pacts to pretend to be undecided so as to later give the impression that they’d be swayed by the negative’s arguments. I can think of no other logical explanation – statistically, such a result would be nigh impossible if those undecideds really were that. If my suspicions are correct, then I think it’s frankly pathetic, but not unexpected.

    – The majority of the public who support nuclear power probably didn’t attend this event, because a large fraction of such folks are unconcerned about (or deny) climate change. As such, the balance of the audience was not, I suspect, reflective of the general population. So a >1/3 support from the folks who would be considered to be inclined towards being anti-nukes, it probably wasn’t such a bad result.

  12. I also attended the debate. I also found the large swing from undecided to against suprising and suspicious. For it to have been arranged it would have required about 20-30 percent of the people attending to be in on it. Were there really that many people in attendance from anti-nuclear groups?

    Andrew

  13. I drove three hours to see Hansen in this debate. Was in the front row too, Barry. Kept an eye out for you as I was interested in asking you whether you would speak on the subject in my district, near The Grampians.

    I feel the results of the debate reflected not so much peoples’ opinions, but their opinion on who actually debated best. I went on the pro side, but, and I grant the discrepancies in the negative argument, I felt the negatives actually spoke more convincingly. Don’t forget it was a Intelligence2 debate, and they debate many things. To many of the audience this may have been just another topic. Hence the large number of undecided at the start.

    For instance, I think Jim Hansen, and it was unfortunate he spoke first, underestimated his audience here in the antipodes. His nine minutes was began as a usual discourse on global warming, without much new. A lot of this we may agree with, but it was unsupported with figures on the night. This enabled Polly to say “yes, we agree with that, but not the nuclear argument” She then had the full nine minutes to speak to the topic. I feel he was better in his final two minutes, and was disappointed it wasn’t two hours.
    The Positive’s second speaker,was probably the least impressive of the six in actual speaking technique.
    Ziggy is a forceful and excellent speaker . I think, though, there may have been some cynicism in the audience about his material, as , not surprisingly, he spoke mainly from a neo liberal economists viewpoint.
    The three negative speakers I felt were all impressive on stage. Luke, that is their technique of capturing an audience I refer to, not the legitimacy of their content. I think if that many went in undecided, the negatives’ passion and surety in their subject may have a lot to do with the result of the debate..
    Ultimately, it was a debate, and whatever we think the right conclusion should be, each side has to tackle the opposition arguments. I think the positive side did not allay the negative side’s pushing of nuclear proliferation adequately.
    Barry, you are right about the polemics in the audience. They are indicative of the depth of feeling on this subject though and it is interesting to analyse their arguments. I actually found this very interesting, seeing a depth of knowledge and feeling that could be so polarized. Did I hear correctly and was that Russian cancer victim really bringing that sort of emotion to the debate?? May be the form of debates to come.
    Anyway, Ziggy did say to maintain the debate, and I hope you keep up the good work doing so. If you are available on as a speaker at either a dinner, or local fundraiser, we would love to have you speak in our area.

    And finally, it was warming and reflective of the man that the negatives prefaced their arguments with praise of Jim Hansen. I agree with those sentiments.

  14. You analysis of the polling of the audience sounds plausible Barry. It’s hard to imagine that anyone who was really openminded could have been persuaded by what amounts to the standard rhetoric on good clean renewables and anti-nuclear horror.

    It’s astonishing how powerrful the rehotoric can be. Over at the Drum people are speaking of “irradiating the planet” and as silly as the phrase sounds, it does sum up the sentiment of those who fear nuclear power. Nucear energy is presented as some sort of unstoppable and insidious thing spreading from nuclear plants to affect all of life forever.

    It’s really hard to argue with this sort of hysteria because anyone who believes it sees all counter argument as being evil on the face of it — an indifference to an existential harm.

    We really need to have nuclear power evaluated by the same metrics as other power sources people accept. Your work here does that and so does Mackay, but we really need to get that out there.

    It occurred to me that we could write a pamphlet with the title: How to boil a tea kettle and show how gas, coal, geothermal, solar thermal and nuclear go about it.

    I also think we should stop referring to coal plants and start calling them coal reactors.

  15. The way the before-and-after polling was done was interesting and probably explains the polarisation of the results.

    At the beginning, the polling was just done with a couple of people with clipboards hanging around with the large group of people waiting outside – it wasn’t sampling a large portion of the people, and the options were yes or no or don’t know.

    At the end, the way the poll was done meant essentially everyone voted – and to be honest there were probably more anti-nukes there than advocates.

  16. @ Luke:
    “Diesendorf made his predictable and entirely false statement that no Gen. IV reactors exist.”
    They don’t. IFR’s exist, but Gen4′s? No mate. They don’t exist. Not yet. Gen 4 is a goal for mass-produced, modular, inexpensive IFR’s and we simply haven’t done that yet to my knowledge.

    I’m not quibbling terminology. *Older*, *Single built* and *more expensive* IFR’s are different to the as yet not achieved *goals* of Gen4′s OK?

    “The anti nukes also mentioned that large scale solar thermal with storage was “on the brink” of being available in the future – just like IFR, I suppose.”
    No, not just like IFR’s, which HAVE existed for 50 or so years, but just like Gen4 reactors which we haven’t yet built.

    And yes, they have the plans and multiple heat storage technologies and they are being rolled out as we speak. Solar thermal with graphite heat blocks (that can store heat for weeks!), with sodium thermal storage, and new, stronger materials for both carrying and storing heat are being developed by leading researchers, engineers and corporations all the time.

    Do yourself a favour and subscribe to Beyond Zero Emissions podcast in iTunes. You might disagree with their anti-nukes, pro-renewables bias, but at least you’d be up to date with what’s actually BEING BUILT AS WE SPEAK and not look like you’re uninformed about what’s happening in the world.

    “By the way, what’s with those “Beyond Zero Emissions” folks? How can they be so deluded? Replace every bit of coal and gas energy in this country with wind and solar inside 10 years? You’re dreaming.”
    Listen to the podcasts and you might have a clue. Much of the switch is not so much energy replacement as efficiency gains. Peak oil is here, and so the airlines are probably going down. So build fast rail, which uses FAR less energy per ton of transport.

    But it still meets our needs: transport. Who said transport always *had* to be oil? That just happened to be the most convenient energy solution for the 20th century, now we’ll just have to make cheap electricity our mode of transport, whether that comes from Gen4 / renewbles or whatever.

  17. @ Barry


    – I’m amazed that the opposition has the audacity to argue that nuclear power is hideously expense, and to then further argue that the only logical course of action is therefore to pursue renewables (plus lots of subsidies). Ohhhh, for a chance to cross-examine!

    I’m with you on that Barry. Cut through the prepared speeches and see what happens when Shai Agassi + Diesendort V Blees and Brooks! I’m sick of the standard mantra’s being repeated from both sides, and wish I could see a more in depth response to the particular semantics that BOTH sides play.

    (EG: Blees still hasn’t substantively replied to the “Better Place” V2G technology that might create a market for when the wind blows in various European countries, which he was QUITE happy to condemn in public as a weakness of wind energy in the Adelaide debate, and when I asked him about it here just sidetracked the debate into why he thought New Urbanism was hippie idealism. That’s called *not answering the question*, and it doesn’t go down well in a debate, even if one can get away with it when blogging bombastically enough).

  18. “Intelligence2 debate”

    Yes, there are regulars! I went to the “Abolish the States” debate arguing for a Federal / Local 2 tiered government solution, where both Costa and Barnaby Joyce both sat on the same table, FOR abolishing the States.

    When one realises that WA is bigger than a few European COUNTRIES we can see that having states isn’t more “local”, and actually represents a huge waste of money.

    Dr Mark Drummond has calculated that just in closing State parliaments we could save about 50 billion dollars in duplication each year!

    http://www.beyondfederation.org.au/

    Imagine what that could do towards increasing education, health, and energy spending (whatever form we choose!)

    I know it’s a side-track, but back on topic: when I was there for that I heard some of the old biddies asking each other which debates they were coming back for, and so I think there are definitely “intelligence2 groupies”.

  19. At the beginning, the polling was just done with a couple of people with clipboards hanging around with the large group of people waiting outside – it wasn’t sampling a large portion of the people, and the options were yes or no or don’t know.

    Hmm, really? I thought they always hit everyone they practically could at the doors, as you entered.

  20. Now I’m prepared to listen for the CLAIMS about Gen4 coming off the factory production line in a MUCH cheaper, mass produced, modular format…. buy 4 and get free fries with that. Part of me even hopes it will happen at quite a large scale just to clean up all the WASTE older reactors have left… clean it up over the next 1000 years.

    So in that spirit, is anyone here able to open their minds up enough to read through the following Scientific American article and admit that they might not know EVERYTHING about energy yet?

    “Google’s new concentrated solar technology, he says, would cut the cost of solar thermal power systems in half — a good step towards Google’s overall goal of making renewable energy cheaper than coal.”

    http://tinyurl.com/y9uyrn2

  21. BZE covers solar thermal graphite blocks that can retain significant heat energy for a *long* time. I’m not saying any one solar thermal technology is going to do it, but that the multiple advances across multiple energy streams are just too hard to keep on top of, even for someone as keen and technically literate as Barry. EG: Is Barry an expert on the thermal storage properties of these graphite blocks? And does he claim inside knowledge of the new cheaper Google reflector dish materials? Of course not! No one knows… the details aren’t out yet. Which is why I find it hypocritical when the pro-nuclear hobbyists jump up and down screaming their lungs out about currently unrealised claims for solar thermal, and then try to carry on as if Gen4 reactors have been coming off the lines for years! Talk about playing semantic games and using unfair debating tactics, and even verging on denying certain commercial products exist and are just about to be deployed! (Like the Solar thermal graphite blocks).

    BZE on graphite blocks that can store the heat for a long time

    http://tinyurl.com/y8r7egk

    Will google’s dishes, graphite blocks and some other cheaper heat transfer technologies allow an exponentially cheaper and more reliable solar thermal technology? Seems likely the way these things are moving.

    Will Gen4 come off a mass-produced factory line cheaper than any nuclear before it? Also likely.

    Will it win the POLITICAL debate, and even be as NECESSARY as some here believe it? Hmm, now that’s going to be interesting, very interesting indeed.

    Oh, and don’t forget these 3 facts that could prove another game changer:
    Better Place, Canberra, 2012.

  22. Which is why I find it hypocritical when the pro-nuclear hobbyists jump up and down screaming their lungs out about currently unrealised claims for solar thermal, and then try to carry on as if Gen4 reactors have been coming off the lines for years!

    Actually, you’ll find that the majority of pro-nuclear hobbyists, on this blog and elsewhere, are saying “wait and see” for CSP, “something we should push for short- to medium-term deployment through commercialisation” for Gen IV nuclear, and “we must build lots of these NOW” for the here-and-now, off-the-shelf, Gen III thermal reactors. This does not involve semantic games.

    Further, all three participants in the affirmative side at last night’s debate argued that we must push for nuclear, renewables and efficiency. The negative just said “NO NUCLEAR!”, and the cringe-worthy Diesendorf ignored the balanced statements of Switkowski and Hansen and decided to coin an inane new term “renewable denier”. Bloody pathetic.

    I certainly hope tech advances and economies-of-scale help bring the price of CSP down, but there is NO evidence that this is, has, or ever will be an exponential progression. There are physical limits of energy density that one simply cannot ever overcome.

  23. Actually, you’ll find that the majority of pro-nuclear hobbyists, on this blog and elsewhere, are saying “wait and see” for CSP, “something we should push for short- to medium-term deployment through to commercialisation” for Gen IV nuclear, and “we must build lots of these NOW” for the here and now, off-the-shelf, Gen III thermal reactors.
    Well, that’s your more moderate and pragmatic approach Barry. However, on this list I occasionally read semantic games like the following from Luke Weston.

    Diesendorf made his predictable and entirely false statement that no Gen. IV reactors exist.

    However, I am sympathetic to Luke Weston’s argument about WMD’s which, if I could rephrase it, basically restates the old law that “Correlation does not equal causation”.

    Or is that “Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc”, because WMD’s and nuclear power is not so much a matter of science but politics?

    Yeah – it’s just a big graphite pile with slugs of natural uranium in it!
    If it really is so easy to build a bomb, and IFR’s are one of the hardest ways to build a bomb, are these guys just trying to argue the fairly plausible point that:

    *whatever nuclear technology you use, it means more refined uranium in circulation*

    I think they are so scared of the rogue state or terrorist that might get a handle on a bomb somehow that they’d rather see the uranium all buried, permanently.

    If we could only get some IFR’s in the USA demonstrating how they can also EAT bombs, not just create them… then that might prove to be a Gen3/4 marketing coup.

  24. Blargh! Typo above… I didn’t meant to italicise my writing after Luke’s. Oh well… everything after saying I am sympathetic to Luke’s WMD argument is mine, OK?

    (I’d love someone geeky to help Barry install the WordPress forums here. Then formatting these comments would be a breeze).

  25. Thank you for the interesting reports of the debate Luke Weston, Barry Brook, Doug Craig.

    Many interesting points are made in these comments, and I particularly noted this one by Doug,

    Barry, you are right about the polemics in the audience. They are indicative of the depth of feeling on this subject though and it is interesting to analyse their arguments. I actually found this very interesting, seeing a depth of knowledge and feeling that could be so polarized.

  26. I’ve been an AGW agnostic over the past few years, well, really wavering this way and that. I’ve been mainly frustrated by the way the debate has been conducted in the media and seen this as more of a problem than anything else. It’s been hard for me to make up my mind because I’m suspicious of “consensus science”, that is not what science is good for. So, initially I was more interested in Barry’s blog because it was pro nuclear and hence pro development. We need development, for all, but especially the developing world.

    I’m now reading Hansen’s book. Actually I’m rereading some chapters before I have finished the whole book. Chapters 1, 3 and 8 I think are particularly important for the science. I wanted to read it before I attended his presentation. I think the way he outlines the science is excellent. He provides both the broad overview, the detail (backed up by chapter references at the end of the book) and really clear explanations. It’s been a real eye opener for me. For those who have not read his book I’d strongly recommend it. It’s very hard to summarise complex scientific arguments. I don’t think it can be done briefly in a blog format. It requires a book. I’d say the Hansen book is an outstanding example of how complex science can be communicated to the public.

    btw some of the key diagrams can be found here:

    http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Storms/

    Figs 1, 3 and 4 are crucial but you need to read the book to understand their significance fully

    I do have one criticism – it should have been open sourced, as David Mackay’s book has been. This would have spread the word and increased the sales.

    The political story within the book is fascinating as well. Also the way Hansen describes his own personality and how he has struggled to overcome his shyness and natural reticence to speak out is touching and impressive, although irrelevant to the science. This reminded me of Darwin’s reticence and how Darwin left some of the debating to Huxley, who seemed to enjoy it. I’m in two minds about the “grandchildren” theme. It’s populist on the one hand but it’s charming on the other. I did like the picture in Fig 9 of Connor being confused about whether its 1 watt or 2 watt. I think some people might be put off by the book’s title because it appeals more to personal humanism than an exercise in clear scientific communication for the sake of everyone.

  27. Pingback: Hansen: Climate and Energy Leadership « BraveNewClimate

  28. For those who are curious about the potential impact of sea level rise on their local coastal area this site is informative. I have linked to the Adelaide metro area view of the flood map showing a 14 metre sea level rise (just for fun). You can choose other levels from zero to 14 metres in 1 metre increments. Are we reconsidering that coastal real estate investment yet? ;-)

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