In this ClimateGenn special episode, I publishing my first interview with Dr Jim Hansen who was at the time Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. This was recorded in 2012 at the European Geophysical Union, the annual conference that takes place every year in Vienna.
In recent weeks I have exchanged emails again with Dr Hansen to discuss his recent work that has a working title of ‘The Big Climate Short’. Hopefully this will be recorded once his latest work is submitted for publication.
What strikes me about this decade old interview is that the language is so clear and the warnings regarding urgent action are in the timeframe of the next 1-1.5years. He even states the danger of waiting a decade to what would be 2022.
Hansen made international news in the late 80’s when he testified to US Congress about the need to change our energy system and reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases. He is straight pragmatic speaker who has consistently issued warnings that have been ignored despite the rising cost inflicted by such ignorance.
Here he gives very clear definitions of what tipping points are and the danger of crossing them. He discusses the challenges that scientists face in communicating these problems.
He also highlights evidenced strategies that could have significantly dealt with them at the time but with each passing year create an ever growing challenge.
We are now where we are. The recent IPCC report talks about the closing window of opportunity to act. Coming at a time of extreme chaos and suffering in Europe, it is hard to see how we will navigate the coming weeks, months and years.
How we deal with our own fear and concern regarding these issues is very important. War is obviously not the answer and neither is any sense of nihilism. Being able to focus on the problems and act with a broader sense of community is far more rewarding.
In the next episode I am speaking to climate and policy analyst, David Spratt, Research Director at the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration in Melbourne, Australia.
We will be discussing a range of subjects including the accelerating rate of impacts, what climate models don’t tell us, as well as the tipping point risks we can’t see or measure and that may already have been crossed.
Thank you for listening to ClimateGenn. I have many more episodes to produce so please do subscribe. Thank you to all who are supporting the channel via Patreon. You can also drop me a note or comment on my website genn.cc and I will always try to respond.
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