NASA's Hansen urges Obama to abandon "inefectual" cap and trade

Reported in the Guardian, Friday 2 January 2009, by James Randerson, science correspondent, Professor James Hansen who heads Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and one of the world’s top climate scientists has written to Obama:

  • calling for a tax on carbon which is fed back to tax payers, meaning no net burden on taxpayers 
  • he also favours a Moratorium on and phasing out of coal power stations without carbon capture since world wide coal CO2 emissions are the same as those of other fossil fuels combined.
  • he also advocates fourth generation nuclear power which he claims is the best way to cut carbon and to use up existing uranium fuel stocks.

He says about cap and trade “This approach is ineffectual and not commensurate with the climate threat. It could waste another decade, locking in disastrous consequences for our planet and humanity,”

The Guardian article says “Hansen argues that the current emphasis on rcarbon reduction targets combined with carbon trading schemes make it too easy for countries to wriggle out of their commitments. He cites the example of Japan’s increasing coal use, which it has offset by buying credits from China through the clean development mechanism – an instrument set up by the Kyoto protocol – yet China’s emissions have continued to increase rapidly. China has overtaken the US as the biggest polluter in the world.”

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