Energy habits need to change quickly

Posted on March 26, 2009. Filed under: Climate change |

From a post on Tom Content’s blog on JSonline:

The United States should enact a carbon tax – and distribute the proceeds to every adult in the nation — as a policy move to create behavior changes needed to reduce emissions linked to global warming.

That was the message climate scientist James Hansen of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration brought Wednesday to nearly 300 people at the Renewable Energy Summit in Milwaukee. Hansen directs the Goddard Institute of Space Studies and has been outspoken in raising concerns about elevated levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“We have reached a point where there is a crisis,” he said.

Energy habits need to change quickly to keep the concentration of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere at levels that would prevent dramatic rise in sea levels later in this century, Hansen said.

“The danger is that we will push the system past tipping points where dynamics of the system begin to take over and even without further additions of greenhouse gases we will get large changes,” he said.

“The bad news is that we’ve realized in just the last couple of years that we’ve already passed into a dangerous zone. If we just left the compesotion at what it is now we would get some very undesirable changes. But the good news is we can actually reduce the atmospheric concentration amount of CO2 if we take the right policy steps, and there would be other benefits of doing it.”


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