- Explores and develops market-based solutions.
Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions (CSAS), led by Dr. Hansen, formerly Director of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has worked on promoting climate awareness and advocating policy actions for years. Recent science results and decades of experience in climate change have spurred Dr. Hansen to complete his second book, Sophie's Planet, which is expected to be published later this year. The book will clearly describe the most up-to-date climate science, and the threat this poses to young people and future generations. Energy science must be treated on par with climate science, as it is our energy choices that drive human-caused climate change. Rigorous use of the scientific method is crucial for defining and quantifying policy options. We cannot allow ideology to taint description of policy options to curb carbon emissions and transition to clean energy. In order to continue our work and for Dr. Hansen to complete this book, we need near-term support.
The public is beginning to recognize that climate change is a threat, but they are poorly informed about policy options to address the issue. My objective with Sophie’s Planet is to let them see the matter through my experiences and the lens of the objective scientific method, as I first studied planetary and climate science, and then began to communicate with the public, environmentalists, economists, energy experts, and politicians. The story helps expose how we have done a good job in some areas, such as fostering renewable energies, but have thrown up roadblocks in others, e.g., failing to treat advanced nuclear power as clean energy, even if it has the potential to have a small environmental footprint. We need to be sure that young people understand their options for preserving their future.
In the first year of support by the Alex C. Walker Foundation we made substantial progress in the work necessary for the book as evidenced by the many draft chapters made available for fact checking on www.columbia.edu/~jeh1. The most recent chapters 45-47 (45: Energy and World Peace, 46: Equal Protection of the Laws, 47: China and the Global Solution) provide an indication of the scope of the matter. This breadth of discussion is needed to help clarify that the past reliance on climate policy is inadequate and points toward more fruitful policies. The second year of support from Walker is needed to help complete this project at a time when policymakers are most in need of scientific guidance.
The climate problem can be solved best by making the economy as efficient as possible. The economy is most efficient if prices are honest. That means that the price of fossil fuels should include their costs to society. This can be done in a way that makes the medicine not only acceptable, but highly desirable. We need to continue to advance the concept of "carbon fee and dividend," which would spur the economy while increasing GNP and government revenue.
A corollary is that we must have abundant, affordable clean energy, including baseload electric power. We will show that evidence-based science makes clear that our policies designed to kill nuclear power (such as Renewable Portfolio Standards) were a mistake, with devastating consequences for young people and future generations. It is not too late to undo some of the damage that has been done.
Our task is to make this story clear to the public and policymakers.
We will disseminate information through the publication of the book, public talks especially at universities, and media appearances.
Project Link http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/
(Check sent: 4/24/2020)
(Check sent: 3/22/2021)