Got myself arrested

by Bryan Walker on October 2, 2010

“More than 200 years after the founding of our nation, we face a great moral crisis. Human-made climate change pits the rich and powerful against the young and unborn, against the defenseless, and against nature. The moral issue is comparable to slavery and civil rights.”

James Hansen was speaking at Freedom Plaza in Washington this week prior to a march and a sit-in in front of the White House, an act of non-violent civil disobedience which resulted in his arrest along with a hundred or so other participants. They were protesting against the Appalachian mountain top removal coal mining.

Hansen’s speaking style is hardly that of an orator, but his address included some striking statements which convey very adequately the urgency he feels as the result of his work as a climate scientist.

“First, the government is failing to protect the future of young people, knowingly allowing and even subsidizing actions that benefit the few at the expense of the public and at the expense of all life sharing this Earth.

“Second, the legislative and executive branches of government knowingly propose actions that demonstrably and utterly fail to preserve our climate, and the environment for life.

“Third, our government allows and contributes to a great hoax, perpetrated on the public by moneyed interests, aimed at confusing the public about the reality of climate change.

“We are in danger of becoming the land for the rich and the home of the bribe.”

This is not the first time Hansen has been arrested. And it may not be the last. He was arrested in June of last year when with others he deliberately trespassed on the grounds of the Goals Coal plant, in Sundial, West Virginia, again to protest mountaintop-removal mining.

A parallel with the civil rights struggle is very much in his mind. After the words which open this post he went on to point out that the solution for civil rights came from a combination of street protests and the courts “which provided equal protection of the laws and ordered desegregation.”

He looks to the possibility of similar court action on the issue of climate change, and rightly stresses the focus of civil disobedience on achieving change:

“We should not be begging courts to forgive the brave people who protest. We must ask the courts to order the government to present plans to phase down fossil fuel emissions at a pace dictated by science, a pace stabilizing climate, preserving nature and a future for young people, providing young people equal protection of the laws.”

But whatever path may be open for action in the US Hansen continues to put emphasis on the education of the public.

“We can bring that case. But we can win only if the public understands the situation, sees through the lies of the moneyed interests, sees what is needed to solve the problem.”

As a scientist who has done a great deal to explain the situation resulting from rising greenhouse gas emissions and to articulate the solutions Hansen has already contributed greatly to the educational process.  His willingness to engage in civil disobedience highlights the gravity of what he and other scientists have uncovered in our deteriorating environment. We salute him for his continuing engagement.

[Gomez]

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

AndrewH October 2, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Gee, it’s kind of hard to reconcile this with the image of grant hungry climate researchers.
I wonder how many attribute points he scores in funding applications for his criminal record.

Bryan Walker October 2, 2010 at 2:27 pm

And it’s run deeper than funding applications. Hansen faced the possibility that he would lose his job in 2005/2006 when he ran into problems with the political appointees in NASA. Indeed he thought it very much on the cards himself. Mark Bowen’s book Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming, which is reviewed here, tells the story. Hansen didn’t resile, and he survived and has continued to carry on his public advocacy. He’s what in my younger days we would have called a stout fellow.

Brian Jenkins October 2, 2010 at 3:45 pm

He should be getting himself questioned for his connection to the 10:10 incitement to terrorism viedo known as “No Pressure.”

Bryan Walker October 2, 2010 at 3:54 pm

What an idiotic comment. Will any accusation do? Please don’t use this thread to discuss the content of a different post.

RW October 2, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Drivel from a typical troll.

Dappledwater October 2, 2010 at 4:40 pm

I gotta hand it to James Hansen, the man sure has a great deal of courage.

Johnmacmot October 2, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Hansen certainly deserves respect. He’s not a natural public figure, but has done and is doing what he sees he must do. Courageous indeed.

Yes, we are seeing a high loon factor, aren’t we?

Bob Bingham October 3, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Hansen is completely right to campaign. The last time the world had 300ppm of CO2 the temperature reached 4c higher than now, We are now at 390ppm and it is still ‘business as usual’.
Coal is the real killer here. Each ton of coal produces two tons of CO2 when it is burnt. Even our small Huntley power station burns 10,000 tons a day.
You don’t need to be a scientist to work out that we can’t go on like this for long.

Joe Fone October 5, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Are you guys not aware that the public are becoming more and more bored with the whole AGW issue? No one cares anymore. Except you lot. This widespread declining interest is due to two things: alarm fatigue and the fact that “manmade global warming”, as an ‘issue’, is in the nature of a passing fad anyway. These things have a use-by date until the next fad appears to replace it; until another hobgoblin arrives on the scene to whet everyone’s appetite for yet another fashionable “disaster” that never eventuates despite so much hysterical arm-waving by so-called “experts” and washed-up celebrities that doomsday’s “tipping point” is imminent – yet again! That’s why these impeding “disasters” all fade into obscurity so quickly, and then suddenly no one gives a toss. AGW will be no different.

Soon the only people left who still believe it, or care about it, will be you fruit loops and the enviro-Nazis at WWF, Greenpeace and a few other deranged nutjobs like the 10:10 brigade and 350.org. Delingpole was dead on when he said “only morons, cheats and liars still believe in manmade global warming”. But he forgot to mention the enviro-Nazis who hate themselves, everyone else and everything that smacks of progress, prosperity and comfort; complete idiots who lead ugly hate-filled lives. The only problem is that these brainless bastards will do a lot of damage to Western economies, democracies and individual wealth and freedoms in the meantime because they’ve temporarily got the ear of the disaster-struck media and brainless politicians. Of course they in turn are spurred on by incompetent rent-seeking scientists who have stuck their necks so far out over the issue they are now obliged to perpetuate the myth – lest they look like fools by backtracking and admitting that they got the whole thing wrong. Hence their desperate need to take more and more extreme measures to fiddle and fudge the already flimsy data and invent yet more and more catastrophically disastrous scenarios based on less and less measurable and repeatable ‘science’.

So it’s time you guys got over CO2 and started embracing it as the perfectly harmless natural gas that it is. It’s time you stopped peddling snake oil and spreading the ridiculous lie that carbon dioxide is a noxious substance inimical to life. CO2 is Nature’s fertilizer. It’s fabulous!

Gareth October 5, 2010 at 1:32 pm

You are a parody, Joe, you have to be…

adelady October 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm

I think Poe’s Law applies. I really can’t tell the difference.

bill October 5, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Parody? I fear not. A sad joke? Certainly.

I do not see why we should have to endure this buffoon’s endless deranged rants. ‘Joe Fone’ fails to meet the most minimal standards of civility, and his arguments are a classic example of William James’ observation that ‘a great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices’.

And what a chaotic mess of prejudices we are talking here! What is it about the members of this sad army of the obtuse that they feel that they are constantly entitled to sneer at and deride ‘you people’? The real truth is that brainy people scare you, isn’t it, ‘Joe’?

I am in favour of blocking him altogether; Girma was irritatingly repetitive and wilfully dense, but at least he wasn’t abusive. Other than that, I will simply vote down every post he makes on-sight as soon as the facility is restored, and encourage others to do the same.

DR Muir October 6, 2010 at 3:30 pm

A sad case of ad hominem. If you can’t answer a question without risking your own dogma – accepted without question – then attack the questioner.
That shows an incredible lack of science and intelligence (and I risk being guilty of ad hominem myself)

Richard T October 6, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Enviro-nazi’s who hate everyone including themselves?

Totally wrong. Here’s why.

Bio-fuels. When food prices began to sky-rocket a couple of years ago and the harm done to locals became apparent in places like Indonesia where food crops and forests were being replaced with bio-fuel crops – biofuels lost alot of appeal as an alternative to fossil fuels.

tomfarmer October 5, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Joe,

CO2, a fertilizer.

So.. tell us do why you don’t put your head into a plastic bag filled with CO2 and draw the cord tight around your neck.

A. Is it because you don’t want to be fertilized?

B. Is it because that might mean too much ‘fertilising’ for you.

C. Is it because doing so would be stupid.

If the latter (C), then please tell us all why it would be stupid.

Roger Dewhurst October 6, 2010 at 11:46 am

Because Joe is not a plant. CO2 is food for plants, not humans except perhaps it is political food for some.

Joe Fone October 5, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Goodness me. For the benefit of the incredibly igonorant tomfarmer, I was referring to CO2 as a PLANT fertilizer! It doesn’t have quite the same effect on humans. Did you not realise the difference?

Plants take CO2 in. They thrive on the stuff. So get over it. We need more, not less! I’m INCREASING my so-called “carbon footprint”!

Johnmacmot October 5, 2010 at 6:42 pm

The height of Joe’s ambitions are to be an irritant. He gets off on that. It feeds his anger when people react.

Is he real? I think he is. A parody would not be so extreme and irrational.

The bottom line is he isn’t worth very much time and energy. He’s irrelevant.

Joe Fone October 6, 2010 at 11:00 am

So let’s cut to the chase then shall we.

I have three simple questions:

1). Are you completely satisfied and harbour no doubts whatsoever that the scientific case for “dangerous manmade global warming/climate change” as championed by the IPCC, the CRU and other such bodies and their various apologists, is completely sound and beyond reproach?

2). If global temperatures continue to trend downward as they appear to be (or in your book, “start to decline”, because clearly you don’t believe they are as yet), and the next year brings some of the lowest temperatures on record, will that cause you to rethink, or at the very least begin to doubt the “dangerous manmade global warming” hypothesis?

I refer you to: “Coldest winter in 1,000 years on its way. After the record heat wave this summer, Russia’s weather seems to have acquired a taste for the extreme. Forecasters say this winter could be the coldest Europe has seen in the last 1,000 years.” (http://rt.com/prime-time/2010-10-04/coldest-winter-emergency-measures.html).

3). What needs to happen before you WOULD begin to doubt the veracity of the “dangerous manmade global warming” hypothesis?

These are straight forward and simple questions so I would appreciate direct answers to them, as opposed to the usual waffle designed to deflect and muddy the waters.

Joe Fone October 6, 2010 at 11:41 am

As I expected. Waffle and stupidity. Perhaps someone else is capable of giving straight answers so here they are again, straight-forward and simple questions:

1). Are you completely satisfied and harbour no doubts whatsoever that the scientific case for “dangerous manmade global warming/climate change” as championed by the IPCC, the CRU and other such bodies and their various apologists, is completely sound and beyond reproach?

2). If global temperatures continue to trend downward as they appear to be (or in your book, “start to decline”, because clearly you don’t believe they are as yet), and the next year brings some of the lowest temperatures on record, will that cause you to rethink, or at the very least begin to doubt the “dangerous manmade global warming” hypothesis?

3). What needs to happen before you WOULD begin to doubt the veracity of the “dangerous manmade global warming” hypothesis?

These are straight forward and simple questions so I would appreciate direct answers to them, as opposed to the usual waffle designed to deflect and muddy the waters.

Answers?

Roger Dewhurst October 6, 2010 at 11:51 am

Can I answer them on behalf of Gareth and the rest as they seem to have some difficulty in getting their fingers to the keyboard just at the moment?

1. Yes.

2. No.

3. There is nothing that will cause doubt in my/our minds.

Gareth October 6, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Joe, you’re not really worth the effort of a reply, given the bilious nonsense you seem to think passes as fair comment, but for the sake of other readers…

1) Science cannot give us perfect answers, but the evidence that we need to take action to reduce carbon emissions is watertight.

2) Your premise is foolish, because temperatures are not “trending down”. To demonstrate a climatically significant cooling trend will take as long as it does to prove a warming one — around 15 years. So next year will tell us nothing.

3) If by 2025 we were in a long term cooling, and there were no obvious explanations consistent with our current understanding of the way things work (ie large solar TSI reduction, volcanic activity, etc), then a major rethink would be required. This is vanishingly unlikely, however, because the radiation properties of CO2 are extremely well understood, and underpinned by theoretical physics right down to the quantum level.

The onus of proof is on sceptics. We have enough evidence to take action. It will require extraordinary evidence (see 3) to demonstrate that action is not required — and there’s no sign of that from the likes of Fone, Watts, Morano, Monckton and Heartland, just a lot of frothing at the mouth.

Wake me up when sceptics start doing some real science.

John D October 6, 2010 at 12:46 pm

If it’s all so watertight, why do we need videos of children being blown up to get the point across?

Gareth October 6, 2010 at 12:56 pm

In a world where we didn’t have people like Morano and Watts doing everything they can to undermine the case for action, perhaps there would be no need for advocacy. But I doubt it…

Johnmacmot October 6, 2010 at 12:58 pm

That really is a bit weak, JohnD.

If the anti-science case is so strong, why the witchhunts and threats directed at scientists?

Why the necessity for such widespread intellectual dishonesty?

Why the need for a plethora of mutually contradictory arguments to try and counter the science?

And so on….

Roger Dewhurst October 6, 2010 at 1:11 pm

The ones I am thinking of have a bit more credibility than your great indian train driver and those he depends on!

Johnmacmot October 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm

LOL!

So you don’t have anything of substance to offer, Roger?

Bryan Walker October 6, 2010 at 2:30 pm

That comment strikes me as perilously close to racist.

John D October 6, 2010 at 2:44 pm

We never heard cries of “racist” when Dappledwater branded all Americans as war-mongers in a previous thread.

Gareth October 6, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Perhaps that’s because he didn’t.

John D October 6, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Dappledwater October 5, 2010 at 7:44 am

Now remind me Jerry from Boston, exactly how many thousands of innocent school children were actually blown to smithereens by your US military during its’ invasion of Iraq?.

And you yanks have the audacity to whine about fake deaths?. Truly twisted!.

Sounds pretty racist to me

Roger Dewhurst October 6, 2010 at 1:13 pm

If the anti-science case is so strong, why the witchhunts and threats directed at scientists?

Which ones do you consider have been threatened? Who was Santer wanted to thump? One of yours?

Gareth October 6, 2010 at 1:23 pm

My word, Roger, you do have a short memory.

Roger Dewhurst October 6, 2010 at 12:48 pm

1) Science cannot give us perfect answers, but the evidence that we need to take action to reduce carbon emissions is watertight.

Many experts think otherwise.

2) Your premise is foolish, because temperatures are not “trending down”. To demonstrate a climatically significant cooling trend will take as long as it does to prove a warming one — around 15 years. So next year will tell us nothing.

Again many experts think otherwise.

This is vanishingly unlikely, however, because the radiation properties of CO2 are extremely well understood, and underpinned by theoretical physics right down to the quantum level.

That is very much in dispute.

I suppose that is the cue to talk about peer reviewed papers!

The trouble is that your beloved peer review process has been shown to be rather shonky.

Gareth October 6, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Strange definition you have of “experts”, Roger. And “many”.

adelady October 6, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Roger!

Very much in dispute ….. the radiation properties of CO2??

Let’s get this straight. The reason that people like me say that it would take Nobel Prize standard research to disprove this is quite straightforward (I won’t pretend it’s simple).

For anyone to dispute, far less prove, that the CO2 in the atmosphere does not work as described is a huge task.

What is required is to prove that CO2 molecules that happen to be in the atmosphere have different properties to those CO2 molecules that happen to be in a CO2 laser. CO2 lasers work and that is all based on the known radiation properties of CO2. For all I know there is some mysterious physical unknown quality of CO2 that would allow this to happen – and not undermine all that is known of the always consistent radiative physics of other molecules.

This is a very, very big ask. I have no idea whether anyone is working on it – but that is what has to be done if you or anyone else wants to demonstrate that the physics used in climate calculations is wrong. There would also need to be simultaneous research discovering some other cause or explanation for the observed warming if it is unrelated to the radiative properties of gases.

RW October 6, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Your questions have been answered, Joe. Regarding you and your soulmates like Dewhurst, only two conclusions are possible: either you’re appallingly ignorant, or you practise deliberate disingenuousness – the intersection of the set of your “facts” and reality is void.

Johnmacmot October 6, 2010 at 12:32 pm

You are a silly man, Joe.

Looks like you’ve been shouting for attention for an hour or so, along with your “friend”. You don’t really deserve an answer after your behaviour and abuse round here and I strongly doubt your sincerity, especially with the loaded language you use. You’re clearly looking for a “gotcha” but let’s give you the benefit of the doubt. (Yeah, right!)

Very easy to answer your questions.

1. Yes, of course. That is where the science is.

2. That’s a strawman, Joe, as well you know (or should do). The trend in global temperature has not changed over a statistically significant period, and only a statistical idiot would try and claim otherwise. Why would the next year bring “some of the lowest temperatures on record” ?

3. Nice playing with words, Joe. “veracity” indeed, with the implication of untruthfulness floating around.

I would accept with great relief that global warming is not as serious and rapid perhaps as present understanding and information shows when the scientific community finds that is the case. that will be based in extensive research and data, and new understandings, which is always possible, but the outlook is not encouraging for that to happen.

A couple of question for you, Joe, as a bit of a test.
Where exactly do you get your information from?

Why do you think that information has more validity than the broad scientific understanding on what is going on with our climate?

Why are you so angry and abusive?

Why do you never respond genuinely to questions?

And Joe, don’t stomp and shout if no-one responds to you within minutes of you posting. People do other things than sit on blogs, and I likely won’t be back here for some time myself. But I’ll be happy to wait for my answers.

Johnmacmot October 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Actullay, Joe, I’ve changed my mind. I’d like your answer in the next 5 minutes, please. I see you haven’t instantly responded to me (and Gareth).

Get on with it, please, Not hard questions so no need to duck and dive. i’m sure you have intelligent answers to give…

And so on……

:-)

Johnmacmot October 6, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Over 30 minutes since I posted, Joe. Where are you answers?

I thought you couldn’t wait for people to respond to you…

Joe Fone October 6, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Johnmacmot:

“Where exactly do you get your information from?” A variety of sources. What, do you want a specific list of titles or something? Where do you get yours from?

“Why do you think that information has more validity than the broad scientific understanding on what is going on with our climate?” Now that is a good question so I’ll answer it: The simple answer is lack of evidence and/or proof on your part, in addition to powerful contradictory arguments from recognized authorities in the field (eg., Lindzen et al). Besides this is the fact that an occasional correlation between carbon dioxide emissions and global temperature does not constitute proof that the former drives the latter. There is a lot of hysterical arm-waving saying that it does, but no one has seen any yet. And contrary to your insistence that the onus of proof is on the skeptics (why should it be??), the responsibility lies with the alarmists since it is they who have come up with the concept in the first place. It’s your idea, so YOU prove it! Until then, it’s just a theory. It most certainly is not a “fact”. Furthermore, your side of the argument relies just a little too much on coercion and bully-boy tactics to get your message across, not to mention all the lies, fraud and deceit uncovered over the years. If there was any merit in your AGW theory, you wouldn’t need to resort to these dubious methods to convince anyone.

“Why are you so angry and abusive?” That’s rich coming from you! Go back and read your previous post(s). But anyway, I’m not “angry” and I’m no more abusive than any of your hot-topic mates. Go and read a few posts from Gareth and co.

“Why do you never respond genuinely to questions?” I do and have done when able and have the time, as you said of yourself. However, past efforts at elaborating and answering questions have resulted in obfuscation and abuse from your hot-topic mates. So it’s proven to be a pretty pointless exercise in reality.

Gareth October 6, 2010 at 2:30 pm

You’ve had direct answers to your questions from me, above. Why not address those, Joe? Because you can’t?

Johnmacmot October 6, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Well done, Joe! Muddled and evasive perhaps, but you had a go.

Q 1 That’s just dodging the issue. What websites? What books? I could probably guess some, but it would be interesting to see.

Q 2 That’s not substantial or convincing, Joe. You’re espousing a position that goes against mainstream science. You will need to come up with some new evidence, some real stuff, and not just the emotive labels and the usual unsupported accusations. Your comments show how flimsy your position is, but we knew that already.

Q3 No, I haven’t been angry, Joe. I have pointed out the tone of your comments and the emotive language you use constantly (as you show again in this post) I’ve held the mirror up to your behaviour, if you like. You will have noticed that a number here don’t think you can be a real person, because of the extreme nature of you posts. You’re so over the top, you have to be a parody. You have a problem, Joe.

Q4 Joe, you don’t respond to most things asked of you, or presented to you. Again, noticed by a number of people. You are very free in making sweeping assertions, but you avoid backing those accusations up with hard evidence. That’s another reason why your credibility is low..

Bryan Walker October 6, 2010 at 3:08 pm

JOhn D, your reply to my comment on racism has lost its reply button, so I’ll respond here. Dewhurst’s characterisation of Pachauri reeks of Anglo-Saxon superiority and is a clear put-down from that position. That’s a kind of racism in my book, and although I don’t normally engage with his abusive contributions to this site I felt obliged as the author of the post to respond to that one lest others should think it was OK by me.

RW October 6, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Dewhurst’s obnoxiousness is of the kind belonging to the generation that was around in the days of “Yellow Peril” Seddon, and which is easily discerned among many of the older members of our society (no characterisation of the views of younger people is being guessed at here – the oldest ones still in my expericence simply tend to be more blatant in airing their racist views).

The bottom feeders at TVNZ who unsubtly encourage the revolting antics of Henry know this – they’re despicable.

Joe Fone October 6, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Gareth: “You’ve had direct answers to your questions from me, above. Why not address those, Joe? Because you can’t?”

Now come on Gareth you’re not being entirely honest. You know very well I’ve wasted my time sparring with you in the past, answering your endless demands for evidence or upon what I base my arguments etc., and you dismiss everything out of hand. I’ve said to you in previous exchanges – after it became a futile waste of time making any headway – that it obviously doesn’t matter what I or anyone says to you, or how strong their argument might be, you roundly dismiss it as necessarily non valid. End of story. You’re never satisfied with anything anyone says. I know for sure that no matter what I say, what authority I quote, as I’ve done before (eg., Lindzen, Singer, Spencer…. etc. etc. etc.), you will completely dismiss it and then immediately demand more of the same.

I fully understand why you do that of course. It’s because any counter argument also challenges your religious devotion to the manmade global warming myth. You merely employ the armour plate of wilful ignorance and then fight back with stubborn devotion to an emotive and religious cause. It is impervious to logic.

Rather a pointless undertaking don’t you think?

Gareth October 6, 2010 at 5:37 pm

You asked questions, demanded answers. When they were given, you have no comeback. Joe, you’re a waste of space and I will ignore you in future. The irony, of course, is that your last comment perfectly describes your behaviour in this thread.

RedLogix October 6, 2010 at 5:45 pm

“You merely employ the armour plate of wilful ignorance and then fight back with stubborn devotion to an emotive and religious cause. It is impervious to logic.”

One thing you should learn is not to make statements that can be so obviously mirrored back onto yourself. Because from my perspective that statement of your’s is a perfect description of your own behaviour. That makes it a completely useless debating position.

You will have to do a lot better than that.

What we are looking for is for some decently argued science. Something that tells us you actually understand what the mainstream science ACTUALLY is (not palpable nonsense you’ve picked up from denier blogs) and then an argument as to WHY you think the science is wrong, and WHAT you propose as a better and PROVABLE hypothesis.

That’s a big ask and you can expect to have to answer some tough questioning … because any such claim, so contrary to the accepted science is going to be subjected to real scrutiny. That’s how the game works.

Alternatively you could earn some respect by asking some sincere questions about climate science, because until you can demonstrate that you understand what it is you think you are debunking…you’ll just wander about repeating self-contradictory claims that just waste your time and ours. Which irritates folk.

Johnmacmot October 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Joe, it’s a pointless undertaking because the arguments you’re presenting are very hard to support. The evidence isn’t there.

You personally don’t have any obvious scientific background, yet you’re trying to tell people who do that they don’t know what they are talking about. Of course you’re going to be put through the ringer – as Redlogix says, that’s how the game works.

When your lack of understanding is combined with belligerence and insults, you’re going to be viewed negatively.

The question is, what are you trying to achieve?

Rod Burgoyne October 8, 2010 at 10:04 pm

So Joe, put up or shut up.

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