Friday, April 6, 2012

Human-induced Climate Change is a “great moral issue” on a Par With Slavery"

Been there, done that.
From our October 2007 post "Cap-and-Trade Market in Babies":
"When Britain decided to end slavery,
Wilberforce didn't set up a cap-and-trade system"
That's me, misquoting myself....
The first time I used the Wilberforce line was in June of that year with this comment:
Thanks to Professor David J.C. MacKay for the slave market analogy.
Clicking on that link brings you to the homepage of a guy who makes Hansen look like a snake-handling Pentecostal from the backwoods of Appalachia:

David J.C. MacKay FRS

Professor of Natural Philosophy
Department of Physics
Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge. 

His Wikipedia entry is basically "David J.C. MacKay, see: heavyweight."*

Here's Hansen in the peer-reviewed Guardian newspaper:
Nasa scientist: climate change is a moral issue on a par with slavery
He jetted off to Scotland to receive the "prestigious Edinburgh medal".
I try to stay au courant with such things but am not familiar with this one. The Guardian helpfully notes that previous recipients are  "Sir David Attenborough, the ecologist James Lovelock, and the economist Amartya Sen".
Alrighty then.

Back in 2007 Hansen was awarded the prestigious Godwin's Medal for this line:
If we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal trains will be death trains — no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species.
*Okay, I lied, there's no medal only the Law. But, for putting up with my snark here's a special gift, the draft of Dr. MacKay's wonderful "Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air".

"...a tour de force..." The Economist
"... a cold blast of reality ... a must-read analysis..." Science magazine
"...this year's must-read book..." The Guardian

See how I brought it back around to the Guardian?
Hah! Sometimes you get lucky