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US Scientist calls for Prosecution of Energy Company CEOs for Global Warming Disinformation

category international | environment | other press author Thursday June 26, 2008 18:59author by Terence Report this post to the editors

CEOs Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity and Life

James Hansen the US climate scientist who first testified to the Senate 20 years ago and brought the attention of global warming to the mainstream has now testified that the CEOs of leading energy companies purposely lead a disinformation campaign on global warming which has resulted in a lack of action to solve the problem bringing humanity to the brink of disaster because we are possibly either just at or maybe even beyond the tipping point of runaway climate feedbacks.

As reported today about the testimony of the leading US climate scientist James Hansen from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, he has declared that heads of major energy companies criminals who should be prosecuted for deliberately spreading false and misleading information about the threat posed by global warming.

About 2 or 3 years ago, the White House attempted to censor Hansen but he was just too well established for this to work and he has since that time increasingly dropped all reticence that he had about damaging his job or career unlike many of the other scientists who are still holding back their true feelings on the depth of this issue.

Hansen went on to say:
“We have reached a point of planetary emergency,” Hansen told the Congressional panel Monday, saying the world was near a “tipping point” where climate change “would spiral dynamically out of humanity’s control.”....

...Hansen warned, “Elements of a ‘perfect storm,’ a global cataclysm, are assembled.” He said that the climate could reach a point “that amplifying feedbacks spur large rapid changes.” He cited the melting of Arctic sea ice as one example. An even greater catastrophe looms with the melting of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet, which would raise global sea levels at least two meters. “Hundreds of millions of people would become refugees,” he said.


Note to readers: Last year there was a massive summer melt of the Arctic Sea ice which was 25+% more than usual. Given this sudden drop, it means there is a huge flip-over in the albedo or reflectivity allowing much more sunlight to be absorbed. Given last year's melt, estimates for a ice free Arctic summer were moved forward from the year 2080approximately to anything within about 5 years! And the melt this year for June 2008 is now at the same level as last year.

He wanted on to discuss the other effects of global warming such as massive species loss which most people seem aware of but choose to ignore..

He went on to say:

Hansen decried the extremely limited official goals set for reducing carbon emissions calling them “a recipe for global disaster.” He called for a moratorium on the construction of coal burning power plants and the development of carbon free alternatives to coal and petroleum.

Hansen indicted the energy conglomerates for blocking action on global warming. “Instead of moving heavily into renewable energies, fossil fuel companies choose to spread doubt about global warming, just as tobacco companies discredited the link between smoking and cancer. Methods are sophisticated, including funding to help shape school textbook discussions about global warming.”

He also denounced the fossil fuel industry for using “China and other developing nations as scapegoats to rationalize inaction.”


...But as pointed out by this report from WSWS, the New York times -which is part of the corporate media machine, chose to largely ignore his statements.

....The media paid very limited attention to Hansen’s remarks, particularly his attacks on the energy companies. The New York Times in its report on his testimony managed to not even mention the NASA scientist’s criticisms of the oil industry.

House Democrats greeted Hansen’s testimony with patronizing condescension. Predictably they chose to ignore his call for the prosecution of energy company executives, who annually pour millions of dollars into the campaign coffers of both parties...


Since the time 20 years ago when Hansen had warned about Global Warming absolutely nothing has been done about it, and indeed emissions continued to increase but even more worrying in the last 3 or 4 years, the rate of increase has accelerated leading many scientists to speculate the the carbon sinks are failing and cannot take anymore leading us to a very dangerous situation.

The report from WSWS -quoting from the report --- put some background on this aspect by saying:


In 2005, after Hansen presented climate data to the American Geophysical Union, the NASA public affairs office issued tighter regulations, stipulating that media interviews had to be pre-approved and that Hansen had to get prior permission before posting anything on the GISS website.

Other government scientists have reported similar attempts by the Bush administration to muzzle data on global warming. Documents support the claims of scientists that the White House made deliberate attempts to mislead the public about the dangers posed by climate change by editing official reports.

Oil company representatives have been given positions on federal environmental policy councils and climate information oversight. The White House appointed Phil Cooney, a former lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, to head the Council of Environmental Quality. In that position he edited government climate reports in order to spread false doubt and uncertainty on the subject of global warming. After his activities were exposed, Clooney left his government post for a position with Exxon Mobil.

The attempts by Exxon Mobil to discredit the scientific understanding about climate change on the basis of pseudoscience are well documented. A conservative think tank sponsored by Exxon Mobil offered scientists $10,000 to write articles critical of official studies on climate change. The world’s largest private energy company has spent millions of dollars to spread false and misleading information about the dangers of global warming.

According to a report issued by the Union of Concerned Scientists in January 2007, Exxon Mobil gave nearly $16 million between 1998 and 2005 to front organizations set up to provide a platform for “global warming skeptics.” In many cases these individuals are directly on the payroll of Exxon Mobil funded groups


The full report can be found at the URL below.

Indeed it is unlikely we will see this widely reported in the mainstream media and they are probably as guilty as the energy company CEO's in this matter.

Related Link: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/jun2008/clim-j26_prn.shtml
author by anotherpublication date Mon Jul 28, 2008 23:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There’s a new big story: climate change. Tadzio Müller suggests a way for anticapitalists to deal with the issue’s urgency without falling into catastrophism or quietism.

http://turbulence.org.uk/turbulence-4/the-movement-is-d...ment/

 
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