02 December 2009

James Hansen: the RMS of Climate Change

Under the rather, er, dramatic headline "Copenhagen climate change talks must fail, says top scientist", we have the following:


In Hansen's view, dealing with climate change allows no room for the compromises that rule the world of elected politics. "This is analogous to the issue of slavery faced by Abraham Lincoln or the issue of Nazism faced by Winston Churchill," he said. "On those kind of issues you cannot compromise. You can't say let's reduce slavery, let's find a compromise and reduce it 50% or reduce it 40%."

Wow: someone whose refusal to compromise matches that of RMS. Respect.

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9 comments:

Adam Pope said...

I never thought the Records Management Society would get plaudits for such forthright views! C'mon, who's the RMS?

Is this something we agree with because we know we are right though? The Nazis thought they were right too; eugenics was our best hope etc.,

It's something I've been grappling with for decades. I liked Al Gore's 'civil disobedience is required' bit. Anyone fancy blockading an abattoir?

glyn moody said...

@Adam: Sorry, I'm being opaque: RMS = Richard Stallman

http://www.stallman.org/

Recent events aside, I tend to trust scientists and their data (which is why I think it should be freely available to everyone), so I don't think it's a tautological question of agreeing because we know we're right.

Adam Pope said...

Ah! He of the FSF. I never did get anywhere with them or the relatively clammed Canonical crowd on a 'Linux Bus Campaign' to counter the 'Windows 7' blitz. Boy I'm suffering from a plethora of unspeakable ads now. Speakin' of blitz's...

The Germans trusted the scientists and dociley went along with the Nazi eugenic programs. How are we to suggest this is 'different'? Because science today is more 'open'? We live in a democracy? But that we were.

glyn moody said...

@adam: for some reason your second comment hasn't appeared, even though I've published it...

glyn moody said...

oh, it has now...sigh

I don't think there was much consensus for eugenic liquidations outside Nazi scientific circles. And let's not forget Godwin's Law...

Adam Pope said...

Gotta get in there first then ;o)

There's always ...er.. Rhodes and his white-coat racists to fall back on though. And there was a significant consensus on that fakery in large societal groups. How does one combat this? How can one enforce policy based on truth when truth is a constantly moving target? Convincing the majority who have been convinced otherwise by a media trying to be 'balanced'? Big questions. Can't answer. Will continue to lead by example.

glyn moody said...

nobody said it would be easy...

tpegbert said...

More need for open science. This time from NASA and Mr. Hansen:

"Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said NASA has refused for two years to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act that would show how the agency has shaped its climate data and would explain why the agency has repeatedly had to correct its data going as far back as the 1930s."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/03/researcher-says-nasa-hiding-climate-data/

glyn moody said...

@tpegbert: indeed, data should always be open