Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Not To Worry About Gas Mileage? Hansen Says Oil Will Be Burned Anyway

Dana Milbank's Washington Post article on a speech in Washington by James Hansen, the NASA guy famously muzzled by the Bush Administration when his science didn't agree with their worldview.

Along with the expected (we're heading for a collision with climatic catastrophe), Hansen managed to say something completely novel to me: It doesn't matter, in the long run, whether we clamp down on carbon emissions in the transportation sector or just all drive Hummers:

...he made a point of saying the biggest worry isn't what we put in our cars, but what we put in our power plants.

"Practically, I don't see how we can stop putting the oil in the atmosphere, because that's owned by Russia and Saudi Arabia," he advised the House committee on global warming. "We can make our vehicles more efficient, but that oil is going to get used and it's going to get in the atmosphere . . . and it doesn't really matter much how fast we burn it.
However, Hansen pointed out that we do own a lot of coal, and he says that's where we can make a big difference -- if we choose not to burn it.

Hey, there's a quixotic quest -- let's pressure the House of Saud and the Russian to just leave the oil in the ground! Piece of cake!


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