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Hansen Joins Duke Energy Fight

On Tuesday we blogged that eight North Carolina residents were arrested for locking themselves to bulldozers at Duke Energy’s Cliffside coal plant as part of "a Fossil Fools Day" demonstration. James Hansen — a leading climate scientists and the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute — wrote a letter to Duke Energy’s CEO James E. Rogers about the new plant. Here’s an excerpt from that letter:

I was glad to see you attend my talk on climate change in Charlotte last November. I write to inform you of progress in understanding of human-made climate change and the challenge it poses for those, such as yourself, who are charged with providing the public with essential energy. I know you aim to do that in a way that protects the long-term interests of people and nature, so I end with a proposal for cooperation in defining potential alternative actions.

Mr. Rogers, the challenge is greater than we thought just a few years ago. The attached paper, “Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?,” for example, makes clear that we have already passed the limit for CO2 that we can allow to exist over the long-term. Mother Nature, as a friend of mine has noted, is wagging her finger at us: “Now you have gone too far!”

Consequences of ignoring this admonishment would be severe. The Earth is nearing climate “tipping points” with potential effects, many irreversible, including extermination of countless species, ice sheet disintegration and sea-level rise, and intensified regional climate extremes. A world filled with desperate climate refugees, we are warned by retired US generals and admirals, would be not only tragic, but dangerous for everyone.

Hansen sent this letter out to those of us on his email list, accompanied by a note entitled "Mr. Rogers and Darth Vader." Read both in full here (pdf).

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