Thirty years ago, on June 22, 1988, James Hansen testified in front of the US Congress on the subject of global warming. It is considered by many to be the kickoff for the public awareness of the effect of carbon dioxide and other green house gases on the world’s climate systems. And Dr. Hansen isn’t happy with the progress to date.

From the Guardian.

“All we’ve done is agree there’s a problem,” Hansen told the Guardian. “We agreed that in 1992 [at the Earth summit in Rio] and re-agreed it again in Paris [at the 2015 climate accord]. We haven’t acknowledged what is required to solve it. Promises like Paris don’t mean much, it’s wishful thinking. It’s a hoax that governments have played on us since the 1990s.”

While I find Hansen’s view a bit too dark, the lack of progress in 30 years is stunning. While emissions had flattened in 2015 and 2016 and some were talking about reaching a peak in CO2 emissions, last year the emissions increases were back on track with a 1.6% rise. More worrying to me is worldwide investment in renewable energy has been flat since 2010, and actually dropped after the Paris Agreement.

And its not due to a lack of trying. Hundreds of thousands of people are working on this problem. Something needs to change. Doing more of the same will not get us where we need to be. We need fresh ideas, like those in the Not Impossible Plan.



Categories: General