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The Climate Show Episode 13: James Hansen and The Critical Decade

Posted on 25 May 2011 by John Cook

The Climate Show have just released Episode 13. Special guest on this week's show is Dr James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies and perhaps the best-known climate scientist in the world -- the man who put the 350 in and a forceful advocate for leaving coal in the ground. He recently toured New Zealand and Gareth sprang out from behind a pot plant at Canterbury University for a snap interview (just kidding Gareth):

I talk to the guys about what it's like to emerge from my blogging dungeon into the real world to launch Haydn Washington's and my new book Climate Change Denial: Heads In The Sand, and also debunk the "CO2 lags warming" myth.

Be sure to subscribe to the iTunes audio or if you have your own blog, I recommend you embed the YouTube video so others can check it out.

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Comments 1 to 6:

  1. This is going to be a good one! Now to find the time to watch it....
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    Response: [JC] That's why God invented mp3 players - The Climate Show is ideal for driving or doing chores. I have to go out to UQ campus tomorrow so looking forward to listening to the whole TCS episode, esp the Hansen interview, in transit.
  2. With my knees, I don't do "spring" any more. Think of it more as a slow tentacular movement that involved planning, and cooperation from the tremendous team at UC. ;-)
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  3. Holy guacamole, John - it takes you an hour and a quarter to get to UQ??? I guess you're on the other side of the city centre then... or are you talking peak hour? That might only be 5 k's through Toowong & St Lucia, in that case! Gotta love Brisbane traffic, especially on Fridays. :-P (for those who aren't familiar with the traffic in Brisbane, I frequently average less than 30km/h on my trip to work along a 100km/h-zoned freeway, although my record is three and a half hours for the 17km trip home) A good show, in any event. I quite enjoyed the Hansen interview, although I'm going to have to listen to it again, got kinda distracted by upset offspring.
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    Response: I was factoring in peak hour - turns out I didn't quite get to the end of the show on the drive home.
  4. This was a great level-headed discussion on the politics with Dr. Hansen. I didn't watch it all, but this is obviously an awesome show. I ought to make some more time to watch the rest. If only this type of stuff displaced the right-wing hot air on the USA airwaves.
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  5. James Hansen? Oh that's the 1988 prophet, "the first to ring the bell" which lead to the IPCC! How is his prophecy working out, I wonder? But wait, I thought it was worse than predicted, and then worse still, even though his best case scenario has not been exceeded (not even by GISTEMP). Hmm.... He makes the circular argument that the much higher past T shown in the Greenland ice core didn't matter since mud cores from non polar regions show lesser high past T since warming is "amplified" on top of an ice sheet. But he fails to complete the circle of logic, by rights discounting in kind that current T rise in Greenland must also be "amplified" instead of representative. What he should have said, of course is that mud cores UNDERNEATH THE OCEAN are in fact attenuated due to the massive thermal inertia of the oceans, and the much vaunted Global Average Temperature does not refer to the bottom of the sea but to the air and the top of the sea. He again mentions massive sea level rise that will require a rate 5X as high as what actual sea level rise has been stuck at 3 mm/year (and recently plunging) for decades and tide gauges still show more like 2 mm/year instead ramping up to match the satellite record. And yet I'm in "denial" if I don't believe his prediction of the future? I certainly do deny that his past predictions have shown any competency whatsoever. That NYC where I live two blocks down from Tom's Diner and GISS was to have the West Side Highway next to the Hudson River under water in 20 (later retroactively switched to 40 by the reporter involved) years from 1988, well, wouldn't *that* require that the NYC tide gauge would show some sort of trend change? It doesn't. Have any of you taken the time to actually browse single site tide gauge records to confirm what you would expect, namely that the oldest records that continue to this day, dozens of them, should mostly show a recent upturn in the rate of sea level rise? Good luck hunting for any that do! I think I found one or two, a tiny minority, that did in a literal sea of unwavering trends. Those that show declining trend also show no slower decline, recently. But, never mind, at least you have statistical studies that prove your case even though the input data doesn't support the results.
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    [DB] Thank you for providing a clear example of the non-contextual cherry-picking that "squeptics" typically use to distort & dissemble in their promulgation of their ideology.  Your link to "Triple-Point/CO2 Snow" Goddard is revealing as is your focus on single data points to conflate into global trends.  Please refrain from the use of all-caps.

  6. In this Episode of the Climate Show, lack of government support for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions was noted. A comment was made to the effect that the Prime Minister when told of the harm caused by GHG emissions had responded by saying he could produce scientists who would refute that GHG emissions were dangerous. Has the Prime Minister been challenged to produce a scientist who can substantiate that Global Warming is not caused by GHG emissions arising from human activity. Why has the PM not been publicly challenged by NZ’s climate scientists to produce a single scientist who can offer proof which has not already been shown to be wrong? It is all very well to lament that NZ does not have the equivalent of the Australian Climate Change Committee – but does that prevent NZ climate scientists from forming their own Climate Change Council? Does it prevent such a Council from making statements calling for government action, warning of the consequences of not doing so, discrediting and proving statements of deniers to be wrong?
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