As America prepares for one of the most momentous days in its history tomorrow, everyone admits that the time for celebration will be short, because the time for action is so urgent.
Whilst the economy maybe Obama’s first priority, the need for action on climate is undoubtedly seriously pressing too.
Now James Hansen, seen as the ‘grandfather of climate change’ and one of the world’s leading climatologists, has issued yet another warning to Obama that he has to act on climate now. The world was in “imminent peril” from climate change argues Hansen. He adds that after years of dithering by the Bush Administration, only Obama and the US have the political muscle to halt the rise in CO2.
“We cannot now afford to put off change any longer. We have to get on a new path within this new administration” he says. “We have only four years left for Obama to set an example to the rest of the world. America must take the lead.”
Hansen argues that “cap and trade schemes” should be scrapped as they are nothing more than “weak tea”. He lambasts carbon trading as “just greenwash”, and argues that only a carbon tax can work. Hansen, in a message that he has come out with before, also calls for a moratorium on coal-fired power stations.
“Before the end of Obama’s first term, we will be seeing new record temperatures. I can promise the president that.”
And that is a promise that is unlikley to be broken.