December 10, 2009
In Storms of My Grandchildren, Dr. James Hansen – the nation’s leading scientist on climate issues – speaks up for the first time with the full truth about global warming: The planet is hurtling even more rapidly than previously acknowledged to a climatic point of no return. Although the threat of human-caused climate change is not widely recognized, politicians have failed to connect policy with the science, responding instead with ineffectual remedies dictated by special interests. Hansen shows why President Obama’s solution, cap-and-trade, which Al Gore has signed onto, won’t work; why we must phase out all coal; and why 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a goal we must achieve if our children and grandchildren are to avoid global meltdown and the horrific storms of the book’s title. This urgent manifesto bucks conventional wisdom (including the Kyoto Protocol) and is sure to stir controversy, but Hansen – whose climate predictions have come to pass again and again, beginning in the 1980s when he first warned Congress about global warming – is the single most credible voice on the subject worldwide.
Hensen paints a devastating, all-too-realistic picture of what will happen in the near future, mere years and decades from now, if we follow the course we’re on. But he is also an optimist, showing that there is still time to do what we need to save the planet. Urgent, strong action is needed, and this book will be key in setting the agenda going forward to create a groundswell, a tipping point, to save humanity – and our grandchildren – from a dire fate more imminent than we had supposed.
Dr. James Hansen is perhaps best known for bringing global warming to the world’s attention in the 1980s, when he first testified before Congress. An adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University and at Columbia’s Earth Institute, and director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, he is frequently called to testify before Congress on climate issues. Dr. Hansen’s background in both space and earth sciences allows a broad perspective on the status and prospects of our home planet. This is his first book.