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Top NASA scientist: “Power Plan is worthless”

The cheers from environmentalists are still ringing loud from President Barack Obama’s success in passing the nation’s most serious action against warming emissions. But scientists that have based their entire careers on the study of climate change have one thought about the latest rules: “practically worthless.”

Those were the words of James Hansen, a climate researcher who headed NASA’s Goddard’s Institute for Space Studies for over 30 years and first warned congress of global warming in 1988. “They do nothing to attack the fundamental problem,” Hansen stated.

MSNBC reported that climate scientists like Hansen feel that Obama’s plan does not go nearly far enough. They claim that the legislation is meek and dangerously self-congratulatory, sapping the movement of urgency while doing almost nothing to maintain the future habitability of the earth.

When asked if the plan would make continued climate activism unnecessary, Hansen replied, “You’ve got to be kidding. He added that Obama’s plan and the proposed plan of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, “is like the fellow who walks to work instead of driving, and thinks he is saving the world.”

“As long as fossil fuels are allowed to (appear to be) the cheapest energy, someone will burn them,” he wrote in an email to MSNBC. “It is not so much a matter of how far you go. It is a matter of whether you are going in the right direction.”

On Tuesday, Climate Action Tracker released a study that claimed Obama’s regulations would reduce America’s economy-wide emissions by “roughly 10 percent” beyond the current pace. While reduction of any kind is a cause for celebration, it’s not a call for mission accomplished. Slate’s meteorologist, Eric Holthaus, recently estimated that Obama’s plan cuts emissions only about a third of what researchers like Hansen say is necessary.

The current measurement of whether emission policy is sufficient or valuable is essentially the legislation’s impact on the rising global temperature by 2C (3.6F), the agreed tipping point of climate change by most scientists. Of course, no one country can do this alone, but America does have a major responsibility, considering we are in the top 5 for GHG emissions per capita.

MSBC reported that even with the current Clean Power Plan, and the recent plans announced by China and Brazil and others, the world is on pace for about 3 degrees of warming by 2100.


  1. It is little to do with climate change and a lot to do with control

  2. In 1988 James Hansen predicted 2 feet of sea water over Manhattan by 2013. He is a fool.

  3. Obama’s road to ruin of our country.

  4. One of the reasons Hansen says the Plan is “practically worthless” is that the oil/gas industry is not marketing their product at a real price because of subsidies and other deductions. He advocates a carbon-fee-and-dividend solution whereby a gradually increasing annual fee is placed on the potential carbon dioxide at the production site (oil/gas well, coal mine, and ports of entry). All the collected money is returned to the citizens, thus is revenue neutral. Details can be found at http://www.citizensclimatelobby.org. This solution, making renewable methods of energy production more competitive, stimulates their development. The urgency of immediate reduction of carbon dioxide (and other gases) comes from recent research strongly suggesting a rapidly increasing rate of atmospheric heating and consequent world-wide climate change. As Obama suggested, the solution to our predicament requires a multinational effort. I believe we must make this effort equivalent to World War II.

    • That will be difficult to accomplish given the large percentage of climate deniers — and the even larger percentage of politicians who oppose strong measures to combat climate change. Too many of us can’t see past our noses. Ugh.

  5. There have been several feasible and doable alternatives. For starters most cars on the road today could be converted to run on natural gas which we have more than enough of to go around for at least 100 yrs. Also there is a nor so new buy brilliant idea called solar roadways that is truly incredible. The answer to the problem isn’t more regulations on what we have bit better utilization of what we have. Solar roadways could provide an abundant clean source of energy that also creates tons of jobs. Natural gas is the immediate solution for the time between gasoline and solar roadways those 2 things alone could make a huge environmental difference. I work in the oil industry and I’d love to see it last forever but the truth is its a scarce resource. It may not seem like it right now with the oil glut but it really is.

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