Fire on Planet Earth: 2020

Fire on Planet Earth: 2020

December 4th, 2020

by Dr. James Hansen

Reversing climate change is possible, sensible and necessary.

A year ago, when I was in the middle of writing my new book Sophie’s Planet, I thought that I may have a hard time selling people on the fact that we must go back at least to mid-20th century climate for the sake of preserving shorelines and our coastal cities. That sell should be a bit easier now that people have a better, bitter taste of increasing climate extremes. That still does not mean it will be easy.

There is still science to be done to make the case fully persuasive and define the most efficient pathway for getting there. We submitted a letter proposal (“Aerosols, the Ocean and Ice”) to a philanthropist this year, which did not get funded. I believe the best way for me to make the case for this research and application program is to complete Sophie’s Planet. The book is being written at the level of a university student–aimed especially at young leaders –so I believe that it will be understandable by potential funders. The climate problem is complex because of its many facets –it involves science, energy, economics, politics, and more –but I hope that by describing my experience I can help illuminate the problem and solution….

There are many reasons for optimism this year including young people in policy (Student Leadership), young women in technology (Progressive Policy Agenda), and science (Sentinel for the Home Planet). But we have a difficult task to help people understand what is needed to assure that young people have a bright future on our remarkable planet.

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