President Lincoln

Dear Barack and Michelle

From the recent open letter from NASA climate scientist James Hansen to Michelle and Barack Obama, urging radical action when he takes office:

There is a profound disconnect between actions that policy circles are considering and what
the science demands for preservation of the planet. A stark scientific conclusion, that we
must reduce greenhouse gases below present amounts to preserve nature and humanity, has
become clear to the relevant experts. The validity of this statement could be verified by the
National Academy of Sciences, which can deliver prompt authoritative reports in response to
a Presidential request. NAS was set up by President Lincoln for just such advisory purposes.

Tomorrow at the RSA Arts & Ecology site, I’ll be publishing an interview with US environmentalist Bill McKibben in which he argues for a worldwide campaign in support of action to reduce carbon emissions to 350ppm, in line with James Hansen’s recent paper that suggests that our emissions are already too high for sustainable modern life. McKibben is taking the reins on this one with 350, which lets Jarvis Cocker off Ed Milliband’s hook.

Photo: RIBA President Sunand Prasad’s The Volume of One Tonne of CO2. As featured in Best of 2008. Photo by Nathan Gallagher

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology Blog