Dr. James Hansen of NASA GISS arrested

Daryl Hannah, scientist arrested at W.Va. mine protest

James Hansen and unidentified woman under arrest by WV state trooper. Photo credit: Antrim Caskey, Rainforest Action Network Field Photography

SUNDIAL, W.Va. (AP) — More than two dozen people — including actress Daryl Hannah and NASA climate scientist James Hansen — were arrested Tuesday in the latest protest in a growing civil disobedience campaign against mountaintop removal in Southern West Virginia.

State Police said about 30 people were charged Tuesday afternoon after they blocked State Route 3 near a Massey Energy subsidiary’s coal processing plant in Raleigh County.

Full AP story here

In a statement distributed by the Rainforest Action Network, whose executive director was also arrested, Dr. Hansen said:

I am not a politician; I am a scientist and a citizen. Politicians may have to advocate for halfway measures if they choose. But it is our responsibility to make sure our representatives feel the full force of citizens who speak for what is right, not what is politically expedient. Mountaintop removal, providing only a small fraction of our energy, should be abolished.

No Jimbo, you are an activist and advocate for a cause.

Note to NASA: Now can you fire this guy?

Meanwhile, back at the RealClimate ranch today, the sound of crickets…

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234 thoughts on “Dr. James Hansen of NASA GISS arrested

  1. Maybe this will lead to his firing finally. There has to be something in his employment contract pretaining to not being a criminal.

    I doubt anything will happen to him though. He seems to have a protective bubble around him.

  2. Lance (14:44:57) :

    Boy, Daryl Hannah has really let herself go!

    REPLY: READ THE PHOTO CAPTION

    Hehe… very funny! However, she tall, probably nearly 6′ so it can’t be Hannah. But I know you were mocking her… :)

    REPLY: no mocking, I really don’t know who the other woman is. When I find out I’ll update the post. – Anthony

  3. Knowing he can’t win a debate on AGW alarmism Jim Hansen is switching his efforts to mountain top removal. He will then debate this and prove by proxy his AGW concerns. It’s a common alarmist tactic. I’ve had people try to prove AGW concerns to me by proxy with anything from evolution to the theory of gravity. I kid you not… the theory of gravity.

  4. I really didn’t like a US govt employee like Hansen coming over here to the UK to stop a legitimate and desperately needed power station from being built.

    However removing mountain tops doesn’t seem the most environmentally sensitive way to mine. I can’t get too angry at Hansen for this one, but please just keep him in the US will you?

    Tonyb

  5. Hi Guys

    You can show your protest by joining the “[url=http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=53080958739]Fire James Hansen[/url]” FaceBook Group, we have the following people.

    David Archibald
    Viscount MoncktonOfBrenchley
    Paul Biggs
    Joseph D’Aleo (Lowell, MA)
    Richard Courtney
    Tom Nelson
    James Spann (Birmingham)
    Jennifer Marohasy.

  6. This reminds me of Freddie Phelps and Wesboro church. good friends as a matter of fact of Algore. I suspect NASA does bacjground checks and don’t hire people with arrest records. He could easily be put out to pasture. Even competent Inspectors general have some employment risk.

  7. Hannah & Hansen – now that’s a dynamic duo.

    NASA – Now will you fire the guy? This isn’t some young fresh kid just out of college, engaging in activity almost expected of a twenty something junior researcher. This is criminal activity being engaged in by a prominent and leading member of the NASA community.

  8. When a person is arrested, are they not hand-cuffed? Appears to be ‘escorted’ out of the area, unless in the USA, they don’t hand-cuff celebraties?

    Wasn’t the person before Hansen fired for less than this?

    This guy should not be representing GISS or anything else except some Environmental Lobby group.

  9. From a fantastic photo of an amazing event (Sarychev Peak Eruption) to a terrible picture (their heads are cut off) of a farce. Does Hansen keep a log of hours off clock so they can deduct it from his pay? Not that it matters much. He does no good when he does do what he is paid for. double_Rant

  10. Since when has it become illegal to protest? Of course it looks bad but come on. Did he jump the wrong fence or what?

    REPLY: From the AP story I linked to:

    “State Police said about 30 people were charged Tuesday afternoon after they blocked State Route 3 near a Massey Energy subsidiary’s coal processing plant in Raleigh County.”

    It is illegal to block a state road for the purpose of protest. – Anthony

  11. I believe that Hansen’s activism is permitted, by him, to cloud his ‘professional’ work / professional judgment. That is why he makes so many outlandish and unrealistic statements. Hence, he is no longer capable of performing the tasks required by his position with NASA thus should no longer be allowed to remain so employed.

  12. A childish act of futility usually engaged in by people who feel marginalized, powerless and disenfranchised. So, the chief climatologist at NASA feels he has no significant influence. He’s obviously delusional and perhaps even disturbed. Of course he has influence. But it’s apparently not enough for him.

  13. The trooper photographs well!

    He’s not really protesting AGW here and we must keep that front and center. If we let these two issues get conflated, we’re screwed. There are good arguments against mountaintop removal (though I’m not taking sides).

  14. Hi Guys

    I noticed the URL did not go through as a link so here it is again without the BB code

    You can show your protest by joining the “Fire James Hansen” FaceBook Group

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=53080958739

    We have the following people.

    David Archibald
    Viscount MoncktonOfBrenchley
    Paul Biggs
    Joseph D’Aleo (Lowell, MA)
    Richard Courtney
    Tom Nelson
    James Spann (Birmingham)
    Jennifer Marohasy.

  15. If only we could convince West Virginia to do everyone a favor and keep the guy in jail for a few years. [snip]

  16. Anthony, will you make a post when either James Hansen or Darryl Hannah gets themselves arrested for trying to stop a coal fired electric plant in China?

    Any person that shows that kind of dedication to his/her beliefs deserves a cookie.

    I wonder how long I’ll have to wait for that one. I’m not holding my breath.

  17. “NASA – Now will you fire the guy?”

    NASA doesn’t read this blog – it has actual science on it.

  18. Okay, hehe, I guess that was a little to graphic. But everyone can figure out what they would do….

  19. people who ask to fire people for no other reason than that those people are having an opinion are a threat to democracy

    i’m surprised with which easy mr. Watts is using those words.

    Should i start making a list of people i don’t like and call their employers to sack them ?

    REPLY: Oh it’s far more complex and long running than that, but you just grab the first opinion in front of you, so I won’t bother to explain. Feel free to read up on Dr. Hansen’s travails. – Anthony

  20. I think he’s a true American. He’s standing up for and defending what he believes, despite the fact that many of us find his viewpoint to be incorrect. I have to respect that, even though I personally disagree with the man.

    It’s a shame that more people haven’t had the courage to stand up across the country and protest against AGW legislation, TARP, increasing government control and spending, tax increases, etc. The USA needs a powerful and widespread show of our opinions, and the only way the government might listen is if 10 million people decide to show up in Washington and clog the streets, sleep on the Mall, and recite the Constitutional principles on which this country was founded so many years ago. Blogs, editorials, studies, reports, petitions–these are not the means by which we Americans can ever hope to regain our former freedoms. They should serve merely as a rally point for those who have the desire to save America from the few who seek to shackle us.

  21. Darryl Hanna protest pics.

    Pro-coal-mining counter-protest at the site.

    I think these are AP photos

  22. Sigh. We live in a society where we mail in protests now. A Filibuster in the senate used to require an iron bladder. Now they mail it in. The original point of civil disobedience was to get arrested AND DO THE TIME to make your point. Everyone wants to be a martyr, no one wants to sacrifice.

  23. Just because Hansen is against “mountaintop removal” does not mean you have to be for it. Think!

    Search the web – this sort of mining is destoying your environment.

    Once it is gone you’ll never recover what you have lost

  24. Hansen is achieving exactly what he wants, media attention. I guess the debate is off.

  25. O course Hansen was on a mountaintop in West Virginia – it’s a lot cooler there than in Houston during the Summer! Love the line about Hannah letting herself go! :>)

  26. And I thought it was about CO2, now they’re complaining about Moutain Top Removal … What was the problem again?

    MikeEE

  27. If China won’t let them in, perhaps they can try protesting the environmental degradation occurring at some Saudi Arabian oil fields. Oh, wait… they might get shot for trying that! Never mind! ;-)

    Fire. Them. All.

  28. I’m sorry to say that but WUWT’s website is sliding to the same path Mr Hansen has chosen – it’s going to be overly politicized soon too, by simply keeping the pace with Mr Hansen’s latest deeds, or reporting what he did or not.

    It is the same trick the leftists/US liberals/Reds plays on conservative/rightists. The first are on the ofensive, the second on the defensive. That’s why the first ones are so tough nuts to crack.

    If skeptics/WUWT go the road of Mr Hansen they will step in the same furrows of bad politics. Tertium non datur.

    Best regards

    REPLY: I get this same lame complaint any time I post something where science has been politicized. I’m not the one politicizing science, Jim Hansen is, Gore is, Waxman is, and a bunch of other people. If you don’t want science politicized, complain to them. Meanwhile I will continue to report on major events such as this, because…drum roll please, my masthead says so.

    “Commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology, and recent news by Anthony Watts”
    There ya go, “recent news” and “puzzling” fits this story, as in why would major scientist degrade himself this way? Don’t want to read about it here? Go someplace else then. I cannot please everyone, nor will I try. This blog is about what I find “interesting, puzzling, and current.”

    – Anthony

  29. I have not read the charges but they probably were charged with a misdemeanor and were let go for a latter hearing. Generally you are not fired for misdemeanor offenses unless the jail term runs you out of vacation time. I do not think very many protestors, that do not commit acts of violence, ever go to jail. also given Hansen’s political cover with the new administration being for his views, no chance he is getting fired or being forced to retire.

  30. If you visit the British site, http://www.climateresistance.com , you will find a site that discusses how the global warming and ecological movement are the creatures of the elite, and, even, in Britain, it is members of the government that are calling for mass movement demosntrations.

    It is true in the US too; Hansen is no JimBob, nor is Hannah. Both elitists; they probably expect they can get away with it.

    They fly in from elsewhere and deign to tell the folks in West Virginia how to live. Then fly back eating caviar.

  31. Przemysław Pawełczyk @15:46:55

    Problem is, the science has been politicized by the AGWers. Just as Lysenko politicized biology in the USSR. Hansen is the USA’s Lysenko. Jim Lysenko Hansen.

  32. Aubs-It’s called the Hatch Act:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatch_Act_of_1939

    As a NASA employee, by acting as an advocate, he is in violation of it. He has been in violation of it at least since he campaigned for John Kerry. Rules are rules, the law is the law and it applies to everyone (in this case civil servants) and the law says he should be out of a job.

    The Bush administration didn’t dare touch him given all the “Censorship” whining from other perfectly legal oversight of him. So now who expects the new administration to do so? One would certainly hope that enforcement of the law by the executive would be beyond politics, but this isn’t the case, at least since Jackson expelled the Cherokee.

    “Judge Marshall has made his decision-now let him enforce it.”

  33. Aubs,

    Hundreds of thousdands of average Americans did protest on “Tea Party” day about large government, over spending, bail outs, and taxes. They were largely ignored by the MSM and even derided as everything from racist to rednecks. What was the response of the current administration, (crickets).

  34. It’s simple. Hansen is a government-employed scientist. What he was doing today was making a political protest. If he wants to continue to protest, he has that unalienable right, but he should first resign his Nasa post. The two positions are mutually incompatible.

    Incidentally, I’d be interested to know what Nasa pays him for. Is it for a 40-hour week in a lab, or is he given paid time off to protest?

    There may be any number of good reasons why the project in question should/should not be shelved, but Hansen is clearly using his position at Nasa and defying the law to gain maximum publicity…possibly on taxpayers’ time.

    It’s just not right.

  35. TonyB @14:57:33

    Hansen and the AGWers are, as someone else mentioned, arguing by proxy. By saying it’s bad to remove mountain tops (personally, I don’t see a problem) they will then infer that ALL coal production is bad, and from there, all ENERGY production is bad.

    It must be rationed – except for themselves, of course.

  36. bill (15:39:08) :

    Just because Hansen is against “mountaintop removal” does not mean you have to be for it. Think!

    Once it is gone you’ll never recover what you have lost

    Sorry, but I have no emotional attachment to rocks.

    And perhaps you’d like to consider how the irresponsible actions of people like James Hansen cause (or will cause) the price of energy to go up, and what that might do to those who can afford it least.

    Once a human is gone, you’ll never recover what you have lost, either.

    Humans or rocks? Didn’t require much thought on my part.

  37. Anthony
    REPLY: I get this same lame complaint any time I post something where science has been politicized. I’m not the one politicizing science, Jim Hansen is, Gore is, Waxman is, and a bunch of other people. If you don’t want science politicized, complain to them. Meanwhile I will continue to report on major events such as this, because…drum roll please, my masthead says so.

    Perhaps I was too harsh in my opinion. I am fully aware where the politics entered the climate science. I’m blogging for several years up to now, on American politics as well.

    Look at your full page as it spreads on your monitor’s screen today. There’s a lot of interesting information closely “related” with climate. That’s what makes blogging the very fun and informative. And far from boredom and monosubjective. But it is so easy to lost the grip of the main direction. This topic is captivating, that subject is interesting, and the politic issue on top as usual.

    Yep, it’s up to you what we read. But reading on WUWT blog about Mr Hansen is not what I expect the most. He was Big, now he’s small. Let the scoop be of the same dimension as of the person he has become, doing what he do lately.

    Regards

    REPLY: Thanks for the clarification. – Anthony

  38. I feel kinda sorry for the man. Thanks to the ‘muppet show’, I came to terms with my dyslexia. For a man that used to be in charge of ‘pulling the strings’ it’s a sad reversal of roles.
    Sigh.

  39. Leave the guy alone… he is the skeptic’s, real data’s best friend. No one will believe GISS temps how could they? the bias is potentially overwhelming LOL

  40. for the person who asked “is protesting illegal?”

    Hansen and his followers knew that protesting isn’t illegal, and therefore a simple protest wouldn’t generate the kind of news photos they wanted. They went way out of their way to guarantee they got arrested so they could have their “trophy photos”. That’s why they blocked the road. Block a road with a group of people anywhere and refuse to move, and you’ll get arrested.

    This whole thing is a kind of sick kabuki theatre.

  41. The Achilles heal of alarmists is that their emotion prevails over their logic. Their greatest mistake is In trying to recruit science to their cause, they can convince politicians, with similar proclivities, but not, at the end of the day, the cold light of reason.

  42. I think this calls into question his integrity. If he is willing to break the law in order to publicize his environmental agenda do we really trust him to provide an accurate assessment of the temperature record?

  43. Our government is run by criminals. Hansen should fit right in, although maybe he could add tax evasion to his resume to be more in line with Obama’s appointees.

  44. AlexB (14:53:59) :

    Knowing he can’t win a debate on AGW alarmism Jim Hansen is switching his efforts to mountain top removal. He will then debate this and prove by proxy his AGW concerns. It’s a common alarmist tactic. I’ve had people try to prove AGW concerns to me by proxy with anything from evolution to the theory of gravity. I kid you not… the theory of gravity.

    I call it “Conflation of Issues”. It is a sure sign of confusion and guarantees several things.

    [1] The issues are poorly identified.
    [2] The root causes of the Issues are not identified, (may be hidden, or wrongly ascribed).
    [3] Due to [1] and [2], solution design is faulty.
    [4] Solution implementation is ineffective in addressing the Issues.

  45. Having looked at google earth images of the Appalacians in that area, I can quite understand protest groups.

    Looking at the placement of the sludge lake above the school I wouls suggest that Aberfan in Wales be remembered before it is too late

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aberfan

    AEGeneral (16:05:27) :
    Sorry, but I have no emotional attachment to rocks.

    I am saddened by you lack of concern for the environment.

    “Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money”

  46. Listen, Mr. Jim Lysenko Hansen, the mountain will erode anyway; so what are you protesting?

    Let’s face it, you don’t give a toss about mountain tops; you are opposed to humans having energy.

  47. Przemysław Pawełczyk (16:14:02) :
    Yep, it’s up to you what we read. But reading on WUWT blog about Mr Hansen is not what I expect the most.

    Sorry about just quoting a very small part of your reply but, as it’s the only part of your comment that I feel uncomfortable with, that’s what I’ve highlighted.
    We’re at a very important part of the debate and, most relevantly, at a crossroads where science has left the chamber thus leaving the argument to be tossed around by the politicians.

    When Mickey Langan, in an adjacent thread, posed a question to a Democrat Senator – Evan Bayh, this chilling sentence emerged as a final, dismissive canon of faith that condescendingly sought to demolish any dissent.

    “unequivocal and complete consensus that global warming is real and is caused by humans”

    Przemysław, we have a problem. These guys fight dirty, their opinions are infinitely defensible against logic, empirical observations and appeals to reason. Hubristic certainties and self-aggrandizement- given the stakes involved- trump honesty.

    A year ago, this site lived in another country – metaphorically. Times have changed, the mighty have decreed what will be. If we fight fire with a light that has no heat, we lose. Yes, we lose with honor intact. No Przemysław, we fight to win – afterwards we’ll make sure that History records it as an honorable victory. The winner writes History!

  48. I’m not a big fan of mountain-top mining either, but some of the protest comments seem a little over the top. I grew up in West Virginia in an area that appears similar to Sundial. I think the easiest thing for the coal company to do is build a new school. It would be a relatively small investment (compared to coal profits) and the community would be happy.

    What many people like Hansen and Darryl don’t understand is there are not many opportunities for decent paying jobs in that part of the US. Shut down the mining operation and a lot of people will slip into complete poverty. I’m proud that the miners stood up for their right to work instead of rolling over and playing dead for media celebrities.

    I’m sure that sludge pond was carefully engineered and approved only after much review. Yes, coal is washed before it’s shipped to remove dirt and coal fines. The nasty stuff in coal is locked into the coal and not really a big concern. The power companies have to deal with the nasty stuff when the coal is burned. Without research, I suspect the sludge pond (really a settling pond) was sized to hold all the sludge from what will be mined and washed. Solids settle to the bottom and the water on top evaporates. Eventually, when the coal is exhausted, you’ll end up with a less deep valley than existed before and a hill that is somewhat shorter.

    I can assure you that this mountain-top mining will be linked to the burning of coal. Coal is so nasty that it messes up both our land and air environment. Forget that it supplies a large percentage of our electric supply and keeps thousands of people employed. The poor souls who live and work in West “by God” Virginia are not important, right?

    For the record I work for a company that has been pushing coal gasification forward. Gasification is the cleanest way to use coal for a multitude of products from electricity to plastics to fertilizers. The threat of harsh CO2 regulation has stymied the use of gasification in the US. We can capture CO2 at a reasonable cost but don’t know what to do with it afterwards. Neither does our government or anyone else. I know people involved in solar, wind, and ethanol power and they all admit (off the record) that it is not even close to a solution. Short term carbon fuels and long term nuclear is what will sustain our standard of existence. To believe otherwise is a fool’s game.

    I have researched both sides of this CO2/global-warming and concluded that it is less than junk science. Our money grabbing scientists and politicians seem intent on destroying the greatest economies that have ever existed. I’m glad I’m old so I don’t have to watch the entire world slip into third world status. My advice to the young: Learn how to farm, hunt, and preserve your food for later consumption.

    Jesse

    Author: Siam Nights, Cold Rain, Tears For The Thai Girl, Blame It On Bangkok

    Edit this as you deem necessary.

  49. Y’know, Mike Griffin refused to drink the global warming kool-aid and he was shown the door.

    Hansen embarassed NASA by being a petty criminal and I predict a long and lofty carreer for him with the space agency.

    I turn my attention away from gov’t run space programs and to the private space sector, which is showing early signs of greatness.

  50. I don’t get the big fuss. Hansen was arrested for civil disobedience, a tried and true, non-violent method of protest. It is illegal, sure, but the level of illegality is low and it has a long and respected place in history. Try to remember that his cause is suspect, not his right to express it. Despite his own reprehensible attitude toward skepticism, he has the right in the US to assemble and protest. He is simply using his dubious celebrity, along with Darryl Hannah, to promote his cause.

    Could you imagine a US which prohibited skepticism? Or the right to demonstrate? Personally, I don’t like his advocacy or strident anti-skeptic rhetoric, but he has the same rights as every other private citizen.

    As for firing him… why would NASA do that? Does employment preclude activism? That would be a very dangerous position for a gov’t agency to take in that it would seem to tread on several Constitutional rights like speech, assembly and religion (in this case AGW), especially since there are no apparent security issues involved. If he were convicted of a serious charge, then maybe NASA should dump him. But civil disobedience? No way.

  51. Our President said this today. Yesterday they praised him for bringing back science.

    “At a time of great fiscal challenges, this legislation is paid for by the polluters who currently emit the dangerous carbon emissions that contaminate the water we drink and pollute the air we breathe,” he said.

    I am waiting to see how the CO2 in my beverages gets called pollution. Dangerous at that.
    Mr Science question. If carbon is both black and dirty, what color is CO2?

  52. bill (17:00:59) :

    “Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money”

    I hope we will realize first that trees eat CO2 and fish eat phytoplankton that has eaten CO2 dissolved in water.

    That charcoal was atmospheric CO2 that was fixated by plants back in the carboniferous period and now we are burning it, completing the CO2 cycle.

  53. bill (15:39:08); (17:00:59),

    Going back over 50 years, to 1966, to try and find something you think we should be upset about shows a little bit of desperation. The fact is that the U.S. environment has been cleaned up in the past five decades. The EPA didn’t even exist before 1970.

    When coal is mined out, the land is now required to be restored. No doubt your own back yard is a lot less “natural” and “pristine” than a mountain that has been mined of its coal and remediated to the satisfaction of the EPA.

    It’s also interesting that, as always, China, India, Russia, Brazil, etc., get a free pass. They pollute with impunity, while the U.S. has the world’s strongest environmental protection. Why do you attack this country, and always turn a blind eye toward those others? It appears that it is you who has little real concern for the planet, not the rest of us.

    Another side of the argument, which you did not mention when posting your map of coal permits issued, is the fact that people expect the lights and heat to go on when they flip the switch.

    That’s the other side of the debate. Those coal permits allow you to live a life of comfort and convenience. Try living without heat or electricity for a day — heck, for even one hour — then come back and tell us again what’s so evil about your permit map.

    Finally, who are you to tell workers in West Virginia that they must give up their jobs to make you happy? I’ll bet you’ve never even been to West Virginia.

    I don’t think you would appreciate it if someone came to your town and told you to give up your job simply because they didn’t think you should be doing it.

  54. Sorry, this maybe a double post(please remove first post),

    A rational scientific community minded person knows that strip mining will environmentally endanger habitat and life around the mining site, this is a given. This fight has nothing to do with us.
    Of course this is the REAL world and just like beavers cut down trees to make dams, you can’t outlaw beavers because you disagree with cutting the trees down and damming up rivers.
    We can draft up plans to reduce impact and improve stewardship to return the areas back to nature. YES, we can work on these things.
    Though at the end of the day, be it above ground or below, it’s still needed. Both ways there’s a possibility of contaminating streams and aquifer, but the risk from loss of life in dangerous underground mining is greatly reduced with open pit or MTR. A little unsightliness is to be expected with open mining and oil extraction, they are “messy by nature” in more ways then one and should be cleaning up after decommissioning.

    If these folks were pushing for better control and environmental responsibility Id agree, but this is political agenda using useful idiots to shut down mines because they don’t like the look or hold a apocalyptic view about extraction and the use of natures fossil fuels.

    Lance (15:08:53) :
    “appears there is another Lance out there submitting comments..that don’t happen often.”

    Yeah, I was taken a back a few month ago when I saw my name(your post)?! At first I thought maybe I had suddenly started making smart posts in a black out state, I wish, but no luck there! LOL!
    Lots just hope I don’t post and make an ass out of myself(if I haven’t already!:p) and you get blamed.

    Hey wait, that might work to my advantage?

    Never mind.

    J/k! :)

  55. RoyFOMR, Jim HAnsen has nothing to do with Jim HEnsen (of Muppet Fame). Sorry if you were joking, but I wanted to make sure no one actually thought the same wonderful person who brought the muppets to life has anything to do with a NASA scientist (well, at least someone who claims to be one, I should say).

    Especially since Hensen has been dead for almost 20 years now, RIP.

  56. Of all the things a professional employee of the US govt. could do to express opinion and gather political support where it counts, this has to be the least sophisticated.
    Getting yourself arrested, how thoughtless indeed.

  57. I posted this at Lucia’s, as well.

    I am not a fan of MTR either, but…much of the mining in the world is open pit mining, which is really the same as MTR, only INTO the ground.

    I am not sure of Appalachian environment laws, but I would be very surprised if the law did NOT require the company to put the land back into an “equivalent use” state.

    Most US/Canada environmental laws are more or less in sync by treaty; both environmental and economic treaties.

    In Alberta, all sites; gravel pits, mines, temporary roads, logging sites AND oil sands; need to be returned to “equivalent use” state.

    Its not quick, but trees don’t grow overnight. Average remediation time is estimated at 20-50 years.

    Companies are required to post an environmental bond, to cover the cost of remediation. If the company goes bust, the bond is used to pay for the work.

    All companies in Canada, also pay into an industry mandated “orphan fund”, to pay the cost of remediation if the original company, and its bond, are unable to cover the costs. Most of this “orphan fund” money is currently used to repair damage from pre-legislation work. Some wells in Turner Valley are from the 20s and 30s, and the company that did the original damage is long gone.

    The cost of remediation in the Oil Sands is not that high, at about 20,000 CAD/acre. Assuming 10,000 bbls oil/acre, it works out to about $2 per bbl of oil recovered. This is less than 3% of current selling price.

  58. I’m no fan of Hansen and don’t believe the evidence supports AGW, but I’ve seen mountain top removal mines and it’s a nasty business we should try to avoid.

  59. [snip-I believe this analogy should be avoided ~ charles the moderator]

    I think we should rethink the campaign to have Mr. Hansen removed from office with this bit of history in mind. I suggest that leaving him exactly where he is will make the task of turning public sentiment around on AGW easier to accomplish than having him removed from his public position would. Even if add the population of true AGW believers together with all who are dedicated to a more skeptical point of view, you still have a very small minority within the general population, most of whom have neither the interest or intellectual skills to evaluate the scientific arguments on the matter and tend to unquestioningly accept the arguments from authority that are the warmists stock and trade. If Mr. Hansen’s bizarre and buffoonish statements and actions continue to escalate, it will become increasingly obvious to everyone that the “authorities” behind all those claims of “settled science” are not exactly what they have been claimed to be. In fact, I suspect, if we don’t take the bait and scream for his removal it won’t be long before a, perhaps somewhat subtler, movement arises from the other side to get him out.

  60. jules (15:33:29) :

    It looks to be an abuse of his title at NASA. He would be a nobody if not for his NASA position.

    Who would care about James Hansen, climate modeller?

    But with ‘NASA scientist’ attached to the name James Hansen he can go anywhere in the world and people think he’s someone important and that NASA is involved with, and believes in, global warming.

    jules, do you think NASA should be associated with this type of thing? I have to ask—where is the NASA that made the earth stand still to watch men land on the moon?!

    What is happening today with this NASA employee is unbecoming to NASA–to put it nicely–and I can’t imagine it would have been tolerated for a spit second in the glory days of NASA in the 60’s!!

    NASA needs to draw some lines. But I’m not going to hold my breath for that.

  61. oakgeo (17:24:12) :

    So I am certain you would feel the same if a government health and human services official was arrested protesting at an abortion clinic?

    How do you suppose Mr. Hansen can serve as both an advocate and an objective scientist? Rhetorical – he cannot.

  62. Nathan Stone (17:50:10) :

    I didn’t know that NASA is now involved in coal mining practice regulation.

  63. This is a very disturbing development, and it shows why this guy seems able to get away with stuff that gets other, better people fired. Modern coal mining is basically horrendously damaging, but with millions of dollars of PR and an expensive facade of ‘rehabilitation’ that simply does not restore the productivity of the land nor its usefulness for wild animals living in a natural habitat. So, what better plan than to get arrested for protesting that, whilst holding aloft the global warming banner? Many people are not capable of distinguishing separate issues, and there will be a lot of pro-alarmist kudos coming from this smart move.

    Don’t underestimate the shysters, and don’t think that just calmly putting out the truth will necessarily be enough to defeat them.

  64. I don’t want it to sound like I don’t care about the environment because I do, but, these mines are very small. We should not go overboard and act like the world is being damaged from these mines.

    If someone has an alternative to coal that can be used now please tell us about it now.

  65. “At a time of great fiscal challenges, this legislation is paid for by the polluters who currently emit the dangerous carbon emissions that contaminate the water we drink and pollute the air we breathe,” he said

    POTUS- said that.

    Fiscal Challenges – Created by whom- The Carbonistas of an Energy Economy or the Promises of the Ponzists?
    Legislative Payers-The enemy of the people who clothe, employ, transport and house us or those that simply legislate to rake the table?

    Dangerous Carbon- is that the unrecognised oxymoron of the scientific illiterati or merely the twitterings of moronic monologues?

    Contaminate the water we drink+pollute the air we breathe- Neither is palatable and wrt CO2, neither imay be relevant – Spend Trillions in fighting a non-enemy- and thus neglect real-foes, may make an uncomfortable read in times to come.

    Sir, You are a leader, an inspiration to all. I know, as you do, that you are not a Scientist. Not a problem- but, for the sake of posterity – Ask yourself one question- Can I really trust these Guys?

  66. [snip, not because of the political bent, but that conversation leads too far off topic.] ~ ctm

  67. timetochooseagain (15:57:02) :
    Aubs-It’s called the Hatch Act:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatch_Act_of_1939

    As a NASA employee, by acting as an advocate, he is in violation of it. He has been in violation of it at least since he campaigned for John Kerry. Rules are rules, the law is the law and it applies to everyone (in this case civil servants) and the law says he should be out of a job.

    The Bush administration didn’t dare touch him given all the “Censorship” whining from other perfectly legal oversight of him. So now who expects the new administration to do so? One would certainly hope that enforcement of the law by the executive would be beyond politics, but this isn’t the case, at least since Jackson expelled the Cherokee.

    “Judge Marshall has made his decision-now let him enforce it.”

    It is not a violation of the Hatch Act to campaign for someone. The prohibitions are that you can not campaign during work hours or with Gov. funding. You cannot campaign at work and you cannot solicit funds for campaigns except for a limited rule for Union workers soliciting from other Union workers. Hansen is in his rights to campaign and protest as he likes as long as he does not claim to be doing so as a NASA employee.

  68. This is not about mountain-top mining. This is about global warming.

    Hansen has not written any papers or climate models about mountain-top mining.

    When he is done with this protest, he will be going to protest at your local coal-fired power plant and then to your local oil refinery and then to your local natural gas company and then to your local cement factory and then to your local fertilizer distributor. Then he will want to restrict your vehicle travel and your computer usage and your air conditioner and how your food is produced.

    And then …

    This doesn’t stop here.

    Anything that produces GHGs (CO2, CH4, N2O, CFCs, HCFCs) will be the subject of protests in the years ahead. If you earn a living from (well anything at all), you will be the subject of protests to shut you down in the future (as long as the science is settled).

  69. Ron House (18:08:56) : ‘rehabilitation’ that simply does not restore the productivity of the land nor its usefulness for wild animals living in a natural habitat.

    Following this reasoning we can’t build cities anymore either. What happened to all the natural animal habitat that was lost where New York City now sits? No matter where humans live, or have lived, animals are expelled from their habitats. This coal mine, and all other mining, is the same.

    If there is an alternative to cities and coal let us know about it now.

  70. They need a Hatch Act in the EU.

    The EU actually pays environmental groups to LOBBY the EU.

    And yes, you read that right.

  71. Locri (17:44:50) :

    RoyFOMR, Jim HAnsen has nothing to do with Jim HEnsen (of Muppet Fame). Sorry if you were joking, but I wanted to make sure no one actually thought the same wonderful person who brought the muppets to life has anything to do with a NASA scientist (well, at least someone who claims to be one, I should say).

    Especially since Hensen has been dead for almost 20 years now, RIP.

    Locri, You’re right on three counts at least. One, I was joking. Two, Mr HEnsen was a genius. Three, Amen and God rest his soul.

    In my defense, if I have one- albeit in seeming bad taste, it was the ‘string-pulling’ and role-reversal that Mr J. HAnsen has undergone that I wanted to bring into parody. I would like to think that Jim Hensen would have appreciated the irony.
    No disrespect was intended to our joint hero- I’m fairly sure you didn’t take it that way- but, if anyone did, I unreservedly apologise.

  72. At a time of great fiscal challenges? We can’t afford to process them, or give them free press. Break out the wood shampoo, or introduce them to Mister Clickity. Deport them to the Kuril Islands, and have ‘em protest Mother Nature’s ravaging of mountain tops.

    I think when someone advertises that they are going to create civil disruption, there’s gotta be a different way to process the situation. Mr. Hansen needs to improve our alternative energy options instead of protesting. What exactly does he expect the rest of us to do without coal? Blocking innocent people trying to do their daily activities??? Activists, blech.

  73. timetochooseagain says:

    The Bush administration didn’t dare touch him given all the “Censorship” whining from other perfectly legal oversight of him.

    Wally has already pointed out that you misinterpretted the Hatch act. However, you are also incorrect in regards to the “perfectly legal oversight” of him. The NASA inspector general report () concluded:

    Our investigation found that during the fall of 2004 through early 2006, the NASA Headquarters Office of Public Affairs managed the topic of climate change in a manner that reduced, marginalized, or mischaracterized climate change science made available to the general public through those particular media over which the Office of Public Affairs had control (i.e., news releases and media access).

    Further, it is our conclusion that the NASA Headquarters Office of Public Affairs’ actions were inconsistent with the mandate and intent of NASA’s controlling legislation—the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 19581 (Space Act) and NASA’s implementing regulations—insomuch as they prevented “the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination” of information concerning NASA’s activities and results.

    Regarding media access, our investigation confirmed that, contrary to its established procedures, the NASA Headquarters Office of Public Affairs declined to make one of NASA’s scientists, Dr. James E. Hansen, available for a radio interview with National Public Radio in December 2005.

  74. RoyFOMR (17:13:23) :

    Przemysław, we have a problem. These guys fight dirty, their opinions are infinitely defensible against logic, empirical observations and appeals to reason. Hubristic certainties and self-aggrandizement- given the stakes involved- trump honesty.

    I know. But it just happens that those who should be despised for what they did are becoming celeb persons, then leaders of many wacko movements, like Hanoi Jane. Just recently I have seen her mug on TV ad here in Poland. Perhaps Mr Hansen aims at Senate post? Who knows. Instead of being spit at he will represent the Nation. That’s the way the world goes on, not only “American world”.

    I beg your pardon but I think you lose. The U.S. is on decline path – Beltway elites stopped listen to or pay attention to the voters’ voices many years ago. The present Socialist Regime in Washington will pass the damn Climate Bill without asking anyone. IT IS ALL ABOUT the DARNED MONEY! Cap’n’Trade is at stake! Zillions of bucks for elitists’ vaults! The Dems are not stupid, why not to grab the chance to earn money-for-nothing and according to law? Only bloody riots could force them back. And even that possibility was processed and preparations were made.

    U.S. Republics turned to “democracy” some time before, now she hit the bottom turning into “tyrrany of democracy”. Mr Hansen wants to roost his chicken in this mess. And he will do it whether you will discuss his deeds for one day or for a full month. It will change nothing, that’s why I wrote my words – it’s simply a waste of time to ponder Mr Hansen’s behavior.

    Best regards

  75. Wally: There is similar legislation in Canada, even a little broader.

    David Suzuki must state, in most public engagements, that he is there as a private citizen, and not in any capacity for his Suzuki Foundation.

    Otherwise, his Foundation would suffer the same fate as Greenpeace, and be taken off tax-exempt status, and be officially labeled a Lobbying Group.

  76. Dave Wendt,

    There is no campaign to remove Jimbo Lysneko Hansen from office. If you wish to launch one, get organized and go ahead. Problem is, this “man”, this “government employee”, this “public servant”, this “scientist”, this NASA “employee”, has an agenda and is using his bureaucratic office in tre US government to further it. This is illegal. It is up to US citizens to have him charged for violations of whatever acts apply in the US,

  77. Given the observed cooling of the planet, Dr. Hansen should consider a career change. He may have a more lucrative career in environmental activism.

  78. Joel,
    My respect for you, for what it’s worth, rises with every post you make. One day, I may even allow you to buy me a pint! Seriously, you come over as a really nice guy.
    RSVP- not needed – I’m just giving credit where due.

  79. Perhaps when the coal is exhausted the residents of the area could rework the mine into some thing like this.

  80. Przemysław Pawełczyk (18:46:22) :
    Darn it, I hope you’re wrong and I still hold on, however weakly, to the possibility that both Jane and John Doe are capable of locating the BS-detector, on-switch of their remote control and pushing downwards!

  81. For information regarding reclamation of surface mined land, look at the Kentucky Elk restoration project. Former MTR lands have been reclaimed with native grasses and now have the largest elk population east of the Mississippi River. Other wildlife, too, have flourished. I don’t believe we will ever see Mr. Hansen or Ms. Hannah in this beautiful area for any photo ops, lest it be to protest an elk hunt (now required to maintain an ever growing herd).

    http://www.trailsrus.com/elk/

  82. Mmm, mountain top stripping – so, shall we protest when Mt. St. Helens blows it stack? What about Pinatubo? (etc. etc.)

    “What do we want – no more volcanoes; when do we want it? Boom, arrghh, thud.”

    Mountain top removal ain’t pretty it’s true but you could argue, for instance, that here in old blighty we have scarred the landscape over the past several hundred years; turning once pristine forests (lovely CO2 absorbers) into nasty cultivated land; thus destroying millenia of nature’s work – that’d be England’s green and pleasant land gone then.

    What about the vast swathes of land given over to urbanisation, far greater in area than any one mountain summit; oh wait, no, that’s ok because we live there…

    The man should be sacked. I used to work for HMG and if I’d been involved in anything like this I’d have been “binned” – esp. if arrested, whatever the motivation / justification.

    Cheers

    Mark

  83. Cap and Tax will be voted on in the House on Friday. Looks like the Demos have their votes lined up.

    But we can all relax now because “a new EPA analysis showed that it would raise household energy costs on average only an extra $80 to $111 a year.”

  84. If any of you think that Hansen would be fired by this administration if he doesn’t kill somebody are dreaming.

  85. since the start of human history, we have had our work tied to mining. when will it end? when will people realize that there more to be gained by NOT mining?

  86. Smokey (17:38:15) :

    “Finally, who are you to tell workers in West Virginia that they must give up their jobs to make you happy? I’ll bet you’ve never even been to West Virginia.

    I don’t think you would appreciate it if someone came to your town and told you to give up your job simply because they didn’t think you should be doing it.”

    Actually, I would go further and say that, for the sake of the over burdened taxpayers, we should close GISS permanently because their “products” are redundant, or could be performed better by other government agencies. Who needs GISTEMP or Model E when you have NOAA and NCAR? Moreover, their offices in NY City are probably some of the most expensive real estate to maintain in all of NASA.

    I’m sure Hansen could be reassigned as President Obama’s personal climatologist…or maybe even a climate czar!!

  87. Right, RoyFOMR, Joel is a welcome true believer here. He hasn’t convinced anyone of his [repeatedly falsified] CO2=AGW hypothesis, but I’ll bet Joel would make an excellent next door neighbor. We could lean on the fence, and discuss the weather.

    But the central question, as always, is this: does an increase in CO2 translate into higher planetary temperatures?

    I’m still waiting for Joel’s article on that one.

  88. RE: Mountaintop Removal
    This is a safer and more efficient way to extract the coal.
    Reclamation can and usually does return the land to a similar and often greater productivity.
    Possibly thanks to minesite runnoff retention ponds the Elk River in south east BC is a trophy trout stream. (it may not be the retention ponds, it could be the selenium).
    You need Mega-Pull to get an invite to fish for trophy trout in the tailing ponds at Highland Valley Copper
    There have been some interesting reclamation failures. At one copper mine the reclamation failed because the deer ate all the trees. The deer were there because the mine site was a no hunting area and funny two legged animals kept planting succlent young trees.
    Back to mountain top removal. Here in BC we call it “Terrain Modification”.
    Back to Jim Hansen, he will discouver it was a “career altering experience”.
    From a former civil servant

  89. He did not campaign as Jim Hansen, regular guy, but as James Hansen, AGW prophet and NASA genius scientist. “Vote Kerry because he will deal with AGW, which is a problem and I should know, I’m James Hansen”. What would be the point of campaigning as a regular guy?

    Don’t waste my time with the censorship BS…this has been dealt with before, he was whining about nothing.

  90. So Hanson is against Mountain top removal….. I wonder if he is against erosion as well?

    I mean, after all…. That nasty rain has just about dissolved all of Australia’s mountains over the eons….. We plum ‘got none left anymore. Bad rain. bad!

    Please Mr Hanson, Help us. Now that you have banned Carbon dioxide, we need you to move on excessive rainfall…. And it may also be a good idea to halve the effect of gravity…. Think of all the people who fall off mountain tops!

  91. Dave Wendt(17:56:11) :

    “I think we should rethink the campaign to have Mr. Hansen removed from office with this bit of history in mind. I suggest that leaving him exactly where he is will make the task of turning public sentiment around on AGW easier to accomplish than having him removed from his public position would.”

    I agree. Hansen is gradually descending into a world of delusion and his recent appearances do more harm to the alarmists than to the skeptics.

    In regard to the real subject of Hansen’s appearance in WVa, many of the above posts object to MTR because of it’s impact on the environment in general and the local fauna in particular. It’s hard to read some of the extreme environmentalists’ concern for the wildlife without sensing a collateral contempt for us mere humans.

    This past week my 4-year old grandson came down with Lyme disease caused by a tick bite. The tick, the carrier of the disease, more likely than not picked up this spirochetal bacteria from the local deer population which has expanded greatly in the Northeast thanks to various layers of protection afforded these seemingly benign creatures. You’ll pardon me if I don’t share the deep concerns of those who would favor the proliferation of the wild animal population over homo sapiens.

  92. “Elizabeth (18:48:55) : Given the observed cooling of the planet, Dr. Hansen should consider a career change. He may have a more lucrative career in environmental activism.”

    Not if the letters “NASA” are taken off his name.

  93. My impression is that ordinary everyday people are no longer impacted by these stunts. In the early days of the enviro movement, it may have made the news, now it only really makes if it is a slow news day. If a celebrity makes an appearance, people are more likely to criticise their dress / makeup than their commitment to the cause (am I just cynical?). My guess is that there are more hippies living up trees now than ever before (google Forestry protests = 326 000 hits). It is a rite of passage.

    Now to really get yourself noticed James … http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6548107.stm – that’s what I call dedication to the cause.

    I know that coal comes from open cut mines. I enjoy the electricity generated from it. I know cfl bulbs contain mercury and are made in China which must have one of the worst environmental records. I still have to buy them now that the alternatives are phased out in Australia.

    I am employed in an industry that uses portland cement – a significant CO2 emmiter in manufacture but we also use flyash from coal fired power stations that helps reduce cement use. It pays my salary and my taxes. I also believe we should tread lightly wherever possible – it is the only planet we have.

    As far as 2 deg C of cataclysmic climate change goes, I have always lived in locations where the average temperature is between 18deg C and 21deg C with annual ranges from 0 deg C minimum to 40 deg C maximum and I can assure you it is quite liveable and I perfer the heat to the cold.

    Seriously, as long as we live in a consumer driven society that promotes and values on going consumption, there will be steady demand for all things that emit and offend. Those of a more radical outlook will continue to enjoy the benefits that come from participation in this society whilst righteously sniping from the edges. That doesn’t make them the enemy – but it helps us redefine the middle ground.

  94. I really hate to say anything good about Jimbo, but I do applaud him for sticking up for his beliefs. He did this as a citizen, and he had a perfect right to do so.

  95. Hank (20:18:39) :

    Hansen has lost his mind. Is he having problems in his marriage?

    Enough already. Too many are trying to accuse Hansen of making this a political stunt.
    It is scientific from the get go. Daryl Hanna is providing scientific peer review for his works.
    She has risked her life coming to support a fellow scientist. Daryl would not risk a blemish on her c.V. for this cause if it fell short in any way.

    Move along now.

  96. TonyB (14:57:33) :

    …, but please just keep him in the US will you?

    Tonyb,

     I live outside of Washington, DC.  In the USA, each state rounds up their least desirable citizens and elects them to Congress.  It at least gets them out of their state and into Washington.  Lucky me. :-)

    –Mike

     

  97. He was Big, now he’s small. Let the scoop be of the same dimension as of the person he has become, doing what he do lately.

    I didn’t realize this before now, but now it seems pretty obvious — I surmise that NASA scientist Jim Hansen wants to become a martyr for his cause. Before, I thought he was just a science geek who went near the edge, but I’m thinking now he wants to make it look like others have pushed him to this. Going out in a blaze of glory, being fired from NASA for one civil disobedience or another may be the only step he now feels he can make. Or the biggest statement.

  98. Gordon Ford (19:22:36) :

    Surface Mining safer than Underground?
    No!

    http://www.msha.gov/fatals/fabc2009.asp

    Powered Haulage at the surface is the #1 killer these days.
    As always, complacency is the enemy, no matter what you are doing.
    At a mine, everything is conspiring to kill you, irregardless of what sector you work in. If you screw up, you won’t get a 2nd chance.
    Stay alert, stay alive. Safety is everyone’s business.

  99. Quoting oakgeo:
    “Does employment preclude activism?”

    Commenting:
    Yes, it does, if you work for the federal gov’t.
    Mike Griffin got canned (I believe) for his refusal to accept the global warming hoax. That much is crystal clear and completely unjustified.

    Hansen could be fired for a number of real, legal and justified reasons, but he won’t be.
    That much is completely corrupt and abundantly hypocritical.

    As I said before, the future of space exploration will be in private industry.
    NASA is now a pale image of a once noble enterprise.

  100. Mountaintop removal is just the “new rage” term for open pit mining. Open pits have been used to produce needed mineral resources for over 100 years.

    The alternative to these are underground mines where miners by the hundreds (or thousands) die worldwide every year.

    Open pit mining, in addition to being far safer, is also much less expensive, thus allowing cost efficient extraction of low grade mineral deposits.

    Decommissioning of open pit mines in the US, Canada, Australia and other civilized nations of the world is a requirement. While these sites are not likely to be mistaken for natural landscape features by a knowledgeable person, they are not unpleasant to the eye.

    Old open pit mines that were not decommissioned in the modern fashion, can be difficult for most to differentiate from the natural landscape features in temperate areas. Less so in deserts and tundra.

    Hansen is just using the look of of an operational mine to create an impression that coal mines, in addition to killing the planet with their produce, are ugly scars on the landscape, and thus an environmental eyesore.

    Luddites all, Hansen and his minions will not be happy until all the rest of us are removed from the planet. That will allow him and the 10,000 eco-idiots to live quite happily in a stone age existence.

    I say drop them off in the remotest corner of the most remote wilderness and let them try and survive without their computers, cell phones, and electric cars. Don’t waste money or time letting them languish in the jails.

  101. Fools names and fools faces often appear in public places… I’ve always thought that the greatest thing about the freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas is the sideshows.

  102. Can this guy really be trusted to look at the facts with a skeptical eye (as is a requirement of good science) and to manage the temperature record without biase? If they put realistic evapotranspiration values into ModelE and found it cancelled co2 induced warming for example, would they publish this and put there hands up and say oops silly me?

    If they find a station reporting falling temps I suspect it would be investigated as this is “odd” but stations showing warming are assumed “correct” as this is what is predicted?

    People with predetermined outcomes in mind will not look at both sides of the data fairly, as their view is skewed. Hansen has proven his view is very skewed and he is as much an environmental advocate as he is a scientist. Though he is welcome to express his personnel views, I only hope they do not effect his work, as there is a definite conflict of interest.

    Firing him may be excessive, but an independant review should be carried out to assess whether or not he is capable of being un-biased and independant in his work. If there is a conflict of interest he should be put to pasture somewhere out of media attention.

  103. imapopulist (18:05:42) :

    “So I am certain you would feel the same if a government health and human services official was arrested protesting at an abortion clinic?” You’ld be wrong.

    “How do you suppose Mr. Hansen can serve as both an advocate and an objective scientist? Rhetorical – he cannot.” I happen to agree. But freedom of expression and assembly are there for everyone. If NASA has policies in place, then they can try to use them… but do you really think alarmists would miss a rallying point like that? A foolish Hansen moment would become an alarmist lightening rod. Scary.

  104. It seems to me that the proper course of action is for the state and local authorities involved with this protest and the arrests that followed to send a bill for the entire cost to NASA. The public call to come and get arrested attracted others to this protest, and Jim H. should get the credit (and bill) he deserves. I really don’t think the citizens of West Virginia should have to pay for it, and as has been pointed out earlier, it’s only his position as a NASA scientist (Formerly a scientist? Should I call him an activist instead?) that enabled him to attract celebrities and others to the protest. If NASA is OK with Jim Hansen’s actions, they should foot the bill. If they aren’t, they should fire him.

    West Virginia is not one of the richest states in the USA, and they can hardly afford the cost of celebrities coming in from out of state to waste precious resources. Let NASA pay for the entire cost incurred to the various agencies. If NASA refuses, take them to court.

    Dan

  105. Bill: if you are opposed to coal mining, then you better support uranium mining. We need energy. If you are emotionally invested in scenery, then take a look at the way they do uranium mining these days – it’s called in-situ mining. You can barely even tell that there is a mining operation going on. Just remember, if we don’t grow it, we mine it. Either way, the earth and man’s ingenuity are providing us all with a far, far better life than our ancestors had. And don’t feel guilty about it – there is nothing wrong with this.

  106. The problem with MTR, as I understand it, is that the coal company has to blast the top off the mountain, which fills the surrounding valleys with dust for days. Instead of a few miners filling their chest with coal dust, everybody in the surrounding area gets a dose of silica dust in their lungs. This is not a good thing.

    [Open pit mining is something completely different.]

    The long term MTR effect on the environment is very small, since this technique is not useful everywhere and restoration is thorough. The short range effect on people is much more significant. I’d side with Hansen on this one. If he wants to abandon AGW for MTR, more power to him.

  107. Unfortunately, from the comments here – this ride is virtually over. But fun while it lasted!

  108. I’m curious if Hansen has a security clearance? The arrest would need to be reported, and could potentially jeopardize his job if a clearance is required for the position. The Hatch Act is being misinterpreted and, from what I’ve read, it has never really been invoked anyway. Security issues, and this would clearly be a security issue, are taken very, very seriously, however.

    Mark

    *Seriously enough that people usually report themselves when they’ve committed an infraction. Better to admit it and get a slap then fail to disclose and get it revoked, which is a permanent condition.

  109. Joel Shore (18:39:08)

    However, you are also incorrect in regards to the “perfectly legal oversight” of him. The NASA inspector general report () concluded:

    Our investigation found that during the fall of 2004 through early 2006, the NASA Headquarters Office of Public Affairs managed the topic of climate change in a manner that reduced, marginalized, or mischaracterized climate change science made available to the general public through those particular media over which the Office of Public Affairs had control (i.e., news releases and media access).

    Further, it is our conclusion that the NASA Headquarters Office of Public Affairs’ actions were inconsistent with the mandate and intent of NASA’s controlling legislation—the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 19581 (Space Act) and NASA’s implementing regulations—insomuch as they prevented “the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination” of information concerning NASA’s activities and results.

    Regarding media access, our investigation confirmed that, contrary to its established procedures, the NASA Headquarters Office of Public Affairs declined to make one of NASA’s scientists, Dr. James E. Hansen, available for a radio interview with National Public Radio in December 2005.

    That IG report is an interesting document, but it hardly constitutes a smoking gun in terms of any “illegality” in NASA’s treatment of Mr. Hansen. The only instance that even rose to the level of a violation of policy was the NPR incident, in which the the problem was quickly admitted to and more specific rules promulgated shortly thereafter. The bulk of the rest of the report seems to devolve to a dispute in interpretation of the Space Act between the Public Affairs personnel and the IG, whose unique view seems to me to imply that any cluck on the payroll who calls himself a scientist ought to have an unfettered right to dispense press releases without any interference from the chain of command. I also found it interesting that the IG seemed to have no compunction against offering personal characterizations and imputations of political motivation for the personnel of the PA office, while it seemed not to enter his mind at all that the “scientists” involved might have political motivations of their own for some of their more editorial additions to their press releases. Despite the spate of terminations of IGs of other agencies lately, I suspect, given the “even-handed” nature of this report, that this fellow’s tenure in the job is not in danger.

  110. Bulk mineral commodities like iron ore and coal are mined at lower cost when (a) there is less overburden weight to remove and (b) gravity assists full haul trucks down the hill instead of up out of a pit. So less fuel is used, less GHG is produced, lighter machinery is needed and the product takes less from your wallet.

    In brief, this is the logic of hilltop mining. Now, if you can provide a good reason why a rounded, rehabilitated hilltop is better than a flat, rehabilitated hilltop, after the mining is over, I’d be keen to listen. Nature is lowering hills all over the world every second of the day.

    As to breaking the law in protest about hilltop mining, that should never be allowed. The difference between a civil country and an unruly one is adherence to the rule of law. You can admire the person for the strength of beliefs (no matter how ignorant) but you cannot condone deliberate breaking of the law.

  111. Actually if the only issue here is carbon soot/ silica been spread around for people to breath (I am sure the company in questions would have measures in place that the Carbon would collapse on to the ground ect?), I would tend to agree with Jorge. Maybe Hansen has only gone in this capacity?

  112. “Meanwhile, back at the RealClimate ranch today, the sound of crickets…”
    have not looked at real climate for a while but looks like i have not missed much. They have a post every week or so while wuwt has two or three a day. Looks like it got quiet after the weblog awards or is it that since the science is settled there is not much to say.

  113. Joel

    Good post, but like Smokey I am still waiting for your article.

    As regards Hansen’s protest, this is the right climate war but perhaps the wrong PR battle on which sceptics should fight it? Surely there are plenty of other battles coming up we would all feel more comfortable fighting-and yes of course I understand the politics involved here.

    Still, these are your mountain tops and your environment, and at least this stops him coming over to the UK causing trouble :)

    Tonyb.

  114. Could you see Christopher Monckton making such an ass of himself in public?

    Note to Anthony – ass = donkey not the other kind of “ass”. Although that works too… :D

  115. jorgekafkazar (23:01:32) :
    The long term MTR effect on the environment is very small, since this technique is not useful everywhere and restoration is thorough. The short range effect on people is much more significant. I’d side with Hansen on this one. If he wants to abandon AGW for MTR, more power to him

    I suggest you look at the Appalachian Mountains on Google Earth. Most Brown mountaintops seen are the result of mining.
    The latest version of google earth has a historical view option which allows you to see the before and after effects.
    The MTR is extensive (some sites suggest 500 locations). Note that the removal happens usually 1 peak away from a road (hiding it from view). Check out some of the action group web sites – restoration is more covering the hole with vegetation, not clearing the filled valleys and filling holes.

  116. Wonder who removed Mt St Helens’ top for example? Praps he should lead a protest against him (or her).

  117. “I am not a politician, I am a scientist and a citizen” – If it walks like a politician, talks like a politician and lies like a politician, then a politician is what it is, protestations to the contrary.

  118. “Meanwhile, back at the RealClimate ranch today, the sound of crickets…”

    Apparently, the downturn (cooling?) in their recent postings is “..because of the preparations for the next IPCC assessment and the need for our group to have a functioning and reasonably realistic climate model with which to start the new round of simulations”

    A functioning and reasonably realistic climate model? Well, that would be a good start! I wonder what they had before..?

  119. Anti snip mode – on

    How can someone who holds the highest office in the United States of America utter to the entire World a statement about Carbon Dioxide polluting water? Coca Cola want to reply?

    If he were in the UK [ his comment would be considered a possibility in the junior schools] so he would have to write out 300 times……..

    ” I must not open my mouth and put both feet in at the same time!”

    Any of his staff to be seen wincing in the TV background?

    But then we have George Brown….. Doh!

    Reply: You get the self control award of the day. ~ charles the moderator

  120. You don’t become the head of NASA without being smart. Getting himself arrested was the perfect way to avoid the debate.

  121. Can we get big print-outs of various volcanic eruptions as posters with captions like “Nature does MTR!!” to be present at the debate.
    That ISS one would be too impressive not to catch media attention.

  122. You guys are just going off in the wrong direction: there is so much derision with respect to Hansen that the blinders are hard to remove.

    The issue here is simple: removing the top of a mountain. Anyone ever seen it? This is exactly analogous to dumping pollutants into rivers.

    I’m very pleased that at least someone famous [or maybe famous in his own mind] is standing up for this appalling activity.

    Cut the guy some slack and enough of the ad hominem. Agree or not the guy has balls to stand up for what he believes.

  123. Is Hansen’s politics driving his science? Or is his science driving his politics? That would be a main criteria for me in deciding whether he keeps his job. He certainly has a right to protest, and no one is saying otherwise. Civil disobedience raises the stakes. I accept Dr. Martin Luther King’s concept: we live a society where civil disobedience works. If your cause is just, your punishment for your civil disobedience brings shame to the government for its unjust laws, and (according to MLK) you are obligated to willingly and peacefully accept the consequences for civil disobedience.

  124. @Brian Johnson uk

    “We have George Brown – Doh!” Sadly not, we have the Gordon version; at least George Brown used to make us laugh.

  125. If James Hansen is willing to be arrested to support his belief in Global Warming, why wouldn’t he also be willing to doctor the GISS data to support that belief? After this demonstation of his priorities, how can anything that comes out of GISS be trusted?

  126. The AGWers could make a huge difference. Just stop uisng energy. Simple. If they’re in the majority that should make a huge difference. Those who advocate population reduction should set an example by reducing the numbers by one immdeiately.

    If these people want to lead they should lead by example and do the decent thing.

    keep up the good work Anthony. More Agwers pop up here now and don;t they juts say the most amazing things! If this wasn’t such a hugely important issued it would be pretty entertaining.

  127. Lance (14:44:57) :

    Boy, Daryl Hannah has really let herself go!

    Thanks for the laugh Lance :-)))

    Hansen has been a joke ever since the ‘hockey stick’ graph debacle, and it’s been down-hill for him ever since – just like global temperatures.

    Like religion, science has been used many times by politicians in the past to manipulate public opinion. The methods of Stalin and Hitler are still being used today as a reason to force through a reduction in fossil fuel consumption and keep energy cost high.

  128. Tom_R: “If James Hansen is willing to be arrested to support his belief in Global Warming, why wouldn’t he also be willing to doctor the GISS data to support that belief?”

    How can you compare protesting to doctoring data? Obviously you have not used your freedom of speech to the full extent that you are allowed… or do you live in Iran?

  129. Hansen needs to be fired — badly.

    People complaining here about the politics doesn’t seem genuine to me. AGW is leftist politics through its entire core. Even if you try to avoid it you still see it everywhere. Hansen has been screaming about coal plants being death trains while pretending to be a scientist, he is a leftist political advocate who is abusing his scientific credentials to his own advantage.

    He would do better now on Al’s advisory board and he should be fired.

    Thanks for the article.

  130. Michael Spencer (04:26:52) :
    well said.

    Not sure about the second para though.

    Destroying the American wilderness is no different to the rain forest destruction in other countries. it is WRONG.

    James Hansen is willing to put his future on the line for his beliefs. This is admirable. Why was Lord Monkton not there driving the bulldozer at the protestors?

    I am truly appalled at some of your responses.

  131. “blochhead (06:06:16) :

    How can you compare protesting to doctoring data? Obviously you have not used your freedom of speech to the full extent that you are allowed… or do you live in Iran?”

    I’m comparing willful lawbreaking to doctoring of data. If he views his lawbreaking as justified in order to save the world, couldn’t he view data doctoring as justified in order to save the world? Maybe he considers doctoring data as beyond the limit, but how can we really know? What we do know is that he’s willing to step over a legal line in order to promote his beliefs.

  132. Mother Nature removes mountain tops all the time. They are called volcanoes. That humans would help out nature AND benefit mankind should be applauded. Hansen is an out of control ass who should be examined by a mental health professional.

  133. “Note to NASA: Now can you fire this guy?”….

    I think you’re correct that Dr. Hansen should be fired.

    Given his clear activist position, his firing should immediately be followed by a complete independent review of the Temperature Record maintained by him to determine it’s validity. Only then can it be determined just how off this guy is.

  134. Michael Spencer (04:26:52) :

    “The issue here is simple: removing the top of a mountain. Anyone ever seen it? This is exactly analogous to dumping pollutants into rivers.”

    Utter rubbish. It is not.

    bill (06:08:25) :

    Michael Spencer (04:26:52) :
    well said.

    Not sure about the second para though.

    Destroying the American wilderness is no different to the rain forest destruction in other countries. it is WRONG.

    James Hansen is willing to put his future on the line for his beliefs. This is admirable. Why was Lord Monkton not there driving the bulldozer at the protestors?

    I am truly appalled at some of your responses.

    A hilltop (hardly a mountain, please) in W.VA is hardly the “the American wilderness”. The state may have a rep for being hillbilly backward, but not that backward. Some of you must still live in naturally hollowed-out caves, and missed the last 1000 years.

    “…putting his future on the line for his beliefs” is only admirable when the cause is just, his future is truly at risk, and his beliefs have the weight of moral truth. He fails on all three counts. For a man in his position of trust, that’s not admirable, that’s an abomination.

    As a mammalian ecologist, other than for possible aesthetic reasons, I have no scientific problem with flat-topping a hill. Get over yourselves.

  135. bill and michael spencer are right. i’m not a fan of hansen, but in this case he is right. sorry anthony and et.al, but you are wrong. and take note, that i’m not a warmist. because the protest was not against global warming. it was against ecological damages. i think mr. obama promised not to authorize this type of mining (may be i’m wrong).
    excuse me my bad english

  136. One of the greatest liberties that any people can have is the freedom to speak out on matters of conscience. This freedom should be inviolable.

    It is important however to remember that freedom comes with responsibility and that although one is at liberty to speak freely, they must also be willing to suffer the consequences if their speech is false, misleading or causes others to come to harm.

    While I do not feel that Hansen should be fired, I do think he is knowingly distorts the truth and should answer for this. I am satisfied that he will eventually be shown to be what he is, and will suffer the humiliation that only time can deliver.

    PS: I still would like to see Hansen and his Luddite friends dropped off in the middle of nowhere rather than jailed (or fired).

  137. It is a great statewide radio talk show (called Metronews Talkline) every day from 10:00 to 12:00 noon. Look for “Metronews Talkline With Hoppy Kercheval”.

  138. Bill-aren’t familiar West Virginia.That wilderness has been occupied by
    people for at least 12,000 years.Indians and Europeans both.It has been cut, burned,
    and bulldozed.The hard wood forests we see in the east are because we quit making ships out of wood.We are the Saudi Arabia of Coal.-Probably at least 500 years worth.
    If we get rid of our civilization-we may have to go back to Clipper Ships and Wood fired Steam Locomotives.-If we want to maintain a Low tech civilization….

  139. I suggest you get John Ziggler on this facebook thing…

    FireJamesHansenl.com is what we need

  140. It looks like the debate between Hansen and Blankenship will not happen. They cannot agree on a time.

  141. stumpy (22:18:16) :
    Can this guy really be trusted to look at the facts with a skeptical eye (as is a requirement of good science) and to manage the temperature record without biase? . . .

    People with predetermined outcomes in mind will not look at both sides of the data fairly, as their view is skewed. Hansen has proven his view is very skewed and he is as much an environmental advocate as he is a scientist. . .

    Firing him may be excessive, but an independant review should be carried out to assess whether or not he is capable of being un-biased and independant in his work. If there is a conflict of interest he should be put to pasture somewhere out of media attention.

    Ah, but who shall do the ‘independent review’? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? or roughly, “let the fox guard the chicken coop?”

    The entire Administration, and most of the Congress, are now marching in lockstep toward the cliff of ‘global warming’. The believers are convinced that Paradise lies at the bottom. The rest are too timid not to go along, or figure they can profit by selling hotdogs to the marchers.

    It is time for government to get its fingers out of science, or if that is not possible in this post-WWII era of grantsmanship, for an independent, non-governmental body to be created to review all government science (both agency and grant-supported), and all results. It should be composed of retired scientists, academics, scientists and engineers in business, and laymen with no identifiable axe to grind, other than a devotion to objectivity and the scientific method.

    Write your Congressman. Anyone here from Oklahoma? I’ll bet the estimable Sen. Inhofe would be interested.

    /Mr Lynn

  142. I believe that when you hire on as a federal employee, you are told that being involved in political activist activities are a firing offence. He is a representative of the U.S. Gov. and is restricted from this kind of activity.

  143. Follow the money

    In an interview just published in The Guardian, he states that President Obama has “four years to save the earth.” This latest incarnation of his great climate alarm is mostly based on a projected rise in sea level rise, a scenario that our Chip Knappenberger analyzed critically in his post yesterday.

    James Hansen started his little love triangle between himself, Enron and various radical groups long ago.

    http://masterresource.org/?p=408

    Read about SO2 cap and trade here. enron started it.

    http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/2007/10/enron-and-carbon-trading.html

    More on enron’s trading activities and counter traders.

    http://www.classicalvalues.com/archives/2009/06/more_enron_and.html

    In my company, a senior exec was instrumental in helping enron kick off manufacturing of blades and turbines in California and starting their wind enterprise.
    (which is now GE)
    Warren buffet now owns the enron gas transmission system formerly known as Internorth.
    Northern Natural gas. I had one of their executives as an employee before Enron bought them.

  144. Dr James Hansen ROCKS! He’s one of the brightest, intrepid and down to Earth scientists that NASA employs. The fact that we are burning more coal is awful, the fact that it is spitting out mercury that poisoning the air and the ocean effects all of us. Rock on Dr James!

  145. Jim Hansen has this arrangement with the New York Times. Hansen does something newsy and in return the Times prints his name in the paper for him to read. It started a long time ago when Andrew Revkin of the New York Times decided Hansen was going to be his source for an environmental story- since then it’s been a long love affair. … Personally I think Revkin needs a new source. The wheels seem to be falling off the story of Jim Hansen. His life is starting to resemble an episode of the Simpsons. Not to say it all isn’t entertaining but how about something a little more fresh for news pages … How about Monckton! Peer of the realm (hereditary-no less), striding onto the scene, inserting himself into the aftermath of a supreme court case (the state of Massachusetts v. the EPA (quite a story itself and whose comment period has just ended (http://www.regulations.gov))), waving his 50 red flags of scientific fraud, invoking the name of Eisenhower (hero to Europe if not the U.S.) alerting us not to become captives of a “scientific-technological elite” (in Eisenhower’s terms), pulling the pants down off of agency heads and doing it all in the coolest manner and with the most cordial of tones.

  146. Several posters have expressed admiration for a man standing up for his principles. I’m guessing that these same people would, on other occasions, bemoan a man’s inability to graciously acknowledge that he is wrong.
    Principles are useful as a temporary guide for one’s life, so that one doesn’t have to philosophize over every mundane decision. They are, however, a complete menace when attempting to understand the world or come to an agreement with other people about what action to take.

  147. Wow. I can’t believe the number of people who want Hansen fired for his opinions and advocacy thereof. He’s not passing himself off as any kind of NASA or government spokesman; what exactly is the problem with his use of his right to free speech?

    You don’t like his views? Too bad.

  148. “… the guy has balls to stand up for what he believes.’

    Stuff and nonsense! The kids on the street in Tehran have balls. All Hansen has is a swollen ego and a talent for self-advertisement.

  149. I am shocked!
    Does this disregard for environment extend to the various rainforests that are being burned. Afterall “its only a few trees”.

  150. Dr Reese

    Nice Blog.

    Saw the bit about Honey bees. They are decling in the UK too but the Govt has only allocated a tiny sum to deal with it. A big mistake as they are the building blocks of our food chain.

    Tonyb

  151. “Gary Strand (08:22:19) :

    Wow. I can’t believe the number of people who want Hansen fired for his opinions and advocacy thereof. He’s not passing himself off as any kind of NASA or government spokesman; what exactly is the problem with his use of his right to free speech?

    You don’t like his views? Too bad.”

    Let me break this down for you. The issue is separate here. He has no right to trespass on business property and interfere with commerce.

    If you don’t like your bank, tell us. You will be arrested if you take cameras and a movie star into the vault and interfere.
    Your strawman is getting him “fired for his opinions”/

    No it is getting fired for illegal physical behavior. Free speech doesn’t grant free trespassing rights. I can disagree with the Pres. I can’t throw tomatoes or shoes.

  152. bill: “Destroying the American wilderness is no different to the rain forest destruction in other countries. it is WRONG.”

    Sounds to me like you’re making a moral assertion. Justify.

  153. It’s called civil disobedience, and Hansen has as much right to engage in it as anyone else.

  154. Note to people that are comparing Dr. Mike Griffin’s departure from NASA to James Hansen.

    Dr. Griffin is required to submit his resignation as he is a Senior Executive Service (SES) member that serves at the pleasure of the president. Dr. Griffin was not fired, he was simply not reappointed by the new administration that wanted to put their own team members into place.

    As someone with a LOT of inside insight related to why Dr. Griffin was not reappointed, his position on Global Warming was a quatanary consideration at best.

  155. Once the seas were considered a inexhaustable source of food. (only true when you go out with your 2 man boat and net) now fish “stocks” are at danger level and ineffectual limits have been european-wide (globally?) imposed. Once the seas were considered large enough for all toxioc waste/sewage/garbage to be absorbed without problem. This was true when populations were small.

    We have shown that the ocean is a limit resource/dump.

    Rain Forrests seemed to be so massive that we could not harm them. But give man a big enough machine/fire and a desire for profit and we have decimated them.

    Has anyone here looked a google earth? the destruction of mountains is significant. One day you, or probably your children, will realise how short sighted you have been.

  156. “Does Hansen’s civil disobedience actually stop Hansen from doing his day job effectively?”

    I think it might – whose time was he on when the photo was taken? If he books leave when he’s out protesting, he must have racked up quite a few days this year!

  157. If James Hanson wantsto do something effective to stop global warming, all he needs to do is resign and let his successor adjust the GISTEMP series back to something approaching reality at around 0.3C lower.

  158. Those defending Hansen:

    With this stunt, Hansen has shown us all something about his character. Not content to go through channels to accomplish something, he (like others of his generation) wants to shortcut. Shortcuts are not an acceptable way to achieve an aim.

    Protests in the street and at industrial sites are not “clever”, or “practical”, or “cool”, or whatever word you want to find. They are stupid. To this day I know people who earnestly believe that demonstrations “ended” the Vietnam war. They didn’t. What they did was embolden the enemy and cost lives. People blocking nuclear transportation and getting their legs cut off were stupid. Rachel whats-her-name getting run over by a bulldozer was stupid.

    “Awareness” is more than just getting arrested. Every time I see anyone doing this (and that includes picketing abortion clinics), I lose any respect I might have had for their cause.

    Just because Hansen, or you, believe passionately in something does NOT give you some sort of right to force your passionate belief on ME, or others. I happen to think that Hansen is WRONG, and I’m equally passionate in that belief. However, you won’t see me picketing his office or getting arrested trying to make a point.

    This insane stunt WAS related to the AGW agenda, the whole lead-up was about “dirty coal” and mentioned the damage done to future generations. Most likely they chose this method of mining as a (not so) sneaky way to get some of their detractors on-side, after all, who could possibly condone cutting down a mountain??? It’s for the children!

    I, for one, have absolutely nothing against this sort of mining, and neither did you until Mr. “Awareness” told you about it. Shame on those who are so easily manipulated. Did you think some “evil” rich guy came along one day and said, “Hey, let’s just cut the whole mountain down!” ? Of course not. There are historical and economic reasons this is being done. How many died in conventional mines in the region? If that pile of coal is as stable as Turtle Mountain, I say CUT IT DOWN AND BURN IT.

    Reference:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Slide

    http://www3.sympatico.ca/goweezer/canada/frank.htm

    http://www.frankslide.com/faq.html

    http://www.ags.gov.ab.ca/geohazards/turtle_mountain/turtle_mountain.html

  159. bill (09:04:31) :

    I am shocked!
    Does this disregard for environment extend to the various rainforests that are being burned. Afterall “its only a few trees”.

    bill,

    Before you take an aspirin and lie down, consider: The U.S. doesn’t have much in the way of rain forests. And the temperate forest cover in the U.S. has increased some 40% over the past century — due to conservation efforts that had very little to do with “environmentalism.” Yet you launch an attack on the U.S. based on… what, exactly? The fact that in other parts of the world, some indigenous folks burn their trees? And what kind of a skewed belief system do you have to believe that just because you are concerned, then others must be unconcerned about the environment?

    “Destroying the American wilderness is no different to the rain forest destruction in other countries. it is WRONG.” ~mr bill

    Think about this: if, as you state, ‘destroying the American wilderness is no different’ than destroying rain forests… and if destroying rain forests is “WRONG“, then wherever you sleep at night, and wherever you drive during the day, used to be a ‘wilderness’ area. How does that fit into your moral relativism, which allows you to state that everyone else except you is “WRONG“?

    Better make that two aspirins.

  160. Bill:
    The area is called Ridges and valleys for a reason. You are being short sighted if you think they are mountains. When I lived in the desert the elevation changes were greater than they are here in the ridge and valley region of East Tennessee. I have driven through the restored areas of Tennessee and Kentucky. I have seen pictures of the area before the reconstruction was started in the 30s due to the damage of poor farming practices.
    Go live in the desert for a few years for a comparison with what you are haveing a problem with.
    Flattening a few ridges actually improves the area and makes it more user friendly for humans and animals. Of course it has only been going on for a few million years.

  161. Granted, I’m not real fond of wearing a diamond on my finger if it was taken from the depths of a mountain. On the other hand, diamond dust is very important and is used in several important industries. Created diamonds and created diamond dust will eventually take over the inventory of diamonds. Which is fine by me. But energy is another thing altogether. I can easily live with some people telling me I can’t wear diamonds. I cannot so easily live with some people telling some of us we cannot have access to the energy needed to earn a living. Ending the mining of mountain tops for baubles? Don’t have a problem limiting this. Ending the mining of mountain tops for energy? Whose livelihoods should I disallow? Which country should be told to regress into 3rd world status? How many people will I allow to die?

  162. jorge c. (07:08:51) :

    bill and michael spencer are right. i’m not a fan of hansen, but in this case he is right. sorry anthony and et.al, but you are wrong. and take note, that i’m not a warmist. because the protest was not against global warming. it was against ecological damages. i think mr. obama promised not to authorize this type of mining (may be i’m wrong).
    excuse me my bad english

    Jorge, Hansen is protesting governmental policies which allow the continued exploitation of coal as a source of energy, and he said as much prior to being arrested. NPR had an audio clip of this statement, which I can’t find at the moment, but the salient part of the speech was: (if I may paraphrase) was:

    This is about coal…

    He went on to hurriedly express his views about coal’s CO2 pollution and its contribution to Global Warming.

    Ignoring the unproven connection between warming and CO2, the primary purpose of his public demonstration is to influence policies on U.S. energy production. This is more than just unbecoming for the boss of a government science agency; it demonstrates the clear conflict of interest which has characterized his career since he “went public”. GISS must be non-partisan to effectively pursue scientific research. It can’t be expected to walk this line under James Hansen.

    Calls for Hansen to step down are appropriate. They became appropriate years ago when Hansen (who is paid by public money) went public trying to influence public and legislative policy by his protests and public statements. He has said he wants to constraint coal production which will force up prices and put (most likely) thousands of people out of work. Whether he gets the amendments to Waxman / Markey that he wants, the bill will alter U.S. energy policy for generations.

    Anthony’s use of his own non-profit public forum to call for Hansen’s removal is an appropriate use of freedom of speech. Keep in mind that Hansen is calling for thousands of implicit job destruction in Tennessee.

  163. Gary Strand (17:27:16) :

    Jim Hansen sure is a lightning rod for some folks.
    ————————————————————

    That is his intention. His often ludicrous claims are designed to intentionally annoy people. He’s one of those people who must believe that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

    It’s protest theater and everyone gets to play a part. Continuing the metaphor, Hansen is playing the biblical prophet (or the guy in the sandwich boards that proclaim “the End is near!”, depending on your point of view) in this little drama but, unfortunately for him, he’s little more than a bad actor.

  164. There’s nothing wrong with mountain top removal, as long as it’s done right. Think of all the spectacular view lots in the Appalachians they can create by removing mountain tops after building roads up to them. (Apologies to the overly sensitive: I’m a builder and developer.)

    They’ve had problems with holding ponds before and I trust that they’ve learned from them. Here’s a link to the worst mining-related disaster in West Virginia history.

    http://www.wvculture.org/hiStory/buffcreek/buff1.html

    Happened in 1972. I was there a few months later. It wiped out a couple of small towns. What happened to Pittstown Coal Company afterward was a great inspiration to other coal companies to clean up there act, so to speak.

  165. Apparently, the only thing that gets a government employee or politician out of office these days is to, shall we say, have more than one ride. Join an illegal protest? Get arrested? Fudge on some numbers? Do sloppy research? No problemo.

  166. Picked this up on the off-topic thread and think its entirely on-topic.

    Mike Monce (10:14:52) – Tips and Notes thread:

    http://michellemalkin.com/2009/06/24/the-climate-change-e-mails-epa-doesnt-want-you-to-see/

    “The emails, attached hereto, consist of the following:

    1) a March 12 email from Al McGartland, Office Director of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE), to Alan Carlin, Senior Operations Research Analyst at NCEE, forbidding him from speaking to anyone outside NCEE on endangerment issues; ”

    So Hansen can air his views but Carlin can’t? So is this ‘government by the people for the people’ or ‘government by the people who decide what the people should know and think’?

    Goes way beyond AGW, freedom of speech etc.

  167. Again, I regret the day I voted for any Democrat and will not do so again unless said Democrat has publicly stated his or her opposition to AGW and its cancerous side-shoots and has a voting record to prove it. I challenge any long-term Democrat who questions this science to do the same. I have written to all my representatives and have told them my position and what I will do if they vote for any of this garbage.

  168. Wow. As I said, Pamela, the likes of us have no home. We shelter under the Big Tent until our liberal brethren regain their sanity and come back to us. That is to say, when they return to the glen of genuine liberalism from the radical wilderness into which they have strayed.

    When that happy day will come, quien sabe?

  169. Alrighty, perhaps I don’t know the full details of the situation, but…what the hell are you people complaining about? Last I checked, we had the right to assemble and petition for the redress of grievances. Why should the guy be fired for exercising his Constitutional rights? Dr. Hansen sounds like a perfectly upstanding citizen of this great nation to me, standing up for his beliefs and making his voice heard, exercising the rights we’re guaranteed.

  170. And on that subject, the law itself seems rather ridiculous. Aren’t Congresspersons and the President himself federal employees? Do they not engage in partisan activities all the time? I don’t want to argue this for the next however long. I think it’s ridiculous, and that’s that. My piece is said. Agree or disagree. Whatever. Dr. Hansen certainly has my support.

  171. By that definition, nothing is a partisan act.

    Right of expression does not = right of employment.

    If I work for a factory that makes M&Ms, I can be fired for campaigning against he bad effects of M&Ms (even if I cam correct). I can’t be arrested for expressing those thoughts.

  172. Peter Jones (03:02:29) : You don’t become the head of NASA without being smart. Getting himself arrested was the perfect way to avoid the debate.

    Or, you don’t become the head of NASA Goddard without having exactly the qualities your real uber-bosses want in their front runners? What exactly is NASA really aimed at? I have heard that someone said, “the lie [in NASA] is different at each level”.

    Perhaps it was a neat move. Inspire the aging Hansen to move from the AGW agenda whose cover is close to being blown anyway, into another activist arena that has a lot of real concern, a lot of ignorance and a lot of quick and sometimes onesided opinions here. Maybe it was an attempt to divide-and-rule those who generally support WUWT with solidarity. Or – let everyone forget AGW before IPCC/etc can get impeached – but meanwhile, Gore’s money has been made, etc etc. And if Hansen now becomes a martyr, well, a nice way to disguise the end of official AGW so nobody else in AGW loses face or gets noticed.

    /cynic off

  173. Travis King, 14:02:57 in case you haven’t noticed, bureaucracies are given enormous amounts of power to execute policy and programs under our republican form of government. They are given this power with the understanding that they are even-handed in their judgements and do not make decisions based on political biases or allegiances to one party or the other. Civil service means you serve ALL the people and not your party or particular partisan cause. If you allow career federal employees to slowly eat away at that wall between bureacracy and party politics, you could easily end up with a one-party state, and perhaps one that grows increasingly totalitarian over time.

    As Lenny Bruce once said about the Soviet Union: “Think of what it would be like if the phone company ran everything.”

  174. One of the more common tactics of the alarmist argument is to attack and dismiss any scientist who doesn’t support global warming as being in the employ of Big Oil or Big Tobacco or Big Business. But if a scientist is in the employ of Big Government and uses his position to further strengthen and enrich Big Government, it’s okey-dokey. Nah, there’s no conflict of interest, it’s just free speech. I am appalled by the hypocrisy of the warming crowd.

  175. dear mr. bill p.
    i’m not against coal mining, but i don`t agree with mountain top removal. period
    there are others methods to do it.
    and i think that mr hansen is very, very desillusioned with your new president

  176. and mr hansen knows perfectly well that caps and trade is a charade. and he is very angry about it. he thinks that he was “used”.

  177. Pamela Gray and Evan Jones ,
    You can vote against them . Once , if that’s all you can handle . Even if they still win , hopefully the opposing vote will them scare them . Check out the new post on the EPA – that should scare any voter .

  178. Yeah, so Jim Hansen got arrested an thrown in jail. Any idiot can do that.

    I will bet he wasn’t strip-searched (which would be as ugly as Mr. Hansen’s so-called science). I will bet he didn’t have to spend the evening in a holding cell with drunks and rapists. I will even bet that he didn’t have to make a single phone call before a big gas-guzzling limo with a high-price attorney zoomed in to rescue ol’ Jim-bob from reality.

    I will bet that Hansen’s flirtation with the wrong side of the law made Paris Hilton’s experience look like hard-time in San Quentin.

    I can also bet another thing: if any of us who work in the private sector got thrown into the pokey for any reason and didn’t show up for work, we would have been fired.

    Must be nice to be a government employee.

  179. Quoting Mike Kelter:
    “I will bet he wasn’t strip-searched”
    Commenting:
    I was hoping that he got the jailer from “A Clockwork Orange” who told Little Alex “BEND OVER AND TOUCH YOUR TOES!”, whilst donning a rubber glove.

  180. Smokey (19:15:50) :

    Right, RoyFOMR, Joel is a welcome true believer here. He hasn’t convinced anyone of his [repeatedly falsified] CO2=AGW hypothesis, but I’ll bet Joel would make an excellent next door neighbor. We could lean on the fence, and discuss the weather.

    Sorry Smokey and Joel,
    but I just can’t resist this.

    If you and Joel became neighbours for 30 years, would you get around to discussing climate!
    Sorry and ouch!

  181. RoyFOMR,

    I would love to have Joel as a neighbor. It would give me the opportunity to show him the error of his ways. Might have to get him drunk first, though. You’re invited, too.

  182. i’m not against coal mining, but i don`t agree with mountain top removal. period

    Nature seems to enjoy the odd volcano or two?
    Fairly messy about it too.
    Do you want to bet that the photo from the ISS contains a hundred times more pollution than the entire West Virginia coal industry has produced since it started?

  183. As much as I severely dislike Hansen, the mountaintop removal thing–he has a point.

    Mountaintop removal…there is something very dirty, very immoral about it.

    That being said…too bad Hansen has already forever sullied his reputation by aligning himself with Gore.

    The BIGGER issue here is a gov’t employee funded by the taxpayer…is out participating and inducing civil disobedience.

    HE NEEDS TO BE FIRED.

    There are plenty other bright scientific minds out there that can replace him.

    Get him off the dole. That way he can politicize all he wants….but on his OWN money and time, not ours.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  184. Anthony wrote: “I really don’t know who the other woman is.”

    In case no one has offered it, I believe she is the woman at the D.C. protest last February. As I recall, she was featured as a local vocal West Virginia protester and James Hansen promised to join her in the planned protest. I don’t have the Youtube video link anymore, but look around the James Hansen appearance. As I recall, she was featured ahead of Hansen, just after the dreadlock percussion group.

  185. I live in the west, Washington State to be exact. I survived Mount Saint Helens. That was a doozy of mountain top removal. I also remember the long court battles between environmentalists who didn’t want the river clogging timber to be harvested and the logging interests. The trees were dead, they were clogging the rivers. Sadly, the environmentalists won the long way. They tied up the case with appeals until the timber rotted.

  186. Smokey (18:44:53) :

    RoyFOMR,

    I would love to have Joel as a neighbor. It would give me the opportunity to show him the error of his ways. Might have to get him drunk first, though. You’re invited, too.

    Wild horses couldn’t drag me away. You and Joel had better club together to upgrade your barbecues though. You’d better get in plenty of toner for your printers too. That guest-list will be as big as- as big as- a W-M congressional Bill!!

  187. When Miami goes underwater, if the internet is operating, there will be people posting that AGW had nothing to do with it.

    REPLY: and if the growing season shortens due to cold, rendering some agricultural zones obsolete, there will be people writing that AGW is the cause.

  188. While Hansen is at it, he should picket Mother Nature, the ultimate destroyer of mountain tops and their glaciers.

  189. I was just outside in my front yard, and man wearing the same outfit (hat, shirt, pants) as Hansen in this picture walked by my house. I actually started laughing out loud when I thought maybe he had to walk home from jail.

  190. Travis King (13:47:01); (13:58:13); (14:02:57) :

    I don’t think you understand. Or maybe you just don’t know Hansen’s background.

    You’re probably unaware of the fact [unconvincingly denied by Hansen] that he has taken upwards of a million dollars from people with a very strong pro-AGW agenda. He’s been bought and paid for. Those people expect something of value in return for their cash, and with Hansen they get their money’s worth.

    But where does that leave the ordinary taxpayer, who expects the scientists they pay to do science, not partisan advocacy? The taxpayers get defrauded.

    And it’s not simply Hansen’s advocating for pro-AGW special interests that is objectionable. It’s the fact that Hansen’s organization, GISS, routinely fudges the temperature record by adjusting it upward.

    Finally, your comparison of Hansen to Congress and the president doesn’t fly. Even the president couldn’t get away with taking boatloads of cash from special interests wanting a desired outcome, and putting it into his personal bank account. In Hansen’s case, that payola flowed right into his own pockets, no one else’s. GISS didn’t get it. The U.S. Treasury didn’t get it. NASA didn’t get it. It’s Hansen’s bribe; he got it all.

    Some hero you’ve got there.

  191. The repeating theme from the earnest young on this thread is that any interference with the earth in sinful, be it logging trees or digging coal. I attribute this mainly to successive generations of poor school teachers who have a closed circle of wrong information that they propagate incestuously from generation to generation.

    You cannot make an omelette without cracking eggs. You cannot have the material comforts of a modern society without mining and logging. Without them, you are back to cave dwelling and that is NOT an exaggeration.

    The mining and logging companies are not idiots and they will seek to invest their funds into enterprises that are efficient and free of externalities like metal spikes driven into trees.

    Do go through this mental exercise for a day. Each time use use an object or a utility like electricity, say to yourself “Without this, what would I use?” That is the type of future that uninformed and dangerous people are trying to enforce on you. I am surprised at the number of innocents who vote for this future. No, not surprised, just dismayed that they have not thought it through before committing.

    The big agenda that nobody wants to talk about is complete disruption of the ordered economic, political and social structure and its replacement by warfare in which ambitious people can become heros in their lifetimes. Chairman Mao is one model. Take the Profs from the Universities and have them clean toilets. Yes, it’s that serious.

  192. I don’t see anything wrong with Jim Hansen protesting. Because of pollution damage from our overuse of coal, there already is environmental damage. we need to reduce the number and size of coal mines, not add to them.And in the areas around mountaintop mines, there is already damage from erosion,as well as byproducts of the mining process.

  193. Dave Mackenzie,

    Surely you read Geoff Sherrington’s commend directly above yours. You might want to read it again. Try to understand what Geoff is saying. It will do you good.

  194. Smokey, no, you need to try to both understand what Jeff is saying (basically, ‘Anyone who disagrees with me is worse than a commie and wants to end the world and send us back, oh, about a 50,000 years.’ (Oh, so it’s that old favourite insult ‘You want to send us back to the stone age’ with a ‘you’re also commies’ twist)) and that it’s thus not the most subtle of stuff, it IS plain and simple scaremongering and insult. it might work for you, it leaves me unmoved because I’ve seen it for years from those who don’t address the evidence.

  195. Peter Hearndon,

    How can you presume to know what Mr. Sherrington is saying, when you can’t even spell his name correctly?

    I’ve just re-read Geoff’s comment, and I find nothing wrong with it, or inaccurate about it.

    A serious problem, though, is your re-writing of Geoff’s comment in your own words, and then arguing with your restatement. That’s a strawman argument.

    So you set up a strawman and knocked it right down, you brave strawman killer, you. Instead, try to understand what was actually being said, not what you said was said.

    You should give some thought to Geoff’s idea: that some misguided and uneducated people truly believe that any interference with the earth is ‘sinful, be it logging trees or digging coal’. That is literally crazy.

    Try doing without any of the benefits of wood or coal. Then report back to us. Be sure to use smoke signals or some other environmentally pure means of communication, since silicon and copper are mined, you know, and paper is made from wood. Above all, don’t be a hypocrite. A carrier pigeon would probably be OK. I’ll keep an eye out for it.

    Really, that “environmentally pure” level of foolish drivel is what passes for understanding in the enviro movement. They presume, based on true belief and nothing else, that stopping coal use will have zero negative cascade effects; there will just be less evil CO2 around, taxes won’t go up more than $175 a year, and everything else will be wonderful. They simply do not have a clue as to how the real world works.

  196. Smokey (12:01:47) :
    . . . Really, that “environmentally pure” level of foolish drivel is what passes for understanding in the enviro movement. They presume, based on true belief and nothing else, that stopping coal use will have zero negative cascade effects; there will just be less evil CO2 around, taxes won’t go up more than $175 a year, and everything else will be wonderful. They simply do not have a clue as to how the real world works.

    Well put, but it’s not just that they have no clue; they want no clue. They are true believers (cf. Eric Hoffer), blinded by a simplistic and emotional ideology, which admits of no glimpses into “the real world.”

    “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

    /Mr Lynn

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