“Climastrologist” James Hansen versus reality

A letter to the editor in Monday’s Arizona Daily Star characterizes James Hansen as “our leading climate scientist.” The letter was written by the head of a climate activist group which I mentioned in a previous post: Climate craziness and warming activists. Hansen, an astronomer, is head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. He has been the doomsayer-sayer-in-chief of the climate alarmists along with Al Gore. Hansen has been quoted as saying, “The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains.” It was Hansen’s Congressional testimony in 1988 that really spurred all the global warming craziness. So let’s take a closer look at how the predictions of “our leading climate scientist” turned out. The graphic below was published by Hansen in 1988 showing his predictions of what would happen to global temperature if we did not immediately greatly curtail carbon dioxide emissions. The graphic has been annotated by Dr. David Evans, an Australian mathematician. We see that reality has been quite different from the predictions.


Normally, when a scientist’s hypothesis is falsified by additional data, the scientist modifies his hypothesis. No so with James Hansen; he is still adamant about the dangers of carbon dioxide. In fact, Hansen was recently arrested protesting in front of the White House, but was released in time to participate in a protest in New York City where he is quoted as saying, “If we stay on with business as usual, the southern U.S. will become almost uninhabitable.”

Here is the “business as usual” temperature record so far for the Southern U.S.:




 Given the antics of “our leading climate scientist,” one wonders if climate science as practiced today is really a science. Maybe it should be called “climastrology.”

See how Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project fabricated their Climate 101 video “Simple Experiment” here.

See also:

Your Carbon Footprint doesn’t Matter

A Perspective on Climate Change a tutorial

And for your amusement, see lists of things and conditions blamed on global warming:









  1. Dear Jonathan,

    How come you are so focused on “climate”? Just look at what our emissions are doing to the oceans and you will not be so bold as to question the reality of the current change. I can not understand how we can “overlook” the ph water chemistry change due to the carbon gas absorbed, which converts to carbonic acid and lowers the ph. If we continue, the changes will be so rapid marine life will no longer be able to cope.

    1. There is no evidence that the oceans were ever acidic during the past 500 million years, even when atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide was more than 10 times current levels. This implies that besides temperature and partial-pressure, there is a third controlling factor. That factor is the buffering effect of carbonic acid reaction with the basaltic oceanic crustal rocks. This process uses up excess carbon dioxide.
      Please read: http://tucsoncitizen.com/wryheat/2009/12/14/ocean-acidification-by-carbon-dioxide/

      CO2 science has an extraordinary data base of 1103 studies of the effects of “acidification” on marine life. They reason that any change beyond 0.5 pH units is “far far beyond the realms of reality” even if you are concerned about coral reefs in the year 2300 (see Tans 2009). Even the IPCC’s highest end “scenario A2″ estimate predicts a peak change in the range of 0.6 units by 2300. See: http://www.co2science.org/data/acidification/results.php

      I focus on climate because all this carbon craziness is taking resources and captial from more productive use, wastes money, interferes with exploitation of our own abundant sources of energy, and none of the schemes will have a significant effect on our climate.

      1. The ph has been lowered by 30% since the Industrial Times and bu coincidence the oceans absorb about 30% of the carbon we release in the atmoshere.
        No “evidence”, perhaps you choose not to “look”!
        Perhaps you did “look” at this past October 1st issue of the “New York Times”. which featured an article and the dramatic changes of the world’s forests because of climate change. Sorry, this is not “natural”. The one thing I believe is you are entrenched in your position and for whatever “reasons” will remain so, it is the young ones that will have to deal with this “business as usual” and they will wonder why?

  2. Wry Heat is a consistent mischaracterization of  data to promote an idealogy to debunk environmental issues in favor of short term economic interests.  The general public cannot understand the details of scientific analysis, which is easily twisted for economic benefit.  You would live in a world devoid of wildlife, a sustainable natural environment,  breathable air and clean water in favor of some jobs and investment opportunities.  Our grandchildren will be living in a marginally habitable world.  Wise use of scientific knowledge consists of understanding systems in order to make best use of resources, and developing new technologies that enhance those systems.  Vested interests assume the scientific community is biased against growth, discounting that scientists are finding alarming changes in environmental conditions.  Crying  foul on every environmental regulation is laying a sledge hammer on a microscope.  In the 1800s, during the height of the industrial age of England, many thousands died from industrial smog during a very short period.  Today we are repeating the mistake on a global scale.  Would you run a combustion engine in your house ? No, you would not want to die from poisoning.   Human population is approaching levels that our energy intensive behavior is poisoning our house. You can argue whether a scientists gets some detail wrong, but if you really think that the human population explosion is not destroying the natural world, you are truly blind.  The fundamental energy equation of higher co2 in the atmosphere is like arguing whether the earth is flat or not. CO2 thermodynamics are completely characterized in standard reference textbooks.  Climatology is complex and unpredictable, but  greater energy in the system makes it more chaotic and dangerous.  There is good money to be made from more progressive approaches, and declining value in gas powered buggy whips over the long term.  

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