James Edward Hansen (born 29 March 1941) is an American Adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. He is best known for his research in climatology, his 1988 Congressional testimony on climate change that helped raise broad awareness of and his advocacy of action to avoid dangerous climate change.
It’s not much different than Kyoto except that, here, they’re not even requiring any connection among the different countries. They’re just saying, well, each country tell us what you’re going to do to reduce your emissions. And at the same time, they allow fossil fuels to be the cheapest energy, and appear to be the cheapest energy. Of course, they’re not, really, if you include their cost to society — and that’s what we should do; we should add a rising fee to the fossil fuel price. It would be very easy to do at the domestic mine or port of entry, a very small number of places. But we’re, instead, we’re just saying, well, let’s try harder. We’ll, you know, we’ll give you a plan. We’re going to reduce our emissions. Although, some countries are not — don’t even saying that.
JAMES HANSEN said: Well, we have to decide, are these people stupid or are they just uninformed? Are they badly advised? I think that he really believes he’s doing something. You know, he wants to have a legacy, a legacy having done something in the climate problem. But what he is proposing is totally ineffectual. I mean, there are some small things that are talked about here, the fact that they may have a fund for investment and invest more in clean energies, but these are minor things. As long as also fuels are dirt cheap, people will keep burning them.
It should be an across-the-board carbon fee and in a democracy, it’s going to — the money should be given to the public. Just give an equal amount to every — you collect the money from the fossil fuel companies. The rate would go up over time, but the money should be distributed 100 percent to the public; an equal amount to every legal resident.
Alaska is giving fossil fuel money to the public, and of course they like that. So, it’s sort of — It shows how much the public does like getting a monthly check. But what this would do, those people who do better than average in limiting their fossil fuel use, would make money. Wealthy people, people who fly around the world a lot and have big houses, they would pay more in increased prices than they would get in their monthly dividend. (Part of a Universal Income idea)
They know. They will just look at prices. Of course, the price at the pump is obvious and the electricity bill will be obvious. This will move industry and businesses to develop no carbon and low carbon energies and products that use little fossil fuels. In fact, the economic studies shows that United States, after 10 years, emissions would be reduced 30 percent because you have the economy forcing you in the right direction. But as long as you just leave it fossil fuels cheap, you’re not going to fundamentally change things.
JAMES HANSEN also said: Well, there are some nut cases who claim that it’s all a hoax, and that’s absurd. And I think most of the public recognizes that. You may get a fraction of one party that is — that likes that point of view, but the majority of the public realizes that’s nonsense. But I haven’t seen any candidate, liberal or conservative, who is proposing what is actually needed, and that’s making the price of fossil fuels honest, but not taking the money to make the government bigger, instead, give it to the public.
Democrat or Republican who has proposed a revenue-neutral carbon fee. There’s an organization, Citizens Climate Lobby, which has been doubling in size each you’re the last several years, which is beginning to be heard. And in fact, Democrats, Bernie Sanders and Barbara Boxer, proposed a bill that was basically a fee and dividend, except the government was going to take 40 percent of the money. And that makes it — it’s not going to work. I mean, first of all, conservatives are never going to accept that. That makes it a tax. A tax depresses the economy. A carbon fee and dividend actually spurs the economy, because there is some income redistribution. The low income people will tend to have a better chance to come out ahead in this case, and they tend to spend the money when they get their dividend.