eldavojohn writes "Yesterday speaking as a private citizen & without authority from the U.S. space agency, James Hansen from NASA told Washington to stop building coal plants. From the article, "In his briefing to leaders of the press corps, entitled "Global Warming: Connecting the Dots from Causes to Solutions", Hansen said that evidence in the international scientific community shows global warming is occurring at a much faster pace than earlier forecasts predicted and that the burning of coal is a leading cause of elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which traps heat via the so-called greenhouse effect. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, coal-fueled power plants produce about half of the electricity consumed in America. Plans currently call for the construction of some 160 new coal-based facilities to meet future energy needs over the next decade." Hansen is a controversial but high ranking scientist at NASA who is a well known outspoken opponent of the Bush administration's handling & policies of environmental issues."