Dear Dr. Hansen,
This is an apology. I'm responsible, in part, for a couple of your more unfortunate public positions. My excuse is that I got tired of persistent foolishness. After laborious discussion I sent some people on to you, hoping you'd have the good sense to ignore them.
The first time I did this, I had noticed you were open minded about climate solutions. I was working with the Green Party Ecoaction Committee as the Maryland representative. Lorna Salzman, our Chair and New York representative had brought in Charles Komanoff to consult and he kept on going on and on about a carbon tax. I felt, and feel, that regulation is a smarter more certain approach, but we did mention a tax in our 2006 State of the Earth Report. I began to tire of the subject and urged, since the party was not in power, that Lorna and Charlie try to engage you in promoting their scheme. They appear to have suceeded. The trouble now is that the time to decide between regulation or a tax is past. We are going with regulation. I will say that during my work on the StepItUp campaign, Steny Hoyer made a good political argument against the tax: tax shifting could destabilize social security, a key tea party goal. My concerns had more to do with measurement and enforcement.
But, the internal arguments about how to approach greenhouse gas reduction are no longer important. We are using regulation under the authority of the Clean Air Act as ordered by the Supreme Court in Massachusetts v EPA. It is a socialist cause to have a carbon tax with dividend, but it is no longer a climate cause. Instead of sending people to you and feeling relieved that I didn't have to argue endlessly, I should have briefed you on the nature of the argument. Now, your dedication is becoming a liability as you are extending the argument after the matter has already been decided. Effective climate activism now aims at faster implementation of regulation. Briefs on the current court case in support of the Clean Power Plan, urging a steeper ramp on CAFE standards, and working to ban fracking, all regulatory issues, are what is needed.
I also sent a couple of nuclear wakos your way. There was a fellow whose father ran a failed Oak Ridge reactor experiment who wanted vindication that he felt his father deserved. His name was Charles too. He was crazy about thorium. And there was another going by the handle of "asteroid miner" who wanted breeder reactors everywhere. I let them know you might be receptive based on how you responded to the carbon tax issue. Though I think you have now seen through the thorium quackery on your own, you seem still enthralled by a pointless nuclear dream. You've proposed a huge buildup of nuclear power despite the facts that uranium will run out before the build is complete and breeder reactors often blow up and can't possibly be ready to deal with this shortage in your scenario.
Now, the other "asteriod miner" "solution" of getting uranium from seawater has run up against your new climate science. To fuel your huge new nuclear build, blocking the Gulf Stream with uranium recovery threads would be required. However, you propose that Greenland melting is already reducing that flow. You have been placed in an untenable position, in part, because I sent nuclear kooks to you.
I apologize for imposing on your time in this indirect manner. In recompense, I draw your attention to the fact that PNAS awarded its Cozzarelli Prize to a very rapid and well thought out climate mitigation plan . We don't need to rely on guesswork anymore. The peer reviewed liturature is providing a best practices approach to climate mitigation. We just need to strive for enabling regulations.
With Warm Regards,