HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » The Fantasy of Tar Sands ...

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 05:39 PM

The Fantasy of Tar Sands - from James Hansen

Dr James Hanson is probably our greatest living scientist and the first to define the problems of climate change. This is a letter from him that explains most of what we need to know about the tar sands adventure. To get on his mailing list, click here. His website is here.

Grandparents Oppose Tar Sands

(Image hidden side)

From: James Hansen

Alberta tar sands are estimated to be 240 GtC (gigatons of carbon); see Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007) Working Group 3 report. That is about seven times greater than the cumulative historical CO2 emissions from oil use by the U.S. (36 GtC). U.S. oil use was 28% of global oil use for the cumulative amounts over the past 200 years. So Alberta tar sands contain about twice the total amount of carbon emitted by global oil use in history.

Yet some people argue that tar sands are not so great that we need to be concerned about their effect on climate. They argue that only about 40 GtC of the tar sands are presently economically extractable. However, if an addiction to tar sands is established, as it would be with big pipelines, you can be confident that the addiction would lead eventually to ways of cooking the oil out of most of the tar sands. Moreover, these numbers do not include the emissions from conventional fossil fuels used to mine and process the tar sands into useable fuel. Nor do they include the other greenhouse gas emissions produced by the mining and processing.

The global stampede to find every possible fossil fuel is not being opposed by governments, no matter how dirty the fuels nor how senseless the energy strategy is from long-term economic and moral perspectives. Instead governments are forcing the public to subsidize the polluters, as discussed in The Case for Young People and Nature.

Fortunately, people are beginning to recognize the situation. Today the Norwegian Grandparent's Climate Campaign, supported by 27 other organizations, delivered ]
Given the stranglehold that the fossil fuel industry has on governments worldwide and their effective campaigns to misinform the public, this may seem to be a small step. But do not underestimate the potential of people dedicated to a righteous cause to initiate a broader public recognition and understanding of where the public's interest lies.

Jim Hansen
17 April 2012

6 replies, 1226 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Fantasy of Tar Sands - from James Hansen (Original post)
autorank Apr 2012 OP
Dead_Parrot Apr 2012 #1
autorank Apr 2012 #4
freedom fighter jh Apr 2012 #2
autorank Apr 2012 #5
Bigmack Apr 2012 #3
autorank Apr 2012 #6

Response to autorank (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 05:53 PM

1. Not that we'll listen - we never do.

Mind if I xpost to E/E, or would you like to?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Dead_Parrot (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 09:24 PM

4. Xpost away. Thanks!!!

We need to be saved by some solution that goes outside the normal energy players. I'm liking solar shingles, which are going into mass production as we type. There's a buyers collective in the SF bay area that can get a 2k square foot home solar for around $4000 and leases, with no upfront costs (except removing any current shingles). Works out to about $40 a month. No oil companies involved, just good deals on technology advances. And Dupont, Corning, etc., the solar shingle manufacturers, could give two hoots what Exxon thinks about it. Some hope out there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to autorank (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 06:38 PM

2. This is the most important issue for the future of the human race.

Check out this excellent presentation about climate denial and how it works:

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freedom fighter jh (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 09:25 PM

5. Muchos Gracias!!!!!!!!!!

I read his paper responding to the deniers but had not seen this. Great stuff.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to autorank (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 06:44 PM

3. James Hansen. My ONLY hero

God only knows he makes EVERY effort to wake up the Great Unwashed. If only....
Ms Bigmack

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bigmack (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 09:27 PM

6. He's a warrior

Got that way through intellect and experience with the asshats of the great right wing noise machine.

Hes my only hero too!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread