One the world’s most acclaimed climate scientists, NASA’s James Hansen was handcuffed and arrested in front of the White House yesterday.
Hansen and hundreds more were urging the US government to end the coal industry practice of blowing off the tops of mountains to mine coal. Such practices are extremely damaging to the environment and local communities he says. Moreover to prevent catastrophic climate change coal must stay in the ground Hansen said.
Excerpts of Hansen’s speech in front of the White House:
“… government is failing to protect the future of young people, knowingly allowing and even subsidizing actions that benefit the few at the expense of the public and at the expense of all life sharing this Earth.
Human-made climate change pits the rich and powerful against the young and unborn, against the defenseless, and against nature. The moral issue is comparable to slavery and civil rights.
But now is the time to go on the offensive. We should not be begging courts to forgive the brave people who protest. We must ask the courts to order the government to present plans to phase down fossil fuel emissions at a pace dictated by science, a pace stabilizing climate, preserving nature and a future for young people, providing young people equal protection of the laws.
We can bring that case. But we can win only if the public understands the situation, sees through the lies of the moneyed interests, sees what is needed to solve the problem.”