The impacts of climate change are a “young people’s burden,” and so they need to get more involved. So says well-known climate scientist James Hansen, in this five-page, 4200-word interview with Rolling Stone.
Appearing in the National Affairs section of the magazine, under the subheading “Will We Miss Our Last Chance?”, the article delves into the history of the 75-year-old scientist—one of the first researchers to highlight the problem of increased carbon dioxide emissions—and his take on the upcoming administration in Washington and its heavy pro-fossil fuel leanings. He also tackles the future of the Environmental Protection Agency, Obama’s legacy, carbon taxes, carbon capture and sequestration technology, cap and trade, the role of nuclear energy in combating climate change (rightly or wrongly, Hansen favors this approach, and roots for thorium-fueled, molten-salt reactors), and whether scientists should discuss science policy.
The interview ends with this observation from Hansen: “There is a lot of talk about the rise of China as a military power. Well, they’re not gonna bomb their customers. The bigger threat is this climate threat. That’s what could destroy civilization as we know it.”