For I, James Hansen, Scientist, have spoken

The quotations below are true in spirit. For the original political editorial, click here, which you really should read first.

James Hansen, Scientist, speaks
James Hansen, Scientist, speaks
James Hansen, Scientist, speaks
James Hansen, Scientist, speaks

I struggled for a long time to think of an adequate way to summarize the latest political output of Dr X, who, it can now be revealed, is actually Dr James Hansen, Scientist.

But, other than letting him speak for himself, I could not think of something that would point out the naked absurdity of Dr Hansen’s comments but would also not do a disservice to who I believe is an honest man.

Who else but an honest man would publicly tell the German Chancellor (and others) that coal trains are “trains of death” and then go on to mention “factories of death”? Perhaps, in his passion, he has forgotten that these metaphors do not induce the same images in Germany as they do elsewhere. Or, worse, perhaps he has not forgotten.

Who else but a man who is a True Believer would start by telling us that he gave marching orders to the world’s leaders, but they would not listen to him! And it’s a conspiracy! Since they will not heed him, he alleges dirty tricks “governments play on their citizens.” This kind of thing is only found in somebody who believes he is in possession of the truth.

You’ll notice—what has been written about better at Roger Pielke Jr’s place—that Hansen thinks that by merely saying he is telling us what The Science says, that we have no alternative but to listen, for, lo, he speaks of Science.

What is the science? Why, it is that which James Hansen says will happen. Those of us who gauge that the more dire consequences claimed to be due to global warming are less probable than Hansen estimates, are accused of preaching pseudo science.

“When I show German officials” my evidence, they ignore me.

“When I point out [my science], they are silent.”

“Politicians [in Europe] have asked me why am I speaking to them.” It is because, I, James Hansen, Scientist, am speaking!


  1. KansasGirl

    If it is repeated enough, people will listen. If they still don’t listen, time to silence the naysayers.

  2. Speed

    “She blinded me with science … ” Thomas Dolby

  3. q ma

    “The I” complex?

  4. Sometimes silence is the most polite response to what someone says.

  5. Bernie

    James Hansen displays many of the same behavioral and cognitive patterns that fanatical environmentalists do. It is a combination of overwhelming certainty, gargantuan righteousness and stupendous condescension. It also speaks to a belief that scientists are some how a chosen people who are devoid of the foibles that beset the rest of us.
    I am sure James Hansen is kind to his wife of many years. I am sure he is kind to animals. But this type of pronouncement will win him few new friends and make some of his erstwhile allies pause and consider his sanity.

  6. Joy

    Was that an ad hominid?
    But he’s not just any scientist, he’s a NASA scientist, So there.
    He’s got two sides to him, although there’s no art to find the minds construction in the face, it’s fun trying and there’s no sense left in the climate debate any more, it’s going in a perpetual circle that’s slowly dying
    His left side has a benevolent look about it.
    My favourite is the right side. It looks like this is the side causing us all the trouble, but he’s improved his image and his eyebrows since last picture you posted. I sort of feel sorry for him really but
    Brigadier could you see to it that this man is never allowed to set foot over here again, keep him to yourselves.
    Doesn’t NASA have an old space ship he can tinker with?

  7. Joy

    Assuming those images are the same but flipped, why do they look different? That’s weird. I definitely see a different person in both of those faces.

  8. Briggs


    The left side is Dr X.

  9. dearieme

    Does NASA provide its staff with mental health screening?

  10. Joy has it right. This is a “NASA scientist” speaking! Pay attention there. Your betters only have your own interests at heart. Stop what you’re doing immediately and face the Goddard Institute for Space Flight. Then repeat after me, “I’m bad, I’m bad, I’m bad, I’m bad, I’m……….”.

    Stop breathing now. You’ve been releasing too much carbon dioxide. You may now do your part and die to save the planet. Oh, and the Chinese and Indian environments – though far worse than ours – are so far behind I, the great scientist, have forgiven them and count their emissions as naught.

    See how easy that is?

  11. The Shadow

    Matt, when are you going to weigh in on Eric Steig’s Antarctica paper that was published in Nature in January? Although I have read critiques at Climate Audit and Anthony Watt’s weblog, I was hoping for your analysis.

    “What evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!”

  12. PaddikJ

    # lucia on 16 Feb 2009 at 1:11 pm:

    “Sometimes silence is the most polite response to what someone says.”

    But in this case, silence would be the most impolite, not to say damning, response.

    It will probably never come, but what a glorious day it would be when the latest of Dr. James Hansen’s fulminations is met with a mighty, collective yawn.

  13. How sad. How tragic. Hansen foresees runaway global warming, the Venus Syndrome, boiling seas, the End of Creation. He so states, anyway. And his solution set includes rank fear-mongering, massive de-industrialization, worldwide authoritarianism, the restructuring of human society. I suppose you can’t blame him. He is trying to avert the End of the World.

    Except that his theories are pure bunkum. I conclude that, anyway. I don’t know the future anymore than Hansen does. But very few of the most ardent Alarmists share his views. Not even the IPCC predicts the End of Creation. Not even Al Gore, who leads a life of carbon luxury (surely his actions speak louder than his words).

    The world has witnessed and suffered the machinations of such insane demagoguery before. That is why the invoking of Holocaust imagery and allusion is so utterly objectionable on so many levels.

    For some reason the most dire of projected futures always requires an extreme authoritarian cure. We must be of one mind and march in lockstep, there can be no debate, not even a whisper of dissent, because without total collective action, X will happen and that’s it for the whole shebang.

    Here are some interesting stats regarding the results of totalitarianism, IMHO the greatest danger that we face today.

  14. Pete S

    Why does NASA still employ the man? He is doing the Agency no good at all.

  15. Matt

    Could we have a bet with this guy? We could recoup our losses methinks.



  16. Briggs


    I would love it. I’d guess he would not.

    But this will be fun to think about.

  17. Joe V

    “Such rates of sea level change have occurred many times in Earth’s history in response to global warming rates no higher than those of the past 30 years.”

    “Several times in Earth’s history, rapid global warming occurred, apparently spurred by amplifying feedbacks. In each case, more than half of plant and animal species became extinct. New species came into being over tens and hundreds of thousands of years.”

    These two quotes, made by Dr. Hansen, should make any reasonable person ask:
    1. If the earth has warmed many times in its history, why is now any different and is it reasonable to think we could change this natural cycle?
    2. If all of the species alive today survived the past warming changes or developed as a result of it, doesn’t it stand to reason that they will do so again?

  18. WestHoustonGeo

    “Assuming those images are the same but flipped, why do they look different? That’s weird. I definitely see a different person in both of those faces.”

    Everybody’s face is asymmetrical. If you photoshop your picture, split your face exactly down the middle, then reverse both halves and make two symetrical faces, they will look like two different people and not like the untouched picture, either.

    It’s kinda spooky.

  19. Claiming that the Venus Syndrome is likely within the next millenium is like claiming that the moon crashing into the Earth is likely within the next millenium.

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