NASA’s Hansen on Waxman-Markey: “it’s just stupidity”

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Update: James Hansen just got arrested while protesting against coal mining – read latest news here

The New Yorker has a lengthy profile of NASA climatologist James Hansen in this week’s issue, in which he pulls no punches on Waxman-Markey, taking the leading national environmental advocacy groups to task for supporting the legislation (even as amended), and calls the whole process “stupidity.”

As readers of CleanTechies know, I have been dismissive of Waxman-Markey in recent weeks, a piece of well-intentioned legislation that has been so watered down by compromise and competing political pressure as to be rendered meaningless as anything other than a symbol of our intention as a nation to someday act on climate change, grid conversion, and carbon control.

After getting an email from Repower America a couple nights ago, inviting me to join a conference call with Al Gore to help push the bill through, I began to feel a little like a lone voice in the wilderness on this. But, I can’t ask for much better company than Hansen.

The ONLY hope that remains for Waxman-Markey is that someone on the hill sees the potential that the bill – and the political climate – retains for real progress on energy efficiency, demand-side management and demand response programming .

That is the only area that remains as a potential Trojan Horse for real reform in the current bill. Otherwise, Waxman-Markey is a step back for many states.

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