Greenspace August 7, 2013 By Jordan Sayle
Global work party action in Washington D.C. by Dougherty

Global work party action in Washington D.C. by Dougherty

It would have to come as a suggestion from conservatives, Hansen says, and therein lies the challenge. This is a group that he accuses of currently including “a number of anti-science extremists who are basically working for the fossil fuel industry, pretending that climate change is a hoax dreamed up by scientists.”

As someone who has gained occasional entry to the walled-off corridors of power in his position as a lobbyist of sorts in discussions over government policy, McKibben has seen firsthand how difficult it is to advance the cause when it means taking on the richest industry on earth, the energy sector. In his upcoming book Oil and Honey, he recounts the lessons learned in the fight over Keystone and the wild ride he’s had in assembling a movement scaled large enough to countervail the powerful interests that continue to block the type of workable remedy that Dr. Hansen describes.

McKibben went on to tell PLANET: “The climate fight is much more than an environmental fight. Our movement was sized to, say, protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or force car-makers to add catalytic converters. That’s why we’re trying to build a full-on movement, just as fast as we can.”

With his retirement from a long-standing position as director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Dr. Hansen now seems intent on becoming a larger part of that movement. And like McKibben, he is a man in a hurry. The atmosphere now contains roughly more CO2 than has been present for what experts say could be the last 3 million years. There’s a lot of work to be done. The eventful summer rolls on.

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