Jim’s Frank TED Talk: Speaking Out on Climate Change

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If there’s a grand old man of climate science, it’s got to be Jim Hansen, of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Sciences (it’s located above the restaurant that Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer frequented in Seinfeld). Way back in 1988, he declared in Senate testimony that he was 99% sure that year’s blistering heat was due in part to human-generated greenhouse gases — and he’d been publishing serious papers about climate for more than a decade before that.

Hansen went out on a limb with his statements back in ’88, but his colleagues came along just a couple of years later. He’s also stepped out of the scientists’ traditional role of non-advocacy to join protests against climate-unfriendly projects. Now he’s out on a limb again, with a TED talk in which he says that if we delay as long as 10 years to start taking drastic action to save the climate, we’re in real trouble. It sounds pretty apocalyptic. But given his track record, it’s probably not something to ignore.