Global warming issue 'on par with slavery'
Michael McCarthy, formerly the Independent’s longstanding Environment Editor, now its Environment Columnist, is one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment and the natural world. He has won a string of awards for his work, including Environment Journalist of the Year (three times) and Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards in 2001. In 2007 he was awarded the Medal of the RSPB for “Outstanding Services to Conservation,” in 2010 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, and in 2011 the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology. In 2009 McCarthy published Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo (John Murray), a study of Britain’s declining migrant birds.
Saturday 07 April 2012
Dealing with climate change is a moral issue on a par with ending slavery, the world's most celebrated climate scientist, James Hansen, of Nasa, believes.
Dr Hansen, who heads Nasa's Goddard Institute of Space Studies, will be making the slavery comparison in his acceptance speech for the Edinburgh Medal next Tuesday, when he will also be calling for a global tax on all carbon emissions. Nothing less will do, he will argue, so urgent is the challenge which climate change presents for future generations.
The Edinburgh Medal is awarded each year to scientists and technological experts judged to have made a significant contribution to the understanding and well-being of humanity.
Widely thought of as "the father of global warming" – his dramatic alert about climate change in US Senate hearings in July 1988 put the issue on the world agenda – Dr Hansen is now one of the most outspoken advocates of drastic climate action. He said last year he thought climate sceptics were winning the global warming argument with the public. In his acceptance speech, he will argue that an immediate worldwide carbon tax is needed to force cuts in fossil fuel use, and that current generations have an over-riding moral duty to their children and grandchildren to act now.
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