Additional Information on James Hansen

Additional Information on James Hansen


* Lamenting that the Bush Administration had refused to adequately address the threat posed by global warming during the preceding eight years, Hansen, with a sense of urgency, said in January 2009: “We have only four years left for [President] Obama to set an example to the rest of the world. America must take the lead.”

* In February 2009, James Hansen urged Americans to support a March 2 protest at the Capitol Power Plant in Washington, DC, “to send a message to Congress and the president that we want them to take the actions that are needed to preserve climate for young people and future generations” by “phas[ing] out the biggest source of carbon—and that’s coal.”

* Hansen has been arrested several times for his participation in demonstrations focusing on various environmental issues. In June 2009 in Raleigh County, West Virginia, he and 30 other protesters were arrested on misdemeanor charges of obstructing police and impeding traffic during a rally against mountaintop removal mining. In September 2010 he was one of more than 100 people arrested in front of the White House during another rally against those same mining practices. And in August 2011, Hansen was one of 143 activists arrested in front of the White House in rally exhorting President Obama to reject the Keystone Pipeline extension.

* As of March 2010, Hansen was listed as a member of the Science and Security Board for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a publication whose early personnel were accused of providing vital nuclear information that helped the Soviet Union develop its first atomic bomb. Two of the magazine’s founding sponsors, Leo Szilard and Robert Oppenheimer, were accused of passing information from the Manhattan Project, in which they were key participants, to the Soviets.

* In 2011 it was reported that Hansen, in violation of ethics laws that regulate government contracts, had failed to publicly disclose $1.6 million he had earned in outside income, apart from his GISS salary. This included money to cover the costs associated with Hansen’s own transportation to speaking engagements and awards ceremonies around the world; legal services that were provided to him free-of-charge; and gifts from various supporters. In 2006, for instance, the World Wildlife Fund gave Hansen an engraved Montres Rolex watch worth at least $8,000, which Hansen illegally failed to report as a “gift” on his SF 278 financial-disclosure form.

* In 1996 Hansen was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In 2001 he received the Seventh Annual Heinz Award in the Environment for his research on global warming. In 2006 Hansen was listed as one of Timemagazine’s “100 Most Influential People.” That same year, he received the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility. In 2007, Hansen shared the Dan David Prize for “achievements having an outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social impact on our world.” In 2008, he received the PNC Bank Common Wealth Award of Distinguished Service for his “outstanding achievements” in science. Also in 2008, Hansen was named by EarthSky Communications and a panel of 600 scientist-advisors as the “Scientist Communicator of the Year.” In 2009, he was awarded the Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal by the American Meteorological Society, for his “outstanding contributions to climate modeling, understanding climate change forcings and sensitivity, and for clear communication of climate science in the public arena.” In 2010 Hansen won the Sophie Prize, for his “key role for the development of our understanding of human-induced climate change.”


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