Sock it to ’em

A letter from the naughty coal people, and Hansens uncompromising reply, is at I’ve been a bit critical of Hansen for over-egging the science sometimes, but exchanges like this are good to remind you of where you stand.

[Update: A partial apology here but suitably mixed into another attack on the coal CEO -W]


  1. #1 Heiko Gerhauser

    Hansen may not directly be referring to the Holocaust, but it’s too close for my taste. I find it needlessly inflammatory language.

    And I’ve come across a lovely approach that’ll make miners very happy:

    “only 10 countries are responsible for 96% of the world’s hard coal extraction (World Coal Institute). Convince these governments to extract less and the job is done.”

    (rather than cutting demand, let’s just cut supply and allow price to do the rest …)

    As coal mining is just an evil activity, see like the Holocaust, it should just be outlawed, this wouldn’t have any negative consequences, as miners just mine coal, because they’ve got a secret plan to commit mass genocide (hmm ecocide) and that’s really the only reason anybody would mine coal …

  2. #2 Abstruse

    The language is evocative but Dr. Hansen has a strong argument to support his posistion.

    This is an issue that is very close to my heart. I have lived in West Virginia my entire life. The power of the coal lobby in this state can not be overstated, it IS the political power. As a historian I have to watch as the debate over coal in West Virginia history is subverted by people who desire only to exploit an undereducated populace.

    The legacy of Organized Labor, humane working conditions and civil disobedience are almost completly ignored. Instead the myth that to be West Virginian and a patriot requires an unquestioning support for the coal industry. This is foisted on a people who are unaware of their own history. Ignored is the battle of Blair Mountain and the meaning of the word “redneck” as it applies to West Virginians and why it is a term to be proud of.

    Check out the PR wing of the industry in WV @

    Or just google “Don Blankenship” to get a look at their political strategy (sue everyone then buy elections)

    ehhh sorry about the micro-screed. Enjoy Thanksgiving if you are in the States.

  3. #3 guthrie

    I’ve been reading essays by Bernard De Voto recently, and they remind me how far back conservation goes in the USA, and also that you seem to keep having to fight the same battles over and over again, because no one remembers longer than 10 years.

  4. #4 Lassi Hippeläinen

    It would help, if the Jharia coal mine fire would be put out. It has been burning since 1916…

  5. #5 Hank Roberts


    “… plants that capture and sequester the CO2 are consistent with preserving creation, life on the planet as we know it, but the required technology is not yet ready. Until technology is ready, there should be a moratorium on construction of new coal-fired power plants in developed countries. Developing countries must phase out such construction within a decade. Realization that all coal-fired power plants without actual carbon capture will have to be ‘bull-dozed’ in the next several decades, in all countries, should serve as an effective brake on new construction of coal-fired power plants during the next few years in all countries.

    “For better understanding, I recommend a more careful reading of my testimony.”

    Yep. People should read his testimony. Simple, clear.
    He sounds like he’s a biologist.

  6. #6 Peter D. Tillman


    Late to the party — I bet you can guess where I saw the link to this {G}.

    Curious choice of words on Hansen’s part, if he’s really interested in getting the coal-burners to adopt carbon sequestration. Of course, as he notes, this is pie-in-the-sky tech, so we can venture boldly into the inner recesses of Jimmy Hansen’s brain, in this new episode of…

    Those Krazy Koal Kids!

    Jimmy H: You guys are a bunch of Nazis!

    Koal Kids: No we’re not!

    Jimmy: Are so! And so’s your Momma!

    Jimmy’s Mom: James! Stop calling the Koal Kids names!

    Jimmy’s Mom: Now, apologize!

    Jimmy: [shuffles feet] OK, OK. [To Koal Kids, mumbles] I ‘pologize.

    Jimmy: [looks around, whispers loudly] Your Momma wears jackboots!

    Best for 2008, hope the new job goes well
    Pete Tillman

    [Thanks. Of course, JH isn’t talking to the Coal people, he is talking to the rest of us -W]

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