While you are trying to decide what to think or do about James Hansen's recent provocations, especially about fossil energy executives who ought to know better, you should take some time to understand who he is and why he might be quite so pissed off.
Hansen is not by origin the sort of person to become a flaming radical. Hansen is a physics Ph.D. from Iowa of high repute nearing comfortable retirement. I don't know if you know any midwestern PhDs or even any midwesterners nearing retirement, dear reader, never mind both at the same time, but I have had the privilege of meeting a few. (Updated his discipline. Thanks, Andrew.)
While there may always be exceptions, I hope you will concede that these are not the sorts of people who are normally given to such strong language.
It might be worthwhile thinking about what, exactly, the man is quite so peeved about.
Okay? Thanks in advance.
The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So if what I say now seems to you to be very reasonable, then I have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable, have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen.
- Arthur C. Clarke (h/t Brin)