TOP NEWS & ANALYSIS
Climate Change as “Intergenerational Injustice”
by Robert Jensen
James Hansen is the lead author on an important new study, “Assessing “Dangerous Climate Change”: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature.” The scientists put it bluntly:
Continuation of high fossil fuel emissions, given current knowledge of the consequences, would be an act of extraordinary witting intergenerational injustice. Responsible policymaking requires a rising price on carbon emissions that would preclude emissions from most remaining coal and unconventional fossil fuels and phase down emissions from conventional fossil fuels.
The journal’s blog describes the importance of this article:
From its diverse list of authors to the breadth of the analysis and the conclusions that emerge, the paper goes beyond the scope of a traditional research article by dismantling boundaries between disciplines and adding a moral dimension to the collective dialogue. Most significant for scientists and non-scientists alike is the paper’s prediction that current carbon emissions targets will prove too high to prevent long-lasting, irreversible damage to the planet. As a result, the authors say, cohesive, unified action is required – now — to reduce fossil fuel emissions to pre-Industrial Era levels.