Posted by: JohnnyRook | December 19, 2008

Tell them to “Pay attention to James Hansen”

Below I’ve reproduced a diary by WarrenS that he recently posted at Daily Kos. I think that Warren’s idea is a good one and would like to promote it further, turn it into a movement as Arlo Guthrie might have said. So, read on and, please, do as Warren asks. It couldn’t be easier. (And thanks to Warren for his kind words.)

Late-night action: Five words to help the planet
by WarrenS

Before you read any further, open another window in your browser, and go to this page at Fill in your information, and then, where they ask you for your message, type in the phrase “Pay attention to James Hansen!” Then hit “submit form.”

Done? Nice. Thanks. The rest of this diary is essentially superfluous, but now that you’ve sent the Obama environment team a short message, perhaps you’ll read the rest of this diary, which explains why I made the request I did.

My name is Warren, and I’m a worrier. I’ve always been a worrier. I was a worried baby, and then I was a worried boy, and now I’m a worried man. Once I learned to worry about politics, my life really went to hell. In the run-up to the 2006 election I worried about every damn thing; I couldn’t sleep a few nights before voting day — because I was worried about those damn Republican robo-calls against then-candidate John Hall. Which, considering that they were in upstate NY and I live in MA-07 (a safe progressive district represented by Ed Markey), was a bit of a stretch, worry-wise. It’s a funny thing, though: I discovered at some point during the Clinton years that fundamentally I was an optimist. So I’m a worried optimist.

The past eight years have been devastating to me, because virtually without exception, I’ve run out of things to be optimistic about. The Bushies have turned me from a sanguine, smiling, essentially merry worrier to a festinating, bregmatically-carunculated curmudgeon who ever more often finds himself muttering despairing prayers to gods he knows don’t exist. It’s been a drag.

And now Obama’s coming in, and there are a few cracks in my pessimistic character armor, which is good. Unfortunately, things are now so screwed up that there is a lot less to be optimistic about, and a lot more fodder for my worry machine. Climate change is my post-election worry of choice; I have a 4-year-old daughter and I would like her to have a chance of living in a world that is not completely apocalyptic. And there is damned little news about the climate that is not absolutely terrifying. I feel like a lifelong professional hypochondriac who’s been handed one of those giant “A Dictionary of Symptoms”-type books and now has a hundred new possible illnesses.

But the fact that there is so much bad news is good news. For decades there was no news at all, and during the Bush years the news came out but it was hidden by the corporate media…and meanwhile, under the benevolent supervision of Senator Ted Stevens (R-Ignominy) the intertubes grew and grew and grew. Which means that (in addition to the ready availability of LOLCATZ pictures and other manifestations of our collective ADHD) here on DKos, a diarist by the name of JohnnyRook has posted diary after diary pointing out the destruction of our environment by sociopathic corporate forces. And that’s good, because he’s one among many, which means that the information is approaching critical mass…at which point maybe we’ll be able to manifest enlightened planetary self-interest.

But back to JohnnyRook. He posts often enough that I recognize his name, and with alarming enough titles that I am compelled to click through.

Now, I’m already worried enough. Often I just open his diaries, read the first few paragraphs, and then crawl under the couch, whimpering. But not today. Today’s JohnnyRook diary was about Dr. James Hansen, the brilliant climate scientist who, early on, was stuffed into a limousine trunk by Dick Cheney. And right up there in the in the first three paragraphs, I read this quote:

“I think we could solve this problem if we would just tell the truth,” Hansen said during the Q & A session after the talk. “But politicians aren’t willing. How do we make them understand how serious this is?”

James Hansen thinks we can solve this problem!

So I read the whole thing, and so should you. And I’m still incredibly worried, but now I have something to be optimistic about. Which led to an exchange of comments deep in that diary, which led me to write this diary, which is all just a fancy way of saying thanks to JohnnyRook, and thanks to James Hansen, and thanks to you, for going to the energy and environment page at and telling them to “Pay Attention to James Hansen.” Because he thinks we can solve the problem, and because JohnnyRook told me to write this diary.

If you’re interested, the comment thread is reproduced below. Thanks for reading this far…but you’d be better served by reading JohnnyRook’s diary instead!
Have a good night. I’m tired and I’m going to sleep.

[I’ve omitted the comments thread due to formatting difficulties. You can read the comments at WarrenS’s original post at Daily Kos.–JR]


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