Dr. Hansen’s Comment to the Naysayers
Dr. James Hansen recently toured New Zealand to provide climate talks to various stakeholders and to urge Prime Minister Key of New Zealand to “leave the massive deposits of lignite coal in the ground, instead developing its natural bounty of renewable energies and energy efficiency.” Dr. Hansen writes about the trip, and in a noteworthy footnote, makes the following comment to those that send him negative mail.
Note to the people who send me messages (SOMETIMES SHOUTING IN ALL CAPS) demanding that I stop wasting THEIR MONEY and get out of the government: When I was in New Zealand I was on vacation, using up time accumulated years ago when I seldom took vacation. By taking the New Zealand vacation I am reducing taxpayers’ costs, because I would otherwise be paid (when I retire) a lump sum for the vacation days that I did not use. Your blood pressure might come down a notch further if you saw the nature of the “vacation”: slave-driver Jeanette Fitzsimons unceremoniously routing me out of bed at 6 or 7 AM every day to get moving to the next town – not exactly a case of sipping pina colada on a beach.
BTW, do you really believe that scientists make up or exaggerate global warming to get research funds? Our salaries do not depend on how much research the government funds. Government scientists get paid for working 40 hours a week, regardless of how long they work. My wife claims it is about 90 hours a week, but I say about 80. If you succeed in getting the government to cut back on science, because you don’t like the results, the main effect will be erosion of our competiveness relative to other nations. Your hounding of scientists does not bother me, but it may discourage young people from entering the profession, contributing to a national spiral into second or third rate technical and economic status. Perhaps, instead of questioning the motives of scientists, you should turn around and check the interests (motives) of the people who have pushed you to become so agitated.