Hansen of NASA Arrested in Coal Country – New York Times – June 23, 2009
Excerpt: James E. Hansen, the NASA climate scientist who has become an outspoken campaigner against coal burning, was among 31 protesters arrested on charges of obstructing officers and impeding traffic during a protest against mountaintop mining. They had initially sought to enter the grounds of a facility run by Massey Energy, the biggest company conducting mountaintop mining in West Virginia. But several hundred miners and relatives, along with supporters of the coal industry, blocked the entrance, according to the Charleston Gazette.
In a statement distributed by the Rainforest Action Network, Dr. Hansen said:
“I am not a politician; I am a scientist and a citizen. Politicians may have to advocate for halfway measures if they choose.” […]
Dr. Hansen has said for years that growing reliance on coal, far more so than oil, is the biggest threat to the global climate. As a result, he has strongly criticized the climate bill that is facing a vote by the full House of Representatives on Friday. […] Dr. Hansen has pushed far beyond the boundaries of the conventional role of scientists, particularly government scientists, in the environmental policy debate. (UPDATE 9:15 pm: Here he explains his decision to head to coal country and risk arrest. Here, his focus on a carbon tax is explored.) He’s been heaped with scorn and honors as a result. With his opposition to the climate bill, he’s generated frustration among old allies.