Last updated on: 7/2/2013 | Author: ProCon.org

James E. Hansen, PhD Biography

Title:
Former Director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA
Position:
Pro to the question "Can Alternative Energy Effectively Replace Fossil Fuels?"
Reasoning:

“Demand for low-carbon high-efficiency products will spur innovation, making our products more competitive on international markets. Carbon emissions will plummet as energy efficiency and renewable energies grow rapidly. Black soot, mercury and other fossil fuel emissions will decline. A brighter, cleaner future, with energy independence, is possible…

The next President must make a national low-loss electric grid an imperative. It will allow dispersed renewable energies to supplant fossil fuels for power generation. Technology exists for direct-current high-voltage buried transmission lines. Trunk lines can be completed in
less than a decade and expanded analogous to interstate highways.”

“Global Warming Twenty Years Later: Tipping Points Near,” www.columbia.edu, June 23, 2008

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to alternative energy or fossil fuel issues. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to alternative energy or fossil fuel issues.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Adjunct Professor, Earth Institute, Columbia University, 1985-present
  • Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 1981-2013
  • Recipient, Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Medal, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 2006
  • Recipient, John Heinz Environment Award, 2001
  • Recipient, NASA Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive, 1997
  • Recipient, National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Award, 1989
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Columbia University, 1978-1985
  • Staff Member/Space Scientist, Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS),
    Manager of GISS Planetary and Climate Programs, 1972-1981
  • Research Associate, Columbia University, 1969-1972
  • NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, Leiden Observatory (Netherlands), 1969
  • NAS-NRC Resident Research Associate, Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 1967-1969
Education:
  • PhD, Physics, University of Iowa, 1967
  • Attended the Institute of Astrophysics, Tokyo University (Japan), 1965-1966
  • MS, Astronomy, University of Iowa, 1965
  • BA, Physics and Mathematics, University of Iowa, 1963
Other:
  • He was arrested during a protest against the Keystone XL pipeline in front of the White House, Aug. 2011
  • He was arrested during a protest against mountain top removal coal mining in front of the White House, Sep. 2010
  • He was arrested during a protest against Massey Energy’s mountain top removal coal mining, June 2009
Quoted in:
  1. Are Humans Substantially Responsible for Global Climate Change Today?
  2. Should the United States Authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline to Import Tar Sand Oil from Canada?
  3. Should the US Implement a Carbon Cap and Trade System?