Hansen: US Democracy Not Competent To Deal With Global Warming, Calls on Communist China to “Save Humanity”

UPDATE: It seems the offending piece has now been removed from Dr Hansen’s website. I am posting it here in good faith, as there was no copyright notice to say it was restricted, and so I am assuming it okay to repost it. It may be removed, though, so be warned.

James Hansen China and the Barbarians – click for pdf file


The NASA scientist at the heart of the global warming fiasco seems set to stir more controversy after declaring in an op ed piece for The South China Morning Post and a personally published follow-up that American democracy is not competent to deal with global warming, and communist China now represents the world’s “best hope”.

In the op ed piece for the Chinese newspaper, which he entitled Chinese Leadership Needed to Save Humanity (published as The Price of Change) Hansen placed the blame for the vast majority of Co2 emissions supposedly causing global warming on his home country of America, and appealed to China not to follow the same path. Hansen said that China was the world’s “best hope” and called for them to “lead the world through the most dangerous crisis that humanity and nature have ever faced”.

In a follow-up article published on his website Hansen calls Americans “barbarians” and slams American democracy, calling for China to raise tariffs on American-made products until such time as America falls into line.

He recalls with some bitterness how the findings on fuel efficiency that he and his “A-Team” (as he calls it) of crack scientists came up with were held up for years by the democratic and judicial process in the United States:

We “won” the court case, yet appeals stretched the time of action for years. I came away feeling that not only is it nearly impossible to get effective legislation through Congress, but that the special interests can prevent implementation almost interminably. Democracy of the sort intended in 1776 probably could have dealt with climate change, but not the fossil-money-‘democracy’ that now rules the roost in Washington.

James Hansen, China and the Barbarians.

The declaration that American ‘democracy’ (as he sarcastically refers to it as) cannot cope with climate change, and that the world must look to the Chinese communist dictatorship to “lead” is bound to be controversial.

What is potentially even more controversial is that Hansen goes on to condemn the current democratic system in America as “dysfunctional” as it will not enact the carbon taxes he has been calling for. All is not lost, though, as he advises the Chinese government what to do about Congress in a truly incredible passage in his letter:

However, there is a way around that, which becomes obvious with the realization that an initially modest carbon fee is in China’s own interest. After agreement with other nations, e.g., the European Union, China and these nations could impose rising internal carbon fees. Existing rules of the World Trade Organization would allow collection of a rising border duty on products from all nations that do not have an equivalent internal carbon fee or tax.

The United States then would be forced to make a choice. It could either address its fossil fuel addiction with a rising carbon fee and supportive national investment policies or it could accept continual descent into second-rate and third-rate economic well-being.

My reading of this is that Hansen is advising a foreign, communist dictatorship how to circumvent American democracy and “force” (his word) America into either kow-towing over carbon taxes, or “accepting continual descent”. It is truly breath-taking that a federal employee seems able to get away with such seemingly unpatriotic activity without any reprimand or disciplinary action.

Hansen concludes his remarkable personal advice by expressing his hope that China will be able to find “good barbarians” (i.e. compliant Westerners) to help it “participate in effective policy”. As he observes, the great thing about China is that they are not bound by the inconveniences of democracy, such as elections and accountability and can simply impose decisions by diktat:

I have the impression that Chinese leadership takes a long view, perhaps because of the long history of their culture, in contrast to the West with its short election cycles. At the same time China has the capacity to implement policy decisions rapidly.

Hansen also claimed that if no action was taken, and all fossil fuels were burnt, then sea levels would rise by 75 metres (246 feet).



Bishop Hill has pointed out that Hansen’s adoration of the Chinese communist dictatorship seems to be a growing fashion among the climate alarmists.

The popular blog Treehugger has an article which reverently repeats the proud announcements of The People’s Republic of China that their glorious five-year plan to increase energy efficiency has been met with the help of rolling blackouts and shutting down institutions as required to meet targets.

As the comrades at Treehugger note, ruthless communist dictatorship is just so much more effective at these things than democracy:

It’s interesting to note the dedication China has displaying in achieving its target — shutting down entire operations and even executing rolling blackouts. Surely there would have been some amount of embarrassment for the nation on the world’s stage if it had missed its target, but that likely would have been minor. It’s worth noting the difference in political culture: What do you think would have happened if the US had such an energy-reduction target to hit, but a sagging economy got in the way?

I can tell you with some certainty: We would have missed that mark.

They’re certainly good at “executing” things. If you do decide to comment on Treehuggers’ page, please remember to be polite at all times and address them respectfully as “comrade”.

Also see my recent post here on how the UK’s new green government earnestly desires “greater collaboration” with the Chinese – it includes a video from the France 24 News channel on the Chinese citizens in forced labour as part of the “re-education” process, up to 2 million of them, according to the report.

The revolution will be carbon-neutral.

63 responses to “Hansen: US Democracy Not Competent To Deal With Global Warming, Calls on Communist China to “Save Humanity”

  1. Hanson is truly barking.
    What does he have to do to get the sack? Everything that he says and does drags NASA’s dwindling reputation further into the mud.
    By the way, HTL, you are doing a fantastic job with this site. I don’t know how you find the time, but I hope that you keep up the good work.


  2. Should this man be employed by the US government in any capacity, contending that the US system is not fit for purpose to deal with global warming?

    He should not be taking Uncle Sam’s dollar. An honorable man would resign and stand for election to the US congress – and we would then see how many votes he obtained.

  3. I’m surprised he finds the time to do any research given the number of articles he is writing as a ‘private citizen’ and the amount of court cases in which he is desperate to appear as a witness to defend lawbreaking.

  4. I wonder how many people find Hansen scary. Like an enchanted mirror, he reflects back to us something spooky and dangerous about the human condition. We play roles and follow scripts appropriate to the role. But the scripts don’t have to make sense – they just have to be appropriate to the role. Play the role and follow the script – it’s what we do best.

  5. Pingback: Hansen : Planet’s Only Hope Is To End Democracy | Real Science

  6. Am I the only one to find the link on Hansen’s China and the Barbarians broken?

  7. Did Hanson just step into treasonous territory? In other words, should the US be looking at criminal charges because of what he is recommending a foreign government do the the US? Personnally, I think he would quite enjoy playing the martyr.

  8. Hansen appears to be doing that vexatious practice loved by many a high profile person in this modern age – sucking up to the people you are talking to. In this case the Chinese. Just as Dave Cameron kissed the arse of America when in America and kisses the arse of the EU when in Europe, or as Barack Obama keeps telling whichever premier he is talking to that they are the number 1 ally of the US.

    Each nation or trading bloc can and should be considered in isolation. They set their own tax policies and apply them to their own people. If it has carbon taxes it imposes them on internal consumption and imported consumption but not on exported goods and services.(that would be silly as you would be taxing foreign consumption) If it doesn’t have carbon taxes it doesn’t impose it on either.

    There is nothing magical about that and there are always ways around it – opening offices/production lines in the countries you want to sell in is the favoured one, as many car makers have been doing in China for example. Trade is what it is. How will Hansen’s plan *force* the US to do anything? He is pinning his hopes on nothing more than peer pressure.

    It’s a load of totalitarian bilge wrapped around his desire that the US get off it’s ‘fossil fuel addiction’.

  9. The China op ed page is totally blank yet it shows as a 1.1MB pdf file. Anybody else seeing this? (The barbarian pdf loads ok for me…)

  10. How did he get to China? By boat?

    Global warming has stopped and we might be in for global cooling. Hansen should stop these hysterics. He is going to look such a fool in years to come.

  11. Peter MacFarlane

    Notice how he refers to the EU as a “nation”.


    And even if we accept everything he says, why would he expect the US to “descend” into anything if it refuses to toe his line? With a free untrammelled economy, cheap energy, and an absence of eco-fascist regulations, descend is probably the last thing it would do.

  12. The funny thing is the people who would most like China to impose these tariffs are those in American industry, what better to get people buying goods made in the USA than making goods made in China more expensive. When it comes to who exactly exports to who it seems Hansen not really thought this idea out , and there is a surprise.

  13. Frank Ch. Eigler

    Perhaps Hansen is a double agent, trying to goad the chicoms to sabotage their own economy.

  14. China op ed loads OK, but ‘Barbarian’ link not working.

  15. Hansen must be fired from Government service. Free speech is guaranteed, but not by the employer. Firing him does not restrict his speech. It does however, restrict who gets to hear it. Tough luck.

  16. I wonder how many people find Hansen scary.

    Yes. Not just him though, this guy too (by the way, the original Forbes article I got this link from has since been taken down), and innumerable others. The descent of liberal, democratic values in certain sections of our society is truly frightening.

    • Thanks for posting that Robinson. I actually posted that story first on this blog, and I’m proud of it! See the archives for a link to the Google book where you can read some Shearman’s work online if you want to see what real madness and eco-fascism looks like.


  17. manicbeancounter

    The Chinese will use Hansen to further their own ends. They are going to do nothing to limit their huge annual increase in CO2 emissions, as that is closely related to economic growth. They may use Hansen as a way to justify a carbon tax, knowing that it is an excellent way of raising a lot of revenue, with very little effect on demand. (There is plenty of empirical evidence to support the notion of high demand inelasticities for fossil fuels, such as the lack of impact on China’s growth of a tripling of oil prices in recent years.)

    There is also a political angle to this as well. An American (and NASA employee) claiming the superiority of the Chinese dictatorship over the might USA plays to the vanities of the leaders.

  18. I always thought that the one big advantage of democracy was that if you had a really bad government you could get rid of it without the cost and inconvenience of a civil war. I can now add that democracy is also a protection against fanatical fruitcakes with big ideas and no idea how these ideas will work out in real life. Such people do not have a particularly good track record, I would suggest that a 0% success rate would be fairly accurate but would be happy to be corrected.

    The sucking up thing that Barry suggested occured to me too.

  19. What Hansen has done is clever, but not particularly so. He’s trying to convince China to reduce emissions and take the first step rather than wait for the US. He’s set it up as a competition between the US and China, one which China can win.

    Alas the deniers in the East will imagine Hansen is trying reduce their economic growth for the benefit of the US, while the deniers in the West will imagine he is committing treason.

    And so it goes.

    • @Cthulhu

      Wow! That’s one serious apologia for a totalitarian sycophant trying to appeal to a totalitarian regime. Clever? The idea that China would really give a flying f*ck about what an official at NASA thinks of CAGW, let alone how it should impact on Chinese growth is so absurd it could only occur to a true apologist for the less digestible statements of their glorious leader.

      Hansen’s remarks are eerily reminiscent of the apologias that blinkered Fabians such as Wells and Shaw gave to the genocidal results of Stalin in the early ’30’s when he slaughtered 7 million Ukrainians in a engineered famine to quash what had become a troublesome province.

      China will view Hansen as a useful idiot to bolster their cause. They are a ruthlessly pragmatic regime who will pay lip service to those they think can improve their public image in the world without committing them to change one jot. You actually believe they would be so vain (and obtuse) as to abandon their double-digit growth rates to please Hansen and “score one” over the USA?? Somehow “Dream on” doesn’t suffice for a worldview so naive and insular.

      • Curious Canuck

        Did I hear this language from a Dem or a Tea-Party-deposed outgoing member of the Congressional committee before witnesses (Lindzen, Curry, etc) started giving testimony? Wah, wah, wah, China’s going to rule the future ‘carbon economy’ and the good ole USA will be left behind if we don’t, act now.

        Perhaps a recent strategy. A high-ranking rogue civil-servant is just the sort of pawn that any superpower’s intelligence services spend most of their time dreaming of being able to manipulate. Who knows, China might even appear to play along – but they won’t be motivated in any way by the climate climate.

        I think Cthulu is half right, and bang on with the basics. Where he errs is believing this to be clever. Hansen’s in over his head and can’t see how naive he is either.

  20. To Cthulhu,
    The only way to “win” at Mr. Hansen’s game is to refuse to play.

  21. Pingback: Promoviendo una dictadura ecologista « PlazaMoyua.org

  22. GK Chesterton would have found Hansen an endless target for his verbal harpoons.

  23. I see the reasoning here. Twenty years from now, Hansen’s grandchildren will be living in coal-powered warmth in China while our grandchildren will be shivering in their wind-power-chilled igloos. He knows there’s a new ice-age coming – the bastard.

  24. Demented rantings of someone totally out of touch with reality.

  25. Pingback: Global Warming, Global Cooling or Global Taxing? - Page 281 - PPRuNe Forums

  26. With sentiments such as those propounded by Hansen he should be on the US “No Fly List”as a potential terrorist. If there are any American citizens around here, why not send those links to the Department of Homeland Security?

  27. Just a thought but isn’t Maurice F. Strong, PC, CC, OM, FRSC living in China because if he went back to Canada he would be wanted for questioning about the the Food for Oil Iraq programme.

    • Yep, that’s absolutely right as far as I’ve been able to find out.

      The more you learn about the people who pushed for the whole global warming scenario, the more you realize that they are really not the sort of people you would trust with anything, let alone the future of the world.

  28. This ignorant and self-revealed fanatical totalitarian, was foisted off into a senior position by government by Charlatan Gore. He is no expert at anything ,of which he speaks. His formal education is an astrophysicist and Asstronomer, and nothing more. He has no scientific training whatever in meteorology, climatology, librarian science and databases.

    Asstronomer Hansen is a totally incompetent fraud, and a self-revealed,communist totalitarian, with no respect for democracy or the government for which he works. He speaks of climate as an authority, yet is without any special knowledge, or scientific education. He is entrusted with keeping the weather records that were so expensive and cost literally billions of dollars to obtain, and failed to preserve them.

    Asstronomer Hansen has corrupted those files and records, and has no way of re-constituting the original records with the myriad “changes”, “distortions”, “intrapolations”, “averaging” and “corrections” applied; and no record kept of what was done and when. Any author or high school theme writer, knows he must keep track of the changes, editorial and otherwise, to his writings, but apparently Asstronomer Hansen does not.

    If the government was not led by an unqualified lemonade stand entrepreneurial fool, he would be indicted for his malfeasance in protecting those records, which is his charge to protect.

    • The records aren’t preserved correctly because he DOESN’T want them preserved. Records would prove his fraud. He should be canned from NASA.

  29. Maurice Strong
    active honorary professor at Peking University and Honorary Chairman of its Environmental Foundation

    White House (Obama)
    White House Christmas Decor Featuring Mao Zedong 2009
    The flag of the communist Chinese regime has been raised over festivities near the White House honoring the restrictive nation’s 60th anniversary

    Anita Dunn
    director of communications, policy and research operations for Obama for America
    Dunn gave a speech at a high school graduation, during which she referenced Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa as two of her “favorite political philosophers.

    Green on the outside but Red on the inside

    etc etc.

  30. Maybe Hanson should move to China if he thinks its so advanced. Of course he would have to give up HIS lifestyle. If he is like most of his ilk he is living high on the hog using far more energy than the average American and asking US to cut down.

  31. In the U.S. Senate was more democratic, if 51% was all that was needed to pass a bill, then cap & trade would have passed.

  32. And if China can’t do the job we couls always try Pol Pot.

  33. Hansen gives Leprosy a bad name!

  34. HtL

    Only just noticed, but Keith Kloor was rather rude about this post, (see headpost and comment # 5):

    Also, don’t assume my post is an endorsement of this crackpottery post that Bishop Hill links to. Perhaps I should have been clear about that, but that post obviously takes Hansen’s words (and their meaning) out of context.


    Normally like KK, but I don’t think I agree with his contention that you distorted Hansen’s meaning by quoting him out of context. He said what he said.

    • Thanks for posting that.

      I think KK is being a little KKowardly there. I stand by my post – i think Hansen should be condemned for his support for what is a terrifyingly brutal regime.

      At what point did it become acceptable for government employees to openly suggest that a communist dictatorship is better than democracy when it comes to these things?

      I think KK needs to grow some KKojones and call Hansen out on this one.


  35. Pingback: Hansen: US Democracy Not Competent To Deal With Global Warming, Calls on Communist China to “Save Humanity” « ConvenienTruth

  36. Go, Comrade Hansen, go!

    This is perfect. A watermelon masquerading as a scientist, as confirmed by his own words.

    Hope this story spreads far and wide.

  37. James Hansen is standing on the shoulders of intellectual giants, e.g. New York Times’ Thomas Friedman. Here are his deep thoughts from September 8, 2009:

    “There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today.

    One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century. ”


    • lol. good one, thanks for posting.

      Friedman is an annoying little intellectual midget, isn’t he? He thinks he’s daringly progressive with his views on China, but in reality he’s merely a lick-spittle to demagogues.

  38. This buffoon is still drawing a paycheck from the U.S. Government?
    Doesn’t he realize that the first step the Chi-Coms will take is to push the Climate
    Scientists over the cliff?

  39. Pingback: Global coldening | LOVE FREEDOM TRUTH

  40. I for one welcome our new carbon overlords. I hope they will employ me as an overseer of the western barbarian slaves toiling in their organic strawberry fields (forevah).

  41. Pingback: Warmists: ‘We can’t win the game, so let’s change the rules’ | EUTimes.net

  42. Pingback: Global warming paper withdrawn for being “false and impossible” « The k2p blog

  43. What a joke. NASA, the agency that took us to the moon, cannot even run a manned space program anymore. They’ve been reduced to a ministry of propaganda for the climate change agenda?

    As for Hansen’s love of totalitarian dictatorship, I would point out that it’s because of China’s dictatorship that our offshored industries are free to pollute to their hearts content in China. No OSHA, no EPA, no nothing. I’ve been to China twice, 3 weeks in 1997 and 3 weeks in 2008. I can tell you first hand there is staggering amount of pollution in China. To suggest that China is going to lead the “green” revolution Hansen has in mind for all of us is insane.

  44. Pingback: US Klimaaktivist Hansen sagt, die US-Demokratie sei nicht in der Lage, mit der Globalen Erwärmung umzugehen, und ruft das kommunistische China auf, die „Menschheit zu retten” « Der Honigmann sagt…

  45. Pingback: Corren om klimat och socialism | The Climate Scam

  46. Pingback: How royals can change the world | Ideas for a greener environment, a fairer society and a future driven by sustainability

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