NASA's Top Climate Scientist: U.S. South Could Become Uninhabitable

Well, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise to see this statement from NASA’s James Hansen, perhaps the top climate scientist in the world. But it’s a statement we seem to keep ignoring. Here’s the statement I’m referring to:

“Climate change — human-made global warming — is happening. It is already having noticeable impacts…. If we stay on with business as usual, the southern U.S. will become almost uninhabitable.”

us drought climate

See the following for some of our coverage on this matter:

  1. Sixty Year Drought on Southwest American Horizon
  2. American Southwest Heading for Permanent Drought
  3. America Experiencing ‘Exceptional Drought’
  4. Future Temperatures Could Exceed Human Livability

And here’s a look at the current drought monitor for Texas, which we’ve also covered pretty extensively lately (links below the image):

texas drought monitor

  1. Extreme Wildfires & Drought Strike Extreme Global Warming Denying State, Texas
  2. Hottest Summer Ever for Texas, Breaks US Record
  3. Rick Perry: Praying for Rain, Ignoring Climate Science (this was 2 months ago.. notice the image above from this last week)
  4. Mississippi River Floods, Texas Drought, and Global Weirding (& Food Prices/Crises)

Dr. James Hansen has a new paper out on global warming and climate science (and Monarch butterflies), but aside from tackling the science alone, Dr. Hansen also delves into the problems stopping us from addressing these problems. Here’s a piece of that:

There is ample evidence of growing climate disruption. But despite record or near-record heat and drought in the United States this past summer with simultaneous extreme flooding, and despite comparable extremes in China and elsewhere, there has been little public discussion of the connection of these climate extremes with human-made climate forcing.

The media are partly responsible for the silent summer, as they have mainly chosen not to examine connections between climate anomalies and human-made causes. A cynic may ask whether their silent summer is related to increasing right-wing control of media and large advertising revenues from fossil fuel companies.

… and another:

It is time for all of us to get Tea-Party-angry about what our political system has become and about the intergenerational injustice being perpetrated on young people.

Yes, I think it is!

Some of our posts on the need for strong climate change and global warming activism:

  1. Get Involved in Politics.. Hear Me Out (Going Green Tip #14)
  2. It’s Time for a Direct Action Comeback! (Now)
  3. It’s Not Just about Activism, It’s about Politics Too
  4. Funny Dancing Video & Insightful Commentary

For more from Hansen, check out his new paper or several highlights excerpted by Dr. Joe Romm over on Climate Progress.


8 thoughts on “NASA's Top Climate Scientist: U.S. South Could Become Uninhabitable”

  1. If CO2 was such a problem, why do indoor farmers increase the amount of CO2 their plants receive by 10 times that found in natural air? And why is it that if indoor farmers do not continuously pump in new CO2, their plants will die due to an O2-rich / CO2-defficient environment?

    Because CO2 is PLANT FOOD!!! The more CO2, the bigger and healthier the plant and the more fruits they produce.

    If plants can grow to twice their normal size in CO2 enriched environments, that means that there is not enough CO2 in natural air for plants to reach their maximum level of CO2 respiration. And THIS means that the plants on this planet are more that capable of absorbing any additional CO2 created by our little activities.

    There is no CO2 problem!! Global Warming is a SCAM, so too is the Cap & Trade TAX.

    1. Inez, CO2 is directly helpful to plants, but a rapid and extreme accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere results in massive droughts, floods, fires, and hurricanes that kill plants. i highly recommend the following video:

      & if you prefer text, i recommend this piece:

      and i’ll add that while plants do absorb CO2, it is now documented that they are absorbing a lower and lower % of our CO2 emissions (so, net emissions continue to increase) — the same goes for the oceans, which also absorb CO2.


      As for cap-and-trade, it’s a simple, MARKET-BASED way of encouraging industry to pollute less. Polluting industries will have to clean up their operations using cleaner technology (creating jobs in the process) or pay another industry that is already doing so. Again, it is a MARKET-BASED solution that was originally conceived of by Republicans and has been critical to the U.S. addressing acid rain and other topics.

    2. Listen to Zachary, Inez. The man knows what he’s talking about. Or don’t listen to Zachary and experiment on your own, Plant some vegetation in a greenhouse, then simulate extreme drought. You will quickly come to the hideous conclusion that what your suggesting is a bunch of dried up leaves, dunked in lizard soup for Sunday dinner.

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