Canberra, Jan 6 (ANI): A leading NASA scientist has written in a letter to US President-elect Barack Obama that Australia's use of coal and carbon emissions policies are guaranteeing the "destruction of much of the life on the planet".
According to a report in news.com.au, Professor James Hansen, the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has written an open letter to Barack Obama calling for a moratorium on coal-fired power stations and the use of next-generation nuclear power.
"Australia exports coal and sets atmospheric carbon dioxide goals so large as to guarantee destruction of much of the life on the planet," Hansen says in the letter.
Professor Hansen said that goals and caps on carbon emissions were practically worthless because of the long lifetime of carbon dioxide in the air.
"Instead, a large part of the total fossil fuels must be left in the ground. In practice, that means coal," he said. "Nobody realistically expects that the large readily available pools of oil and gas will be left in the ground," he added.
Emissions reduction targets, like Kevin Rudd's goal to cut emissions by a minimum of 5 per cent and up to 15 per cent by 2020, do not work, according to Hansen.
"This approach is ineffectual and not commensurate with the climate threat," Hansen wrote of reduction plans. "It could waste another decade, locking in disastrous consequences for our planet and humanity," he added.
He also called for the end of coal plants that do not capture and store carbon dioxide and for funding for "fourth generation" nuclear power plants that could run on material now regarded as waste. (ANI)