Galileo and the Fireflies by NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen describes both hope and despair from the Netherlands in the climate fight.

The bad news is the fossil fuel industry is spreading misinformation there just as well as here.

They use the approach that pretending that the science is like a talk-show debate, giving equal weight to all opinions and “beliefs”, encouraging the public to misinterpret the skepticism that is inherent in good science, allowing even informed scientists to exhibit their proclivity to extensively cover their fannies with waffling and caveats — is designed by well-oiled coal-fired people who wish to demean science and redefine the matter as a public debate…Putting climate science in a public stock for pillorying is not much different than the treatment that the Church gave to Galileo in disrespecting his science. While Galileo could cross his fingers and meekly accept his punishment, that is not an option available to us — continued ignorance is exactly what the greedy fossil kingpins crave of the public. If we allow the public to be hoodwinked, we sacrifice the future of our children and grandchildren.

The good news is that individuals are not waiting for governments and have developed the solar powered solar lamp also capable of recharging cell phones to replace kerosene lamps among those without electricity. This will have a good effect on both poor people and climate change. They are called WakaWakas and more information can be found here.

Sadly, governments and the United Nations have pretty thoroughly dropped the ball in this matter and the next step will have to be by individuals. It must include both individual action and forcing government action. Neither by itself will be sufficient.

Photo by tom.arthur under Creative Commons license