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At a speech at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., climatoligist James Hansen called for a national carbon tax while suggesting CEO’s of energy companies may be guilty of crimes against humanity and nature. Twenty years ago, Hansen was the first leading scientist in America to suggest humans were affecting global warming.

In a speech that marked the anniversary of his landmark senate testimony in 1988, Hansen said we are a at a “point of planetary emergency” and called for the phase out of coal-burning power plants by 2030, as well as a carbon tax on coal, oil, and gas–money that would be returned directly to the American public.

Hansen is now the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Study. His original remarks about global warming were edited severely by the White House in 1988. He is currently lobbying for more drastic federal mandates than the “softer” bills currently being debated in Congress.

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