Hansen, who heads NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York City, spent 46 years working at the agency.
After warning Congress in 1988 that climate change posed a serious threat to the planet, he has spent much of the past quarter-century trying to persuade policymakers to take bold action to curb global carbon emissions.
In an e-mail Monday, Hansen wrote that he decided to step down “so that I can spend full time on science, drawing attention to the implications for young people, and making clear what science says needs to be done.”
The New York Times first reported the news of Hansen’s retirement Monday night.
Climate activist Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, said Hansen, 72, decided to step down so he could engage in lawsuits and protests full time. Hansen was arrested in February in Washington in a protest against the Keystone XL pipeline plan. He participated in the demonstration on a day off from his government job.
Hansen has frequently tangled with his superiors in the federal government, especially during the George W. Bush administration. At one point, political appointees barred Hansen from talking directly to the press.
“When the history of our time is written, he’s going to be one of the giants,” McKibben said in an interview. “If anyone has ever served his country well, it’s Jim Hansen, to work that long in the same shop and to do it under that kind of pressure and scrutiny, and to do it with that kind of faithfulness.”
Global warming has become a religion and Hansen has been the religion's taxpayer subsidized great high priest... but no more.
Apparently someone decided wisely that the notion of separation between church and state should be taken more seriously by the good reverend and forced him out.
To which I say, amen.