Several posts on this site have mentioned a recent paper from James Hansen et al. — Target CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim? (PDF) — which argues that the official E.U. target of 550 ppm global atmospheric CO2 is far too high, and that anything over 350 ppm risks putting human beings in a world radically different than anything they’ve ever known.

The final version of the paper is now up, and there’s been some good news coverage. For a good overview, see Ed Pilkington in The Guardian.

Juliet Eilperin at the Washington Post picks out the crucial part of Hansen’s message — "New Focus on Coal’s Part in Warming" — and pulls in backup from Gore:

Former vice president Al Gore said in an interview last week that he backs Hansen’s approach, with one modification: Because carbon capture and storage technology is still not widely available, he said, “I think we ought to have a moratorium on any coal-fired power plant that doesn’t have the capacity to capture carbon.”

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One thing that strikes me as rather … odd is that Eilperin’s story spends several ‘graphs discussing an exchange of letters between Hansen and Jim Rogers of Duke Energy — an exchange that occurred on Gristmill and, as far as I know, only on Gristmill. Yet the piece never links to either letter.

Guess Jack Shafer is onto something.

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