Obama 'Has 4 Years to Save Planet'

Environmental crisis at tipping point—and US must show way
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 18, 2009 5:00 PM CST
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., looks at the crowd after he spoke at a rally at Ault Park in Cincinnati, Ohio on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Carbon levels are skyrocketing, ice caps are melting, and global flooding is on its way if Barack Obama doesn’t do something about it, and quickly, a NASA scientist says. Top climate expert Jim Hansen says it’s crucial that within 4 years the next president change America—the world’s biggest carbon emitter and its largest economy—after 8 years of ignoring global warming, the Guardian reports.

“We cannot afford to put off change any longer," Hansen says. "We have to get on a new path within this new administration. We have only four years left for Obama to set an example to the rest of the world. He adds that cap-and-trade systems have failed to reduce emissions, and now a carbon tax on all fossil-fuel producers is essential. And burning of coal, the worst carbon offender, in new power plants must be banned."