February 18, 2014:
I now have a Program Coordinator, Nicole Crescimanno, for my new program, Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, in the Columbia University Earth Institute. As of now, besides myself, the scientists in the program are Makiko Sato and Pushker Kharecha.
Regarding Facebook: I just learned that I have been on Facebook for a few years. That was not really me, rather a well-meaning "fan", who has now relinquished control of the Facebook page to Nicole. I don't expect to have time for social media, but Nicole will try to make use of Facebook for me, for example, posting my new opinion pieces and information about upcoming events. My most recent post is Quest of a Broken-Wing Butterfly (pdf) -- please share my posts with friends, when appropriate.
Regarding jobs (as I have received several applications): I am still in the process of securing support for my existing small group, and I do not anticipate large growth. Instead I will try to work with and help obtain support for organizations whose development I have been involved with, especially CitizensClimateLobby.org and OurChildrensTrust.org. We need to keep doing science in order to be effective, but will do that via a small capable group, e.g., I hope to attract a couple of highly talented government employees who have been employed long enough to have a good pension, such that they could "retire" from the government and work for a modest salary. This way I expect to have a highly capable group at a relatively low cost, avoiding the need to spend a lot of time fund raising. In the near-term, we are already occupied in several things that I will write about individually soon, we need to finish a long overdue paper on storms, and I need to find time to complete my second book (Sophie's Planet).
December 3, 2013:
The paper 'Assessing "Dangerous Climate Change": Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature' (pdf) is being published today in the leading open-access journal PLOS ONE. A 2-page paper summary + 4-page opinion (Hansen & Kharecha) re policy implications is available here (pdf) or from my web site.
The paper was written to provide the scientific basis for legal actions against federal and state governments, in the United States and other nations, for not doing their job of protecting the rights of young people. The legal actions being filed by Our Children's Trust ask the courts to require the government to provide a plan for how they will reduce fossil fuel emissions consistent with stabilizing climate.
We dispute the common assumption that the world necessarily is going to develop all fossil fuels that can be found, thus making large global warming inevitable. Humanity does not need to be a bunch of lemmings headed over a cliff. Indeed, appropriate policies that phase out fossil fuel emissions over decades would be economically and environmentally beneficial. The editors of PLOS ONE, noting our statement "...there is still an opportunity for humanity to exercise free will", are establishing a "Responding to Climate Change" Collection in the journal PLOS ONE. They invite paper submissions in all areas of research and a broad range of disciplines aimed at returning Earth to a state of energy balance.
The paper draws attention to the moral and ethical issues caused by the inertia of the climate system, which causes most of the impacts of climate change to be felt by young people and future generations, as a consequence of action or inaction of the current generation. Besides this moral issue, we point out that effective government policies, collecting a rising carbon fee from the fossil fuel industry that made fossil fuels pay their costs to society, would be a path to economic prosperity, while business-as-usual only assures economic decline.