The 20th Anniversary of the "Hansen Hearing"

Now Available: Resources from this event, including audio, Hansen's PowerPoint presentation, and an interview with James Hansen published in World Watch magazine.
Dr. Hansen Testimony


The 20th Anniversary of the "Hansen Hearing"

Monday, June 23, 2008


Noon to 2:00 pm

The National Press Club Ballroom

529 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20045


Dr. James E. Hansen

Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies


Senator Timothy E. Wirth

President, U.N. Foundation

A Climate Change Turning Point


In 1988, discussion of climate change was confined mainly to scientific journals-and was unknown to most policy makers and the media. But on June 23, Senator Timothy Wirth convened a hearing of the Senate Energy Committee to explore the issue. The lead witness was Dr. James Hansen of NASA. His testimony marked the first time a top climate scientist declared that global temperatures had risen beyond the range of natural variability. Global warming had begun.

Dr. Hansen's testimony echoed around the world and he has turned out to be the Paul Revere of climate change. Mainstream scientific thinking has swung behind his 1988 testimony, and climate change now looms as a more immediate and serious threat than ever before. But the world's governments have done little to slow emissions growth in the past two decades. Because of this delay, immediate action is now needed.

On June 23, 2008, Dr. Hansen and Senator Wirth will share their views on how the science and policy of climate change have unfolded over the past two decades-and what we must do to avoid climate catastrophe in the decades ahead.

Table Sponsors:

  • Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)
  • Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
  • Sierra Club
  • Union of Concerned Scientists
  • World Resources Institute (WRI)
  • Center for Global Development (CGD)
  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
  • Cool Air – Clean Planet