> NASA scientist urges action on climate change

NASA’s top climate scientist painted a dire picture Monday – from flooded coastlines to apocalyptic wildfires – unless the world finds a cleaner way to power its light bulbs, motor vehicles and factories.

“We’re setting the planet on a trajectory of very dramatic consequences within this century,” James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told an overflow crowd at the University of Montana.

Despite the bleak warning, Hansen said he was confident that clean replacements for coal, oil and natural gas can be found if people put enough pressure on their politicians and policymakers.

“We’re losing the battle, but I’m optimistic we can solve this problem,” Hansen said. “We need to get beyond fossil fuels. It will be a very different planet if we continue business as usual.”

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