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Global warming expert to discuss perils of coal

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James Hansen visits Chapel Hill this week to do what the Bush administration had forbidden him to: speak.

Hansen, a former scientist with NASA's Goddard Institute who was censored by the fossil fuel-friendly Bush administration for his views on humans' contributions to global warming, will speak Saturday, Nov. 17, at 3 p.m. at the Friday Center, 100 Friday Center Drive, near the corner of Raleigh and Barbee Chapel roads.

60 Minutes called Hansen "the world's leading researcher on global warming." His studies concluded that humans' impact on the heating of the planet "dwarfs" any natural temperature fluctuations. As a result, in 2004, Hansen received a memo from NASA stating "The White House is now reviewing all climate related press releases."

Hansen will detail a five-point plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including enacting a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants, such as Duke Energy's proposed Cliffside units near Charlotte.

Joining Hansen will be Mike Nicklas, a renewable energy expert from Raleigh and former board member of the N.C. Solar Energy Association.

Admission is free, although reservations are recommended. Claim your seats at www.ncwarn.org.

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