In the latest episode of “On Contact,” host and Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges discusses climate change with an acclaimed expert on the subject: James Hansen, a climatologist, activist and professor at Columbia University. The two talk about the dire effects of climate change, and Hansen explains why we need to radically change our relationship with the planet and implement solutions as quickly as possible.

Hedges notes that while Hansen and most other climatologists have been “sounding the alarm for decades,” the “establishment systems of power continue to pursue policies that are suicidal,” and he asks why.

“It’s pretty clear why,” Hansen responds. “Because the fossil fuel industry is making a lot of money … and they are able to influence both the legislative branch of government and the executive branch. That’s why we’re trying to use the third branch of government, the judicial branch, to secure the rights of young people.”

“I find that both [major political] parties are at fault here,” Hansen continues, adding that there are economic solutions to climate change, like creating financial incentives for people to switch to green energy.

“Make the fossil fuels pay their cost to society,” he argues. “We could get a compromise between conservatives and liberals if they would come to their senses.”

Watch the full interview, which includes a segment from correspondent Anya Parampil, in the player above.

–Posted by Emma Niles.

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