When someone called Tom Harris, Executive Director of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project and Manhattan Declaration signatory issues a challenge for me to attack the message and not the messenger, it should be time to wave around the mountain of evidence of man made climate change which he refutes. Instead, let's keep it as simple and straightforward as possible and deal with facts.
Climate change is happening, that much we agree on but where we differ is just how the alarming amount of Carbon Dioxide got there.
Picture a timeline in your mind and let's go back 800,000 years. Analysis of Antarctic ice shows us that at no point in the past 800,000 years did levels approach today's carbon dioxide concentrations of around 387 parts per million (ppm).
These studies indicate that atmospheric CO2 levels were around 260 – 280 ppm immediately before industrial emissions began and did not vary much from this level during the preceding years.
In the Ice core, the fastest increase seen was 30 parts per million over a period of approximately 1,000 years. In recent times we have seen a 30 ppm increase in just under two decades.
What this tells us is that over the last 200 years, something has increased carbon dioxide by 30%-40% to levels unprecedented in the 799,800 years that went before.
It really does not take a genius to look back at what has been pumping the CO2 out since the 1800s.
Global Carbon emissions from Fossil fuels in 1800 equaled 0 million tonnes. Today it equals almost 9000 tonnes with power generation (41%) and transportation (20%) being the chief culprits.
And there we have our timeline stretching back 800,000 years with CO2 in the atmosphere keeping at a steady 260-280 ppm until the early 1800's and then suddenly shooting up to 387 ppm at exactly the same time the Industrial Revolution stuttered into being and we started burning fossil fuels. Is there seriously anybody still ignorant enough not to see this, know where the blame lays and realise that we have to change our ways drastically if we are to avert a disaster?
Earth Policy Institute
Antarctic Ice Analysis