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Tom Harris, B. Eng., M. Eng.

Executive Director - International Climate Science Coalition
Ottawa, Ontario

Presentation Topics: 

1 - Climate Change in an Era of Negative Discovery

We often hear that the science of climate change is “settled” and that “now is the time for action” to arrest this growing threat to civilization. Nothing could be further from the truth. Climate science is in a period of negative discovery in that the more we learn, the more we realize how little we actually understand about the forces that shape climate. We cannot as yet even detect a human signal on top of natural variability, let alone determine if action of any kind is needed aside from preparing for and adapting to climate change and continuing research into this complex field of science.

Tom reveals the intense debate now raging among researchers concerning the causes of climate change. Besides briefly describing the hypothesis that 20th century warming was driven mostly by humanity's greenhouse gas emissions, Tom explains other factors that now appear to have a greater influence on climate. These include, but are not limited to:

  • changes in the output of the sun
  • ocean oscillations
  • land use change 
  • galactic cosmic ray variations and consequent cloud cover changes.


Tom concludes by proposing a responsible approach to developing climate policy in light of such vast uncertainties. He also shows the dangerous direction current climate change plans are taking us.

Note: Depending on the time available for a specific talk, not all of the above topics may be covered. Meeting planners should indicate any particular topics of interest.



2 - The Cancún Threat

Not only did the UN’s Cancún climate conference achieve its ostensibly modest objectives, but it has lulled opponents into a false sense of security. Few commentators, business people and essentially no scientists outside of the UN have examined the Cancún Agreements closely enough to be able to piece together its longer term ramifications. They simply jumped to the conclusion that, since nothing is yet legally binding, we have nothing to fear.

Speaking to the 6th ICCC in Washington DC on July 1, 2011

This is completely naive. Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) was not exaggerating when she said on December 20th, “Cancún was a big step, bigger than many imagined might be possible,” She explained how the Cancún Agreements form “the collective basis for the largest mitigation effort the world has ever seen”. 

With the non-binding Cancún agreements now covering over 80% of global emissions, western governments have pledged to work hard to make the targets legally binding as soon as possible. The FCCC process is alive and well, an internationally agreed upon framework for progress established and an intense schedule of activities continues leading up to an attempt to establish legally binding, and economically crippling targets in 2015.

Anyone who thinks this cannot happen has forgotten their history. Tom explains what was really agreed to in Cancún, the mistakes in the underlying science assumptions and what awaits us if we allow the global warming bandwagon to continue.

Finally, he proposed a plan to help end the climate scare and focus our attention on real environmental problems.

Click here for sample testimonials from past presentations.



Summary Profile:

Since early 2008 Tom Harris has been Executive Director of the science-based, non-partisan group, the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC). From 2006 to 2008, Tom was Executive Director of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project (Canada). Tom’s basic education was in thermo-fluids and energy sciences and he has Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Mechanical Engineering. 

Mr. Harris has 30 years experience as a mechanical engineer/project manager, science and technology communications professional, technical trainer and S&T advisor to a former Opposition Senior Environment Critic in Canada’s Parliament. For the past 12 years he has been working with a growing team of leading scientists and engineers to promote a sensible approach to range of energy and environmental topics, climate change in particular. His main focus has been the highly controversial science underlying these issues. Here (and below) is a short video excerpt from one of his many public presentations.

Click on image to watch September 29, 2011
TV interview by Charles Adler.

Mr. Harris is regularly published in newspapers in Canada and the U.S. and occasionally in Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and other countries. He is often interviewed on radio and occasionally TV. Besides the above TV interview sample, here are some other recent media hits:

From 2009 to 2011 (four sessions), he taught a total of 1,500 students "Climate Change: an Earth Sciences Perspective", a second year course in the Faculty of Sciences at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Tom speaks about the approach he has taken with this course and ICSC in general here. An excerpt from a lecture in 2011 may be viewed here.