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

Executive Director - International Climate Science Coalition
Ottawa, Ontario

For high schools, colleges and universities: 

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.

Tom Harris
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.

Click here to read the take away messages from Tom's presentations.

Click here for sample testimonials from past presentations.

Click on image to watch September 6, 2011
TV interview by Ezra Lavant on "The Source".
Topic of discussion was the significance of the
CERN "CLOUD" experiement in Switzerland.

Summary Profile:

Since early 2008 Tom has been Executive Director of the science-based, non-partisan group, the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC). For the past three years, Tom has also taught a total of 1,500 students in the second year course "Climate Change: an Earth Sciences Perspective" 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. Tom’s basic education was in thermo-fluids and energy sciences and he has Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Mechanical Engineering. 

Tom 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.

Tom 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: