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Printer Friendly Version Urges Reduction Of
Atmospheric CO2 To 300 ppm

By Dr Gideon Polya

28 May, 2009

Australia-based was launched in May 2009 and will hopefully expand throughout the World. exists to inform people about the Climate Emergency and the need to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ) concentration to a safe and sustainable level of about 300 ppm (parts per million).

The fundamental position of – informed by the latest advice from top climate scientists and biologists - is simply that “There must be a safe and sustainable existence for all peoples and all species on our warming-threatened Planet and this requires a rapid reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration to about 300 parts per million”. [1].

The World is acutely threatened by man-made global warming due to profligate greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution. The atmospheric CO2 concentration is currently 387 ppm and increasing at about 2 ppm annually. CO2 is a major GHG but other GHGs include methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). The current atmospheric GHG concentration in units of CO2-equivalent (CO2-e) and including methane and nitric oxides is about 460 ppm. The average global surface temperature is now about 0.8oC above that in 1900. [2].

The post-1900 temperature increase of 0.8oC has already been associated with very damaging climatic disruption, specifically increased sea levels; increased energy of tropical hurricanes; ocean warming; increased melting of glaciers; increased sea ice melting in the Arctic and Antarctic; methane release from the Arctic Ocean and tundra; increased extent of forest fires; island submergence; increased drought; increased floods; coral die off; mass species extinction at 100-1,000 times the rate indicated by the fossil record; hundreds of thousands of climate refugees; increased damage to forests; spread of insect vector-borne disease; and increased human avoidable mortality (avoidable death, excess mortality, excess death). [3, 4, 5].

The consequences of man-made global warming for ecosystems and species survival are already dire at an average global surface temperature that is currently about 0.8oC above that in 1900. Many scientists now doubt that we can avoid further damaging temperature increases to over 2 oC above that in 1900. Thus a poll by the UK Guardian of scientists attending the March 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference found that 90% of respondents did not believe that current political efforts would keep warming to less than 2 oC above that in 1900. [6].

According to top UK climate scientist Dr James Lovelock FRS fewer than 1 billion people (evidently mostly European) will survive the century due to First World profligacy and unaddressed man-made climate change. [7].

This dire estimate of Dr James Lovelock of fewer than 1 billion survivors this century from unaddressed, man-made global warming translates to about 10 billion deaths (mostly of non-Europeans and including 3 billion Muslims, 2 billion Indians) in an already-commenced Climate Holocaust and Climate Genocide. [8].

The name reflects qualitative support for the position of the US-based organization that atmospheric CO2 should be REDUCED from the current 387 ppm to 350 ppm – whereas governments around the world are still evidently all committed to a continued INCREASE in CO2 pollution. [9].

However the target of reduction of atmospheric CO2 concentration to "350 ppm" is clearly inadequate and should be closer to 300 ppm according to the latest advice of top climate scientists, including Professor James Hansen (top US climate scientist; director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; member of the prestigious US National Academy of Sciences; 2007 Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science; Adjunct Professor, Columbia University, New York, USA), Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research., Germany), and Professor Barry Brook (Sir Hubert Wilkins chair of climate change and director of climate science at the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute, Adelaide, Australia) and indeed the advice of many other scientists . [10]

Australia-based accordingly advocates a goal of a safe and sustainable atmospheric CO2 concentration of about 300 ppm – a view shared by the numerous Australian Climate Action groups who convened in Canberra for the 2009 Australian Climate Action Summit [10], the Australian Climate Emergency Network [11] and by the Melbourne-based Yarra Valley Climate Action Group [12].

The following Letter is being variously sent to climate activists, media and politicians around the world.

Dear Sir/Madam etc,

Positive feedback effects from man-made global warming are accelerating climatic disruption, increasing the threat to humanity and decreasing the time for effective action to save the planet.

Major examples include the albedo flip involving replacement of light-reflecting sea ice with dark, light-absorbing ocean in the Arctic and Antarctic; the ticking methane bomb involving CO2-driven global warming causing tundra melting and release of methane that is 21 times worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas on a 100 year scale; increased storm intensity causing loss of the Southern Ocean as a major CO2 sink; and present climatic disruption causing destruction of major forest carbon sinks due to greatly increased forest fire extent and insect herbivore population explosion.

Just as the latest scientific discoveries have supplanted IPCC predictions of 2007 (e.g. the Arctic summer sea ice is now predicted to completely go by 2013 rather than in 2100) so climate activism is also being rendered out of date. Thus US-based advocates reduction of atmospheric CO2 from the present 387 ppm to 350 ppm based on a 2007 upper estimate of the safe atmospheric CO2 concentration from NASA’s Dr James Hansen.

However now Australia-based urges a goal of 300 ppm atmospheric CO2 for a safe planet, informed by the latest advice from Dr Hansen and many other top climate scientists – notably, Australia’s Professor Barry Brook who says “The number is 300” and that “350. It’s the wrong number” (see: ).

Yours sincerely,
Dr Gideon Polya

Macleod, Melbourne, Victoria 3085, Australia

End letter.

What can decent people do in the face of the worsening Climate Emergency and continuing inaction by world governments world-wide? I have suggested a three-fold “ABC strategy” involving (A) Accountability (holding the individual, corporate or national climate criminals responsible by intra-national and international sanctions, boycotts, civil actions and criminal prosecutions); (B) a Badge (wearing a Badge such as “Climate Emergency” or simply “300” as advocated by; and (C) a Credo e.g. that of “There must be a safe and sustainable existence for all peoples and all species on our warming-threatened Planet and this requires a rapid reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration to about 300 parts per million.” [14, 15].

A global action day has been organized by for 24 October 2009 – just before the crucial, make-or-break Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December 2009 - to urge for REDUCTION of atmospheric CO2 to a safe and sustainable level.

Please participate and be there with your placards and banners but proclaim the number recommended by the latest climate science: “300”.

[1]. .

[2]. Dr Andrew Glikson, “The threat to life posed by atmospheric CO2-e over 450 ppm”, submission #34 to the Australian Senate Standing Committee on Economics Inquiry into the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), 2009:
; see also

[3]. Dr James Hansen (2007), Huge sea level rises are coming – unless we act now”, New Scientist, 2614, 26 July 2007:

[4]. Dr John Holdren (2008), “The Science of Climatic Disruption” (power point lecture):

[5]. Dr Gideon Polya (2009), “Global warming, climate emergency” U3A course notes:

[6] David Adam, “World will not meet 2C warming target, climate change experts agree” “, Guardian, 14 April 2009:

[7]. Gaia Vince (2009), “One last chance to save mankind“, New Scientist, 23 January 2009:

[8]. Dr Gideon Polya, “First World Climate Genocide – global warming to kill 2 billion Indians this century “, Sulekha, 2009:

[9]. .

[10]., “ – return atmosphere CO2 to 300 ppm”:

[11]. Greenlivingpedia, “Australian climate Action Summit 2009”:

[12]. Climate Emergency Network: .

[13]. Yarra Valley Climate Action Group:

[14]. “Letter to Island Nations - Accountability, Badge and Credo (ABC) protocol & ICC prosecutions may yet save Island States, Planet”,, May, 2009:

[15]. Dr Gideon Polya, “How to save the Planet. Accountability, Badge & Credo (ABC Protocol) on MWC News, 14 May 2009: ) .

Dr Gideon Polya published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003: ). He has recently published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: and and an updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History, Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2008: ). He is currently teaching Biochemistry theory and practical courses to second year university agricultural science students at a very good Australian university.

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