Since pre-industrial time, primarily as a result of burning fossil fuels, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has shot up by 40 percent, from 280 to 392 ppm (by volume). Global temperature has already increased by 0.8 degrees Celsius or 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although our planet has experienced times in the distant past with higher CO2 levels than present, strong geological evidence cautions that the planet was much warmer then.
Will we, our livestock and our crops tolerate even higher temperatures? Our Earth has never before been subjected to such a rapid rise in CO2 and temperature, except perhaps through a major meteorite impact. We can expect a major extinction event. Our polar ice and tundras are already melting, reducing the amount of sunlight reflected into space, and releasing methane, another powerful greenhouse gas, which had been trapped below.
We have very few years to reshape our energy production and appetite, and shift away from burning fossil fuels. A fee on CO2 emissions rebated back to the people would enable this shift.
We are already facing dire consequences from increased CO2 which will only escalate.
— Members of Citizens Climate Lobby – Oklahoma