Why CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) Emissions Are Bad

October 19, 2015

CO2 emissions

What even is CO2? Well CO2 is the byproduct of our existence on this earth. Let me rephrase, it’s the byproduct of our inefficient and outdated means of supporting our existence on earth. This sounds very opinionated, I know.

Explanation. CO2 is actually a naturally occurring gas in our atmosphere. The problem is that we are adding way more CO2 into the atmosphere than the earth can handle and the earth cannot clean up after us fast enough. Usually the environment balances itself out, “cleaning” up the natural CO2 emissions using natural methods, over time. When more CO2 is placed into the atmosphere than can be “cleaned up,” the amount of CO2 starts to build.

The creation of electricity (yes, the electricity you use everyday) plus the transportation industry make up 68% of all CO2 emissions in the USA. This is a lot for just two industries. Makes me think that their methods are becoming outdated (see above statement). Think about coal-fired power plants. The guiltiest of all. Next to oil-fired power plants, we’re talking about the most CO2 emissions around. What about solar power? Zero CO2 emissions…I’ll save that for another post.

Back to it. CO2 makes the earth hot by “trapping” heat and not letting it escape out of the atmosphere during a normal day. This is what’s called global warming, and I don’t think it’s a myth. The facts are clear, CO2 PPM (parts per million – the measurement of CO2 in the atmosphere) has increase heavily since the industrial revolution (~1840) and it’s not really slowing down. You can see from the graph that there is a big spike in CO2 concentration. See!

Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr

Cutting down forests and clearing land for commercial use doesn’t really help either. But I’m not one to say that we should deprive ourselves of roads, shopping, entertainment, etc. I do think that we could do it better. How about incorporating more energy efficiency and renewable energy to reduce the increased demand for coal/oil-fired power? How about minimizing the impact to the surrounding ecosystem(s) by building in a eco-friendly manner with low disturbance – incorporating nature into design/architecture. If states required LEED certification minimums for new construction, this would immediately start to solve our problems. YES it adds more costs, yea yea yea.. Keep making excuses.

Back on track, again. So CO2 is making our earth hot. It’s trapping heat inside the atmosphere and causing glaciers to melt and sea levels to rise. Our earth cannot sustain what we’re doing anymore, it’s just a fact that cannot be denied. You may not think it’s a big deal now, because it’s not directly affecting you, but think about the future for just a moment. No, think about the past for a moment. Those before us may not have been aware of the effect that CO2 would have on the environment. Now we must clean up the mess. If we neglect this fact now, we are passing the buck to our kids and their kids. The difference is that we KNEW about the problem and what it would do to our lives, but we chose not to act. Let’s not end up like that!

Check out this cool site for more information: http://co2now.org/

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