Weekend Open Thread: Where Were You When CO2 Hit 400 PPM?

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"Weekend Open Thread: Where Were You When CO2 Hit 400 PPM?"

Earth’s atmosphere hit 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide last month — the highest level humans have ever experienced. This can be easily tracked here through measurements at an observatory on Mauna Loa in Hawai’i. The Keeling Curve (which really appears as more of a line pointing upwards) is named after the man who started taking the measurements in 1958.

The massive spike in carbon dioxide has been observed in other forms of measurement, though Mauna Loa provides an unsettlingly transparent demonstration of what happens when a species burns up a lot of carbon that had been underground for millions of years.

How much has your lifestyle contributed to this rise in emissions? What were you likely doing when the planet passed this inauspicious milestone?

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69 Responses to Weekend Open Thread: Where Were You When CO2 Hit 400 PPM?

  1. Will Fox says:

    Free travel is socialist and unamerican! Electric vehicles don’t pollute!

    http://www.futuretimeline.net/blog/2013/06/1.htm

    The Right is going to hate this ;-)

  2. prokaryotes says:

    THE STORY of ClimateState begun to evolve during the Bush years when you could see that we were heading into the wrong direction. No progress for electric transport, no emission cuts and then after hurricane Katrina, i started to blog and self-education became a requirement.

    In order to understand everything you had to put the puzzle pieces yourself together. The group of people who feels that the climate change we create is bad, seems to be the growing majority.

    Still, the media does a horrible job to communicate science, often downplaying important findings, echoing denier talking points or even offering deniers to discuss the science with Scientists. Giving the impression that the other side has a sound argument (This image sums that up).

    Professor Schellnhuber from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, compared the treatment of earth atmosphere – to playing russian roulette, only with less bullet chambers. “What could possibly go wrong?”

    The MIT put it this way, imagine we use a roulette wheel with a 90% probability range of 3.5 to 7.4 degrees – concluding “climate change odds much worse than thought”. And that was back in 2009 and we know today that many findings even underestimated impacts and rates of change or the fact that they did not account for Methane in their calculations.

    http://climatestate.com/2013/05/30/welcometo-the-1st-issue-of-climatestate/

    Read now online the entire first edition of ClimateState!

    • Superman1 says:

      PK, you have made a good start. Make sure that your site becomes more than a brochure for renewables; it needs to address the required near term severe reduction in demand if we are to get through the transition period without going over the cliff. I’m sure you will; your comments reflect strong objectivity.

      • prokaryotes says:

        Yes, there is so much you need to think off when presenting something. Though i certainly will cover more ground but i try to imagine somebody who types into google something like “climate change” and from there i want to present a good overview, specially motion pictures. Though i will do some specials next, like on promising things like Biochar, “weathering” or sea ice. Thanks for your feedback Superman, it is appreciated!

    • BBHY says:

      I remember in 2000 when he was campaigning, W promised repeatedly that he would regulate CO2 emissions. That was certainly a good tactic given that he was running against Al Gore.

      After he was “elected” by the Supreme Court it took about a nanosecond for him to change his mind on that.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        BBHY, I don’t think Bush ‘changed his mind’. All Big Dick let him do was ‘mind the change’, the loose change. Bush was being, shall we say, ‘loose with the facts’ when he pledged carbon action, when he needed every vote he could get, including from naive environmentalists.

      • Raul M. says:

        No, he still regulated co2 when he turned the light switch on then there was more co2 and when he turned his car off then there was less co2. So he regulated co2 when he turned his car on. You could surmise his stance as the day went on.

  3. Jeff Huggins says:

    Keystone XL: What Would Hillary Do?

    What would Hillary Clinton do regarding Keystone XL if she were president today? Would she approve it or deny it?

    This is a simple, concrete, and consequential question that should be posed to her, persistently, starting today. It should be posed to her by CAP, Climate Progress, 350.org, the Sierra Club, Move On, the NRDC, and other environmental and climate organizations as well as all Democrats and progressives who are deeply concerned about climate change and who want to make sure that any future Democratic nominee for president will be the right one for the task.

    It’s also a question that should be posed by the MSNBC folks (Rachel, Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell, Chris Matthews) and the CNN folks (Piers Morgan, etc.) if they are serious, if they are serious about climate change, and if they want to serve the American public by making sure that the views of would-be presidential nominees are understood by voters before the field is narrowed and it’s too late.

    Some might object to this idea by saying that it’s too early to press would-be candidates for president in 2016 with such specific questions about their views. Hogwash! Already, many Democratic and progressive pundits are touting Hillary as the clear and overwhelming front-runner for the Democratic nomination, and practically worshiping at her feet, openly saying that other potential Democratic candidates are standing by to see whether Hillary runs, presumably planning to defer to her (in many cases) if she does. In effect, they say, Hillary is starting to run now; so we’d better find out in concrete terms what sort of president she’d be, regarding climate change.

    Some might object, saying that she would have this excuse not to answer such a question, namely that it would be inappropriate for her to answer it, having served President Obama until recently and given the fact that Keystone XL is his decision to make. Again, hogwash! She is no longer a member of the Obama Administration and she is free to state her own view; and it would be fair and appropriate for her to state it, and fair for the public to ask for it given that she is a prominent Democrat who seems to be a potential and likely candidate next time around.

    It would be far too easy, and a typical political copout, for her to wait for Obama’s KXL decision and then to comment on it (perhaps in vague terms) only after-the-fact and only in the months leading up to the Democratic primary. Doing so would be a copout, not leadership. Clearly, to do so would be to put her own political aspirations and politicking itself above the real concern: climate change.

    She has had plenty of time to consider such issues, to understand climate change, and so forth. If she can’t make up her mind about something such as Keystone XL, that would say a lot about her qualifications to be president. If she would actually approve Keystone XL, that should give us (the climate movement) all the information we need if we want to avoid getting ourselves into the same position in 2017-2020 as we are in today and have been these last four years, that is, with a president who we elected that is doing far too little to address climate change.

    Finally, I would say this: If her answer is, “If I were president today, I would deny approval to Keystone XL,” such an answer would do several things (in addition to showing leadership and demonstrating a willingness to be clear with the American people): First, it would be great for the climate movement, and it would begin to change the dialogue in politics and set the stage for discussions that must begin to happen, preferably sooner rather than later. Second, it would actually provide some degree of “cover” for President Obama if he is tending towards denying approval to KXL. He shouldn’t need such “cover”, of course, but he apparently doesn’t like to rock the boat, at least not alone. In any case, a clear and crisp statement from Hillary that, all things considered, she would deny approval to KXL, would not only show leadership on her part, and it would not only give us information that we should want to know, but it would also help the cause immensely as well as help or prompt President Obama to make the decision that he should make in any case.

    (To be clear, my point here is not that I support Hillary; for the most part, based on most of what I’ve seen so far, I don’t. Instead, my point is that we should want and demand to know her position on Keystone XL, a point that’s especially true for anyone concerned with climate change who might even consider her as a potential Democratic nominee and candidate for president.)

    • Pennsylvania Bob says:

      Yes. Thank you again Jeff. And the same should be asked of any and all candidates for president when the time comes, even of those where we probably already know the answer about Keystone XL.
      Equally important, broader climate questions should be asked of all candidates for office at all levels….president down to dog-catcher. The national journalists and media can ask Hillary, et al. All the rest of us have a responsibility to ask climate questions of every candidate at every level. You wouldn’t want a Holocaust denier on your school board or town council…..why would you stand by and let a climate denier serve there? The climate questions should be asked for state legislature candidates as well. Don’t let them weasel out saying this is only a national or international issue….state reps have a way of eventually running for Congress. We must pin them down and get them all on the record. They must know that people are watching and paying attention.

      Yes, we must work from the top down by electing a president who “gets it.” We must also work from the ground up by pressuring anyone who wants to serve in any office.
      Talk to the editor of your newspaper and make sure the editorial board asks climate questions when interviewing candidates. Talk to the League of Women voters and others who host candidate forums and debates and make sure they ask climate questions.
      Few of us have access to presidential candidates; all of us can do this at a more local level. This is the most meaningful action that most of us can take.

    • Superman1 says:

      If elected, she would be in office almost four years from now. I don’t know how much I would trust any politician’s promises thirty days from now, much less four years. It would be interesting to compare Obama’s promises on climate (specific or implied) made in 2007-2008 with his later performance in office.

      • Pennsylvania Bob says:

        Fine. Spend time doing this, but don’t allow a single additional climate denier to be elected at any level in your local, regional, state or national districts. We must throw the bums out and keep more bums from getting elected. If this is a war, and I think it is, then it’s time we started to fight. Shame on any of us who doesn’t fight to keep climate deniers out of office….especially at local levels where we probably have the most influence. Don’t think this doesn’t matter; it does. Elections matter….all of them.

        • Superman1 says:

          “If this is a war, and I think it is,” This is a war? If we mobilized for our foreign wars the way we’re mobilizing for this ‘war’, we’d be speaking a different language today.

          • Pennsylvania Bob says:

            I’m not disagreeing for a minute. But most people who understand what is happening still don’t do much. This is something we all can do.
            A candidate for Congress come through here a month ago and said if we want to change things “we have to win more elections at all levels.” Simple. Obvious. But apparently too much bother for most of us. So we post here and think that’s enough. Sorry, but that really won’t change a thing. Old Tip said it best: “All politics is local.”

  4. Colorado Bob says:

    MANGALORE: Bangalore recorded the heaviest rainfall in its history in 24hrs recording 109mm of rainfall in the last 24-hours up to 8.30am on Saturday. As per the climatology, the heaviest rainfall in 24-hours that was recorded is 101.6 mm on June 16, 1891. Chikkotankal in Manvi taluk of Raichur district recorded maximum rainfall of 181.5mm in Karnataka in last 24-hours up to 8.30am on Saturday, according to KSNDMC, Bangalore.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Bangalore-breaks-century-old-rainfall-record-for-a-single-day/articleshow/20383317.cms

  5. Spike says:

    UK solar market shows signs of recovery in the face of pro-nuke/fracking government policy:

    http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/guest_blog/uk_exceeds_0.5_gw_pv_demand_in_q113_grabs_almost_10_global_share

  6. Spike says:

    The UK’s offshore wind farms currently have the capacity to power more than two million British homes, with more than 3.3GW installed, a further 3.2GW under construction or consented, and another 7.8GW in planning. As long as the right level of support is forthcoming, we can reach the Government’s Renewable Energy Roadmap target of 18GW by 2020. That means that by the end of the decade, offshore wind will be supplying around 20 per cent of the UK’s electricity annually, a remarkable achievement for a sector which has been developed in this country only since the turn of the century.

    http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/opinion/2270766/british-offshore-wind-bigger-than-the-beatles

  7. Brooks Bridges says:

    The beginning of the end of one bit of insanity?

    (Huffington Post)

    “State Rep. Matt Gaetz’s long quest to repeal a requirement that gasoline sold in Florida contain some percentage of the supplement ethanol is over.

    Legislation that began as H.B. 4001 was signed late Friday by Gov. Rick Scott.

    The new law repeals a five-year-old statute requiring all state service stations to sell gasoline containing an established percentage of ethanol.”

  8. David Smith says:

    Where was I when I heard of 400? I was working on my pet architecture project; Developing a design/construction approach to making buildings that use 75% less energy than current typical and no carbon fuel to operate.

  9. All the examples is the “Where were you” cartoon pale in comparison to the sacred cow of climate pollution: jet setting

    Here is a recent article I wrote comparing jet pollution levels to everything else in life, along with one my most popular charts.

    Something about glass houses…

    • Superman1 says:

      Barry, every time I have mentioned the need to immediately eliminate all non-essential uses of fossil fuel if we are to avoid the transition temperature ceiling that will push us over the cliff, and give airline vacation travel as an example, the Amen Corner on this site send out their robots to call this ‘draconian sacrifice’. If we aren’t willing to give up this unnecessary polluter, that tells me we are not willing to do anything that will avoid the cliff.

    • 6thextinction says:

      Yikes…I stopped flying 10 yrs. ago for GW footprint reasons, but did not know until reading your piece the extent of the impact. All of us need to spread this information around as frequently and widely as we can.
      I have a frequent flyer friend who argues his childlessness more than compensates for his flights. Can you write an article on that lifestyle choice?

  10. jyyh says:

    on May 24th (which is about when the weekly smoothed line of CO2 on Mauna Loa crosses the 400ppm limit, where to find the daily data??) I was thinking of moving the remaining wood for last winter to sauna downstairs. And checking the winter damages on the yard. And got the bike fixed. And did more normal things. (Please be specific about the date, it might be 25th, also)

  11. SecularAnimist says:

    I was enjoying my air conditioning powered by coal-fired electricity, while using my computer powered by coal-fired electricity to excoriate other people for their failure to make draconian sacrifices and immediately eliminate all nonessential use of fossil fuels.

  12. Frank Zaski says:

    PRB coal is being shipped to Europe thru the Great Lakes.

    Midwest Energy Resources Company, MERC, a wholly owned subsidiary of DTE Electric is promoting their ability to facilitate shipping PRB coal to Europe. http://midwestenergy.com/

    The PRB coal is mined in Montana and Wyoming, railed 1,000 miles (in MERC railcars) to Superior Wisconsin (a port facility on Lake Superior owned by MERC) where it is loaded on a lake ship destined for Quebec City where it is reloaded on to an ocean fighter destined to Europe.

    This route is only one-third the ocean distance of the Gulf ports to Europe

    This MERC operation shipped about 1.5 million tons in 2012 and has plans to expand to 4 million tons per year by 2014. (Note, 3 million tons of US coal was shipped to China in 2012)

    http://www.midwestenergy.com/cms_uploads/reports/In%20The%20News/MERC_opens_a_new_market_Nov_2011.pdf

    Over 60% of US coal exports are shipped to Europe, and it increased 74% from 2011 to 2012.
    http://www.eia.gov/coal/production/quarterly/pdf/t9p01p1.pdf

    • 6thextinction says:

      DTE, MERC’s owner, spent 6 million dollars in advertising against Michigan’s proposal for 20% clean energy by 2020 last fall. It did not pass, despite polls showing it would before the onslaught of DTE’s campaign against it.

      Cut back on everything you plug into an outlet, esp, during peak times; stop using dryers (air dry); sweep instead of vacuum; do laundry, dishes after dark; shorten hot water use; etc. Get creative. Better yet, get solar.

  13. Joan Savage says:

    NOAA: May 9, the daily mean concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since measurements began in 1958.

    http://researchmatters.noaa.gov/news/Pages/CarbonDioxideatMaunaLoareaches400ppm.aspx

    Calculating global average CO2 concentration takes much data, number crunching and error bars, so I’m going to stick with the May 9 date, along with its limits.

    It’s like the start or end of war, messy in reality, perhaps other than the 11th month 11th day 11th hour end of World War I.

    • Joan Savage says:

      Where was I on May 9 regarding CO2: aligned the errands, drove less than five miles in 24 hours and used a Honda Civic. (Diehard cyclists, I salute you but I have arthritis.) Had turned off the gas furnace, so the house temperature fluctuated some between day and night, choosing instead to adjust bed coverings, windows and curtains, instead of fuel.

      Not embarrassing, but not a radical step in a better direction either, for such an historic day.

  14. Colorado Bob says:

    “We’ve received a month’s June rain in 24 hours. It’s extremely unusual,” Mr Halfpenny told AAP.

    South East Kansas recieve double their May average on the 31st
    7.9 inches

  15. Colorado Bob says:

    Reading Neven’s Artic Sea Ice today ….
    They were speaking of temps in Norway, went and looked it’s 85F degrees at one station there , it’s 82F degrees Murmansk, Russian.

  16. Joan Savage says:

    Unexpected human reactions is a whole category of climate and weather that could be explored.

    In the most recent bout of tornadoes in Oklahoma, a mayor commented:

    “Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said: “For reasons that are not clear to me, more people took to the roads, more than we expected. Everyone acted differently in this storm, and as a result, it created an extremely dangerous situation.

    “I think we are still a little shaken by what happened in Moore. We are still burying children and victims, so our emotions are still strong,” he added.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22739637

    • Merrelyn Emery says:

      Yes, I’m sure we will see a range of very strange behaviour. We see some here after bad fires and some people never fully recover, experiencing anxiety attacks and jamming switchboards whenever there is even a whiff of smoke from controlled burns, ME

  17. Will Fox says:

    Slightly off-topic, but this shows America is becoming more left wing -

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/05/26/gallup-poll-and-new-study-reveal-americas-growing-love-for-liberal-views/

    Hopefully this means increased support for clean energy…

  18. prokaryotes says:

    In the Turkey, people went to demonstrate to prevent the destruction of the last green park in the city of Instanbul. This demonstration now escalates into a full fledged riot…

    Graphic images
    http://occupygezipics.tumblr.com/

  19. Raul M. says:

    Isn’t Sahara greening overly optimistic?

    • prokaryotes says:

      Using biochar and agro-ecology to grow food in the Sahara http://www.meditbiochar.org/uploads/1/1/0/8/1108765/s4_04_crespi.pdf

      takes a moment to load (lot of images)

      • prokaryotes says:

        Between 9000 and 4000 BCE, North Africa and the Sahara
        were covered with savannas and forests and blessed with an
        abundance of rainfall. Like their Mediterranean neighbours,
        flourishing local communities raised sheep and goats and
        ancient rock paintings depict them fishing in lakes and
        rivers. Around 3500 BCE the climate began to dry, perhaps
        because of overgrazing. Over time one of the planet’s
        biggest life supporting systems became the world’s biggest
        and hottest desert, the Sahara.
        Today intensive industrial agriculture and overgrazing have
        degraded more than two billion hectares of our planet’s
        agricultural land. Climate change is speeding up global
        desertification. This birth story of the Sahara may be a
        cautionary tale.
        Indeed many of the world’s deserts started as forests that
        were cut or burned to clear the land and then ruined by
        overgrazing.
        Encroaching desertification, along with growing concern
        over global food security, have combined to inspire
        numerous attempts to “green” the Sahara. Of these, one of
        the most renowned is the 80 million Euros Sahara Forest
        Project, a scheme to build in Qatar 20 hectares of vegetable
        greenhouses along with a 10 MW Solar plant to desalinize
        seawater.
        Pro-Natura International (Pro-Natura) has a very different
        approach. With roots firmly planted 27 years ago in the
        tropical soil of Brazil, our “New Oasis” projects have
        created, in collaboration with the social company JTS
        Concept, lush and verdant Super Vegetable Gardens in the
        desert areas of Algeria, Mauritania, Burkina Fasso, Chad and
        Senegal. Pro-Natura has also initiated similar projects in the
        more humid climates of Haiti and Brazil.

      • prokaryotes says:

        In our 40 + agro-forestry schools, Pro-Natura has pioneered
        various ecological techniques. The Non-Mist Propagation
        Box allows us to dramatically increase the growth of oftenendangered species of trees whose seeds germinate with
        difficulty and to domesticate wild fruit varieties. Cuttings
        and other techniques of propagation (layering for example)
        are helping trees grow much faster and fructify twice as fast,
        compared to trees grown from seeds. Once these cuttings
        are the right height they will be transplanted generally along
        the protective fences, using biochar, animal dung and
        compost. In the final phase of the Super Vegetable Gardens
        the land is prepared for the many vegetables, including
        varieties of cabbage and zucchinis.

  20. Colorado Bob says:

    I was reading about the drought , and came across this nugget -

    So far this calendar year, only 5.1 inches have been recorded, down from the average 32.86, she noted.

    That’s not New Mexico or Texas it’s Marin County , Calf.
    http://www.marinij.com/ci_23364910/farm-official-marin-faces-drought-emergency

  21. prokaryotes says:

    Monsanto Protection Act Signed By Obama, GMO Bill “Written By Monsanto” Signed Into Law

    The bill states that even if future research shows that GMOs or GE seeds cause significant health problems, cancer, etc, anything, that the federal courts no longer have any power to stop their spread, use, or sales.

    The bill was apparently written by freshman Sen. Roy Blunt in collusion with Monsanto, with them helping to craft the exact language of the document.
    - “The Center for Responsive Politics notes that Sen. Blunt received $64,250 from Monsanto to go towards his campaign committee between 2008 and 2012. The Money Monocle website adds that Blunt has been the largest Republican Party recipient of Monsanto funding as of late.”
    - Many members of Congress were apparently unaware that the “Monsanto Protection Act” was a part of the spending bill that they were voting on.
    - Obama had no problem signing it into law (not really a surprise, he’s been rather soft on GMO policy).
    - The bill will only remain in effect for a limited time, but it’s a bad sign. With the ease that this bill passed, it’ll be interesting to see what future bills look like http://rinf.com/alt-news/breaking-news/monsanto-protection-act-signed-by-obama-gmo-bill-written-by-monsanto-signed-into-law/36044/

    • prokaryotes says:

      “On Tuesday, Pres. Obama inked his name to H.R. 933, a continuing resolution spending bill approved in Congress days earlier. Buried 78 pages within the bill exists a provision that grossly protects biotech corporations such as the Missouri-based Monsanto Company from litigation.”

      I really wonder if Obama knew this…

    • prokaryotes says:

      After barely surviving the darkest winter in decades, Germans are now suffering through one of the soggiest springs in memory. Flooding has led to major damage and one death

      The sun has become a rare commodity, there was maybe 2 weeks when the weather was “ok”, that was all this year so far, LOL

    • prokaryotes says:

      Central Europe on alert for flooding

      Homes have been evacuated across southern Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria and Switzerland as rivers reach dangerously high levels.

      The Czech capital Prague is on high alert as authorities fear a repeat of the catastrophic floods of August 2002.

      The River Vltava has inundated towns and villages upstream of the capital, and one person is known to have died.

      The German cities of Passau and Rosenheim have declared a state of emergency.

      Authorities in Passau, which lies at the confluence of three rivers in Bavaria, say they expect the Danube to reach 10.5m by Sunday evening and have requested help from the German army. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22746889

  22. BBHY says:

    As I recall, it was sunny that day and my solar panels produced about 35 kWh of clean power.

    I’m sure that didn’t entirely offset all my CO2 emissions, but it’s a good start. If we all dropped our net emissions by 40% right now, that would give us more time to figure out how to eliminate the other 60% over the next few decades.

  23. Brian R Smith says:

    I sent this to Al Franken’s campaign today after their latest disingenuously personal invitation to share in the Franken’s family life.

    As a part time Minnesotan with residence in California, life-long democrat voter and supporter of Senator Franken’s progressive efforts, I get the need for fundraising. I get Al’s folksy humor, and sent in $5 in the contest to have Brunch With Conan as my applause for his marrying comedic relief to the otherwise nasty task of raising money.

    The fun is over for me. I don’t want wife Franni’s recipes and I am not moved to share the joy of Al (politician/grandfather) kissing his new grandson. The mother’s name wasn’t mentioned (!) in the happy announcement, but thankfully at least there was no donation request.

    I am advocate and activist for climate change issues, especially concerned with what to do about the insane ideological right wing opposition to climate science in Congress. My own nifty grandson is a constant reminder of how little time we have to get serious about saving a climate he can survive in.

    If the Senator wants to attract my attention as a serious issues voter looking for leadership on those issues, please mention to him that, dollars being scarce, future donations from me ( and I suspect many others) will depend on whether there is any attempt to communicate on substance. Inviting me, tongue in cheek, to be “part of the family” just isn’t getting it.

    You’re looking for “$25,000 a month”. Send me a straight-up report. Send me 10. Talk to me about the issues, convince me that Senator Franken, not Grampa Franken, is, for instance, standing firm on climate action and has a plan for improving the chances for evidence based legislation.

    I don’t have time for the cute stuff any more and neither, in my opinion, should the Senator.

  24. BobbyL says:

    It looks like the CO2 levels are starting to drop. For May 30 and May 31 the levels were under 400.

  25. Chris says:

    I was riding my bike.

  26. fj says:

    Would be a mind blow if civilization makes it to the time when this stuff becomes commercial and net zero and positive . . .

    Graphene, even if stitched together, is strongest material in the worldRead more: http://www.sciencerecorder.com/news/graphene-even-if-stitched-together-is-strongest-material-in-the-world/#ixzz2V40Asle5

  27. Greatgrandma Kat says:

    When we see 400ppm in the rearview mirror my biggest concern is food security. How on earth do we grow food enough to feed even half the population by 2050 with all the feedbacks kicking in by than on top of our handywork of burn it all or bust? I NEVER thought we would let it go this far, back in 1990 it was not even thought possible before 2100. 400ppm represents a reailty that I always thought would never come, that we would as a planet wake-up and seriously deal with our CO2 pollution problem. Now the host of problems we are facing as a result is so much worse.

  28. When CO2 hit 400 ppm for the first time at the Mauna Loa Observatory on May 9, it got me thinking (a lot) that this is the last best chance humanity gets to stop CO2 rise before it hits 450. The challenge is that the CO2 level continues to accelerate upward. Stabilizing atmospheric CO2 is important and difficult. But stabilization is important no matter how difficult it may seem.

  29. Tony says:

    I feel sure that everyone who reads this blog would have been doing something that contributed to 400 ppm when they heard about it. It’s pretty hard not to have been doing, using, eating or wearing something that is emitting carbon or has emitted carbon in its lifecycle, carbon from fossil fuels.

    This is what makes it such an intractable problem and why all optimism about dealing with it is unfounded. Reducing the emissions is better than not doing so but it isn’t a solution.

    • Superman1 says:

      Most of this so-called ‘optimism’ is coming from a few noisy individuals who want one last run on the casino. None of the proposals for renewables and geo-engineering that you see from the Pied Pipers of pomposity and pontification on this site provide any proof that they will take us through the transition period. Obviously they can’t, but they want to lighten your wallet before you realize that.