CO2 Levels Rising … Big Deal!

By Mike Bryan | May 15, 2013

Last week, the parts per million level of CO2 in the world's atmosphere reached nearly 400 parts per million for the first time in 15 million years. What’s the big deal? Come on, that’s only .0004 of one percent. I mean, how bad can that be?

Unfortunately, that’s the way many people think about CO2. Look, there are clearly multiple positions on the impact CO2 levels have on our global climate change. But there is one inescapable fact. Despite all the background noise, 97 precent of scientists agree the increase in the levels of CO2 is primarily manmade.

One could argue, so what? Besides, CO2 is a global issue and anything we do to combat global warming is nullified by China, India and others. We see the smog-ridden cities in other countries where people are literally choking on pollution and often think: what’s the use? It’s like trying to counter a hurricane with fans.

Interestingly only about 50 percent of Americans believe global warming is manmade and will have much of an impact on our world. In the U.K., only 1 in 20 believe global warming is something that they should be overly concerned about. While Australians might have a bit more concern about global warming, they continue to ship millions of tons of coal to China and other parts of the world, while boasting about their tax on carbon.

In truth, global warming is probably not going to be an issue that drives renewable energy. At least not until we are staring an environmental Armageddon in the face, by which time it may be too late. What will drive renewable energy will still be price, rural economic development and energy independence. Not that those are bad things, they are clearly important drivers, but the clock is ticking on our environment.

We have the capability to make great strides with renewable energy. Make no mistake, China, India and others are working hard to build renewable energy projects. Coal is just a tool to get them from point A to point B. I am convinced that in the years ahead, China and India will become world leaders in renewable energy. 

We don’t have to worry about saving the planet as some suggest, it will go back to default very quickly when we are no longer here. So you can be the judge of whether reaching 400 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere is a big deal, but for me, I’m going with the science and the majority of science says: Take action and take it now!

That’s the way I see it.

Author: Mike Bryan
Chairman, BBI International
mbryan@bbiinternational.com