High and increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may be the single greatest threat to the future of life on earth. Unfortunately many people are not involved in helping to lower the impact of climate change for a very simple reason. They can not see (CO2) in the atmosphere because it is an invisible gas.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a heat-trapping gas, or greenhouse gas, that comes from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels (such as coal, oil, and natural gas), from wildfires, and from natural processes like volcanic eruptions. Since the beginning of industrial times (in the 18th century), human activities have raised atmospheric CO2 by 50% – meaning the amount of CO2 is now 150% of its value in 1750. This is greater than what naturally happened at the end of the last ice age 20,000 years ago.
More frequent and severe weather events, including droughts, extreme heat, wildfires, floods, and hurricanes, create mounting climate-related damages nationwide. Climate-related disasters impact millions of Americans each year when roads wash out, power goes down, homes and businesses burn, crops fail, and schools flood. Last year alone, the United States faced 20 extreme weather and climate related disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each—a cumulative price tag of more than $145 billion. Don’t let this invisible to the eye threat to our planet go unnoticed. Get involved, stay informed and take action.
cover image by Sebastian Di Domenico, Wikimedia Creative Commons