Have you ever been in a room where the air gets heavy – like a classroom?
At first, it becomes challenging to concentrate, and drowsiness slowly sets in. Then, a headache appears, and you might even have a hard time breathing. What a relief when a window is opened or you step outside and get fresh air!
Increased levels of CO2 in the air that we breathe are the cause of these effects. Climate change means that there will be no escape from these conditions for our children, not even in fresh, outdoor air.
During human evolution, CO2 levels have never been as high as today. Historic mass extinction events occur at times with drastic changes in the composition of the air that we breathe. What will the consequences be for life on earth due to the current changes?
“Atmosphere, CO2 on my mind” will give you a sound basis for understanding the health implications of rising CO2 levels on the human body, what role CO2 played during the evolution of life on earth, and what we should do to avoid disaster.
As depicted in the illustration above, we can sometimes experience conditions with highly increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. This occurs in certain weather conditions, where there is little wind combined with the lack of rain. The air is not well circulated, and thus the exchange with cleaner air does not happen. These are the same conditions that also cause what we call smog. Some towns are more in danger of such domes. Towns that are located in a valley have a higher risk of bad air, as their location acts as a bowl where air pollution can be collected. Towns where hills shield from the wind are also at risk.
Many adults have experienced the effects of alcohol. But not so many have experienced the effects that CO2 has on the body, right? Wrong! Actually, most of us have been in poorly ventilated meeting rooms. First you become less and less concentrated. Then we start feeling tiredness. Some of us might even doze off. In some rare cases, the room might be so badly ventilated, that we even start getting headaches. All of these effects are related to elevated levels of CO2.
Global trade has grown massively over the last 20 years. This has resulted in a de facto export of CO2 production, especially to the developing countries. This export of CO2 has resulted in constant or even decreasing CO2 production in our part of the world, while we have experienced increasing consumption of goods.
China, which is one of the world’s largest emitters of CO2, consumes only goods that make up approx. 15% of the emitted CO2. The rest is exported, mainly to the US and Europe.
There are mainly 2 problems associated with the current system. The first problem is that local producers are becoming less competitive. The local producers have to pay CO2 taxes and taxes related to the transport of goods. External suppliers can avoid much of these expenses. The other problem is that in our part of the world we are responsible for some CO2 production that we are not accounted for. The goods that are consumed by us do not appear in our CO2 accounts.
Therefore, it would make sense that imports of goods should also require CO2 quotas. This would give a more accurate picture of our CO2 consumption.
Whether you want to buy CO2 quotas when importing goods or simply canceling CO2 quotas on import of goods is an inflamed political theme. If importers were to pay for CO2 quotas, this would be seen as a trade barrier or duty. Goods would be more expensive, but the effect on the reduction of CO2 would be significantly greater and thus give a substantial positive effect on the climate. A one-sided cancellation of allowances is also possible, but would make local production even less competitive.
Whatever is chosen, a unilateral effort gives very little meaning. Co2 emissions and the consequences for our climate are a global challenge and we must work with our trading partners, both for the sake of our companies’ competitiveness and for the sake of the climate. A change could however start in the EU.
Are our politicians ready to start such a process?
On this site we will try to add a new dimension to the discussion about increasing levels of CO2 in our atmosphere. The focus here will be on the effect that increased CO2 levels have on the individual.
Most of us know the effect of bad air in meeting rooms and class rooms. You get tired and less alert. Just quickly opening a window will remedy the effect of the bad air. This bad air is directly connected to the level of CO2 in the room, due to insufficient ventilation.
Not only do higher levels CO2 make you drowsier, they also increase the risk of headaches, give people with allergies a harder time and even decrease our capabilities of strategic and innovative thinking.
But how will we solve this problem when the CO2 level of the atmosphere is much higher?
We can already today see this problem in cities which at times have weather conditions that cause bad air. During periods, the CO2 level in some cities can rise to 2 or 3 times the current normal CO2 level. Currently there are no commercially available solutions which can reduce the CO2 level in buildings to below the atmospheric CO2 level.
On this site we will focus on 3 sides of this problem:
Educate the general population on the effect that increasing CO2 levels have on individuals
Have experts discuss problems and come up with possible solutions, both for the near and long term future
If possible help entrepreneurs that want to work on solutions within this field, to find knowledge, partners and potentially funding