Greenhouse Gases: A Visual Approach

For those who are unsure about the impacts of Carbon Dioxide emissions on the atmosphere, I suggest that you watch the video on Robert Krulwich’s blog. This is a really impressive bit of computer animation. I like the tag line re: scary video.

Now, it is really interesting that there are people that still argue about the need to curb greenhouse gases. I suppose that these folks are simply of the mind set that they should not be bothered with the facts, just what they want to believe.

But let’s leave the concept of climate change aside for a moment. Notwithstanding your views on scientific facts, I think that this video is even more frightening when you look at it from two other points of view.

1. That the bubbles represent wasted energy. Think about it, CO2 is emitted as a consequence of consuming fossil fuels. Buildings are one of the major users of energy in the country. Thus, wasting energy generates CO2 at levels higher than necessary.

In other words, the CO2 emission representations are really a demonstration of a wasteful building in action. Wasted energy means wasted money. Wasted energy means more air pollution in general. Wasted energy means more environmental harm from the extraction of the raw materials needed to make the energy being wasted. Wasted energy means more dependence on foreign nations for energy sources.

Does any of that make sense?

2. The bubbles represent how short sighted people are when it comes to energy conservation. You have heard it said many times that the most efficient energy used, is the energy that is not used at all. People need to think outside of the box and look beyond the 6 – month or even 1 – year horizon. Energy conservation is about long-term thinking with paybacks that can be less than one year, but might take longer. I think that Warren Buffet has it right. When he thinks about an investment it is for the long term.

It is really a scary video.


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