In this podcast, we discuss:
- Growing up in Canada and what motivated Mike to start the website,
- What increasing Global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations means for humans,
- Actions being taken globally to deal with this problem,
- The problem with aspirational targets, and,
- Reasons to be hopeful for the future
Mike McGee is a 50-something Canadian. He is a long-time public servant who lives and works on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. On the side, he does what he can to help people help bring an end to the out-of-control increases in greenhouse gases that keep heating the planet and acidifying the oceans.
He runs the independent website, CO2.Earth, the second-longest-running website with an .earth domain. Mike has assembled a collection of stories on the lived experiences of seven senior scientists with different specializations to learn how they learned how the Earth system works. The collection is packaged as a free PDF in an engaging thesis called Learning for Planetary Habitability. The project was part of graduate work he completed in 2017 to receive a Master of Arts degree in environmental education and communication from Royal Roads University.
The website in particular, brings together a few big planetary numbers in a context that makes them easier to find, understand and use. The idea is to offer a way to directly track ‘planetary change signals’ for themselves and learn what they mean in the process.
Global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations (CO2) in parts per million currently stand at 417ppm as of May 2020.
Why is that important?
This number has been steadily increasing since the start of the 20th century, but it has started shooting up since the 1970’s. It’s a number that should worry people. Even if CO2 emissions reduce slightly, year on year, and leaving aside seasonal variations, this number will continue to increase; and with it, increased climate change, extreme weather events and warmer average global temperatures.
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Yellow, Blue and Green