How much is enough carbon in the atmosphere? 350

We do know, thanks to Jim Hansen and many others, that 350 PPM (parts per million) is the most carbon we should  in the recipe for air. We now have 387 and rising. This “too muchness” reflects our collective incapacity to know how much is enough – and once there, stop. We don’t like limits.

Parents know that setting healthy limits makes their children feel safe. Studies show that if a playground has a fence, children will play freely everywhere. No fence and they stay close to the door. 350 is the fence but where are the adults to who’ll commit to it so we can safely and freely play on this planet playground. Hopefully everywhere. Hopefully all of us fans of Your Money or Your Life who have discovered that stopping at enough liberates our lives, that the debt and stress of consumerism was the prison after all. This capacity to recognize and stop at enough is what we’re exploring in the teleclasses.

I remember 20 years ago I was at the first US hearing on sustainability with Alan Atkisson. There he wrote the Dead Planet Blues. Here are the words I can now find

Pull up a star and hear my tale of woe.
I built a planet just a few billion years ago.
It was a lovely little blue-green ball.
One of my life-forms became self-aware,
They started messin’ with my recipe for air,
And now that planet’s got no life at all! Yeah, it’s a
Dead Planet
(Yeah, I’m just gettin’ back from the funeral)
Dead Planet
(Don’tcha hate it when they leave the casket open?)
I got them old Dead Planet Blues.


Yes, we’ve known for 20 years. We’ve done a lot but not enough. May all of us do all we can, leaders and citizens alike, to bring the recipe for air back to 350 ppm of carbon, wonderful carbon that when it’s in right proportion is the basis of all life.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s