We, the people, have understood. We've got it. Too much CO2 is spewed out in the atmosphere!  The problem is that we, the people, understood this like 'a million' years ago. I wish those who scream '400 ppm, 400 ppm, 400 ppm!'  now would have understood that screaming 400 ppm, 400 ppm, 400 ppm! does not inspire people to act. It only makes the fanatics join the choirs of screaming and the rest of us to shrug our shoulders and say 'Oh, here they go again! Armageddon it is.'

Munch Scream cake
Screaming 400 ppm doesn't help much. Here another scream, freely after the famous painting Scream artist Edward Munch. The cake at the Munch museum was delicious! Credit B L Bye

In April I was in Beijing contributing to the 35th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment. As you can tell from pictures (one example from my visit below), there is no need to scream 400 ppm, 400 ppm, 400 ppm! there. The air is so thick, the traffic so dense, it is not only more than evident there is a problem, it slaps you in the face more violently than any abstract number – say 400.

Olympic Beijing
Beijing in April 2013. Thick air and heavy traffic. Credit: B L Bye

How about focusing more energy on the solutions, rather than repeatedly screaming 400 ppm, 400 ppm, 400 ppm? Just a wild idea. Why not appeal to people's appreciation of the beauty of our planet instead?

Actually, I went to one of reverend James Hansen's talks when he received The Sophie prize in Oslo a few years back. He painted a very grim future for us, practically telling us the Earth was beyond saving because of the path to the now famous 400 ppm and beyond. So, I naturally asked him what he suggested we should do to adapt to the foreseeable dramatic changes he postulated. The answer was 'nothing' and the reason was that that would prevent people from taking the problem of global warming seriously. Seriously!

I am concerned for our planet, there is no doubt in my mind we need to get better at managing our natural resources not to mention the growth of population and urbanization that has been the trend for years now. Unfortunately, I am getting more concerned about the damage that certain activist groups, such as the 400 ppm screamers have inflicted on us. Slowing down our ability to handle the problems.

ppm=parts per million