What is CO2?
CO2, or Carbon Dioxide, is a chemical compound made of two oxygen atoms, and one carbon. Plants use carbon dioxide. Unlike plants, humans breathe in oxygen and exhale CO2, while plants take in CO2 and emit oxygen. It is also be emitted by any animal, fungus, and microorganisms that directly or indirectly rely on plants as food. You can see carbon dioxide just by looking in your soda; all of the bubbles are CO2. It’s also contained in some fire extinguishers. These extinguishers are used for electrical fires, as water would only make it worse.
Well that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? No. CO2 is a naturally occurring chemical compound. It naturally composes 0.039% of the atmosphere. Not such a big deal, is it?
Actually, it is a big deal. The carbon dioxide that is naturally emitted (from the ocean, plants, and a small amount from animals) is balanced out by natural absorptions (also from plants and the ocean). But when humans come along and add more CO2 to the atmosphere, the plants and the ocean can’t absorb it all. Even worse, people are cutting down trees and polluting the ocean. Therefore, we have less absorptions and more CO2 to be absorbed.
What kind of things do humans do that emit CO2?
Many things that people do every day will hurt the environment. Anything we do or that uses gasoline or coal is harmful. Any time you drive a car or fly on a plane, that emits CO2. Any time you buy something from a mass factory, you’re unknowingly hurting the environment because the factories use coal. If you order or buy something that requires shipping, the truck or plane is run on gasoline.