Everyday a lot of human activities involve emission of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere―from the mundane turning on of lights, heating or cooling of homes, cooking of food, to large-scale burning of forests, production in factories, and running of vehicle engines.
What are just mentioned are essential to people's day-to-day living and survival but the tradeoff from the benefits we get from them deserve our immediate attention for they far outweigh the convenience we claim to be vital to civilization.
Carbon dioxide is a heat-trapping greenhouse gas that is identified as a major culprit to climate change. With an atmosphere of high carbon dioxide concentration, earth's temperature continues to rise in an alarmingly rapid pace. We have been for years dealing with an escalating global warming.
A May 2013 report shows that carbon dioxide emissions have reached an unprecedented level of 400 parts per million (ppm). According to readings issued from the Mauna Loa Observatory, this is higher than in the past 800,000 years. In fact, the highest ever recorded in the planet's history.
But what should cause more worry is that the figures already exceeded the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a few notches higher than the set 350 ppm.
As the planet experiences the evident environmental crisis, the clock is ticking and humans are in a race against time and, for certain, the imminent worse case scenario.
United States, which is considered as a major contributor to carbon dioxide emissions, suffer high temperature in winters and summers. Even wind, rains, and storms have intensified. Africa, although a least carbon dioxide contributor, suffers the effects of global warming because it lost many of its trees.
In the Philippines, even the dry season has been marred by typhoons accompanied by floods and landslides ravaging parts of the country.
It may be impossible to stop the growing damage at this point but something can still be done to save what's left of the habitable portions of our home, our existence.
Reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere requires the reduction of emissions on one hand and the sequestration of these heat-trapping gases on another.
One of the significant efforts to sequester carbon dioxide is through planting of trees. The more vegetation that thrives, the more greenhouse gases are sequestered from the atmosphere. Trees absorb and store greenhouse gases. (Source: Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.)