If we didn’t drive cars would the carbon levels in the atmosphere drop below 350 PPM really quickly?



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    Well, first off, cars are not the only contributor to the growing problem of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Buildings and manufacturing contribute over half of all carbon emissions… So even if we stopped driving cars altogether, there would still be some huge emitters of CO2, and therefore the levels would not drop “really quickly” — I’m not even so sure that they would drop at all (they could still continue to climb if we were still producing more CO2 than what can be locked up naturally by plants and other natural/geological/biological processes).  So, let’s just say “that sucks” and get on with the question… if we were to somehow stop all the CO2 from manufacturing and transportation from being released (if everyone all of a sudden went Amish) then yes, the levels might drop back down fairly quickly, because the earth (with it’s diverse and magical the natural environment) does have a tremendous ability to heal itself (just like the human body)… If you think of the earth as a living system then I do think it would be able to restore itself to full health within a few hundred years (which is actually very quick when we are talking about stuff like this) if we stopped adding poison (pollution, including C02 and other green house gases and pollutants) into it’s blood stream. We clearly have a lot of work to do… a lot of engineering… and lot of conserving (don’t waste fuel— car pool or ride a bike!) and a lot more rethinking of our ways of living to do if we are going to solve the problem of climate change before it is too late!  Great question, wilcox, and keep up the good work!

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