BSB 189     J. Morris Hicks     (2-21-19)  
CO2 ppm starts 2019 with a bang... 
...With new record highs almost every week.
This BSB is a larger "bite" than most - but it contains important data that you don't want to miss.

In just the first six weeks of 2019, there have already been more new record high levels of CO2 parts per million (ppm) in our atmosphere than there were in all 24 months of 2017 and 2018 - combined. Check out the data yourself:

Earlier this month, I discovered a website ( that provides a daily update of CO2 parts per million in the atmosphere - along with the 14 all-time records that have been set since 2015. 

The latest all-time record high of 414.27 ppm occurred on 2-9-19, at Mauna Loa - up from 408.99 last year on that date. And guess what? That's the sixth all-time record that has been set in 2019 - a blazing pace, averaging one new record per week so far this year.

Not great news for today, my birthday, however.

Dr. Wadhams comments on the new data. Surprised by that new CO2 info, I reached out to Dr. Peter Wadhams , one of the most eminent climate scientists in the world - and asked him if he might comment on these alarming statistics.

He responded on 2-14-19:

Dear Jim,
Thank you for the message. I saw that statistic. It's not quite as bad as it looks, but it is frightening. The CO2 level at Mauna Loa (in fact anywhere) runs through an annual cycle  because of summer-winter variability in plant growth.  This 414.27 value occurs at peak time, so it is not always this high. 

On the other hand, the report rightly points out that 408.99 was the value at the  same time last year, indicating a real growth of 5.28 in a single year, which I believe is the largest year-on-year growth rate ever.

In other words, the dreaded exponential growth is happening, just at a time when supposedly CO2 growth rates should be diminishing as a result of the "actions" that the  nations of the world are taking under the Paris agreement. 

As we feared, that agreement is turning out to be fraud and window dressing,

Best wishes,  Peter

A look at the "big picture." The graph below documents 319 years worth of data, turning exponentially upward around 1958, the year that "actual" data replaced the "ice core" data of prior centuries.

This Scripps graph, dated five days ago, covers CO2 data since 1700, well before the industrial revolution began. In another Scripps graph (using ice core data) it shows that CO2 ppm has never gone above 300 ppm for 800,000 years, until about 75 years ago. Now we're well over 400 ppm and climbing more rapidly than ever.
Average CO2 parts per million since 1700

What level is safe? You've no doubt heard of, an organization that was co-founded by the noted climate activist, Bill McKibben. It was named after the upper safe limit of CO2 in our  atmosphere: 350 parts per million.

Of course, we blew right past that "safe" limit about thirty years ago and none of the experts think we will ever go below 400 ppm again, much less 350. 

(See 350 ppm and 400 "barriers" in this image)

Troubling Data Below re CO2 ppm Growth Rate
From below 1% per year in the 60's to over 2.5% now, and with two of the last four years growing at 3%

This 2-minute movie re CO2 ppm growth is amazing
Carbon dioxide pumphandle 2017
Notice the wild "pump handle" type fluctuations in the northern hemisphere compared to the steady rise of the blue dot at the South Pole (on the left). 

Complacency at the IPCC. Obviously, their approach to slowing climate change for the past few decades is not working. Focusing mostly on computer models instead of hard data, the panel meets once a year to make pledges which are not enforceable. 

Their approach of watching, pledging and hoping seems futile to me. Instead, they should be loudly and continually broadcasting the absolute necessity of reinventing a much "greener" habitat for humans. Reminds me of Nero fiddling while Rome burns and one of my blogs from five years ago.

As we ponder the re-inventing of our civilization that would be necessary for coexisting with nature, it seems that we have four choices - ranging from doing almost nothing (current choice) to urgently coming together and doing all that is physically possible to begin living in harmony with nature.

Here are those four choices:

Choice #1. We ignore the world's climate scientists and just continue life as usual, earn money, buy stuff, have a good time and hope/pray for the best. Who knows, maybe all those climate deniers out there are right?

Choice #2. Similar to #1, but we also donate heavily to environmental groups, drive electric cars, deploy lots of solar panels, take eco-vacations, recycle like crazy, water our big lawns less frequently and just try to be good citizens. We might also want to include some hoping and praying along with this choice as well. 

Choice #3.  Bring together an international coalition and charge them with designing a human habitat that will retain many of our current luxuries - but will be just  green enough  to enable our ecosystem to continue sustaining our civilization and our species.

International Coalition for Sustainability

Choice 4. Similar to Choice #3 but with one notable exception. Instead of aiming for being just "green enough," we demand that the international coalition design and build a human habitat that is as GREEN as physically possible, erring on the side of being "greener" than we have to be.

Without a doubt, we must go with Choice #4 because we're likely going to have just one chance to get this right. We must pull out all the stops and commit ourselves to creating the greenest co-existence with nature that can be imagined.

Why not Choice #3?  Because if we modify our habitat to what we think is just enough to  save ourselves, there's no way to know in advance if that plateau will satisfy Mother Nature. And like I said, we're likely to get only one chance.

There are just too many variables to risk not doing all that we can possibly do. For if we  don't urgently do all that we can do now, we'd be rolling the dice with the lives of the billions of children who will suffer mightily because of the excesses and short-sightedness of earlier generations.
One more reason for Choice #4. Even doing all that we can possibly do may not be enough to save us. For it's entirely possible that there is no viable scenario for eight or ten billion people to live sustainably on this small  planet. At least with #4, we will know that we gave it our best shot. 

So what about overpopulation? In Choice #4, what is the maximum human population that our ecosystem can support? Using Global Footprint Network data, I concluded that a sustainable level of human population would likely be around four billion - but only if we're all living about twice as green as the average European.

We're at 7.7 billion now, 
how do we reduce it to four billion?

No easy task for sure. Using a little third grade math, I computed that even if we could drastically lower the global birthrate from today's 360,000 per day to just 100,000, it would still take us 160 years to reach that 4 billion target.   

The Bottom Line. Most climate scientists are now agreeing that there is no possible way that we can stop or reverse climate change. Our options now are combinations of mitigation (slowing climate change) and adaptation -creating the best possible living arrangement for ourselves, an arrangement that can survive in a much hotter world, the likes of which humans have never seen before. 

That said, as described in Choice #4, we must pull together world leaders along with the best and the brightest in all fields of study and charge them with developing a global master plan for exactly how we can create a sustainable living arrangement  for humans that can survive in harmony with nature - indefinitely.

What might that master plan look like?

AGRA (American Green Region Authority)

In September of 2018, I drafted the "AGRA" approach that might be useful for that global coalition in helping to jump-start their thinking. It was simply the description  of a thinking outside the box solution that just might work. 

That imagined solution was documented in this BSB:

followed by this one a month later

Since then, I have posted a related BSB on this topic every single week and here are links to five more of them for your convenience: 

So What can you do?  Three things:

1. Live as greenly as possible while doing all that you can to raise the awareness of "big picture" solutions that are ultimately necessary to save our civilization.

2. Share this BSB and my  "Mama Ain't Happy" BSB with prominent journalists, thought leaders and/or elected officials whom you respect. They need to learn a lot more about the many reasons why  Mama ain't happy.

3. Help me find thoughtful audiences where I can speak freely about the most important topic in the history of humanity.

Until next time, just remember...

Humanity is on a collision course with Nature.
A damaged Nature will survive. We may not.
We must change course to avert an ecological disaster.

Be well,

J. Morris (Jim) Hicks 
CEO, 4Leaf Global, LLC

I welcome your feedback and/or questions at:

Need  a speaker for your group?  My updated topic for 2019:  Saving our Civilization -- Earth as a "System"

 (now contains 5-minute video of me speaking in Tucson) 

Upcoming events My next  public presentation
will be in April at the University of Scranton - an event co-sponsored by The Greenhouse Project and the Environmental Studies concentration at the university. 

In 2018, I spoke at a  VegFest in  Fort Myers, at  in Honolulu and Kahului, Maui, the   College of the Holy Cross  in Worcester, MA, a  Plant Powered Manhattan  event in New York, and at a lakeside health conference in  South Haven, Michigan

Link to a 56-minute video of my April 2018 talk in Honolulu:  Food. Health. Planet. Our Future as a Species.

To schedule a presentation at a venue near you, please contact me at

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

Moonglow J. Morris Hicks

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