Does your breath warm the planet? - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Poll: Does your breath warm the planet?

Here’s a question that might leave you a bit breathless, pun intended. In our latest LinkedIn poll, we danced around the delicate question of whether our very breathing is turning up the thermostat on dear old Mother Earth. The responses, as always, were as mixed as a bag of trail mix on a hike through the internet wilderness.

Poll results

Yes 41%
No 59%

The majority, 59% of you (myself included), believe that exhaling isn’t exactly fanning the flames of global warming. It’s all part of nature’s grand ballet—a closed loop, if you will. We exhale CO2, and the plants around us practically throw a feast, soaking it up and in return, give us oxygen and help in breaking down the food we eat. It was all a “happily ever after” story until humans decided to throw the plot.

Now, let’s tackle some burning questions.

Is human breathing a net zero process?

On the surface, yes. The average human exhales about 1kg of CO2 daily. Seems like a lot, but in the grand scheme, it’s a drop in the ocean.

But does chomping down on different foods affect our CO2 output? Intuitively, you’d think yes. More energy-intensive foods might crank up our internal engines, right? However, the direct impact of our diets on the CO2 we exhale is minimal. The real food for thought is how food production and consumption contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, not the act of breathing itself.

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So, where does this leaf us?

If a human emits around 1kg of CO2 per day not taking into account all other industrial activities.. you could save around a ton of CO2 in 3 years. Imagine what a billion people could do? If you are Imagining, hypothetically, to “save” the planet by dialing down the human population. Hold that whimsical thought! Let’s park that bus before it drives off the cliff of dark humor.

Jokes aside, the crux of the matter is: While our breathing alone doesn’t steam up the planet, it’s not the only thing we’re exhaling (figuratively speaking). Our industrial appetites, love affair with fossil fuels, and the endless cycle of consume-toss-repeat – those are the real hot potatoes.

Inhaling the big picture

It’s clear, breathing isn’t the bad guy in the global warming saga; it’s everything else we do between breaths that needs a breathalyzer test. So, next time you take a deep breath, remember, it’s not the CO2 you’re exhaling that weighs heavy on the Earth – it’s the carbon footprint of our human activities. Let’s aim to make our next collective breath a sigh of relief for the planet, not a gasp of alarm.

About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.


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