'Whimsical Scientist' Seals Himself Inside Greenhouse for Climate Change Experiment (Video)

Scientist Kurtis Baute inside his greenhouse

Kurtis Baute / YouTube Screen capture

This man wants to prove a point about rising global carbon dioxide levels by locking himself inside this DIY greenhouse for the next three days.

People who advocate for climate change action have done some pretty drastic things to raise awareness: from tree-sitting to living one year with no impact, to living on a melting iceberg.

Now, Vancouver-based "whimsical scientist" and YouTuber Kurtis Baute is embarking on an intriguing experiment: Baute is sealing himself inside a DIY bio-dome for the next three days, in the hopes that it will get people to realize how serious the rising levels of carbon dioxide is for humans, and for the whole planet.

Baute's 10-foot by 10-foot structure is reminiscent of a mini-greenhouse, and is an attempt to create a mini-ecosystem, kind of a "micro, nano, tiny version of Earth in a jar." He's done the math to ensure his own safety of course, but Baute is nevertheless also taking a number of precautions to make sure he doesn't eventually asphyxiate from all the carbon dioxide he will breathe out. There are sensors to measure oxygen and carbon dioxide, heart rate and blood oxygen levels, an array of alarms, and even a paramedic friend on standby as he conducts the experiment. But as Baute points out:

The messed up thing about my experiment is that some of my abort values (eg. If CO2 is too high I escape) are just everyday experiences for many people on this planet. Everyone deserves clean air, but not everyone has it.

There's wifi inside the closed habitat, to permit Baute to live-tweet his progress. There is a closed-lid bucket toilet. To offset the fact that plants do not photosynthesize at night, and will actually compete with Baute for oxygen, he has placed a cactus named Sir Stabbington that is watered every time someone new subscribes to his YouTube channel. The cactus will help release oxygen for Baute to breathe at night.

Some may decry it as a wacky stunt, but it makes a serious point. The scientific consensus is clear: climate change is happening, and it's a matter of acting now to ensure that things don't go from what's already pretty bad to much worse. Baute has some ideas:

You can make a real difference here. Right now. Like today. And it isn't even hard.
Eat less meat, it is horribly inefficient and uses tons of fossil fuels. Maybe try giving it up for #MeatlessMonday or go further than that.
Drive less. Cut your commute time. Bike, carpool, take transit, work from home. Your car is suffocating and cooking you and I both. Besides, you've got better things to do than sit in traffic.
Start a conversation about this. Let's be real, and encourage each other to do better.