Global Warming: Seeing is Believing

The Invisible Threat Causing Global Warming

Every day in nearly everything we do, we are producing the carbon dioxide that causes global warming.

Unfortunately, carbon pollution–the actual cause of global warming–is invisible to us. This is the bigger enemy we need to expose. When people know what they are fighting, we have the inspiring ability to rally together and attack the problem.

But we can’t fight something we can’t see.

Cool Effect is changing that.

Emissions throughout history

“But the Earth has always been heating up.” This is a popular argument. To an extent, it’s true. The climate has always been changing. But never in history have Earth-warming emissions been so radically high. Even the industrial revolution doesn’t begin to compare to present day emissions. The USA is the 2nd largest contributor to CO₂ emissions. Per person, we’re #1. So instead of blaming developing countries, we need to own up to our carbon pollution and the global warming it causes.

This is the most recent, certifiable data available from the EPA.

Carbon emissions by individual

Lifestyle and economic status have a major influence on how many tonnes of carbon someone emits. To give you an idea, one tonne of carbon is about the size of a two-story house. Those who commute to work and travel more, especially by plane, create more carbon pollution. Similarly, those with larger houses require more gas and fossil fuel-generated electricity.

How we create carbon pollution


Personal automotive and boat travel. Also private jet use (CEO).

Land & Sea Travel

Personal and business travel on commercial airlines.


Lights, appliances, and other household usage.

Heating & Cooking

Household gas including heaters, water heaters, and stoves.

These estimates do not include the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of food, water, consumer products, or other goods and services because these are highly variable and difficult to attribute to individual behaviors.

Exposing carbon pollution with FLIR

The FLIR camera is what makes seeing carbon emissions possible. Certain wavelengths of infrared are absorbed by carbon dioxide (CO₂). The FLIR camera detects them. It then applies a special color filter to the CO₂, allowing us to visualize carbon emissions as they happen. The result? One camera sees what your eyes see, the other shows another world—the world of carbon pollution. While technology makes it possible to see the problem, it’s up to all of us to work toward the solution.

For a more detailed explanation of how FLIR works, click here.

Footage from “Racing Extinction” courtesy of Oceanic Preservation Society.  Director: Louie Psihoyos

See how you can be part of the Cool Effect

Our mission is fight climate change and to reduce global warming in every possible way. We applaud reducing, reusing, recycling, biking, and eating less meat, but there is so much more that can be done. Don’t wait for corporations, governments and innovators to solve this problem, act now by giving to projects that actually reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that enter our air.

People taking action, one tonne at a time. That is the Cool Effect. Verifiably reduce carbon emissions and make your donation go further. Ready to help?