I recently invested in a CO2 meter. I wanted to measure the carbon dioxide in places where I normally hang out. I wanted to see for myself what all the CO2 hype was about, that awful stuff we breathe in and breathe out every second of every day. Mind you, this is the same stuff that we can’t see, touch, or smell, but is killing us and the environment anyway.
One large for good measure
I didn’t take the investment lightly, because it cost me a few bucks…over one large, as the Sopranos would say. But as I learned in Quality training (make that capital Q, as per J. Edwards Deming), if you can’t measure it, you can’t do anything about it. I would take the measurements myself so that I would know.
Now, I’m not one for instruments, numbers, and measurements, but Chem Lab 101 taught me to pay good attention to them all. Also, I’ve observed pilots in the family put my life and theirs in the hands of instruments in the cockpit, trusting them more than anything we could see with our own eyes. So, I thought I would put what I thought about CO2 in the capable hands of the instrument that would measure CO2 directly in places where I breathe.
For the record, and speaking of numbers, the CO2 standards for air quality (with a small q) are all over the map. Depending on this, and depending on that, where you are, what you’re doing, what you’re doing where you are, and a zillion other conditions must be determined before they’ll give you a number in parts-per-million about what the CO2 level should be. And then they give you a range rather than a specific number. You can breathe easy even when you’re out of the range, because you know they don’t know the real number for sure anyway.
The first test
So, off I go with brand new meter in hand to see what numbers would conjure up on the instrument designed to tell me something specific about that much maligned stuff, CO2.
My first experiment was conducted by blowing into the meter. Like the ring tone on my cell phone, the meter played Für Elise with a vengeance, but louder. Matter of fact, Beethoven must have been in the room banging on the piano like we know he did. When the meter ceased playing the sonata and I crept back into my skin, the read-out said 2,000 while wildly jumping up and down from that number for the next 15 minutes.
That’s the first-and last–experiment I’ll conduct on exhale. On anything, I’m afraid.
The only alternative
I’m just going to let the meter sit where it is. I’ll allow it to take its measurements in silence while I do my normal breathing during daily activity. If they can allow 8,000 ppm CO2 in submarines, I figure I’m safe. What’s the alternative? Not breathe?
That, or I’m going to join the Marines to acclimate myself to the disastrous levels of CO2 they say are coming. I’d rather take my chances breathing the “pollutant” in confined spaces below the sea than being taxed to death, like they want to do to us now.
So, I’m done with the numbers. And the instrument that measures disaster. Anybody want to buy a slightly used CO2 meter?