A Vancouver Island man has gone to extreme lengths to demonstrate the effects of climate change.
Kurtis Baute sealed himself inside an airtight greenhouse at midnight on Wednesday. He was hoping to remain in the 10-foot by 10-foot biodome for three days, surviving only on the oxygen generated the plants inside.
“If all goes well, the plants are going to produce oxygen that I can breathe, and I’m going to breathe out carbon dioxide that they can take in and use to grow – and hopefully, we both survive,” Baute said in a YouTube video.
The experiment was designed to raise awareness about the impact of the increasing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
But it was that gas that was ultimately his undoing.
“As it turned out, it was the carbon dioxide that was the big problem for him,” said paramedic Mike Van Eijk. “It was getting too high.”
Just 14 hours after going inside, Baute emerged from the enclosure.
“We are immersed in this fluid that we don’t seem to notice and it makes a big difference in terms of how we interact with it,” said Baute.
“We’re not managing it very well, we are emitting carbon dioxide and a tonne of other air pollutants and those are contributing to things like climate change.”
Throughout the 14 hours, Baute shared his experience on social media platforms. His hashtag #KurtisInAJar gained momentum with every post.
“It’s been crazy to watch, it’s been moving to watch the outpouring I’ve had on Twitter about this,” Baute said.
“A lot of those are people saying, this is great — I appreciate what you’re doing, I’m going to do something as well. This is a success for me.”
Baute will be producing a video of his experience for his YouTube channel.