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This Canadian Scientist Locked Himself In ‘Man-Made Jar’ For The Environment And Took The Internet By Storm

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In the 21st century, climate change has become one of the important and widely-ignored issues on our planet. While many people aren’t aware of the devastating impacts of global warming, pollution, and other environmental issues, some individuals have taken remarkable steps to draw attention to the environmental epidemic at hand. In the fall of 2018, Canadian scientist Kurtis Baute hoped to raise awareness for the crisis in a unique way. Baute locked himself in a self-constructed biodome for 15 hours (with plenty of leafy-green pals) to demonstrate the frightening effects of climate change upon our planet. The extreme outcome of his experiment reinforced the damaging impact that greenhouse gases could have on our environment.

Kurtis Baute’s Concern For Climate Change

Global warming has become one of the biggest environmental epidemics on our earth. Last year, Kurtis Baute decided to do something drastic about it. The witty, quirky, self-described “Whimsical Scientist” was a presence on YouTube and social media since 2014, posting videos featuring interesting inquiries into scientific subjects. From self-conducted studies to fascinating lessons for the general public, Baute focused on producing interesting scientific content that could be both fun and informative.

 

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6.5 hours to go until I’m sealed in here. Ohhhhhh boy. . #kurtisinajar #climatechange

A post shared by Kurtis Baute (@kbaute) on

Baute earned a Masters Degree in Environmental Science, so he knew how to attempt a phenomenal display of planet earth-solidarity without harming himself. So, what was the method behind his incredible display of environmental appreciation that turned his scientific studies into a viral sensation? He trapped himself in a self-built greenhouse to demonstrate the damaging impacts of global warming. While his initial announcement was met with a mix of criticism and praise, Baute had been strategically planning his lock-in for nearly a year.

Preparing For The Risky Project

Baute was inspired to create his 10 x 10-foot biodome, which he built by hand, after conducting a previous study which observed plants that were trapped in a jar for two days. Baute hoped that by locking himself in his own intense environment, he could demonstrate how the behaviors of human beings, including frequent driving, meat consumption, and the burning of fossil fuels, were disturbing the earth’s atmosphere in terrifying ways. He was particularly focused on stimulating the cycle of greenhouse gases and observing the impacts of pollution and rising CO2 levels on his environment.

 

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I’m all settled and cozy! Only a little more work to do before Wednesday, when I seal myself in tight.

A post shared by Kurtis Baute (@kbaute) on

During his experiment, the potential dangers of bad air quality and high CO2 levels meant that Baute would be risking his life in the name of educating others about the earth’s environment. Despite packing his biodome with nearly 200 plants to help produce oxygen to counteract the CO2 that he was breathing out, he had to take a number of precautions to ensure that he wouldn’t endure long-term physical damage from the experiment.

 

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I made a little greenhouse for my seedlings to stay warm in. These are some of the plants that will be making oxygen for me to breathe in my #kurtisinajar experiment. . Even though it’s already getting down to 10C here at night in BC, I don’t need to put a heater to keep these green dudes cozy because of the greenhouse effect. It’s incredible how well the heat from trapped sunlight keeps this place steamy. . Seems kinda crazy to build a greenhouse just to get my plants ready for the greenhouse I’ll be sealing myself in, but this is a big project and it’s what made the most sense. Good news is that the frame and plastic was entirely recycled from a building that was recently taken down. Trying to keep this environmental project as sustainable as possible. . Ok, enough instagram, back to botany!

A post shared by Kurtis Baute (@kbaute) on

Baute brought along equipment that could measure the biodome’s CO2 and oxygen levels, as well as medical machinery to observe his heart rate, blood oxygen level, and other vitals. In addition to having friends and family swing by to check on him, Baute also had a paramedic on-site, ensuring that he could help Baute out of the biodome at any sign of danger. Although his project sounded risky and pointless to many, Baute didn’t back down from the radical opportunity to open people’s eyes to climate change. “I am trying to get the message out about climate change in a way that’s engaging but not disturbing,” he said.

The Course Of Baute’s Experiment

While Baute was in the biodome, he set up wifi and frequently tweeted/vlogged about his experience with the username @kurtisbaute. He used the hashtag #KurtisInAJar to engage with people interested in his experiment. Within the small biodome, Baute checked on his plants often and took his own vitals frequently, staying on top of the changing conditions.

Unfortunately, despite expecting his plants to serve as an adequate source of oxygen, an initial overcast day made it difficult for the greenery to thrive and convert oxygen to CO2 rapidly enough to kill pollutants in the air. While Baute originally tried to commit to three days in the biodome, he was only able to make it for 15 hours before the CO2 levels rose and his “abort values” reached a dangerous level. He was forced to exit his self-constructed biodome before any lasting physical damage could occur. Despite his premature retirement from his biodome, Baute considered his overall experiment to be a total success. After all, his fascinating experiment caught the attention of people all across the world, particularly those who followed his journey on Twitter. Additionally, he was able to showcase the true dangers of greenhouse gases on the environment, proving climate change to be of severe importance.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I made a little greenhouse for my seedlings to stay warm in. These are some of the plants that will be making oxygen for me to breathe in my #kurtisinajar experiment. . Even though it’s already getting down to 10C here at night in BC, I don’t need to put a heater to keep these green dudes cozy because of the greenhouse effect. It’s incredible how well the heat from trapped sunlight keeps this place steamy. . Seems kinda crazy to build a greenhouse just to get my plants ready for the greenhouse I’ll be sealing myself in, but this is a big project and it’s what made the most sense. Good news is that the frame and plastic was entirely recycled from a building that was recently taken down. Trying to keep this environmental project as sustainable as possible. . Ok, enough instagram, back to botany!

A post shared by Kurtis Baute (@kbaute) on

By having to surrender early on in his project, Baute was able to shed even more light on the consequences of having a lack of access to quality air and the damaging effects of climate change on the earth’s atmosphere. Nearly eight months later, Baute is still an active advocate for climate change and continues to express his opinion on environmental conservation and conduct other neat experiments on his Twitter and YouTube accounts.

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