Grant loved Wanda’s pies, so when he smelled that cherry pie baking he couldn’t help himself. That evening he cut himself a piece half-again-as-big as he normally would have enjoyed. Wanda did the same, and they loved it! They were so satisfied that they both resolved to live a “half-again-as-much” lifestyle.
The next morning Grant fixed his special scrambled eggs for breakfast. He thought they’d be even better if he made them with half-again-as-much salt and pepper. Wanda pretended to enjoy them but scraped most of her eggs into the dog dish – ugh!
After breakfast the Lottsmores went shopping. Wanda bought a new hat half-again-as-big as her usual size. Grant reasoned that if size 10 shoes were comfortable imagine how much better shoes half-again-as-big would be! So he bought a pair of size 15s. Wanda and Grant looked like circus clowns as they strolled out of the mall. That evening their tongues burned as they choked down a Mexican dinner with half-again-as-many jalapeno peppers.
At bedtime they sweltered trying to sleep under half-again-as-many blankets, and Wanda had the strangest dream. An evil, alien, adolescent brat was given an earth-like planet to play with by his super-intelligent but heartless uncle. He’d studied the history of the planet that was populated by carbon-based life forms and noted that for tens of thousands of years (ever since the human-like life form was present) the atmospheric carbon averaged 280 parts per million (ppm).
“So they like carbon do they?” the brat squealed. “Even the plants breath it in. Let’s see how they’d like half-again-as-much! Nyah ah ah!” He added more and more carbon dioxide (CO2) until there was about 420 ppm. All that extra CO2 acted just like the additional blanket on the Lottsmores’ bed making it hot and uninviting.
Wanda woke up in a sweaty fever and thought, “Having too much of a good thing, even carbon – the stuff we and plants are made of - can ruin things. When it’s added quickly (in geological terms) to the atmosphere it disrupts the ecological stability that has been in place for thousands of years throwing things out of whack right here where we’re forever… Earthbound.”