Tuesday, 15 September 2009 16:02 Written by Paul Burman
World leaders are preparing for December's big climate conference in Copenhagen; the real question is: who is going to lead? Conventional wisdom indicates that global warming by definition is a global problem and will require a global response. If global emissions must be cut by over 80% by 2050, then everyone is simply going to have to tighten their belts, embrace new technologies, and innovate so we can do more with less. But many developing countries, whose emissions are rising, are not in a position to easily reduce their emissions and have other pressing issues as well having to do with poverty, education, human rights, and clean water. So what is the solution? Let developing countries continue to pollute, focus on their people and hope that one day they will be able to finally reduce their emissions? Or do developed nations feel an obligation to help the nations that don't want to choose between economic and social development and reducing emissions? The nuance to this argument comes from the fact that historically countries with the highest carbon dioxide emissions grew the fastest and were able to offer the best quality of life to their citizens. Click here to see emissions trends for countries from all over the world and you will see that the prosperous ones, the ones with some of the highest quality of life now, have been spewing thousands if not millions of metric tons of CO2 into the air for a long time. Since CO2 sticks around in the atmosphere for a long time, the increased emissions associated with producing those arguably sweet US cars in the past are probably still in the atmosphere. Because of these historical emissions from developed nations, groups all over the world, including the World Bank, are asking for the countries that have been most responsible for global warming to take charge of the fight to stop it.
Developing countries are disproportionately affected by climate change -- a crisis that is not of their making and for which they are the least prepared. For that reason, an equitable deal in Copenhagen is vitally important, said World Bank president Robert Zoellick.The solution that is fleshed out in Copenhagen will hopefully strike a balance between development and the clean energy revolution. But regardless of where the rest of the world stands, those with the means must commit to reducing emissions in a real and enforceable way. We didn't get to the moon by asking the rest of the world to take an equal stake in the action. We got to the moon through stubborn determination - now our world is richer with a better understanding of the universe and life in general (with a whole slew of useful inventions to boot)! It is time to fight global warming with the same passion that we used to get a man on the moon. Want something that you can do today to fight global warming and support communities in developing countries? Check out Live Climate, where you can do both with one donation.
Monday, 14 September 2009 16:45 Written by Jason Fitzgerald
Monday, 14 September 2009 10:51 Written by Ivan Chan
A survey by a research and survey firm The Mellman Group finds that a large proportion of Americans, 71%, want the country to reduce carbon emissions; moreover, the survey finds that 58% of Americans favor not just action, but strong action. Demand for action crosses party lines. 68% of independents and 54% of Republicans want action on global warming, as do 86% of Democrats. Majorities in each region of the country seek action: 76% in the Northeast, 69% in the South, 69% in the Midwest, and 74% in the West. The survey also found that 70% of Americans find global warming to be a serious economic and national security threat to the U.S., particularly with regard to droughts and rising sea levels and their impact on developing countries. Read more about the survey results here.
The American Kneeboarding National Championships has gone CarbonFree® for the second year in a row. In addition, they have taken our motto – Reduce What you Can, Offset What You Can’t to heart. They’ve located all event activities within a half mile of each other to reduce travel and have strived to keep non-renewable resources out of the championships altogether. Next time you decide to go water skiing – follow the American Kneeboarding Association’s lead and offset your trip.
Friday, 11 September 2009 17:32 Written by Jason Fitzgerald
This week, the Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County announced that it has certified several local businesses, including CarbonFree® Partner MoveGreen, Inc. The full article is published in the local edition of Noozhawk.com. The certification program offered by Green Business Program is completely voluntary and free. It highlights businesses who go above and beyond mandated efficiency measures to curb waste and water use, increase recycling and efficiency, and promote eco-responsible purchasing. Each business receives a checklist tailored to their industry of environmental objectives to meet the certification. MoveGreen is an environmentally friendly full service moving company. All of their trucks run on biodiesel fuel that meets new EPA guidelines, they provide paperless quotes and invoicing, and they plant ten trees for every move. In addition to these green initiatives, they are offsetting their annual emissions through the CarbonFree Partner program. With the addition of the Green Business Program certification, MoveGreen is well on their way to achieving their goal of transforming the moving industry from "old and outdated to new and sustainable." Carbonfund.org congratulates MoveGreen on this new milestone and thanks them for their continued environmental achievements!
Thursday, 10 September 2009 18:43 Written by Eric Carlson
A lot of people are extremely passionate about fighting climate change, reducing CO2 emissions and staving off a global catastrophe. And by “a lot”, I mean, well, maybe 10-20%. The fact is most people, on any issue, are rather agnostic, have a tacit support for something but certainly are not in the trenches fighting on a day-to-day basis. An overwhelming majority of people want health care reform, millions of people are against it, and yet it is big news when a hundred “passionate” people show up to a town hall meeting of a member of Congress. Enter Greg Craven and his book, What’s The Worst That Could Happen? A Rationale Response To The Climate Change Debate. Greg is a high school science teacher in Oregon who became an Internet sensation last year with a series of videos trying to engage the 60-80% of people in the middle on climate change. His videos have been viewed over 7 million times and his book is as entertaining. Greg does not talk much about climate science. Instead, he looks at the issue of should we do something or should we not from the perspective of risk assessment. Which is worse, taking action to stop climate change and later learning it was not happening, or not taking action and learning (too late) that it was? But the book is about much more than Pascal’s Wager. Greg uses the same ultra analytical approach to helping us decide which information in our information-laden world we should value more. Should we trust a pundit over a scientist, a scientific organization over a think tank, a government over a lobbying group? Where should each stand on our information value spectrum. What’s The Worst That Could Happen? is a surprisingly fresh, interesting, quick and entertaining read. Whether you’ve been in the trenches for a decade on the issue or are one of the 60-80% in the middle, Craven’s perspective and process are unassailably logical. He is the perfect antidote to any climate skeptic. Craven is passionate about being, well, dispassionate. He asks a thousand questions (Note: I have known Greg for twenty years and the book is as Greg is) of the reader without overwhelming the senses. He is serious and yet unbelievably self-deprecating. The book’s faux sticky notes on the pages of facts, humor and examples add to his unique style. Greg makes climate change, and the question of whether we should act on it, understandable to the average person much as Al Gore did a few years ago. What’s The Worst That Could Happen? is a great read. It will energize you to take action, the last pillar of the book. The climate change movement needed this book and Greg’s approach to problem-solving. At Carbonfund.org, we feel any work that helps explain the issue and urgency of climate change is critical and Greg has done just that.
Thursday, 10 September 2009 12:24 Written by Jason Fitzgerald
Galaxy Nutritional Foods is redefining cheese with the launch of its new and improved soy-based Veggie brand products. As the leading provider of cheese alternatives, Galaxy is introducing its new and improved soy-based Veggie Slices which feature a better taste and higher quality ingredients. The new Veggie, which debuts with a fresh look, can be found in the produce section of grocery stores nationwide in October. Providing an excellent source of calcium with no cholesterol, saturated fat, trans fat, or lactose, Veggie boasts a simplified ingredient list that research demonstrates is preferable by five out of seven consumers. The cheese alternative is available in slices, shreds, blocks, and a grated topping, with flavors including Cheddar, Pepper Jack, American, Swiss, Mozzarella, and more. Galaxy Nutritional Foods offsets its shipping emissions with Carbonfund.org. Their unique program allows their customers to vote on project type, allowing Galaxy to support reforestation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy carbon offset projects. To learn more about Galaxy Nutritional Foods and to vote on their offsets, visit Galaxy Foods.
Here at Carbonfund.org we like to hear what our donors have to say. It helps us in the office keep perspective on why we’re doing what we’re doing. And our donors come from a broad range of perspectives. Some were concerned about climate change’s negative impacts and wanted to do the right thing. Others felt guilty about their pollution and chose to support our high quality projects as a way to offset their activities. Still others were spurred by our partners’ actions, donating after seeing Amtrak, Dell, or JetBlue’s actions to fight climate change. Take a look at a selection of comments we received this week. Maybe next week, we’ll highlight your comment! “Admittedly, I'm being selfish to fly around as much as I do. Your group gives me a means to balance my negative actions with positive actions.” “I feel very strongly that we as individuals should try and offset our carbon footprint. I work for an environmental consulting company and take pride in what I can do to help our environment.” “I was given the option when buying my Amtrak ticket. I'd like life on earth to continue longer.” “I work for the American Geophysical Union (www.agu.org) which publishes much of the climate change research. I think it's important that we walk the talk.” “My brother wanted carbon offsets for his birthday present.” “Polar Bears etc.” “The wedding offset is a great idea!” “We at NMD, Inc feel it is very important to leave a legacy for future generations.” “We've reduced our footprint significantly with public transit, but long distance travel is still an energy drain. Glad to know we have the option of “off-setting” where we are unable to eliminate our carbon footprint.”