Emission programs: should it neutralize one from travelling?

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Emission programs: should it neutralize one from travelling?

Postby Mtn Bike Girl » Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:17 pm

I was recently talking with a friend about planning an Everest Base Camp trek. My friend is an avid adventurer. However, I was surprised to hear his hesitant reply. He was concerned with the emission a jet would produce for such a journey. In turn, I indicated there are carbon neutral programs. He buttled with "they are all a bunch of marketing ploys". So my question is-How much environmental concern is too much -or is there such a thing? Should it put a risk or limitations on one's travel plans?
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Offsetting Flights

Postby starfish » Fri Mar 23, 2007 3:08 pm

I think you raised a good point Mtn Bike Girl. In my opinion, it's important to think of the impact your trip would have on the environment as well as the areas in which you're travelling. Your friend makes a valid point, that air travel has a dramatic impact on global warming. This being said, there are ways of lessening the impact your flights like carbon offsetting. You can use the carbon calculator on the G.A.P website to calculate your emissions and then offset them. The funds raised as a result of offsetting support renewable energy projects. While it's true that travel can impact the environment, its important to decide for yourself how you want to reduce your own footprint. Make sure your friend's comments don't stop you from taking the trip of a lifetime. I too am hoping to head to Nepal and Tibet in the coming year :)
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Postby Mtn Bike Girl » Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:04 pm

Thanks for your comments. I agree that we should do what we believe is within our means to do so. If you plan your trip to Nepal-let me know where you end up going!
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Postby Myosotis » Fri May 11, 2007 12:55 am

The most important thing is not to believe or not in those programs. I think the way we travel can make the difference. There is probably a marketing purpose in some of those programs that promise to lower your impact on emissions... You have to choose the good program, and the good way to act. Responsible travel is something possible. Some organizations are very concretes ; they invest directly your money in groups already implicated in that.
If you want to know more about it: go on that website: equiterre.org/en
They have a big bunch of info to help you to take a positive atitude about our environment.
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Postby Mtn Bike Girl » Fri May 11, 2007 10:13 am

Thanks for the website link!
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Postby Tall Paul » Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:40 pm

Hey;

Its a dicey question. My next GAP tour will generate about 2,500 kg of carbon or carbon dioxide (I cannot recall which), according to my airline's calculator. And I am not buying offsets this time out (although maybe in the future).

It may sound crass, however I feel I do not feel I have to "make a difference in the world" with everything I do. (I volunteer 8 hours a week in another area). There are never enough hours in the day.

However, I encourage other GAP travellers to to take a stand, one way or the other, and act in accordance with it. Global warming is an important issues, and at the very least deserves some thought when we travel.

For me, world travel, and the benefits it entails, is my one indulgence and I won't give it up. Ever.

Paul

P.S. Yes, I can sleep at night. Like a baby. Every two hours I wake up screaming.
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Postby jimshu » Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:24 pm

Yes , like Tall Pall, I remain unconvinced of the need for humans to cut CO2 emmissions in an attempt to curb global warming.
I'd like to see a lot more discussion on this.
Is it a natural event?
Or is human endeavour causing, or having a measurable effect?
We are fed a lot of conflicting information...for instance the following report -
'Sunday, December 09, 2007
Southern Hemisphere Ice Cover Remains Well Above Normal
By Alexandre Aguiar, MetSul Weather Center, Brazil

Southern Hemisphere’s ice cover now is at the same level as last June, i.e., a level seen during the last winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Besides, there are two more millions square kilometers of ice now compared to December 2006. And the large positive anomaly has persisted since September.


Icecap note: In the Northern Hemisphere, the ice and snow cover have recovered to within 1% (one snowstorm) of normal with the official start of winter still more than 12 days away '

This very recent info is at complete odds with that earlier evidence the UN report has been based on.
Are we all being panicked needlessly?
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Postby chicfit » Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:51 pm

I spent the first 6 months of this year in Europe and it is such a big issue over there. I just kept hearing it over and over how Global Warming was this HUGE issue. Then the Live Earth concert came to town which really blew everything up. I was convinced the world was near a breaking point and it seemed fashionable in London to say you were not travelling this year to help save the planet. So when I came to America I was wired on the issue to find it not an issue here at all. People don't care and it really is just background noise in newspapers. So this allowed me to step back and actually learn for myself. I have to say I am still of the belief that we must act and it is caused by our use of the Earth. But what I don't agree with right now is this Cabon Offsetting that is going on. It seems like a band aid to make you feel good that at least you tried to do something. Plus there just seems to be so many dodgy companies that keep springing up telling me to offset my carbon.
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Postby jimshu » Sat Dec 22, 2007 6:25 am

We are being manipulated to enable our leaders to boost their reputations, and to psychologically control us..
I first cottoned on to this , when reading Michael Crighton's' State of Fear' and became enlightened to just how our leaders NEED to control us..
Did you ever hear of any leader declining to attend the Bali Conference?No.Even with video conferencing, they attend, with a carbon footprint equal to 20,000 cars .When Al Gore moves into a little, energy efficient house, then I'll start feeling guilty.
So how come our leaders fly around the world, to attend a conference, to make us feel guilty about travelling???You'd think that if they were serious, they would stay home, and tele/video conference.But Bali is such an attractive place.......And the real neat part of it all, is they don't have to pay for it out of their pocket.You and I do!


Myth one.
-'CO2 is a pollutant.

CO2 is an essential nutrient for plants. Plants absorb CO2 and release oxygen, while animals inhale oxygen and exhale CO2. Researchers have proven that higher CO2 concentrations enable plants to grow faster and give them better drought tolerance.


Myth two
CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas.

Not even close. Most of the greenhouse effect is due to water vapor, which is about 100 times as abundant in the atmosphere as CO2 and thus has a much larger effect.


Myth three
The greenhouse effect is a bad thing.



The greenhouse effect is necessary for life on earth as we know it, were it not for the greenhouse effect, temperatures on Earth would be about 60 degrees F (33°C) colder than they are at present. The global warming discussions center on the claims that human enhancement of the greenhouse will raise temperatures, and that these will be large compared with natural variations.
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Postby steve » Sat Dec 22, 2007 2:06 pm

We are being manipulated to enable our leaders to boost their reputations, and to psychologically control us..


I agree in general but not with respect to global warming. In Canada our leaders would much prefer we not worry about it and just keep growing our economy. It would however be political suicide in Canada to sweep this issue under the carpet. It does appear that some of them are starting to realize that an unstable environment might not be good for the economy in the near to medium term (ie. on their watch).

I gave up my car 12 years ago and made the conscious decision to arrange my life such that owning and driving a car isn't necessary. It's been challenging but very rewarding. I admit I've flown a lot since 1995 but hopefully my carbon footprint is smaller than most.
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Re: Emission programs: should it neutralize one from travelling?

Postby jimshu » Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:21 pm

The following report makes interesting reading...perhaps we need not worry about our flight carbon footprint.Just as long as we protect our forests!Under the IPCC/Stern/Kyoto proposals, our pristine natural jungle and forests can be destroyed, to plant single specie
plantations , which will be funded by carbon offsets money.Ridiculous!.Carbon offset funded plantations, and the demand for more land for biofuels, is boosting deforestation throughout Brasil,Asia and Africa.

Deforestation: The hidden cause of global warming

In the next 24 hours, deforestation will release as much CO2 into the atmosphere as 8 million people flying from London to New York. Stopping the loggers is the fastest and cheapest solution to climate change. So why are global leaders turning a blind eye to this crisis?

Independent.co.uk Web
Monday, 14 May 2007


The accelerating destruction of the rainforests that form a precious cooling band around the Earth's equator, is now being recognised as one of the main causes of climate change. Carbon emissions from deforestation far outstrip damage caused by planes and automobiles and factories.


The rampant slashing and burning of tropical forests is second only to the energy sector as a source of greenhouses gases according to report published today by the Oxford-based Global Canopy Programme, an alliance of leading rainforest scientists.

Figures from the GCP, summarising the latest findings from the United Nations, and building on estimates contained in the Stern Report, show deforestation accounts for up to 25 per cent of global emissions of heat-trapping gases, while transport and industry account for 14 per cent each; and aviation makes up only 3 per cent of the total.

"Tropical forests are the elephant in the living room of climate change," said Andrew Mitchell, the head of the GCP.

Scientists say one days' deforestation is equivalent to the carbon footprint of eight million people flying to New York. Reducing those catastrophic emissions can be achieved most quickly and most cheaply by halting the destruction in Brazil, Indonesia, the Congo and elsewhere.

No new technology is needed, says the GCP, just the political will and a system of enforcement and incentives that makes the trees worth more to governments and individuals standing than felled. "The focus on technological fixes for the emissions of rich nations while giving no incentive to poorer nations to stop burning the standing forest means we are putting the cart before the horse," said Mr Mitchell.

Most people think of forests only in terms of the CO2 they absorb. The rainforests of the Amazon, the Congo basin and Indonesia are thought of as the lungs of the planet. But the destruction of those forests will in the next four years alone, in the words of Sir Nicholas Stern, pump more CO2 into the atmosphere than every flight in the history of aviation to at least 2025.

Indonesia became the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world last week. Following close behind is Brazil. Neither nation has heavy industry on a comparable scale with the EU, India or Russia and yet they comfortably outstrip all other countries, except the United States and China.

What both countries do have in common is tropical forest that is being cut and burned with staggering swiftness. Smoke stacks visible from space climb into the sky above both countries, while satellite images capture similar destruction from the Congo basin, across the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo.

According to the latest audited figures from 2003, two billion tons of CO2 enters the atmosphere every year from deforestation. That destruction amounts to 50 million acres - or an area the size of England, Wales and Scotland felled annually.

The remaining standing forest is calculated to contain 1,000 billion tons of carbon, or double what is already in the atmosphere.

As the GCP's report concludes: "If we lose forests, we lose the fight against climate change."

Standing forest was not included in the original Kyoto protocols and stands outside the carbon markets that the report from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) pointed to this month as the best hope for halting catastrophic warming.

The landmark Stern Report last year, and the influential McKinsey Report in January agreed that forests offer the "single largest opportunity for cost-effective and immediate reductions of carbon emissions".

International demand has driven intensive agriculture, logging and ranching that has proved an inexorable force for deforestation; conservation has been no match for commerce. The leading rainforest scientists are now calling for the immediate inclusion of standing forests in internationally regulated carbon markets that could provide cash incentives to halt this disastrous process.

Forestry experts and policy makers have been meeting in Bonn, Germany, this week to try to put deforestation on top of the agenda for the UN climate summit in Bali, Indonesia, this year. Papua New Guinea, among the world's poorest nations, last year declared it would have no choice but to continue deforestation unless it was given financial incentives to do otherwise.

Richer nations already recognise the value of uncultivated land. The EU offers €200 (£135) per hectare subsidies for "environmental services" to its farmers to leave their land unused.

And yet there is no agreement on placing a value on the vastly more valuable land in developing countries. More than 50 per cent of the life on Earth is in tropical forests, which cover less than 7 per cent of the planet's surface.

They generate the bulk of rainfall worldwide and act as a thermostat for the Earth. Forests are also home to 1.6 billion of the world's poorest people who rely on them for subsistence. However, forest experts say governments continue to pursue science fiction solutions to the coming climate catastrophe, preferring bio-fuel subsidies, carbon capture schemes and next-generation power stations.

Putting a price on the carbon these vital forests contain is the only way to slow their destruction. Hylton Philipson, a trustee of Rainforest Concern, explained: "In a world where we are witnessing a mounting clash between food security, energy security and environmental security - while there's money to be made from food and energy and no income to be derived from the standing forest, it's obvious that the forest will take the hit."
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Re: Emission programs: should it neutralize one from travelling?

Postby colduphere » Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:33 am

This bogus C02 fearmongering has unfortunately taken all the attention off real enviromental and humanitarian disasters that are happening right now. The earth has been warming and cooling since it was formed. The northern hemisphere used to be under a couple of miles of ice which has been receding for the past 10,000 years. Can anyone explain why there is a 200,000 year old forest under the ice cap in southern Greenland? Maybe because there was a much warmer climate there at one time.

When there is genocide happening in the Sudan, destruction of fish stocks worldwide from overfishing, de-forestation in developing nations, food shortages, not to mention the Texas sized mass off plastic floating in the middle of the pacific and similar ones floating in the other oceans, wasting money on offsetting a natural element that we need to survive is ridiculous.

Put your hard earned money into causes that may actually do some good instead of feeding the new C02 industry. Just picking up the plastic bottle and other litter lying around would probaly do more good.
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Re: Emission programs: should it neutralize one from travelling?

Postby jimshu » Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:25 am

Exactly.I think the greatest disater is that it detracts from the real, immediate problems happening to people today.
You only have to read this-
I remain open to be persuaded by evidence. In summary, I have yet to see credible proof of carbon dioxide driving climate change, yet alone man-made CO2 driving it. The atmospheric hot-spot is missing and the ice core data refute this.
When will we collectively awake from this deceptive delusion?

From reputable people to wonder why we are being fed such nonsense.
From here-
http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uplo ... usions.pdf
I have read many reports over the past 12 months, and I too, have not seen evidence that human induced CO2 is the climate change driver.
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Re: Emission programs: should it neutralize one from travelling?

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:43 pm

The whole carbon-neutral thing is a huge fraud and anthropogenic global warming is the biggest scientific hoax since Piltdown man. Having said that, you CAN travel responsibly -- the biggest thing you can do is cut down on waste. Quit adding to the global refuse piles, turn off the lights and A/C if you don't need them, minimize use of skin conditioners/makeup/etc. that pollute the environment.

The biggest critics of AGW that I know are astro- and geophysicists and space environment scientists -- that should tell you something if you don't already gag on the idea of taking drastic action based on models sensitive to 1% variations in input data when the data (solar luminosity) is only known to about 5%.

You will do far more for the world and environment by just thinking about minimizing your consumption and doing THAT doesn't require complex calculators.
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Re: Emission programs: should it neutralize one from travelling?

Postby DanielBMe » Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:26 pm

Personally I see it a little different. I and probably most others think of global warming as a catch all phrase. It's just a way for the masses to easily understand that we the caretakers of this blue planet are failing miserably at our job. To me, I rarely think of CO2 when I think of global warming.

When you start talking about deforestation, plastic waste floating in the pacific, etc etc etc it all becomes too much for the masses to take in and digest. It sort of becomes this giant monster that you feel you cannot fight. It is a little overwhelming when you think how bad of shape we are really in. But by focusing the issue on one catch all phrase, global warming, it becomes a much smaller monster that you can easily comprehend and actually feel you can do something about. Maybe, just maybe if I change the way I do things, l can actually make a difference to what I leave future generations. This in the end leads one indirectly to care about deforestation, energy use, waste, pollution etc.

I have absolutely have no problem with this focus on global warming if it leads us to becoming better stewards of this planet.

Say what you want, but I don't know anyone who believes in and more importantly cares about global warming and doesn't try to make a difference in some small way. Whether it's reducing energy use, driving their car a bit less, recycling, donating to charities, conservation projects, at least they are doing something. I think that's what's forgotten in all the above posts.

Just my 2 cents...
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