Author Topic: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?  (Read 3738 times)

moustacheverte

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How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« on: June 04, 2019, 05:16:33 PM »
I'd like to offset the carbon emissions my international flight will generate. How would I do that? What charities are reputable so that my money ends up going towards offsetting rather than overhead?

Has anyone ever done it? I'm not in the US, so a Canada charity would be nice because I'd have a tax receipt.

reeshau

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2019, 03:10:09 AM »
WestJet will let you buy carbon offsets with your ticket through CarbonZero.  But, it doesn't look like they are tax deductible.

http://www.carbonzero.ca/westjet

expatartist

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2019, 03:36:33 AM »
@Malaysia41 may have some ideas.

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2019, 05:52:19 AM »
Is your goal to feel better despite the consequences of your actions or to reduce your impact on global warming?

Carbon offsets don't achieve the latter. Not flying does, which humans have done for hundreds of thousands of years until a couple generations ago.

Carbon offsets are a nice fantasy.

https://www.responsibletravel.com/copy/carbon-offsets

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/410009/why-carbon-credits-dont-work

No one will believe it until they experience it, but not flying improves your life, given our world and science. https://www.inc.com/joshua-spodek/365-days-without-flying.html.

It's almost impossible not to defend how family, work, and other aspects of the system that created our impending disasters make it impossible to avoid flying, but changing that system means changing that behavior.

Today is June 5, 2019. I've been engaged lately reading how 75 years ago hundreds of thousands of men prepared to invade Normandy to defend the free world. They didn't create that situation but they responded to it. I wonder how our generation will respond to our situation.

I don't write this to be melodramatic or heavy, but to show the opportunity we have to be a part of something greater than ourselves, to benefit everyone, including ourselves. It seems to me one of the great feelings available to humans.

swinginbeef

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2019, 06:36:06 AM »
plant a tree

Mrs.MLM

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2019, 09:40:01 AM »
I just read an article in The Atlantic about this and apparently the carbon offsets that capture methane gas are the only works that have any real impact.

fell-like-rain

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2019, 03:00:00 PM »
Offsets always struck me as a pretty suspect business. If you could really offset a ton of carbon for $10, it would in theory be possible to offset the entire U.S.ís annual emissions for just $50 billion or so- not pocket change, but well within reach.  Either the offsets are taking advantage of a rare opportunity that canít possibly scale beyond the thousands of tons, or thereís some creative accounting going on.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2019, 03:12:45 PM »
I've flown regularly since I was a kid, and I planned to do a LOT of travelling when I FIRE'd. Mostly by bus, but planes were a part of it. Instead I'm going to refrain from getting on a plane for at least the next year. I am suspicious of carbon offsets, and I view it like recycling - it might be somewhat better, but some of it's a scam and even the good programs still generate waste and use resources. The best option is to not produce the item in the first place.

That said, this post gives advice on evaluating carbon offset programs: https://www.nrdc.org/stories/should-you-buy-carbon-offsets

red_pill

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2019, 06:11:25 PM »
How much lawn do you have at your house?  Start taking it out and replacing with big trees and pollinator friendly shrubs. Ideally that are native to your area.   Not only will it have a benefit for CO2 and bio diversity just by whatever you plant, but youíll also influence your neighbours to do the same. We did ours and love it!

Buffalo Chip

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2019, 08:23:34 PM »
Do you own a home? How about buying some solar panels?

Not a homeowner? Then how about volunteering to restore a wetland? Or biking more?


Kyle Schuant

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2019, 09:39:21 PM »
Carbon offsets are a nice fantasy.
Indeed. My emissions do not cease to exist simply because I gave money to someone who was already reducing their emissions because they were legally required to do so.

Carbon offsets are like the Catholic church's historical papal indulgences. You'd pay money to offset your sins - but keep sinning. But you'd given money to the Church, which (the Church said) was a good deed offsetting your bad deeds. And the Church said so, as they counted the coin. This, by the by, is part of what set off the Reformation and let to 30 years of almost continuous warfare. Hmmm.

Don't fly.

I don't fly, and my life is not awful. I cannot of course stop everyone in my family from flying.

moustacheverte

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2019, 01:48:14 PM »
Not that I came here and ask this question to be judged, but here we are. I'd love to hear how you'd all move back home half-way across the world and to another continent to care for your aging parents in a more practical and economical way than by flying.

I don't drive a car. I don't even own one. I risk my life almost daily because I insist on riding a bicycle in a city that is actively hostile to cyclists and does all it can to have more cars, less transit, and less bicycles. I don't eat meat, fish or dairy. I fly once every two years.

Anyway, I'll keep looking for an organization I could give money to that would fund projects reducing CO2 emissions overall. Something like this, if anyone else stumbles upon this thread looking for answers: https://www.myclimate.org/ -- I couldn't find one in Canada. The one Air Canada uses is less.ca but they're not tax deductible and even charge sales tax on the donations...

wenchsenior

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2019, 07:58:28 PM »
Not that I came here and ask this question to be judged, but here we are. I'd love to hear how you'd all move back home half-way across the world and to another continent to care for your aging parents in a more practical and economical way than by flying.



I don't get this either, though I sympathize with the moral stance to curb flying.  But I would essentially never see the vast majority of friends and family if I didn't fly.   I hardly see many of them as it is and it sucks.  DH and I have been rethinking some of our more air-travel intensive vacations, and swapping stuff out for some closer places that we can drive to.

wenchsenior

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2019, 08:01:53 PM »
I think there's useful discussion in this thread, though I don't have time to review it at the moment...

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/self-imposing-carbon-taxes-who's-with-me/

expatartist

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2019, 08:19:02 PM »
Not that I came here and ask this question to be judged, but here we are. I'd love to hear how you'd all move back home half-way across the world and to another continent to care for your aging parents in a more practical and economical way than by flying.



I don't get this either, though I sympathize with the moral stance to curb flying.  But I would essentially never see the vast majority of friends and family if I didn't fly.   I hardly see many of them as it is and it sucks.  DH and I have been rethinking some of our more air-travel intensive vacations, and swapping stuff out for some closer places that we can drive to.

Yeah those of us who moved away from where we're from - for opportunity or other reasons - will inevitably deal with this. I'm trying to minimize flying for holidays but some is inevitable to see family, for work (can't justify spending 30 hours on a train to Chongqing when I can fly after work and be painting the next day), or exhibitions.

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2019, 08:46:13 PM »
One flight will brings people closer.

Flying in general led them to move far apart so they felt they needed to fly to get back together.

It also leads to people constantly leaving their physical community.

Global warming is front page news almost daily in some seasons. We fight wars for oil. There's no mystery the causes. If we never change our behavior we will feed these systems. We have choices.

I don't see it as a moral issue, just simple cause and effect. Flying contributes to global warming, which causes suffering. There's no way to change it. It's not complicated. It also disperses community and makes relationships more distant.

There's another view. After the withdrawal symptoms pass, flying less leads to closer relationships, lower pollution, and saving money.

Anyway, it's a free country, flying is legal. It's even subsidized.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2019, 09:20:56 PM »
Yeah those of us who moved away from where we're from - for opportunity or other reasons - will inevitably deal with this.
Choices have consequences. You can't have everything. I have been trying to teach my son this as he divides his pocket money into giving, saving and spending; if he buys X he cannot buy Y. You can have flying but then you cannot have a low-carbon lifestyle. Or you can have a low-carbon lifestyle but you then cannot have flying. You can live distantly from your family or you can see them often. Good, fast, or cheap - choose one. Just this morning on the way to school we discussed this: coal is cheap, but not good, solar is expensive, but good, walking is good but not fast, cars are fast but not good.

You can't have everything. My 7yo son grasps this though many adults do not. He can see things objectively because someone else provides him with everything he needs and many things he wants, later self-interest may make him blind as so many of us.


Flying in general led them to move far apart so they felt they needed to fly to get back together.
Well said.

Fly once to get back to family, and then never again. Better, take a train or cargo ship. This will be inconvenient. An obese person who has had years of comfortable eating and comfortable sitting around will need some time of uncomfortable eating and uncomfortable movement of their body in order to stop being obese. Likewise, a society which has had an excess of consumption will need an excess of restriction of its consumption to balance out.

The corporation is the modern Church. You may buy your indulgences, they will not complain. 2 less years in purgatory for you, thankyou very much. 

wenchsenior

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2019, 10:10:15 PM »
One flight will brings people closer.

Flying in general led them to move far apart so they felt they needed to fly to get back together.

It also leads to people constantly leaving their physical community.

Global warming is front page news almost daily in some seasons. We fight wars for oil. There's no mystery the causes. If we never change our behavior we will feed these systems. We have choices.

I don't see it as a moral issue, just simple cause and effect. Flying contributes to global warming, which causes suffering. There's no way to change it. It's not complicated. It also disperses community and makes relationships more distant.

There's another view. After the withdrawal symptoms pass, flying less leads to closer relationships, lower pollution, and saving money.

Anyway, it's a free country, flying is legal. It's even subsidized.

What do you mean?

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2019, 07:16:38 AM »
@wenchsenior if you meant what do I mean by "After the withdrawal symptoms pass, flying less leads to closer relationships," I mean that switching from one set of values to another means a period of adjustment, not yet knowing what old values to keep or drop and net yet knowing what new ones will stick, since the new ones don't create reward yet.

In that period, things that used to be rewarding, you miss, but things that will be rewarding haven't taken hold yet.

For example, when you stop flying, you miss what you used to enjoy about it, which for me included adventure, new cuisine, and new cultures. I also felt I had family and work obligations. When I challenged myself to a year without flying the first few months felt lacking in adventure, cuisine, and culture. I had to turn down jobs. My uncle died. The pressures on my to fly were tremendous.

By the end of the year, I developed the skills to create my own adventure. I learned to cook from scratch more and built relations with the farmers and vendors in my CSAs and farmers markets. I found diversity in people nearby by deepening my relationships with them. I developed income nearby. The time and emotion I share with family is about the same overall, but I distribute it more to those closer to me. The ones farther away get less, but I feel closer to all humans and life overall.

So now I enjoy more of everything I used to get from flying, since I don't rely on external sources, but without the costs to myself and Earth's ability to sustain life and human society.

We all know that someone stopping heroin, meth, alcohol, sugar, gambling, playing victim, or whatever their addiction will in time get more reward from diet, exercise, responsibility, and what we get from life, but the user only sees the loss of their rush. They don't know how much more they'll eventually prefer broccoli to Doritos, push-ups to injections, earning money to stealing, but you and I know when they get there, they'll wish they had sooner and they'll want not to go back. Our values are causing people to suffer. The laws of physics and cause and effect aren't changing any time soon so either we keep causing suffering or we change our values.

In the meantime, they say "I didn't ask for judgment" and feel we don't understand them. I don't know the rush of heroin, but I know people who kick it wish they had earlier and are glad they did. The pattern with flying in a warming world is the same. I wish the world weren't warming. I wish drilling for oil didn't lead to wars. In the end I find it improves my life to accept the world as science says it is and not a fantasy world where my actions don't cause others suffering.

I see everyone who changes their values go through similar transitions. I call it personal growth. I've learned to ease the transition for guests on my podcast http://joshuaspodek.com/podcast and I hope to bring that ease to the world, since I don't know anyone else doing it, and I see the joy it brings. It's like moving someone from addiction to something that brings them a jolt of pleasure or joy but undermines the rest of their life to getting joy from exercise, diet, and responsibility.

Actually, stopping flying is not like moving someone from an addiction. It is. The cold-turkey scene from Trainspotting https://youtu.be/5THh7yp530g illustrates the process, though on a different time scale: cursing at the people who love you and try to help, despair at what appears a dull life to follow, etc.

Who knows, maybe I'll fly again. I'm in my fourth year avoiding it, closer to my nearby family than ever, more capable than ever, healthier than ever, and by every measure that I value better. I could never have predicted the improvement it brought. I wish someone had said to me what I'm saying here earlier. Maybe it doesn't resonate with others, but it's what would have helped me.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2019, 07:22:02 AM by JoshuaSpodek »

wenchsenior

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2019, 09:09:11 AM »
Thanks for answering.

I'm trained as a scientist, I work in a science field, and my husband is a working research scientist who sees frightening effects of climate change every day. I don't need to be convinced that living in a fact-based world is more desirable, nor do I need to be convinced about the reality of climate change or the damaging effects of flying. 

I meant for you to address the bold text b/c you seemed to imply that giving up flying made your relationships better, by which I assumed you were including those family/friends that you formerly flew to see.

So you note that you now have better relationships with those nearby , which I can believe. Time formerly spent on relationships with those far away is now being redirected, and you find that to be an acceptable trade-off in order to support your moral position on climate change.  That's what I wanted clarity on b/c your original statement seemed to imply that your stance on flying didn't carry any cost to those relationships with people far away from you.

My friends and family are scattered across the entire country, often 1,000 miles or more away. A few friends are close enough that I can see them by driving a day or two, but others would require 3 or more weeks of time off work to reasonably reach by car and then have any decent amount of time to spend with them.  There are no passenger rail lines in much of the U.S., including in my city and in many places my friends and family live.  As it is (even flying) I only see my two sisters (my closest friends in the world) every year or two at most, and my father only about every 5 years or so. 

I'm not being judgemental or snarky about your answer.  Moral positions affect relationships all the time. But personally, I can't categorize my current closest relationships as being metaphorical drugs that I need to withdraw from, and I'm not willing to trade my closest relationships away more than they already are in favor of trying to develop deeper relationships with casual acquaintances who live nearby.  I suspect most people wouldn't be.  And yeah, it is not a good moral position to be in.

expatartist

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2019, 10:21:14 AM »
I see my family usually once every year or 2. In my first decade abroad I saw them maybe once. I don't live a low-carbon lifestyle but do tend to lower it when it fits career/family parameters (ie mom wanted to meet in Europe over Xmas, but I saw most family in Feb so will probably stay in my region instead).

In city-states like mine, all destinations are international, most food is imported. Almost no one I know here owns a car, public transport is extremely cheap and efficient aside from ferries which use lots of diesel. We eat much less meat than many westerners, I almost never use aircon at home though did a bit today, it was 94F and 84% humidity.

I don't claim to live a low carbon lifestyle but am always on the lookout for ways to reduce my impact within reason. My biggest impact was deciding to remain child-free.

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2019, 11:08:09 AM »
@wenchsenior A couple points of clarification:

"your moral position on climate change" . . . I don't see this issue as moral. To me saying flying pollutes is like saying water is wet. People's choices are theirs.

"I can't categorize my current closest relationships as being metaphorical drugs" . . . the flying is the addiction, not the relationships. My friends who works with addicted people tell me that the communities of addicted people help keep them addicted too.

I'm curious, I see the benefit to you and your friends from seeing each other. As I read it, you see that there are costs that others bear. Two questions, and I'm not asking to influence you but to understand the view better.

1. Is it conceivable that you could like life overall more if you stopped flying, even given your friends' dispersion, or is it absolutely inconceivable?

2. Are there any limits to the costs you'd impose on others to see your friends?

Again, as I read these questions, I imagine some would read them as trying to corner you, but I hear the views a lot -- in fact, I felt similarly before my year avoiding flying -- and I'm interested in understanding the perspective. Unlike people I meet in person, you're anonymous, which I imagine allows you to speak more openly.

wenchsenior

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2019, 09:43:52 AM »
@wenchsenior A couple points of clarification:

"your moral position on climate change" . . . I don't see this issue as moral. To me saying flying pollutes is like saying water is wet. People's choices are theirs.

"I can't categorize my current closest relationships as being metaphorical drugs" . . . the flying is the addiction, not the relationships. My friends who works with addicted people tell me that the communities of addicted people help keep them addicted too.

I'm curious, I see the benefit to you and your friends from seeing each other. As I read it, you see that there are costs that others bear. Two questions, and I'm not asking to influence you but to understand the view better.

1. Is it conceivable that you could like life overall more if you stopped flying, even given your friends' dispersion, or is it absolutely inconceivable?

2. Are there any limits to the costs you'd impose on others to see your friends?

Again, as I read these questions, I imagine some would read them as trying to corner you, but I hear the views a lot -- in fact, I felt similarly before my year avoiding flying -- and I'm interested in understanding the perspective. Unlike people I meet in person, you're anonymous, which I imagine allows you to speak more openly.

Good questions.

1. I definitely could like life more overall if I stopped flying, IF several other conditions were in place (living in a location that actually has outdoor beauty and activities/living closer to friends and family). I don't care for flying...it's not the flying that's an 'addiction' for me, as you make the analogy.  DH actively hates it (and has to fly regularly for work).  But those life conditions aren't in place, and can't be until (possibly) DH retires in his 60s.  By that time, I will have lived about 30 years in a situation where flying was a necessary evil b/c of my husband's career path and location of his job. 

2. The way you frame this question makes it seem like flying is a special case, but it's just one example of a bunch of damaging activities modern-living humans do to the planet, merely by going about their daily existence.  So our individual choices about minimizing our devastating impact range from ignoring it completely to committing suicide and ending one's damaging effects to the planet (which I've always maintained would be the most logical choice to support my essential values). 

However, like every other living creature, I selfishly want to live.  What's the next most extreme set of options?  There are lots of other things one could do as well, and if you combined ALL of those things, you could live with fairly low impact (living off grid, trying not buy anything, using no carbon-based transportation, having no children, eating no meat or foraging entirely off the land, investing no money in the modern economy that relies on externalizing costs of pollution (oops, that would put an end to this forum's existence). 

If a large percentage of humanity chose, or was forced, to do those things (except for the foraging off the land thing), there would be a huge long-term benefit to ecological health of the planet and the stability of human society, but small benefit or active cost to stability of society and individual happiness of many individuals in the short-term (i.e., a human lifetime or two). Classic tragedy of the commons problem.

I already forewent having kids (the single biggest contribution to reducing all forms of negative impact that I can make, barring putting a gun to my head this very instant). For me, personally, that wasn't much of a sacrifice. Nor did it affect others' happiness very much in the short-term (my parents would have liked grand-kids, but it wasn't a priority).   But by not having kids, I'm actually imposing costs on our society in the short-term and medium-term b/c less consumption (by me, providing for the kid(s)) = lower economic growth/contributing to our country's declining birthrate and destabilization of social safety net, reducing number of future taxpayers, etc. 

Flying is just one of the items on these sliding-scale dilemmas of short-term benefit vs. long-term costs.

If I DON'T fly, it imposes huge costs on my lifetime emotional health b/c it means I can only very occasionally access wild, remote places of natural beauty and even, occasionally, interesting culture (which, and I'm not joking, would lead me to the 'beneficial' outcome of gun-to-my-head...it's win/win LOL!!). 

If I don't fly, I would be unlikely to see my father again more than once or twice in his lifetime.  This imposes misery and cost not only on my father (who already is lonely and unhappy that his family don't have more free time to travel and visit), but in his eventual decline it would impose costs on my siblings and on my father's local friends, who would have to take over any role I might have offered to help care for him. Hypothetically, this would also impose more costs on the state (other taxpayers), as well.  I've watched such disparities in effort and proximity absolutely damage relationships in friend and family communities as my grandparents aged, and the pain is still rippling around a decade later.

If I don't fly, some of my relationships will inevitably be reduced in quality and intensity, and this imposes a cost on the OTHER parties in the relationships, not just me.  They have less community, less support, less love.  It's not just me who suffers.

If I DO fly, it benefits the economy, my relationships, and the extended social communities around some of my relationships in the short-term.  In the medium-term (my lifetime), my flying is probably pretty neutral (planes aren't going to stop flying just b/c I decide not fly, so the pollution will still occur). In the long-term, my flying is contributing to devastating destruction, though I suspect the costs are going to be borne more by the non-human world, unfortunately.  Humans are like cockroaches, and our species will carry on regardless.

So what 'costs' should we focus on when deciding what actions to take? Short-term? Medium-term? Long-term? The climate change problem (and pollution in general) will only be dealt with by societal and economic restructuring on a massive scale, which I can't affect with most of my individual choices. Certainly, my choosing not fly won't affect the airline industry even one iota. Planes will continue to fly, with or without my ass in their seats.  So my choice to NOT fly isn't really reducing harm to anyone, though it might make me feel more virtuous.

Costs associated with broad-scale social and economic restructuring could be very high, less high, or even (possibly) neutral in the short- and medium-term, if an organized plan to change was carried out by advanced nations.  But again, that isn't something I can affect very much as an individual, aside from voting and joining some sort of local civic planning organization. 
 

Granted, some peoples' lives are arranged in such a way that their individual efforts to reduce impact don't carry much perceived cost.  You appear to be such a person as re: flying (I'm assuming your relationship-counterparts that you formerly saw more frequently via flying are as happy as you are with your new relationship status quo and are feeling their lives are also improved by your not flying). That's great.

I have friends who have lived off-grid for a decade and consider themselves very environmentally progressive.  They are currently living in a yurt with no hot water. They kind of thrive on that and enjoy it; it's like a hobby or a self-selected endurance event, so they don't perceive as many costs to themselves as many of us would.  They do eat meat b/c they like it, though they try not to eat factory farmed meat.  They don't currently have enough money to fly regularly, but when they did have the money, they had no compunction about flying to Australia, etc.  Like most people, they are good at making trade-offs in some areas, and unwilling to shoulder the costs in others.

I have friends who dislike meat, so giving it up wasn't a sacrifice. I like meat, but am happy to limit it in my diet, and to essentially give up dairy.  Other people I know would view giving up cheese as an unthinkable sacrifice, but would happily skip owning a car.   I  know people who want nothing to do with their family, and not flying to see them is no burden at all.  Personally, I love walking, and don't mind skipping the car in favor of walking several miles to run various errands, even in blistering heat.  Aren't I virtuous LOL? Guess what I really dislike, though? BIKING :gasp: Etc etc etc.

Everyone makes trade-offs as to where to put their energy, and how many short-term costs they want to bear as individuals while pushing for long-term benefits.  IMO, a huge amount of energy seems to be expended in Sysiphean individual efforts of rolling that boulder, when the benefit per unit effort comes from 'leveling the mountain' or some such analogy to changing our entire society.

Ugh, now I started my weekend again feeling like we need a good plague to wipe out 99% of us.  I should stop engaging in climate change threads; it's not good for my mental health. 

Sorry OP, that's probably more than enough thread hijacking. 

« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 09:46:56 AM by wenchsenior »

iris lily

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2019, 10:38:52 AM »
This thread gives me popcorn opportunity. Or maybe it is prime for a  long cool scotch while reading.

Either one, it is good to settle in with the process of helping the OP to not feel guilty for ruining the planet when the OP engages in one of the biggest planet-ruining activities privileged people can engage in.

Yes I fly on long trips to Europe now and then because I want to. It is what it is. I don't ruminate about my feelings.

One can always blame it on Trump,, that seems to make people feel better.





« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 10:41:14 AM by iris lily »

Tester

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2019, 01:40:08 PM »
Already said but here I go: you can't.
You fly, you contribute to carbon.
The fact that someone else produces less does not mean your part disappears.
Like eating all your food does not mean other people are not starving.

spartana

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2019, 11:24:14 PM »
So which would be less polluting: a person takes a solo road trip for 2 months and drives 6,000 miles in a vehicle or they fly r/t 6,000 miles and spend 2 months on a walking , biking or kayaking trip?  I don't really fly at all but do take long solo road trips (on one now) in a mini van. I generally ride my bike most days when staying one place for awhile but use the van to travel between places. I often wonder if it would be better to fly rather than drive the same distance and then travel for those same 2 months in a non-carbon emitting way.

Or what if someone flew once across country and then spent months travelling by foot or bike compared to a commuter who never flies but drives 20 miles to work each day for that same amount of months?
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 11:25:56 PM by spartana »

Kyle Schuant

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2019, 11:37:45 PM »
So which would be less polluting: a person takes a solo road trip for 2 months and drives 6,000 miles in a vehicle or they fly r/t 6,000 miles and spend 2 months on a walking , biking or kayaking trip?
Depends on the fuel efficiency of the vehicle, and how much of your driving is urban (lots of time burning fuel sitting still) and rural (actually moving the whole time you're burning fuel) but the average emissions of a new small car in Australia is 182g CO2e per km.

The emissions of the aircraft also depend on the type (larger ones are more efficient per passenger-mile) and on whether it was a single 6,000 mile flight, or 6x 1,000 mile flights, etc, since a large part of the emissions happen in takeoff and landing. Aviation is on the order of 300g CO2e per km. While the actual fuel burned per km per person is a bit less than most cars, emissions at high altitude have a disproportionately strong warming effect.

Flying is rough on the climate system simply because you can do a lot of miles really quickly. The average car in Australia covers 13,400km annually - in a plane you can do that in a day.

historienne

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2019, 02:16:12 AM »
If the goal is to maximize the chances that the earth is still habitable in a century, then I think your money is best spent on targeted political donations, rather than offsetting personal carbon consumption.  Individual choices by a small percentage of well-meaning individuals are basically spitting in the wind at this point.  We need a meaningful and adequate regulatory framework that will force everyone else to minimize carbon usage as well.  Give your money to an environmental campaign group, or directly to the campaign of a politician who you think is well positioned to fight this fight. 

I mean, I do still try to minimize personal air travel, use solar energy for my electricity, etc.  But I recognize that those choices are basically meaningless, given the scale of the problem.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2019, 06:42:35 PM »
Individual choices by a small percentage of well-meaning individuals are basically spitting in the wind at this point. 

Sometimes things are the right thing to do even if it doesn't make any larger difference.

Reading these sorts of discussions reminds me of reading the letters of Jefferson where he tried to rationalise having written, "all men are created equal" while continuing to hold slaves. The man who did not hesitate to commit treason against his King, to take up arms against his lawful government, who sent other men to their deaths in the pursuit of his political ends, could not possibly, he said, free his slaves because... um... the law... and debts... and stuff. It was, in the end, inconvenient and would involve discomfort. In the choice between principles and convenience, convenience tends to win, unfortunately.

Most of us are, looking at our actions, climate change denialists.


Productive change is inconvenient and will involve some discomfort. Well, freeing slaves was inconvenient and involved discomfort. Ending segregation was inconvenient and involved discomfort. Reducing CFCs was inconvenient and involved discomfort. Letting women out of the house to get higher education and paid work was inconvenient and involved discomfort. Bringing on same-sex marriage was inconvenient and involved discomfort. Freedom of Information Acts are inconvenient and involve discomfort. And so on and so forth.

We need to harden up.

Fru-Gal

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2019, 10:14:46 PM »
Individual choices by a small percentage of well-meaning individuals are basically spitting in the wind at this point. 

Sometimes things are the right thing to do even if it doesn't make any larger difference.

Reading these sorts of discussions reminds me of reading the letters of Jefferson where he tried to rationalise having written, "all men are created equal" while continuing to hold slaves. The man who did not hesitate to commit treason against his King, to take up arms against his lawful government, who sent other men to their deaths in the pursuit of his political ends, could not possibly, he said, free his slaves because... um... the law... and debts... and stuff. It was, in the end, inconvenient and would involve discomfort. In the choice between principles and convenience, convenience tends to win, unfortunately.

Most of us are, looking at our actions, climate change denialists.
[/b]

Productive change is inconvenient and will involve some discomfort. Well, freeing slaves was inconvenient and involved discomfort. Ending segregation was inconvenient and involved discomfort. Reducing CFCs was inconvenient and involved discomfort. Letting women out of the house to get higher education and paid work was inconvenient and involved discomfort. Bringing on same-sex marriage was inconvenient and involved discomfort. Freedom of Information Acts are inconvenient and involve discomfort. And so on and so forth.

We need to harden up.

Exactly. All revolutionary change happened because civil action happened FIRST. Perhaps because we've all been brainwashed this last decade by politics-as-entertainment, it seems to me our degree of faith in governments to solve problems is at an all-time high. Airlines are talking about clean alternatives to jet fuel. It's a start. Keep the pressure on. Take rail wherever possible. Start a slow travel movement. STOP DRIVING all together, or get yourself down to one car per family and only a few trips per week (that's our story for a decade now). Use the myriad alternatives to owning a car (walking, bikes, zipcar, car2go, scooters, turo, local rental companies, busses, trains, ferries, private ferries, lyft).

The beautiful thing is that it will be more joyful than we think. As the saying goes, we ARE traffic. We simply have too much now, and it's overwhelming us, making us feel like a person who can't stop eating at the all-you-can-eat buffet. Of course it's possible that a downturn will happen, or we'll hit a fossil fuel inflection point where reserves clearly can't be drilled out anymore due to the risk and we will look back in wonder at the incredible excess of the 2010s, where every average Joe from Ohio hopped on a plane with his family to sight-see in Portugal.

Amazing example of Jefferson, BTW!!!!

Malkynn

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2019, 06:41:44 AM »
If the goal is to maximize the chances that the earth is still habitable in a century, then I think your money is best spent on targeted political donations, rather than offsetting personal carbon consumption.  Individual choices by a small percentage of well-meaning individuals are basically spitting in the wind at this point.  We need a meaningful and adequate regulatory framework that will force everyone else to minimize carbon usage as well.  Give your money to an environmental campaign group, or directly to the campaign of a politician who you think is well positioned to fight this fight. 

I mean, I do still try to minimize personal air travel, use solar energy for my electricity, etc.  But I recognize that those choices are basically meaningless, given the scale of the problem.

I get your logic, but targeted political campaigns mean absolutely nothing if there isn't a public sentiment for a certain movement.

It's not a chicken and egg question, the public support needs to be there before the campaign exists.

Individual voices can and do make a difference, it happens all the time. I honestly never thought twice about air travel because I hadn't done much due to student debt. It wasn't until it started coming up here regularly that I started thinking about it.

That's how these things happen.

I mean, FFS, we're all here because a weird loudmouth Canadian who swears a lot liked riding his bike and yammering on about it.

Individuals matter...a lot.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2019, 01:09:23 PM »
I think this is a weird cause, but I get why it exists, it just fills like fighting windmills. A million people could stop flying in protest and there would still be flights. To answer the OPís question, yes, plant a tree or lots of them or support causes that plant trees. To stop carbon emissions altogether? Why arenít we putting energy into figuring out how to make planes fly without fossil fuel? Where are the Tesla planes? Actually why arenít all vehicles powered by electricity and solar energy? I get that the oil and coal companies want to still exist and they have a shit ton of money and control politicians and buy up competitive technologies, but this is the fight.

And someone mentioned, take a boat even though itís uncomfortable. Weíll cruise ships are polluting the environment as well. So are we all meant to be landlocked and exist like the Amish? Itís insane that there are technologies that would allow this that just arenít used. Personally, I wish someone would invent a way to power things through ocean water as well.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2019, 07:18:18 PM »
I saw this article and was reminded of this thread.

Quote from: John Michael Greer
Iíve noted a curious dynamic in the climate change-centered end of environmentalism. Almost always, the people I met at peak oil events who were concerned about peak oil and the fate of industrial society more generally, rather than climate change or such other mediacentric causes as the plight of large cute animals, were ready and willing to make extensive changes in their own lives, in addition to whatever political activism they might engage in. Almost always, the people I met who were exclusively concerned with anthropogenic climate change were not.

I can be even more precise. With vanishingly few exceptions, the people I met who were solely concerned with anthropogenic climate change insisted loudly that what needed to happen was that someone else, somewhere else, had to stop using so much carbon. The one contribution they were willing to make to that great change consisted of feeling really, really bad about it all.

We have been very comfortable for some time. But everything has a price, and not always in dollars. So we must become uncomfortable for some time to balance things out.

That means you don't fly. Or if family are far, and important to you - wait, unless you're a migrant from an impoverished country to a wealthy one, that you moved 3,000 miles away from your family raises some questions about how you really feel about them. But let's say they are - fly once more in your life, and move back. "But travel broadens your experiences!" Yes, it does. Are you living on a one square mile island? If not, there's lots to travel to and see in your state, your country - without flying, and generally without driving, too.

We've been very comfortable. Now we must be slightly uncomfortable. Sorry.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 07:31:04 PM by Kyle Schuant »

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2019, 08:32:27 PM »
I saw this article and was reminded of this thread.

Quote from: John Michael Greer
Iíve noted a curious dynamic in the climate change-centered end of environmentalism. Almost always, the people I met at peak oil events who were concerned about peak oil and the fate of industrial society more generally, rather than climate change or such other mediacentric causes as the plight of large cute animals, were ready and willing to make extensive changes in their own lives, in addition to whatever political activism they might engage in. Almost always, the people I met who were exclusively concerned with anthropogenic climate change were not.

I can be even more precise. With vanishingly few exceptions, the people I met who were solely concerned with anthropogenic climate change insisted loudly that what needed to happen was that someone else, somewhere else, had to stop using so much carbon. The one contribution they were willing to make to that great change consisted of feeling really, really bad about it all.

We have been very comfortable for some time. But everything has a price, and not always in dollars. So we must become uncomfortable for some time to balance things out.

That means you don't fly. Or if family are far, and important to you - wait, unless you're a migrant from an impoverished country to a wealthy one, that you moved 3,000 miles away from your family raises some questions about how you really feel about them. But let's say they are - fly once more in your life, and move back. "But travel broadens your experiences!" Yes, it does. Are you living on a one square mile island? If not, there's lots to travel to and see in your state, your country - without flying, and generally without driving, too.

We've been very comfortable. Now we must be slightly uncomfortable. Sorry.


Actually, that expectation of discomfort comes from misunderstanding. Not flying is like dropping Facebook or switching from junk food to fresh fruits and vegetables. You think of what you'll miss but don't realize what will replace it.

Flying is like salt, sugar, and fat in this regard: the more you use, the more you use more. If you go without long enough, you realize how little you need. You wish you had cut it out earlier.

You realize instead that one flight brings you closer to someone you love. Flying in general made you distant from people you love. Flying more leads to less time with family, less control over your career. It sounds crazy, but go without flying for a year and you'll find what you replaced flying with improves your live so much, you'll lose the craving.

That's my experience anyway.

BicycleB

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #34 on: August 09, 2019, 09:43:49 AM »

Most of us are, looking at our actions, climate change denialists.




Quote from: John Michael Greer
With vanishingly few exceptions, the people I met who were solely concerned with anthropogenic climate change insisted loudly that what needed to happen was that someone else, somewhere else, had to stop using so much carbon. 

That means you don't fly.

Our digital devices, like the ones we are all using to conduct this discussion, may impact global warming more than the entire aviation industry.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/17/internet-climate-carbon-footprint-data-centres

You guys saying never fly - what are you doing to offset the use of your computers when you write your "Don't Fly" messages? @Kyle Schuant? @JoshuaSpodek?

OP, I still think your question is a reasonable one. Reading this thread due to pondering it myself. Among other actions intended to offset or in some way counteract my carbon usage, I contribute to the Union of Concerned Scientists (efficient in advocating fact-based climate strategies), participate in Citizens Climate Lobby, and advocate for passage of the US' proposed Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 01:32:34 PM by BicycleB »

Raenia

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #35 on: August 09, 2019, 03:27:11 PM »
That means you don't fly. Or if family are far, and important to you - wait, unless you're a migrant from an impoverished country to a wealthy one, that you moved 3,000 miles away from your family raises some questions about how you really feel about them. But let's say they are - fly once more in your life, and move back. "But travel broadens your experiences!" Yes, it does. Are you living on a one square mile island? If not, there's lots to travel to and see in your state, your country - without flying, and generally without driving, too.

Why do you assume that OP is the one who moved away, much less the general case that everyone who lives far from family is personally at fault for that distance?

I've taken one trip by plane in the past five years, and it was to visit my FIL's side of the family.  Unfortunately, we have the choice of being close to my family and MIL's family, or to FIL's family.  DH's wants his grandmother to be a part of our life, and that means flying.  Going without flying means giving up a relationship with that side of the family.  It's a bit harsh to say that living far away from your family means you must not love them, and should never be allowed to visit, even if it's not you who moved away. 

Obviously the best answer is to fly as little as possible, but there's only so much of that you may be willing to do, depending on family situations.  It's not DH's grandma's fault, nor our fault, that her son married an American, and now we have to make it work.  However, we visit only once every few years and don't fly for anything else.

Before looking for offsets, I would change anything possible in your own life to minimize carbon.  Cutting down car use (not applicable to OP, good job on that), insulating your house, installing solar panels if possible, plant native trees and other plants in your lawn.  Get involved with community spaces, if you can.  Grow your own vegetables or shop at farmer's markets to minimize food transit.  Cut down or give up meat.  All the usual suspects.

We don't have a responsibility to be perfect, only to do our best.  But it must be our genuine best effort, once all factors are taken into account.  Nor does it have to be only on individual effort - once we've modified our own lives as much as we can bear, it's important to encourage others to do the same, either through community efforts or national ones.  I recently helped convinced a group at work to ask people to bring their own bowls and spoons to an ice cream social event, to avoid single use plastic waste.  I also like BicycleB's suggestions for larger scale change.

Every little bit counts!
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 03:32:18 PM by Raenia »

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #36 on: August 10, 2019, 07:24:06 AM »

You guys saying never fly - what are you doing to offset the use of your computers when you write your "Don't Fly" messages? @JoshuaSpodek?


I don't remember telling people what to do. I remember writing "People's choices are theirs" and sharing my experiences when I flew less myself. Could you refresh my memory?

YttriumNitrate

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #37 on: August 10, 2019, 07:44:53 AM »
You can offset 40 round trip trans-Atlantic flights per year by not having a kid, so birth control is one of the best ways to offset your carbon emissions from the flight.

Hadilly

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #38 on: August 10, 2019, 08:58:06 AM »
BicycleB,

Thank you for mentioning the Union of Concerned Scientists. I just made a donation.

I also appreciate hearing from everyone who advocates stopping flying. I am not there yet entirely, but hearing your viewpoint is making me reconsider future trips. I have always loved travel so it was never even on my radar.

brooklynmoney

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #39 on: August 10, 2019, 10:22:25 AM »
Ooh I have no kids, no car and wash my clothes always in cold water. But I fly once a month. I like what someone posted about just trying to do your best. I also barely use air conditioning just relying on ceiling fans.

Laserjet3051

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #40 on: August 10, 2019, 11:01:39 AM »
Is your goal to feel better despite the consequences of your actions or to reduce your impact on global warming?

Carbon offsets don't achieve the latter. Not flying does, which humans have done for hundreds of thousands of years until a couple generations ago.

Carbon offsets are a nice fantasy.

https://www.responsibletravel.com/copy/carbon-offsets

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/410009/why-carbon-credits-dont-work

No one will believe it until they experience it, but not flying improves your life, given our world and science. https://www.inc.com/joshua-spodek/365-days-without-flying.html.

It's almost impossible not to defend how family, work, and other aspects of the system that created our impending disasters make it impossible to avoid flying, but changing that system means changing that behavior.

Today is June 5, 2019. I've been engaged lately reading how 75 years ago hundreds of thousands of men prepared to invade Normandy to defend the free world. They didn't create that situation but they responded to it. I wonder how our generation will respond to our situation.

I don't write this to be melodramatic or heavy, but to show the opportunity we have to be a part of something greater than ourselves, to benefit everyone, including ourselves. It seems to me one of the great feelings available to humans.

I wholeheartedly concur with this well stated position. I've been boycotting the commercial airline industry ever since the institution of the TSA back in 2001; thus about 18 years. I am no moral absolutist and hence have flown on rare occasion when it is appropriate. This equates to about once every 5 years. My primary reasoning was privacy invasion by the TSA post 9/11 along with passenger abuse/exploitation (by the airlines). Secondarily was reduction in carbon footprint. I try to live my life locally as much as possible; this includes purchases. And before the flaming begins, I will remind you thatI am not a moral absolutist.

Raenia

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #41 on: August 10, 2019, 11:57:30 AM »
Ooh I have no kids, no car and wash my clothes always in cold water. But I fly once a month. I like what someone posted about just trying to do your best. I also barely use air conditioning just relying on ceiling fans.

Once a MONTH?  Maybe question if that's really the best you can do.  Those flights are almost 7 times the emissions of what you've saved by going car free and washing in cold water (estimated based on YttriumNitrate's chart).

I shop local, compost and recycle, single car household, efficient car, fly once every 5 years or less, no children (yet, that might change in the future), hang dry clothes, use all LED bulbs, keep climate control to a minimum, buy used as much as possible, eat no red meat, and chicken/fish once a week or less, and I still don't feel I'm doing enough.

BicycleB

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #42 on: August 10, 2019, 12:27:31 PM »
@Hadilly, good job (and thank you)!

I respect anyone who lives their beliefs, so very appreciative of anyone who reduces their flying, whether to zero or not; so no flaming. But in a post where the topic is offsets, am curious about whether people who don't fly feel that similar logic should apply to phone and computer use, which produces about as much carbon. Forgive me for this next...


You guys saying never fly - what are you doing to offset the use of your computers when you write your "Don't Fly" messages? @JoshuaSpodek?


I don't remember telling people what to do. I remember writing "People's choices are theirs" and sharing my experiences when I flew less myself. Could you refresh my memory?

JoshuaSpodek, from reading your several posts in this "how to offset" thread, you have stated that offsets don't achieve the goal of reducing your impact on the climate:

Is your goal to feel better despite the consequences of your actions or to reduce your impact on global warming?

Carbon offsets don't achieve the latter. Not flying does, which humans have done for hundreds of thousands of years until a couple generations ago.

Carbon offsets are a nice fantasy.

Then you repeatedly discussed not flying, specifically mentioning how the decision to not fly affected your life. You've talked about not flying, and implemented it. Based on your in-thread posts, it seems reasonable to assume you're in favor of not flying. I acknowledge that you didn't specifically instruct her individually not to fly, but that seems to me like a detail of your communication strategy, not evidence of your position. In case I misunderstand, please clarify: For the purpose of mitigating climate change, do you suggest that people fly with offsets, or not fly?

To my own point, which you didn't answer: Since using internet devices also consumes carbon, do you feel that internet users should offset their carbon use, or accept it, or stop using the internet?

You found in your own life that not flying led to improved happiness. Do you think the same thing would happen if you stopped using the internet, and other digital devices?

OP, not meaning to thread hijack. Seeking to determine the applicability of the no-fly proposals more generally by testing the limits of the logic. Still considering offsets in my own life for both purposes... and not flying, too. Not using the internet would be tougher - technically I'm thinking about it, but so far I'm thinking it ain't gonna happen, alas.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 12:29:40 PM by BicycleB »

Prairie Stash

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #43 on: August 10, 2019, 04:07:39 PM »
Fellow Canuck here, I'm not interested in the philosophical debates.

On a practical level almost everyone can reduce carbon emissions. My latest endeavour is to help a local church retrofit their lightbulbs. It's about $500 of bulbs, they'll buy the bulbs and I'll do the work, its a lot of ladder work. This will reduce their electric use and reduce the carbon emissions; pretty simple and effective. Do you have a local charity or organization that you can volunteer at to reduce their emissions? These types of projects aren't listed because of their scale, nobody regulates emission offsets on the small scale, its not practical. The trick here is I'm changing the equivalent of mutiple houses at once, when you get the into big changes the effect really adds up. Admittedly, these kinds of opportunities are rapidly dwindling, which is a good thing.

The point is its possible to go beyond your own personal consumption and help others. The definition of an offset is creating change that otherwise wouldn't happen, at this point the local church has had years of chances and through inertia and lack of volunteers hasn't changed.  Is there a group around you that you can assist?

If you're interested in just doing cash, I have access to a solar co-op that offsets in my community. The biggest impediment right now is lack of cash to buy panels, so the more cash people invest the faster the reductions start, its pretty hard to argue that installing solar panels to offset coal isn't good overall. Right now I can put in $1000 and it will cut emissions by 200-250 kg/year for 25 years. It's a pricey way to offset 6 tonnes (4 transatlantic flights), pretty easy to measure though. Its not in an offset program, this is common sense reductions.

Not knowing your personal situation I can't be more specific about actions you could take to reduce carbon emissions. The best I can do is to suggest being open to some original ideas, such as working with charities or environmental organizations in your area.

GuitarStv

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #44 on: August 10, 2019, 05:45:59 PM »
Not sure if you could do something similar with flying, but when I've got to drive on a business trip somewhere I'll bike to work every day the next week to offset the emissions.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #45 on: August 10, 2019, 07:33:54 PM »
You guys saying never fly - what are you doing to offset the use of your computers when you write your "Don't Fly" messages? @Kyle Schuant? @JoshuaSpodek?
A Boeing 747 on takeoff has 4 engines each producing about 66,500 pounds of thrust. At takeoff speed this is 266,000 horsepower, which is about 200 million Watts. It can carry 467 passengers fully-loaded, but they are rarely fully-loaded, averaging some 2/3 full, 311 people. That's some 650kW per person.

Looking at the underside of my laptop, I see that it uses 3.25A at 20V, which is 65 Watts.

You wish to compare the two? Seriously? Well, okay, this thing which uses 1/1,000th the power of a 747 per person - I pay an extra 5.5c per kWh for wind power. This, despite environmentalist propaganda is not zero emissions, but has about 7% the emissions of coal (concrete base, energy-intensive aluminium, smelted iron, maintenance, etc). So it's essentially 1/10,000th the impact.

Then of course there's the fact that in climate change terms, emissions released at 33,000 feet such as aircraft fly have more impact than those released a hundred feet or so, as with a coal stack. So we have to factor that in.

And of course, a laptop does have many components produced in environmentally unfriendly ways, transported across the world burning fuel, and so on. But then, while my latop has a kg or two of electronics, a 747 has many tonnes of electronics, as well as an aluminium fuselage, and - well, you should be getting the picture by now.

If you wished to engage in the tu quoque logical fallacy, a better choice would have been asking me whether I had a car, used airconditioning, or something like that. The laptop's small bikkies. And this really is something people have to grasp, both those genuinely trying to effect change, and those wishing to signal their virtue by hanging out with Swedish teenagers or the like: as with so many things, there's an 80/20 rule. 20% of all the things you could do will create 80% of the impact.

Do the other things matter? Of course. But first sort out the 20% of things which have 80% of the impact, and worry about the rest after that. Don't be the guy who orders the Big Mac meal and sundae with the diet coke.

Note too that BicycleB's response fits neatly in with Greer's comment I quoted,

"someone else, somewhere else, had to stop using so much carbon."


if only Kyle stops using his laptop, you can take that transatlantic flight without worry! Or 10,000 laptops... Hey, let's just pay people in a Third World slum to not use laptops!


If actions speak louder than words, then the vast majority of people in the West are climate change denialists. Unlike the DeCaprios of the world, at least Trump's wasteful actions match his words. Most of us are Jeffersons. "All men are created equal... but I'll keep holding slaves, it'd be inconvenient not to."


brooklynmoney

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #46 on: August 10, 2019, 09:59:07 PM »
@Raenia I fly mostly for work. Only 1-2x a year for fun. I used to fly across country 2x a month so Iíve actually gotten a lot better believe it or not ha.

BicycleB

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #47 on: August 11, 2019, 07:29:25 AM »
20% of all the things you could do will create 80% of the impact.

Do the other things matter? Of course. But first sort out the 20% of things which have 80% of the impact, and worry about the rest after that.

If you mean that the decision not to fly has a huge impact while the decision not to post one message has a tiny impact, I agree with that.

If I hurt your feelings or sounded sharp, I apologize. I used a sharp personalized question because I felt that your responses were off topic to the OP's question of how to offset, but maybe that was the wrong way to go about it.

I understand that you feel offsets don't work and the most beneficial climate decision in OP's consideration of a plane flight is not to fly. However, the fact that we all create some carbon means that we all have legitimate reason to consider how to offset, or otherwise take actions to mitigate climate problems, in addition to any use-less-carbon decisions we have available. Like you, I voluntarily pay an extra fee to "buy" wind power. Like you, I feel this reduces the impact of any decision to consume power at my home, but does not eliminate it. My purpose in asking if you offset was to engage you in the on-topic discussion of how to offset, or perhaps more broadly, how to take mitigating actions.

You and I both attempt to make decisions that are beneficial to the climate. I don't mean to imply that you don't, just to focus discussion on the possibility that these actions can include options beyond "don't do x" or "don't do y". Because we all put some carbon into the atmosphere.

For what it's worth, I have vast respect for both you and the other posters who have chosen not to fly! Much respect also re the wind power choice.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 07:41:33 AM by BicycleB »

davisgang90

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #48 on: August 12, 2019, 04:29:59 AM »
OP comes in asking for help virtue signalling so they can feel OK about flying.

The majority of other posters have to virtue signal even harder about how terrible flying is and if you don't bike everywhere from your 100 square foot vegan solar paneled lean-to that you are a terrible human being.

Worked out like most of these threads. Well done everyone!

BicycleB

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #49 on: August 12, 2019, 09:40:07 AM »
^That's pretty funny! It would be even funnier if it were true.

I suspect OP and every other poster has been quite sincere about wanting to fight climate change, however much we might argue about how to go about the goal.