[Coral-List] Footprint calculator and coral troubles

Carin Jantzen carin.jantzen at gmx.net
Wed Jan 24 04:27:51 EST 2018

Hi all,

There are different kind of calculators, computing your footprint 
differently (I dont know how, I must admit), but I think, this is not 
really the point... Whether you use 1.2 or 1.6 earths or how much tons 
of CO2 your way of life causes exactly may not be important here... I 
think Francesca wanted to draw our attention to the fact that even we 
listers - well informed and aware of the threat - still live an 
unsustainable life, feeding the ongoing climate change with our emissions.

Even though many of us are trying to change that, most of us still have 
a way to go (like me...).
If you try this calculator, sharing your results or not, may reveal our 
weak spot: we are taking this not serious enough to change our life 
(even we!). Are we prepared to go the whole way?

I totally agree that its much better to not pollute than doing so and 
trying to fix it later. But as many of us listers do fly (for scientific 
field work, for diving, to attend conferences, family visits, wse...), I 
would be interested if in some cases you may think "the end justifies 
the means“ (and who would decide on that?), or how one may deal with it? 
In my opinion, we should try to limit flights where possible, as there 
may be other options, such as attending a conference via video or 
alike... But what about the rest? Its probably not realistic to demand 
to stop all flying at once... and what about tourism - a sustainable 
tourism may be chance for many coral reefs...?

I would be curious to read your thoughts on that!


On 22.01.2018 20:23, Cummings, Katy wrote:
> I also did the carbon footprint calculator - I drafted an email but 
> must not have sent it. Overall I was shocked at how big my 
> contributions were (1.8 Earths). I consider myself a fairly 
> environmentally conscious person but the amount I fly over the year 
> totally negates everything else. Definitely something to think about 
> as we travel to our field sites and fly to scientific conferences....  
> It was interesting to see which areas of my carbon consumption are 
> most impactful. For example, going solar would drop my impact to 1.7 
> Earths, but stopping flying would drop me down to 1.2 Earths. I would 
> be very curious to see how this is all calculated.
> See you on the other side of the shut down!
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov 
> <coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> on behalf of 
> frahome at yahoo.com <frahome at yahoo.com>
> *Sent:* Friday, January 19, 2018 6:56:44 PM
> *To:* Carin Jantzen; coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> *Subject:* Re: [Coral-List] Footprint calculator and coral troubles
> Thank you Carin for taking up the invitation! You are the only one 
> that has done so until now.I don't know if the other many subscribers 
> didn't have time to go through the calculator, didn't find the 
> challenge interesting or if they didn't feel comfortable with sharing 
> the results.
> I am highly skeptical about the compensation concept in the way it's 
> framed.. Of course it is better to plant trees if you are polluting 
> than not to do so, but that should not make you feel ok about 
> polluting. Looking at the current situation we should likely be 
> compensating every day for our footprint and for those of others 
> rather than engaging in some "extraordinary" polluting activity and 
> then compensate for it. I think there were discussions on the subject 
> in the past on the list. Here the reason why the calculator doesn't 
> take into consideration 
> compensation:https://www.footprintnetwork.org/footprint-calculator-faq/#gen10
> In all cases the purpose of going through the calculator is for me not 
> only about finding out what we could do at individual level to lower 
> our footprint and start walking the talk, but more on finding out what 
> kind of projects we should all start working on to engage people in 
> lowering their footprint at a larger scale (family, school, workplace, 
> community, neighborhood, city). Instead of just buying local food what 
> about starting a farmer's market project or a community garden that 
> allows people to grow their food? Instead of just putting solar panels 
> on your house what about starting a project that engages your 
> neighborhood to do so? Etc etc..
> RegardsFrancesca
>  From: Carin Jantzen <carin.jantzen at gmx.net>
>  To: "frahome at yahoo.com" <frahome at yahoo.com>; 
> "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
>  Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 11:12 AM
>  Subject: Aw: [Coral-List] Footprint calculator and coral troubles
> Hi Francesca, hi all,
> Very good idea!
> As I take efforts to live and consume sustainable, I was quite shocked 
> to still using 1.4 planets... expiring date in Sept...
> So, I have still a lot to do!
> At the moment, I do not fly, neither for work nor privately, which 
> helps a lot...
> But I did in the past, and many of us do, so, I have a question for 
> you all:
> Do you compensate for flying? Like donating to an organization that 
> plants trees or alike???
> Would be great to get your thoughts on that!
> Best,
> Carin
> -- 
> Diese Nachricht wurde von meinem Android Mobiltelefon mit GMX Mail 
> gesendet..Am 11.01.2018, 01:02, "frahome at yahoo.com" 
> <frahome at yahoo.com> schrieb:
> Dear listers,
> Following on Dennis message, I invite all listers to use the new 
> entertaining ecological footprint calculator made available by those 
> that invented the footprint concept and to post their result to the list.
> Here the link (it takes about 10 mins going through all the "add 
> details" options):https://www.footprintcalculator.org/
> Let's see what it is the footprint (in planets and in tonnes of 
> carbon) of the average coral lister and then maybe we will also better 
> understand why corals are in trouble and where we should look for 
> solutions.
> Here my results:This past 2017 I lived like I would have available 1.6 
> planets, well above our planet capacity unfortunately (though well 
> below my country average).
> Ecological footprint: 2.8 hectarsCarbon footprint: 5.3 
> tonnes/yearPlanets: 1.6
> Here some suggestions:To know how much of your electricity comes from 
> renewables search for the percentage declared by your electricity 
> provider (and adjust it if you have additional sources like solar 
> panels)To know how much you drive by car per week take your yearly 
> kilometres and divide them by 52. If you drive boats add that 
> kilometers to your car statistics. Same for bus or train, add your 
> yearly km and divide by 52.
> As far as square meters of living space don’t forget to add up any 
> second house or storage place you might have.
> CheersFrancesca
>  From: Dennis Hubbard <dennis.hubbard at oberlin.edu>
>  To: Sarah Frias-Torres <sfrias_torres at hotmail.com>
> Cc: Coral Listserver <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
>  Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 6:37 PM
>  Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Call to Action Re: New paper on coral 
> bleaching in Science
> Sarah:
> Thanks for your engagement on this. I've thought a lot about carbon issues
> over the years and have come to a couple of conclusions on both of the
> fronts that you address, so here are my two cents worth on the first half
> of your question.
> On carbon, there are two levels where we can address this. One is at the
> large, political scale. While I think that we need to keep slogging on 
> this
> front, I'm not holding out a lot of hope (some of this is magnified by
> recent political events at home, but I was already getting skeptical
> beforehand). At the other end of he scale, there is personal engagement,
> which I particularly like because it makes politics irrelevant. We 
> recently
> installed 3 kw of solar panels. The interesting thing i that this was the
> smallest system they could install and is 50% above our electrical needs.
> Going back to my time on  St. Croix, we had neither heat not air
> conditioning - we faced into the Trade Winds. We have to do something 
> about
> heat in northern Ohio and fortunately we can use an abandoned gas well to
> supplement natural gas from the local supplier. Gas is not perfect, but
> ironically it turns out that it's carbon footprint is  on the order of
> 60-70% of most distributed electricity, regardless of how green the source
> is - included distributed solar. The only thing that beats it here is the
> fact that Oberlin burns landfill gas to generate 50% of the city's
> electricity; this is all "free" carbon-wise as it is being flared off
> already with no payback in "work". I won't get into the environmental
> justice issues tied to this - a saga for another day.
> To help offset some of the carbon from the well, we also installed a heat
> pump to use up some of that excess power we can't use from the panels. 
> And,
> we should be taking delivery on a plug-in hybrid within the next 30 days
> (we have a 10-year olf gen-!! Prius that is slowly dieing). With the
> back-and-forth to work (less than 2 miles - passive choices like living
> withing within walking distance of work are often overlooked), the mileage
> approaches 100 mpg - and whatever isn't coming from the gas tank is coming
> off the panels. We also, just packed the walls of a ca. 1850 house with
> cellulose to cut down on heat loss. I'm a big advocate of retrofitting old
> buildings over building new uber-efficient replacements. We have two 
> of the
> most efficient buildings on the planet on the Oberlin campus. One is the
> Lewis Center, brain-child of David Orr. It is the most efficient building
> on campus. Ironically, the least efficient building on campus is the new
> science center, even with all of it's fancy bells and whistles. I really
> enjoy he irony of the fact that the second-most-efficient building on
> campus with respect to heat is the geology building - built ca 1850... 
> it's
> hard to beat 2 ft of sandstone (plus new efficiency measures) when it 
> comes
> to keeping heat in. We use efficient heat-recovery systems for our fume
> hoods, unlike the science center that just vents heat out in the 
> winter and
> cool air in the summer. (they are working on that as a retrofit, but it
> should have been part of the original plan). And, it was built from
> sandstone that was sledded down from the local quarry when the streets 
> were
> frozen - a low carbon answer based on a stone age solution to a space-age
> problem - embedded carbon.
> So, I guess my bottom line here is personal accountability. While it does
> little to affect political change, I do think a lot more about my personal
> footprint. I do feel that we too often leapfrog over our personal
> responsibility while we admonish "the system" for not coming up with the
> answers we want to see. I wish the "system" did more to reduce our carbon
> footprint. In the meantime, however small my personal part of this bigger
> problem might be, I feel that starting in my own back yard gives me the
> right to point fingers. At the College, we have spent a lot of time
> thinking about offsets and have come to the conclusion that we'd prefer to
> not use them to reach carbon neutrality as an institution. However, 
> because
> "you can't get there from here" without offsets, we've spent a lot of time
> thinking about ways to make them more palatable.  Te main problem is that
> you really don't understand where the few dollars you pay to an airline
> actually go; there are similar problems throughout the offset system. At
> Oberlin, we have set up something called the "Green Edge Fund", paid 
> for by
> student fees. The fund covers the costs of small-scale start-ups (we could
> have even used it for some of our solar start-up at home). The goal is to
> have home-grown projects in place that we understand from a carbon
> perspective. Hopefully, when we have to start thinking about offsets 
> to get
> that last little bit of carbon to achieve neutrality by 2025, there 
> will be
> local entities in place that we understand from a carbon perspective. So,
> rather than investing in  a rain-forest tree that might no actually get
> planted, we can invest in things like locally sourced food (a program that
> serves as a middle man between sustainable farmers and restaurants so that
> farmers just have to farm and restaurants just have to turn out 
> sustainable
> meals at a profit) or a sustainable dairy, or some other project for which
> we know the pros and cons because we helped provide the funds to get it
> started.
> I've gone on way too long about just the first part of your question. So,
> I'll save the list-serve from my ranting on the second half and put that
> off for another day. The short preview is that I have no fundamental
> problem with the motivation to "fix what we've broken." My major 
> concern is
> less about under-performance than it is with unintended consequences.
> But... stay tuned for part II.
> Best,
> Dennis
> On Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 11:08 AM, Sarah Frias-Torres <
> sfrias_torres at hotmail.com> wrote:
> > As Pogo says, "We have met the enemy, and he is us"
> >
> >
> > The recent Science paper (Hughes et al 2018;
> > http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6371/80) shows a bleak global
> > picture for coral reefs. We must stop burning fossil fuels if we want a
> > future for coral reefs as we know them.
> >
> >
> > At this crossroads, we can either give up or keep fighting.
> >
> >
> > I choose to fight.
> >
> >
> > This is a Call to Action to those who still want to fight, against all
> > odds, so coral reefs will have a future.
> >
> >
> > We have many strategies on the table. It's uncertain which strategy is
> > going to work.
> >
> >
> > From the angle of coral reef restoration, I call on the restoration
> > community to work together, to share failures and successes and move
> > towards large-scale restoration.
> >
> >
> > To the critics of coral reef restoration, I ask you to work with us. 
> Don't
> > just say: "this won't work". Give us constructive criticism, share your
> > concerns with us. Is it a failure of the scientific process (validity of
> > hypothesis testing) or is it an engineering concern (bringing the 
> process
> > to scale)?. The solution is very different in each case.
> >
> >
> > For everyone on this list, let's find ways to work together, from 
> science
> > to implementation, to communication, to everything in between.
> >
> >
> > It's all hands on deck now.
> >
> >
> > Sarah Frias-Torres, PhD
> >
> > Twitter: @GrouperDoc
> > Science Blog: https://grouperluna.com/
> > Art Blog: https://oceanbestiary.com/
> > https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sarah_Frias-Torres
> > ________________________________
> > From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov <coral-list-bounces at coral.
> > aoml..noaa.gov> on behalf of Mark Eakin - NOAA Federal <
> > mark.eakin at noaa.gov>
> > Sent: Friday, January 5, 2018 12:07 PM
> > To: Coral Listserver
> > Subject: [Coral-List] New paper on coral bleaching in Science
> >
> > For the first time, an international team of researchers has 
> measured the
> > escalating rate of coral bleaching at locations throughout the 
> tropics over
> > the past four decades. The study documents a dramatic shortening of 
> the gap
> > between pairs of bleaching events, threatening the future existence of
> > these iconic ecosystems and the livelihoods of many millions of people.
> >
> > "The time between bleaching events at each location has diminished
> > five-fold in the past 3-4 decades, from once every 25-30 years in 
> the early
> > 1980s to an average of just once every six years since 2010," says lead
> > author
> > Prof Terry Hughes, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for 
> Coral Reef
> > Studies (Coral CoE).
> >
> > “Reefs have entered a distinctive human-dominated era – the 
> Anthropocene,”
> > said co-author, Dr C. Mark Eakin of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric
> > Administration, USA. "The climate has warmed rapidly in the past 50 
> years,
> > first making El NinÞos dangerous for corals, and now we're seeing the
> > emergence of bleaching in every hot summer."
> > For more, see the full paper at:
> > 
> https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fscience.
> > sciencemag.org%2Fcontent%2F359%2F6371%2F80&data=02%7C01%7C%
> > 7C28c288a0e1314412a06d08d554606f2c%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaa
> > aaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636507695516397420&sdata=%2FOiYD4VTlVb%
> > 2BnUWgRfXbfPnwRT6ZA80OXJ48dtqH0Aw%3D&reserved=0
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Mark
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------
> > C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
> > Coordinator, NOAA Coral Reef Watch
> > National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
> > Center for Satellite Applications and Research
> > Satellite Oceanography & Climate Division
> > e-mail: mark.eakin at noaa.gov
> > url: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov
> > Twitter: @CoralReefWatch FB: Coral Reef Watch
> >
> > NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP)
> > 5830 University Research Ct., E/RA32
> > College Park, MD 20740
> > Office: (301) 683-3320    Fax: (301) 683-3301
> > Mobile: (301) 502-8608    SOCD Office: (301) 683-3300
> >
> > “You would have to reject the “greenhouse effect” outright to 
> conclude that
> > human activities pumping millions of tons of CO2 and other greenhouse
> > gases into the atmosphere every year are having little or no impact 
> on the
> > earth’s climate. That is simply not a tenable position."
> > William K. Reilly, EPA Administrator under President George H.W. Bush,
> > June 18 2014
> > _______________________________________________
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> > Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
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> > _______________________________________________
> > Coral-List mailing list
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> > http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
> -- 
> Dennis Hubbard
> Chair, Dept of Geology-Oberlin College Oberlin OH 44074
> (440) 775-8346
> * "When you get on the wrong train.... every stop is the wrong stop"*
>  Benjamin Stein: "*Ludes, A Ballad of the Drug and the Dream*"
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Dr. Carin Jantzen
Marine Ecologist & Author
Media & Public Relations SECORE International

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