[Coral-List] carbon offsetting AND the need for innovative problem solvers to halt climate change

Franziska Elmer franziskaelmer at hotmail.com
Thu May 9 18:29:14 UTC 2019

Hi emma and coral listers,

Awesome to hear you want to assess the quality of carbon offsetters. I think this is veey important. Please let me know what you find out. I personally use either of these whenever i fly:
 i like this one because they plant seagrass which is important for coral reefs. But i dont know how well they monitor the plots so I am unsure if they are a good program of actually offsetting what they say they offset (if you find out please let me know)

I like myclimate because i know their story and they were one of the first offsetters out there (if not the first). I trust their offsetting as they have strict standards they follow. Plus they are swiss like me.

Please also keep in mind that offsetting is only the last option. Reducing is much better and with the severity of the climate change problem (a crisis), every conservationist or environmentally concious person should focus in reducing their footprint drastically and only offset what is not possible to reduce. Put time and energy asside to work on reduction plans and think outside the box:  can meetings be combined, can they be done via video, can you take the train, bus, a boat instead? What could you accomplish in the extra time given to you if you choose to travel at a slower pace? Undisturbed working time to finish up a manuscript may not be a drawback but a bonus from less carbon intensive travels.

As conservationist who want society and our governments to take climate change serious we have to speak with actions. The next ICRS meeting in 2020 for example will likely make a statement about climate change and may call for rapid and unproceeded actions. But how strong is that statement going to be if the conference is held like it has always been with 1000s of people flying to Bremen from all over the world? By then we have know about the rapid and unproceeded changes that need to be done for almost 2 years and were inactive in transforming our conference for almost 1/6 of the time we have to act to save the coral reefs and a livable planet. The statement made at the end of the conference will be a lot stronger if we make a big effort to reduce (not offset) the emissions caused by it. Either hold several smaller meetings that people can travel to without flying. Or have as many people as possible arrive by cargo ships, trains and other low carbon ways of transport. Or cancel the conference and ask participants to dedicate that week towards actions that will lead to climate justice. All these actions would speak strongly for the severity of the situation. If we continue as we are now, we will reach 1.5 degrees warming in 15.5 years (https://climateclock.net) after that our coral reefs will go extinct and we will have to find new careers. Our number one priority should be to reduce carbon emissions drastically world wide and we should dedicate a large amountof our time and energy towards this.

There is still hope and we are smart innovative people with an incredible talent for creative problem solving. Think back to a time in your career, when you had an impossible problem to solve and little time and money to do so, either in the field, in the lab, working with locals or wherever else. Let this inspire you of what you are capable of doing. And then use this talent to find creative solutions to lower your own, your companies, your countries or the worlds carbon emissions. We are some of the smartest and most talented creative problem solvers on this planet and our talents are desperately needed to solve this crisis.

Sorry for going a bit off topic but I think this is very important to be said.

Franziska Elmer
Marine Ecology Lecturer
School for Field Studies
Turks and Caicos Islands
Felmer at fieldstudies.org

Sent from the octopuses garden.

More information about the Coral-List mailing list