Everyone has a different choice to make regarding the tremendous carbon
impact of traveling long distances, especially by air, to observe birds.
For those who would like to reduce their impact -- I know a great way to
see lots of birds without traveling at all !
Twice a year, the birds, incredibly, travel thousands and thousands of
miles! All we have to do is position ourselves outdoors at the right
moment in spring or fall, and there they are.
Sure, I guess this means some of us will get to see puffins only in the
free Nature Conservancy calendar that comes in the mail solicitations. I
am okay with that, if it means that the puffins get to be in the world for
a long time to come, and not just on the pages of calendars and old books.
Writing from "Pearl Hall", elevation 10 feet above sea level
On Sat, Sep 21, 2019 at 7:19 PM Gary Harbour <carolinabirds...> wrote:
> Hi Charlie,
> Yes it helps. There are two thoughts on the best approach. One is to buy
> Offsets with a company that invests in projects in developing countries
> that help protect local resources or sequester or avoid carbon. The second
> general approach is to buy Offsets or even better Renewable Energy
> Certificates (RECs) here in the US. This helps finance renewables at home
> by allowing the suppliers to make a little better rate of return on their
> investment. Many people like to look for projects that wouldn’t happen
> without support like projects on Native American lands.
> I have to say while I buy RECs, it is much better if you can personally
> sign up for a community solar farm. Check with your provider and don’t
> worry about being told you have to go on a waiting list as this helps drive
> additional capacity and here in SC the new Solar Freedom law requires all
> providers to add capacity. If you can’t sign up for community solar see if
> you can select green power from your provider. It will probably increase
> your rate by about 1 penny a KWH. I buy RECs to offset the remainder or my
> power usage after taking off for my providers renewable % + nuclear power %
> (non-carbon %) and my community solar farm. It’s usually only about
> Here is a domestic REC & Offset company which I have used for my energy
> offset and am satisfied with:
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.terrapass.com&d=DwIFaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=ymRCw6Q-sBitug_rdeO1Tokz-I_SX2LQN2_Ocvlal9U&m=IT4B_BxMexsW8qAVFiiS2imB_upomKvnCplw7Foaqfo&s=WOlwsNCH8u6z9SBEu71pdetILkmCmCUqHlNWZPghstc&e= > <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.terrapass.com&d=DwMFaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=ymRCw6Q-sBitug_rdeO1Tokz-I_SX2LQN2_Ocvlal9U&m=2EkD8jD0wuALhjCxj0ek2CY53E15ImRnUV5RhQgB9jw&s=-1Zo250Rw1hiV3AKQoh-DRSbb-brWKyfbF8eNN5W-fQ&e=> >
> Here is a company that invests in developing country projects and I use
> for air-travel offsets:
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.atmosfair.de_en_&d=DwIFaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=ymRCw6Q-sBitug_rdeO1Tokz-I_SX2LQN2_Ocvlal9U&m=IT4B_BxMexsW8qAVFiiS2imB_upomKvnCplw7Foaqfo&s=2MhjuVQrR0F5TpkIX3LDRKsAQtsMyT6MgcYqIOYfv98&e= > <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.atmosfair.de_en_&d=DwMFaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=ymRCw6Q-sBitug_rdeO1Tokz-I_SX2LQN2_Ocvlal9U&m=2EkD8jD0wuALhjCxj0ek2CY53E15ImRnUV5RhQgB9jw&s=EmeksWpfCwqq-W5GlzUoQ5sD4zamXGRfq46cZz3rwuU&e=> >
> You can find many more companies online. Just look for how they
> accredited and verified. There are also reviews online.
> Gary Harbour
> The Climate Reality Project,
> South Carolina Upstate
> On Sep 21, 2019, at 6:27 PM, Charlie Bostwick (via carolinabirds Mailing
> List) <carolinabirds...> wrote:
> Does anyone know whether purchasing carbon offsets significantly offsets
> the impact of traveling to see birds? If so, please provide any advice on
> how to do this effectively. Perhaps others on this list would like to know
> as well.
> Charlie Bostwick
> Electric Car Driver
> Solar Panel Instaler
> Green Builder
> Land Trust Donator
> Native Plant Gardner
> ... Bird Chasing Addict
> On Sep 21, 2019, at 9:56 AM, Ginny Wood <boykinwoods1...>
> Uh-huh. I have come to feel that by running all over the place in our
> cars, cutting roads into the woods, standing around in gaggles making noise
> (sometimes calling the birds), and so forth, that we are literally
> *consuming* them as if they were, well, consumer goods. I began to ask,
> "How can I privilege my fleeting pleasures over their happiness and
> welfare--not to mention very survival?" And I very nearly quit birding last
> year. I've been out a couple of times this year, starting off a newbie from
> one of my classes last semester. And I can literally see and hear the
> dramatic dropoff in bird populations in places I haven't visited in a
> couple of years.
> I am focusing my energies and money on doing what I can to live lighter:
> Installing dark-sky certified outside lighting, closing all the drapes at
> dusk, caring for my trees and flowers and shrubs (literally trying to
> restore my little postage-stamp-sized micro-habitat), putting out water and
> food for migrators, giving the $ I would have spent on gas to Audubon,
> League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, et al.
> When my roof fails, I will put in solar. When my little van dies, I will
> buy electric.
> One does what one can.
> 🙏* Happy, at rest,*
> *may all beings be happy at heart. *-Khp 9
> Ginny Wood
> Pshrink Emeritus
> On Saturday, September 21, 2019, 7:04:37 AM EDT, Mike Judd <
> <carolinabirds...> wrote:
> Which is why my monthly $ goes to Planned Parenthood as well as selected
> politicians & environmental groups.
> A bit more car pooling & less cross-state bird chasing is another personal
> contribution 😜
> Mike Judd
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Sep 21, 2019, at 6:32 AM, J. Merrill Lynch (via carolinabirds Mailing
> List) <carolinabirds...> wrote:
> Thanks for the pep talk but I wouldn’t use Rachel Carson as an example of
> positive change. The songbirds she lamented in her book Silent Spring
> continue to decline despite the ban on DDT, as the new paper documents.
> Citing the power of a long ago president in establishing new parks and
> refuges with a stroke of the pen doesn’t inspire much hope with me either
> in today’s political climate—anger on all sides.
> Out of curiosity, I looked up the human population of the mainland USA and
> Canada in 1970 (223,946,000) and compared that to the current estimated
> population (364,905,000). That’s an increase of 63%! Food for thought
> The decline of birds and the rest of nature is evident to all of us who
> spend their time outdoors in what’s left of it. And the decline is even
> more acute for those of us alive and aware in 1970.
> I personally have no faith in a political solution to our troubled
> evolution (to paraphrase the lyrics from a song by The Police). So is it
> all just doom and gloom? NO! For hope, I turn to people like the late
> Doug Thompkins, a visionary conservationist who personally acquired over 2
> million acres in southern Chile and Argentina, almost all of it contiguous,
> creating multiple new national parks. For real inspiration...google him.
> Human population growth and all of its associated ramifications is the
> root cause of our predicament—pick your poison—development sprawl,
> intensive agriculture, deforestation, chemical toxins, invasive species,
> climate change, etc and etc...
> Saving as much of the natural landscape that remains, including restoring
> some degraded parts, is in my opinion, the only real option we have left.
> Nature and biological diversity is undeniably in retreat. We need to save
> as much as possible of what’s left to get through the coming human
> population bottleneck. For details of what I’m talking about see the
> thoughts of biologist E.O. Wilson here:
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__news.harvard.edu_gazette_story_2002_01_wilson-2Doptimistic-2Damid-2Denvironmental-2Dgloom_&d=DwIFaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=ymRCw6Q-sBitug_rdeO1Tokz-I_SX2LQN2_Ocvlal9U&m=IT4B_BxMexsW8qAVFiiS2imB_upomKvnCplw7Foaqfo&s=4zLMD4X2IvqU2DbughBY89GqYTrQn_DIj8g4FrQzbaw&e= > <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__news.harvard.edu_gazette_story_2002_01_wilson-2Doptimistic-2Damid-2Denvironmental-2Dgloom_&d=DwMFaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=ymRCw6Q-sBitug_rdeO1Tokz-I_SX2LQN2_Ocvlal9U&m=ducRy_SAtUgucR8mXtq25q4GpJlK8_iHeezTnnaVD-U&s=o4ppH2PL0RXa0LbPmD5eGF0xEmY1TGYo9NAp5cgJM7I&e=> >
> There is a growing movement in the scientific community to declare the era
> of substantial human impact on the earth as a new geological era, the
> Anthropocene. The evidence of substantial human impact is all around us
> including this new paper on bird decline.
> Given the trajectory of the human population and it’s growing impact on
> natural systems and biodiversity, and the sober realization that humans
> aren’t going to do anything meaningful about it, I am left with this. To
> paraphrase yet another song lyric from The Police: “As the world keeps
> running down, you make the best of what’s still around.”
> Merrill Lynch
> Echo Valley Farm
> Watauga County, NC
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Sep 20, 2019, at 4:47 PM, Derb Carter <derbc...> wrote:
> If you are saddened or frustrated by the loss of nearly a third of our
> birds since 1970, do something. One person can make a difference, and
> collectively many like minded people can make change. Rachel Carson was
> concerned about the loss of birds to DDT, wrote about it, and in short
> order it was banned. Fifteen year old Greta Thunberg decided to strike
> from school to demand action on climate and today over a million joined her
> worldwide. Some women in New York banded together to stop the use of egret
> and heron feathers to adorn hats and soon it was illegal. The people
> elected a birder Theodore Roosevelt and with a stroke of the pen he
> protected millions of acres of public lands forever as parks, monuments,
> and wildlife refuges.
> Others have made great suggestions on what you can do personally or on
> your property. I will add some more. There are as many ways to get
> involved to respond to the causes of the decline in birds as there are
> causes. And there are organizations working to address all these
> problems. Find an organization working to acquire and protect habitat in
> your area, or working to increase public awareness of the decline of birds
> and loss of habitat, or working to move to clean energy as quickly as
> possible - and get involved. Ask candidates who want your vote - from town
> councils to president - what their positions are on issues affecting birds
> and get involved.
> Margaret Mead said "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
> committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that
> ever has."
> Derb Carter
> Chapel Hill NC