Discussions forum

Eastern Africa Forum for Payment for Ecosystem Services

Public write access is disabled. Please login or register
Last post
SteKenwright

SteKenwright
14 posts
---
Location:
United Kingdom
04.04.2012 18:55

PES and Carbon Offsetting Issues

I have been asked to provide more resources on the site for users wishing to find out more about the controversy surrounding Carbon Offsetting, the international Carbon Trade and the Clean Development Mechanism etc.

I have created a page for materials on the debate about Payment for Ecosystem Services at 'PES Issues', which you can find on the PES Hub from the main Navigation bar at the top of the Web-site pages, and I would invite people to use this thread to raise any concerns they have on the subject.

Edited by SteKenwright - 11.04.2012 15:27


~ We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. ~
Albert Einstein

 
SteKenwright

SteKenwright
14 posts
---
Location:
United Kingdom
22.04.2012 17:33
Re: PES and Carbon Offsetting Issues
Today, as I write this, it is Earth Day, a commemoration of the global ecosystem which allows all human endeavour, all achievement, all consciousness.

People are being encouraged to pledge Green actions to preserve our environment, with a target of a billion pledges sought this year.

Carbon Offsetting is one of the actions which is coming up frequently, for instance a singer offsetting the travel impacts from her latest tour. This is an interesting example for me. The Greenest thing to do would be to distribute her music electronically, which is already the case, and forego the tour, to the detriment of her own finances and career and presumably the experience of those who would miss out on her contribution to the arts. However, I believe that live music is so fundamental to the human experience that this strategy would lessen us.

It is likely that much more could be done to choose lower impact transport for this tour, to play several small & even open-air venues to reduce staging impacts from big events etc, certainly a route that I am more comfortable with personally but, in the music industry, I know very well that to be able to exert that much control over one's own music is to severely limit your audience.

Similarly, one's opportunity to personally plant enough to counterbalance this sort of activity is very limited in countries like America and in fact almost everywhere, because of the pressure on land.

This is typical the reasoning by which people arrive at Carbon Offsetting. Arguably, by travelling further, playing to bigger audiences, playing the game and having a more successful career, the musician can carry a basic message (that one must be responsible for one's own Carbon impacts) to many more people, who might otherwise be put off by more self-sacrificial approaches. Others might decry the pledge as a superficial self-serving marketing exercise which encourages complacency.

I personally think of Carbon Offsetting as a hopefully transitional arrangement for the purposes of moving the richest nations towards more responsible policies whilst proving good faith towards the developing nations of the world now being asked to make such great sacrifices in the face of blatant waste in the North.

Carbon Offsetting may well contain within it the seeds of a new complacency: "As long as I make payments, I can pollute as much as I like", but for me, breaking through the barriers of denial - that there is a problem & that one can do anything about it, and responsibility - that one must at least attempt to clean up after oneself, are exactly the strategies that have brought about widespread recycling in my own community, despite opposition, inertia and technical counter-arguments of just the same kind.

My feeling is that it is more important now to get everyone acting in a way which seems acceptable to them, rather than debate for more decades about which single action is the best to attempt to impose on everybody.

Happy Earth Day


~ We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. ~
Albert Einstein

 
Discussions v1.3
(c) 2010-2011 Codingfish