A big part of why we love our jobs is meeting the incredible people from the RAVEN community.
Today we’d like you to meet one of them. Gordon Bailey is a long-time activist, volunteer and RAVEN supporter. He also likes to travel. We were inspired by his creative idea of carbon offsets for Indigenous rights, and hope you will be too!
FLYING AT THE INTERSECTION:
CLIMATE CHANGE & INDIGENOUS RIGHTS
More than ten years ago my wife, Sue, and I decided to pay carbon offsets for our airline travel. It began with a flight to Cuba, then to Turkey returning via Europe, then more recently for yearly trips to volunteer in Guatemala. Then more recently, getaways to Mexico.
After years of environmental and ecological research, study, and action, we realized that our airline flights were the most climate- damaging of our yearly footprint. We hadn’t realized our airline travel impact upon climate change. We weren’t alone.
So, researching of the impact of airline travel on climate combined with our interest in social justice for various Indigenous groups precipitated a change in our travel budget and decisions about whether to fly or avoid flying altogether and adopt other modes of travel.
Through our relationship with RAVEN that began some five or so years ago, we recognized the importance of the Indigenous Legal cases that were being undertaken to resist exploration, extraction, potential pipeline developments, and other forms of invasion of Indigenous territories. Recognition of how unceded territories were being expropriated for development of environmentally contentious projects, made us decide to contribute to Raven as a way of affirming Indigenous Rights and their need for environmental protections as well as minimizing our carbon footprint through carbon offsets.
We once took the Train to Mexico rather than fly. Once in Mexico we bused and ferried to our destination. This action was a beginning – an awakening. All of these shifts in budget action and travel arrangements demanded adjustment in our approach to travel.
Connections … Research … Understanding… Action!
It’s important in our contemporary ‘distracted’, scattered, at times shattered world, to find relationships which indeed bring things together! We realized that acquiring Carbon Offsets from global corporate players seemed like a contradiction, not only to the well worked “Think Globally, Act Locally” maxim, but to our commitment to Indigenous Rights and local environmental resistance projects.
We decided to donate our Carbon Offsets to Raven rather than to distant corporations that vary in their capacity to trace and track the impacts of their ‘Offsets’.
Calculate your carbon, then Donate to RAVEN!
Make a decisive commitment to climate change resistance.
We are all trying to make our Carbon Footprint smaller. As we act as individuals and families, we begin to recognize how isolated our contributions are unless we participate in more collective/global ways. Our actions can have many diverse effects or impacts. The October 2018 UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report has increased the urgency regarding the immediate necessity for action. This group of scientists now suggests that 1.5C rather than 2.0C be the target temperature increase to restrict global warming. The IPCC cites numerous examples of how .5C reduction in temperature would significantly reduce climate stress around the globe.
HOW COSTLY TO THE ENVIRONMENT IS YOUR AIR TRAVEL?
8.3 Million people fly daily. Yet, only 5% of the world’s population travels by air. Therefore the effects of air travel become a form of environmental racism! Climate changes precipitated by airliners causes impacts that affect those most vulnerable on the planet. Flooding, disastrous storms, fires, sea level rise, changes in insect infiltration (e.g. malaria-carrying mosquitoes), etc. all impact those will little or no defence against these changes.
WHAT DO AIRLINERS DO TO THE ENVIRONMENT?
Airliners, especially jet airliners, contribute CO2, Oxides of Nitrogen, Ozone, particulates, noise, heat, various other gases, etc. to various levels of the atmosphere. These all contribute to global warming. Contrails (the wispy cloud trails across the sky) contain particulates, water, soot and sulphates.
Airliners also contribute to increased turbulence, diminished air quality, water pollution, chemical pollution (eg. de-icing of aircraft) and increased radiation at upper levels of the atmosphere.
Although aircraft are much more efficient than fifty years ago, the volume of traffic has eclipsed these techno-improvements.
WHAT IS A CARBON OFFSET?
A carbon offset is an action or activity that compensates for the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). Because air travel is a major contributor to climate change a carbon offset can ‘remediate’ or ‘offset’ the impact upon the environment. Typically, carbon offsets are purchased through international brokerage firms that purchase various technical or material projects that offset the impact of the calculated carbon emission. Many of these, such as solar panel projects, water-pumping upgrades, etc. can have real impacts that make a direct difference. They may reduce energy consumption, create renewable energy or reduce waste production. Some, such as tree planting, have deleterious subsequent impacts upon groundwater, potable drinking water, and availability of water for agriculture.
WHY ALTERNATIVELY DONATE DOLLARS TO RAVEN?
A contribution to RAVEN might be considered an alternative offset. Reducing you or your family’s footprint by utilizing other forms of travel (train, bus, automobile, etc.) or buying an electric car or beginning to cycle for in-town travel – all these bring about a carbon reduction. However, collective action is necessary to make sure that our future global temperature targets are met. Think about a donation to RAVEN as a significant form of offset – one that helps resist pipelines, LNG developments, and other forms of corporate extraction or carbon emission.
Make a decisive commitment to climate change resistance. Donate your carbon credits to RAVEN.
A SAMPLE CALCULATION:
Note: Calculation amounts vary depending on currency values, fuel costs, etc.
The following examples of donations to RAVEN as offsets can make a difference!
Calculation Examples: from MyClimate.org … Zurich, Switzerland
One Way … Economy class … CAN$
Victoria – Toronto: = 0.641 t $26.35
Vancouver- Montréal = 0.695 t $28.98
Vancouver -London = 1.4 t $57.96
Victoria- Puerto Vallarta = 0.664 t $27.66
Vancouver – Beijing = 1.6 t $65.87
After calculating your travel carbon costs you Donate to RAVEN: https://fundraise.raventrust.com/give/162836/#!/donation/checkout
For example, potential contributions from friends, associates, neighbours and others in the Victoria area might add up to significant contributions. Imagine!
If 500 people from Canada calculated and donated to RAVEN: Victoria – Puerto Vallarta $40.00 X 500 = $20,000