Resources & Zoom Chat - The Climate Reality in Antarctica - April 3, 2022

Scott Henson
Scott Henson
Last updated 
Zoom Recording on YouTube

Discussion Description:
Dr. Ed Sobey shared with us the ground truth from a place where climate change is happening faster than almost anywhere else in the world. Nearly fifty years after spending a winter in Antarctica, Dr. Ed Sobey returned in November 2021 and January 2022. This austral summer he was lecturing on an expedition cruise ship for four voyages as they crossed the Drake Passage and explored the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia. Ed described evidence of change and passengers' reaction to their polar experience. 

Primary Discussion Resources:

What Can I Do? Getting into Action! Carbon Removal and Offset Programs to Help with Travel:
  • Buy A Carbon Removal Credit from Nori.  Nori Inc is a Washington-based company building the software infrastructure establishing a marketplace to mobilize investment in the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) from the atmosphere. The purpose of the Nori platform is to host the sale of Nori Carbon Removal Tonnes (NRTs), where one NRT is a digital asset that represents one tonne of CO2 removed from the atmosphere where the recovered carbon (C) is retained in a terrestrial reservoir for at least 10 years. 
  • Support Gold Standard. Gold Standard was established in 2003 by WWF and other international NGOs to ensure projects that reduced carbon emissions not only featured the highest levels of environmental integrity but also positively contributed to sustainable development. As well as helping in the fight against climate change, every Gold Standard-certified project supports sustainable development through added benefits like providing local communities with safe drinking water, protecting endangered species, improving health or creating local jobs.
  • Find Green-e® Certified Carbon Offsets. Green-e® certified renewable energy and carbon offset products meet the most stringent environmental and consumer protection standards in North America. You can search for certified green power and renewable energy certificate programs for your home or business, and carbon offset products to offset your emissions from activities like driving and flying.
  • Educate Yourself on How to Buy Carbon Offsets (NYTimes Article).   Air travel, especially long trips, is one of the worst things an individual can do for the climate. For many, though, swearing off flying isn’t a viable option. That’s where carbon offsets can come in. But how do you actually buy and use these offsets? Carbon offsets compensate for your emissions by canceling out greenhouse gas emissions somewhere else in the world. The money you pay to buy offsets supports programs designed to reduce emissions. Those might include projects to develop renewable energy, capture methane from landfills or livestock, or distribute cleaner cooking stoves.

Resources Shared During our Discussion:

  • The Book of Hope by Jane Goodall.  In a world that seems so troubled, how do we hold on to hope? Looking at the headlines—a global pandemic, the worsening climate crisis, political upheaval—it can be hard to feel optimistic. And yet hope has never been more desperately needed. In this urgent book, Jane Goodall, the world’s most famous living naturalist and Doug Abrams, internationally-bestselling author, explore—through intimate and thought-provoking dialogue—one of the most sought after and least understood elements of human nature: hope. In The Book of Hope, Jane focuses on her “Four Reasons for Hope”: The Amazing Human Intellect, The Resilience of Nature, The Power of Young People, and The Indomitable Human Spirit.

Full Chat Log:

00:29:55 Scott Henson (Seattle): Please ask any questions you might have here in the chat and we will do our best to get to them as soon as possible.  Also, everything shared will be posted on our Climate Conversations site here:
00:29:59 Don Parda: Until these cruise ships convert from high-carbon-footprint
00:31:50 Don Parda: to low-carbon-footprint, these cruise ships should close down rather than start up.
00:33:42 Scott Henson (Seattle): My question to complement Don's comment is what kind of demand are we seeing with people to get back on cruise ships compared to pre-COVID time?  Same, increased, less?
00:37:01 Scott Henson (Seattle): Is Dr. Sobey coming through well for everyone else in this call?  My call is breaking up a bit...
00:37:35 Thor Olson: I get very clear audio.  No problems here.
00:37:43 Don Parda: I can hear him fine.
00:40:14 Don Parda: I view the growth of this high-carbon-footprint Antarctic cruise industry as tragic.
00:55:02 Jeff Berner: Are these cruise ships doing anything with carbon offsets or anything like that?
00:56:17 laurazeffer: Ouch that hurts to hear
01:06:47 jimlittle: Are there educational programs on the tours for these tourists about our climate emergency?
01:19:55 Jeff Berner: We are going to see significant changes in the Pacific Northwest fishery fleet due to the loss of sea ice on the Bering Sea.
01:20:37 Marcia Rorty: My husband has a question re militarization of the arctic
01:20:55 laurazeffer: Hi Pete!
01:23:53 Suellen Mele: Thanks so much, Ed! I appreciate the information you’re sharing and your thoughtful approach.
01:25:06 Thor Olson: Does Antarctica have significant ores that would be desirable for foreign governments to exploit or control?
01:35:26 Becky: Jane Goodall's recent book: The Book Of Hope might offer some interesting insight on solutions (I haven't had a chance to read it yet)
01:35:51 Scott Henson (Seattle): Thank you for the recommendation Becky!
01:37:38 Jeff Berner: I think that we are at a point of maximum travel because travel is dependent upon more and more cheap oil. Cheap oil is over or soon will be.
01:37:55 Thor Olson: Agreed!
01:38:12 Marcia Rorty: I’m going to contact the Sierra Club, which is a group I travel with, to tell them about the tree-planting offset.  They may well post the idea on their Outings website.  I think it would help relieve guilt people have especially for international travel.  I wonder if there are other groups doing eco-travel that would also perhaps be open to the same?
01:38:20 Thor Olson: My mother is part of this travel the world before I die group.
01:39:30 jimlittle: Thanks