Purchasing Carbon Offsets as a non-diabetic physician on an LCHF diet – How, What, Why

2018.05 Low Carb and Low Carbon - Ted Eytan MD 2-1002 791
2018.05 Low Carb and Low Carbon – Ted Eytan MD 2-1002 791 (View on Flickr.com)

It’s relatively easy to offset one’s carbon footprint with verified projects/vehicles through the United Nations (@UNFCCC) as well as other organizations.

How

  1. I visited the site(s) of reputable carbon offset providers. I elected to go with the United Nations, as well as another provider, CoolEffect.
    a. I chose not to go with a provider related to fossil fuel production or use.
  2. I reviewed specific projects that are (a) verified and (b) align with my values and interests.
    a. Because the major determinants of climate change are fossil fuel use, I selected a renewable energy project for the bulk of the offsets.
    b. Verified projects have documents indicating how they sequester or reduce carbon emissions.
  3. I purchased the offsets and received certificates. An offset opportunity is limited, i.e. people cannot overbuy a project once it is funded.
    a. The United Nations directs payment to the project itself, which provides an invoice and receipt.
    b. CoolEffect handles the transfer of funds with a small (around 10%) overhead as a non-profit organization

What

2018.05 Low Carb and Low Carbon - Ted Eytan MD 3-1003 792
2018.05 Low Carb and Low Carbon – Ted Eytan MD 3-1003 792 (View on Flickr.com)

These are projects that reduce carbon in the atmosphere in measured amounts, via means that include replacing fossil fuel energy with renewable sources (the project from the United Nations – @UNFCCC), or prevent carbon sinks from being destroyed (the project from Cool Effect – @Cool_Effect ).

Since I purchased from Cool Effect, that project has met its goal and no more offsets are available for sale for this project.

Why

2018.05 Low Carb and Low Carbon - Ted Eytan MD-1001 793
2018.05 Low Carb and Low Carbon – Ted Eytan MD-1001 793 (View on Flickr.com)

The idea that diet is the only/best way to mitigate carbon footprint, or that people who eat meat in pursuit of metabolic health are exclusively unable to mitigate their carbon footprint is counterproductive and inaccurate.

I’ve written a separate post detailing the carbon footprint calculation I used to determine how many offsets to purchase. Sneak peak via the image on the right.

A few things are obvious

  • The amount required to offset personal carbon footprints isn’t that great – from cents to dollars per metric ton of carbon
  • The contribution of diet to carbon footprints within personal carbon footprint isn’t that great – the difference between a diet heavy in read meat and one that’s vegan accounts for substantially less than 10 % of personal carbon footprint, probably less than 5 % – the most important mitigation actions involve energy derived from fossil fuels

Also

  • A person making dietary choices in the pursuit of metabolic health (which many are doing today) is not absolved of ethical responsibilities to procure food that’s produced responsibly
  • This procedure is going to be far more effective when performed at scale, by large organizations/communities, who are able to shift energy consumption patterns to ones that emit less carbon

We don’t need to ban cars; we need to electrify them (and we need that electricity to come from clean energy). We don’t need to ban burgers; we need climate-friendly beef…The bigger issue is that focusing on individual choices around air travel and beef consumption heightens the risk of losing sight of the gorilla in the room: civilization’s reliance on fossil fuels for energy and transport overall, which accounts for roughly two-thirds of global carbon emissions.See: Individual Choices Won't Be Enough to Save the Planet | Time@MichaelEMann

And:

  • This exercise is useful in personal understanding of the carbon cycle and what’s being doing to mitigate climate change, which is a threat to human health
  • We’re in the era of diabetes reversal, why don’t more doctors know?

Projects

References

Disclosures

My disclosures are on this page. Short version, I have none. No endorsement of organizations mentioned here is implied.

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