3 Bits – Fires & Feet

3 Bits periodically provides three bite-sized items of interest about climate news.

  1. Fires Torch Underlying Assumptions.  There’s a significant challenge to the use of sequestered carbon in forest lands. Wildfires. For many large scale carbon offset programs the model bakes in an historical risk of wildfires and buffer pool acreage which is significantly lower that what we’re currently experiencing. According to William Anderegg of the University of Utah, the calculations for buffer pools, typically 2-4% of additional acreage, assumes a wildfire risk of 10% when, in fact, we are experiencing wildfire risks in the unprecedented 20-30% range. There are so many wildfires (about 41,000) devouring so many acres of forestry (over 4.6 million acres as of the end of August) that the buffer pools have burned and the remaining forestry no longer exists to cover the carbon offsets for several major programs. For example, the Bootleg fire has burned about 100,00 of the 400,000 acres in California’s Klamath East project, decimating Microsoft’s investment in carbon offsets there. Similarly, the Colville carbon offset project in Washington state, where British Petroleum made a $100 million investment, lost 50,000 of its 450,000 acres, well above the buffer pool acreage. In addition to the shortcomings of the current carbon offset models, Barbara Haya, director of the Berkeley Carbon Trading Project, reminds us that carbon offsets allow large polluters to avoid actually reducing their carbon emissions.  (Source: https://www.dailyposter.com/climate-progress-is-on-fire/)

  2. That’s a Croc – The Good Kind.  Crocs is the latest major consumer products company to announce its commitment to being carbon net zero, a goal it hopes to achieve by 2030. In addition to having successfully shipped 85% of its 2020 products without boxes and making progress converting its facilities to renewable energy sources,  in 2022 Crocs is introducing a bio-based version of its Croslite, the proprietary material used to make its footwear, that will be made from recycled chemical waste and  “biologically based plasticized material”. If Crocs can achieve its goals and help influence the behavior of the general public, all power to them.  (Sources: https://www.dailycamera.com/2021/09/14/crocs-introduces-bio-based-shoe-material-in-push-for-zero-carbon-emissions/; https://brightly.eco/crocssustainability/;https://www.crocs.com/crocs-purpose.html)

  3. Hoof  In Mouth. According to Agfunder News, food production is responsible for 35% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Of that 35%, livestock used for meat products is responsible for 57% of food production emissions, and beef alone is responsible for about 25%. Stated differently, livestock is responsible for approximately 20% of global emissions and beef alone is responsible for about 9% of global emissions.  (Source:https://agfundernews.com/meat-accounts-for-nearly-two-thirds-of-foods-greenhouse-gas-emissions-says-new-study.html)

3 Bits shares pertinent news from the ocean of climate-related news and information. While the urgency surrounding climate change demands attention, CCC also wants to showcase where progress is being made and where committed organizations and people are doing their part. We hope you find 3 Bits to be interesting and informative.