A message from Chris Yoko, founder of CarbonOff.
The evidence of human action driving climate change is insurmountable.* And while the problem feels too big for any one of us to tackle, it isn’t too big for all of us to tackle. The issue is getting everyone to take action proactively, when humans, especially in groups, are incredibly reactive in nature.
It’s incredibly rare for any kind of law to be passed prior to a consequence. Even when presented with all of the information required to know, with incredible consensus, the negative impact of a given course of action, we proceed until the damage is too great to ignore. Then, and only then, do we tend to get our act together and effect change.
If you’re having trouble coming up with examples, allow me to indulge:
- Car Seat Belts – from their invention in 1959 it took until 1984 for the first state to pass laws requiring they actually be worn.
- Asbestos – known to be harmful as early as 1899 and was widely used through the 1900’s. While outlawed entirely in 66 countries it is still permitted in the US.
- Bisphenol A (BPA) – discovered to be toxic in the 1930’s it was not widely banned until the 2010s.
These few examples represent hundreds of missed opportunities for us as humans to avoid calamity. It can be difficult enough to obtain credible information in the first place. It doesn’t help that we’re further hindered by parties who are financially incentivized to contest this information, obfuscate the damage, and prolong the problem.
As a species, we are not wired to handle complex long-term threats well. It is only after disaster strikes that we are sufficiently motivated to change our behaviors.
In short – I have no faith that our society will take significant action in preventing the devastating impacts of climate change until it is far too late.
That doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. We can still contribute in our own ways toward the preservation of life as we know it on our planet.
That’s why I started Carbon Off – as a catalyst to help others invest significantly in methods, movements, and technologies that can help combat climate change. The projects we support are intended to help across the different stages of climate change we’re likely to experience.
- Projects that buy us time
- Destruction of highly dangerous greenhouse gasses like methane and refrigerants.
- Projects that reduce energy consumption and related pollution
- Distribution of high efficiency cook stoves and reduced reliance on burning wood
- Projects that repurpose waste and create circular economies
- effective composting and wastewater management
- Projects that inspire balance and sequester carbon
- Agroforestry and regenerative agriculture projects, protection and expansion of peat and wetlands
- Projects that foster the adoption of renewable energy
- Supporting the development and expansion of solar, hydro, and wind power
- Projects that actively remove carbon from the atmosphere
- Investing in technologies like direct air capture and cellulosic biomass
When the impacts of climate change become so bad that they are no longer ignorable it will be too late for us to spin up technologies from scratch at a pace sufficient to rival the runaway effects that will already have begun.
However, if we invest in buying time and begin developing these technologies now, a little can go a long way. Simply put, Carbon Off is a way to invest in the future of the climate.
As Albert Einstein is credited as saying “compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe.” Every dollar we invest today is the equivalent of hundreds or thousands invested when the full force of climate change is upon us.
Invest in the planet now, so we have one later.
*If you expected a footnote contradicting the statement it is attached to shame on you. If you don’t personally “believe” in humanity’s role in climate change, nothing I am going to say is going to convince you. If you’re not willing to consider Joining Carbon Off for the betterment of the environment for future generations, consider joining because your employees and recruiting candidates do.