Thursday, July 13, 2006
Pearl Jam Offsets Climate Footprint of 2006 World Tour
LOS ANGELES, California, July 10, 2006 (ENS) - Tonight Pearl Jam is onstage at The Forum in the midst of a 69 date world tour that opened April 20 in London, England and will close November 25 in Perth, Australia.
The band has decided to offset emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) released on the tour - from the trucks, buses, airplane travel, hotel rooms, concerts venues and fans driving to and from their concerts - by providing funding to nine nonprofit organizations that help, in various ways, to reduce global warming.
Calling the initiative their "Carbon Portfolio," the band announced today that they are contributing a total of $100,000 to the American Solar Energy Society, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, the Cascade Land Conservancy, Conservation International, EarthCorps, Green Empowerment, Honor the Earth, IslandWood and the Washington Clean Energy Initiative.
The negative impacts associated with rising global temperatures as a result of increased CO2 emissions include variable and volatile weather, increased diseases, the death of coral reefs and the melting of the polar ice caps.
One of the band's Carbon Portfolio partners is the Washington, DC based nonprofit Conservation International.
To offset emissions associated with the band’s tour, Conservation International, in collaboration with two Ecuadorian organizations, the Jatun Sacha and El Kaimán de la Lagua de Clube foundations, is working to restore up to 30 hectares (74 acres) of degraded tropical forest in northwestern Ecuador.
The restoration is taking place in the Mache-Chindul Ecological Reserve, a 300,000 acre reserve established by Ecuador’s Ministry of the Environment and contains the Laguna de Cube, which was declared a “wetland of international importance.”
Conservation International’s restoration efforts add another layer of protection to this critical remnant of Ecuador’s coastal rainforest that is home to a number of unique plant and animal species, including the jaguar, the long wattled umbrella bird, the giant anteater and the threatened mantled Howler monkey.
As this regenerated forest grows, it will absorb more than 6,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) over the next 30 years, provide habitat protection for endangered plant and animal species and direct support for local communities.
"We selected Conservation International for our Portfolio with an eye towards supporting local, regional, national and international strategies that positively affect climate, environment and local communities,” said Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard.
“We believe in businesses that proactively take the lead on the issues of environment and clean energy, rather than waiting for our government to identify solutions for us," Gossard said. "By identifying and supporting a diverse group of organizations and strategies, we hope to create new models for businesses like ours who are looking to invest in the future health of our planet and its delicate ecosphere."
“Biodiversity loss is literally fueling climate change and, in turn, climate change is anticipated to accelerate biodiversity loss and species extinctions throughout this century,” said Michael Totten, senior director of climate and water at Conservation International. “Recognizing the intimate interconnection between these two global problems and designing resilient actions that address both simultaneously is now an imperative, not an option.”
The 2006 tour represents the second time that Pearl Jam and Conservation International (CI) have worked together on the issue of climate change. Pearl Jam offset the 5,700 tons of CO2 emissions generated by their 2003 concert tour through an investment in CI’s Conservation Carbon program. This funding supported a joint project between CI and the Wildlife Conservation Society to protect rain forests in northeastern Madagascar, the island country located off the coast of southeastern Africa.
Pearl Jam also is asking fans to get involved by helping to reduce their own carbon footprint. Fans can calculate how much carbon their daily activities generate using a carbon calculator found on Conservation International’s website at www.conservation.org. Once fans have calculated their carbon footprint they will be presented with options to offset that impact.
The Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), based in Portland, Oregon, is another Pearl Jam "Carbon Portfolio" partner announced today. "We looked for partners to put our contributions towards the greatest use in combating global climate change," said Gossard. "BEF was an obvious choice when we considered the renewable energy component."
Through revenues generated from the sales of green power products, BEF funds projects that restore damaged watersheds and support new renewable energy projects from solar, wind and biomass.
BEF's Green Tag programs enable individuals, businesses, and other organizations to offset their carbon footprint by supporting renewable energy projects that deliver solar and wind power into the nation's power grid.
BEF pioneered the sale of Green Tags in 2000 and has helped establish national standards for certification and trading.
Pearl Jam has been a supporter of BEF since the 2004 Vote for Change tour, when Gossard organized some of the participating bands to fund the installation of small-scale renewable energy projects in many of the states where it toured. In addition to Pearl Jam and Gossard, participants included Bonnie Raitt, The Dave Matthews Band, and REM.
BEF's role was to identify the Vote for Change beneficiary projects, and to manage the ongoing installation efforts.
"With the Vote for Change initiative, Pearl Jam helped BEF expand the scope of its renewable energy programs to reach new audiences in the Midwest, Southeast, and Eastern states," said Tom Starrs, vice president of marketing and sales and chief operating officer of Bonneville Environmental Foundation.
"With the Carbon Portfolio Strategy, Pearl Jam is helping BEF reach an even broader audience with the message that it's easy to take action today to make our energy supply cleaner, safer, and more secure," said Starrs. "We are very grateful for the band's continuing support."
BEF will use the contributions from Pearl Jam's Carbon 2006 Portfolio Strategy to support its renewable energy initiatives, including its Green Tag programs.
The Pearl Jam award to the American Solar Energy Society came as the society holds its annual conference, SOLAR 2006, in Denver, Colorado.
Time is rapidly running out to avert the catastrophic effects of continued global warming, two internationally known climate scientists told attendees at SOLAR 2006 Monday morning.
The threat of global warming is “a clear and present danger,’’ because of the continued growth in emissions of greenhouse gases, said Dr. James Hansen, who heads the NASA Institute for Space Studies. While there is still time to act, “the window of opportunity is very rapidly closing,’’ told the 1,800 delegates at the conference.
Hansen told delegates that business as usual – annual increases of two percent in carbon dioxide emissions - will lead to global warming of 3 degrees Celsuis by the end of the century, according to scientific models.
That would lead to extinctions of roughly half the species of animals and plants, along with oceans rising 80 feet higher than they are now. "We would end up with a system out of our control,’’ Hansen said, including all cities on the east coast of the United States. under water. Also submerged would be places in China inhabited by 200 million people, areas of India where 150 million people live and virtually the entire nation of Bangladesh."
To avoid such a scenario and keep warming to one degree Celsius in this century, major changes are needed quickly, Hansen said. Carbon dioxide emissions need to flatten out and begin to decline. He suggested phasing out coal emissions by 2012 in developed nations and by 2022 in developing countries – capturing and sequestering carbon pollution – and then phasing out old coal plants by 2025.
Dr. Warren Washington, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, showed video displays of climate models dramatizing melting Arctic ice and more intense storms. Global warming will lead to more severe heat waves in the southern and western regions of North America as well as in Western Europe and the Mediterranean, he said.
But like Hansen, Washington held out some hope. “We need to have the snow and ice stop melting and grow, which means drastically lowering greenhouse gas concentrations," he said. "Solar energy could be a major contributor to that objective."
Hansen told delegates, "The public must get informed and get angry."
With its Carbon Portfolio initiative, Pearl Jam is informing its fans and directing their anger towards positive change.