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Daniel Poynter

Daniel Poynter

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  • Total Recruits
    92 collected! 184.0% of the goal
Recent Activity
  • published Case Study - Monali Das and Family in Households 2020-06-03 17:42:33 -0400

    Monali Das and Family - We're Carbon Neutral!

    "I’ve paid attention to the environment and climate for years. I’ve tried to do my part -- like driving a hybrid. During that time, though, I’ve felt pretty much hopeless. It seems a lot of people here, in Indiana, aren’t doing basic things like recycling. This is reinforced when I travel, see others around the world, and come back home. I want to make a difference, but it just feels like it’s overwhelming, like it’s too much to do as an individual.

    Becoming carbon neutral was eye opening. I didn’t think we were as carbon emitting as we are. I liked that we got many of the questions ahead of the call so we could prepare (e.g. looking up our natural gas bills).

    Why should others consider becoming carbon neutral? Because of the environment! Climate change is a fact. There’s no question about it. If we don’t start getting conscious about it now, and take little steps… 

    I still think the government and big organizations need to do more -- especially the government -- but individuals definitely have a part to play.

    We are the first carbon neutral household in northern Indiana, but I don’t feel like a leader. I feel like I just learned more about our lifestyle. Now I have to think about what changes I can take to be less carbon emitting. Hopefully my kids will learn this from me."

    Do you want your household to be carbon neutral?

    Measure your household's carbon footprint

  • Learn / Hustle / Grow - CNI's Summer Internship Program

    Nearly 3,000 students signed petitions calling Indiana University and Purdue University to become carbon neutral.

    We selected only twelve.


    So what can twelve passionate, creative, brilliant, and kind young people do in just one summer?


    We're about to find out.


    Learn more about these individuals below.

    Read more
  • published Case Study - Greg and Kathy Weaver in Households 2020-05-22 14:05:48 -0400

    Greg and Kathy Weaver - We're Carbon Neutral!

    “My wife Kathy and I have two grandchildren. We’re very concerned about the condition we’ll leave the planet in for them. Supporting Carbon Neutral Indiana is a way for us to start the ball rolling to help assure that we meet the climate crisis headon. So we’re pleased to know we’re doing our part and we hope we can inspire other people to do the same.

    The phone call was easy. It’s comforting to know that if you are lucky and able enough to have trees on your property you can become carbon neutral with not a tremendous amount of effort.

    Others should consider becoming carbon neutral because if everyone does their part we can reach the goal of being carbon neutral as a state.”

    Do you want your household to be carbon neutral?

    Measure your household's carbon footprint

  • published Case Study - Rae Schnapp in Households 2020-05-22 14:03:54 -0400

    Rae Schnapp & Family - We're Carbon Neutral!


    "My name is Rae Schnapp, and I’ve been a professional environmentalist for decades. After earning my Ph.D. in plant science at Purdue, I worked in international agriculture for a while, then transitioned to non-profit environmental organizations for most of my career.

    As a scientist, I’ve been aware of and involved in climate issues for a long while. For example, I was very involved in Purdue Earth Day and the 1Sky Campaign organized by Bill McKibben back in 2007. And for the past six months, I’ve been studying the economic values of Indiana’s forests. Forest canopies intercept storm water and slow it down, absorbing large quantities and stabilizing steep slopes and streambanks to protect water quality. Forests also help mitigate the impacts of climate change by sequestering carbon. The value of such services is enormous, but it's simply not counted or appreciated as much as it should be.

    Becoming carbon neutral matters. Why? All of us will continue emitting some greenhouse gases no matter what we do. To balance that out -- and to become carbon neutral -- we invest in projects like forest carbon sequestration. By paying, even if a little bit, for the services forests provide we’re tipping the balance. It creates economic incentives to stop destroying our natural resources and instead to protect them. And this is more important now than ever.

    I’ve been thinking about becoming carbon neutral for a long time. Frankly, it seemed complex and overwhelming. I didn’t know where to start. Carbon Neutral Indiana made it easy! It was very affordable and it only took about twenty minutes.

    This is important because life is complicated enough. Even when people are concerned about the climate -- and want to be good citizens -- it’s hard to know where to start. I’ve read a lot about carbon, even studied it professionally, and taken steps to reduce my carbon footprint. But Carbon Neutral Indiana has enabled me to become carbon neutral right now!

    What are the most important things people should know? First, there are other people out there, like me, who have wanted this for a long time. Also that it’s more affordable and convenient than one might expect."


    Do you want your household to be carbon neutral?

    Measure your household's carbon footprint

  • signed Petition 2021-02-22 12:49:52 -0500

    Petition: Carbon Neutral Purdue by 2030

    This petition comes as a joint effort between the West Lafayette Students for Climate Action and the Purdue Student Sustainability Council. Climate change is a multifaceted issue threatening us socially, economically, and existentially. These threats are not only amplified in low-income communities but will affect all of our futures. This petition is just one component of a huge campaign, led by students, spanning several actions that has serious potential to change Purdue’s course for the better. Volunteer below to help beyond signing this petition.

    We are students working to pressure Purdue Admin to make Purdue completely carbon neutral by 2030 and create a sustainability office in the provost's office, where prevalent socioeconomic concerns such as diversity and student life already reside.

    We have support from over 60 student and community organizations, representing tens of thousands of students and local citizens, so far. You may be a member of one or more of these groups from across the board helping our revolutionary cause:

    • Political groups, like College Democrats and College Republicans
    • Minority groups, like the Asian Student Union Board and Society of Women Engineers
    • Greek Life, like Purdue Cooperatives and the Interfraternity Council
    • Representative groups, like the Residence Hall Association and Purdue Student Government
    • STEM groups, like Purdue Space Program and Society of Environmental and Ecological Engineers
    • Religious groups, like St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and Unitarian Universalist Church
    • Community organizations, like the Center for Urban Health and city/statewide elected officials


    Carbon neutrality is the offset of environmental damage from using fossil fuels by implementing effective techniques like retrofitting old buildings for better efficiency, implementing simple carbon sequesters, creating long-term practical plans for renewable power to wean off of fossil fuels, and increasing net tree cover.

    The financial benefits are strong for admin. Many institutions have instituted their plans, publicly available on In the Midwest alone, Ball State now saves more than $2 million per year which it re-invests into its infrastructure and Ohio State maintains frozen tuition.

    It is unrealistic to pull away from fossil fuels entirely overnight, considering Purdue's contracts and dependence, but carbon neutrality commitments, paired with a strong renewable energy goal, is an achievable and tremendous first step, as seen in institutions, cities, states, and 11 of 14 Big Ten Schools (including Indiana University - Bloomington).

    It is time that Purdue catches up and leads by example. These changes will be forced to happen in the future with our backs against the wall, so why not take this small step now that will contribute to a giant leap? Let us leave our community one brick higher for ourselves and our future generations.

    Volunteer below to help beyond signing the petition and be a voice for Purdue students!Our actions and volunteer committees involve event planning, publicity, our letter to admin, student government legislation, expansion to statewide schools, and creating a climate action plan for admin.

    For any questions, feel free to contact Mason Merkel at [email protected] and follow us @wl4climateaction on Instagram!

    3,429 signatures
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  • published Case Study - Greg Kempf & Family in Households 2020-05-10 17:45:20 -0400

    Greg Kempf & Family - We're Carbon Neutral!

    "Initially, I wasn't interested enough in the climate crisis to get into the details. I followed the science enough to understand what was going on, though.

    Then over the last 10 years it became evident to me that it was  a serious issue and wasn't in the process of being fixed.

    And then -- really when started to retire-- I became concerned enough that I did a deep dive into the issue. I got as much scientific information as I could.

    I realized the situation was even far worse than what I had thought. I realized how devastating it was going to be and how difficult it was going to be to get out of it.

    So really I've become passionate about it the past few years. I've been trying to help build what I think of as infrastructure. This infrastructure is there so that when citizens as a whole finally become engaged enough to do something there will be means to get it done quickly.

    And once we get that majority of people going, if it's not too late, it will be soon after that we start to address the situations significantly. It will happen, it's just a matter of of it'll be in time to keep utter disaster from happening.

    Others should consider becoming carbon neutral because the planet needs you!

    Actually, it's more humanity needs you, and wildlife needs you, and other things. The planet will survive no matter what. When the seas rise high enough over the coming centuries and wildfires burn a lot of the trees, a lot of that is coming if we don't do something significant. So it's not the planet that's not going to survive, it's the people live on it, and the wildlife, that will be in dire straights if we don't get going.

    Becoming carbon neutral through Carbon Neutral Indiana was easy. I had done my homework, so to speak, before the meeting so I was prepared." -Greg Kempf

    Do you want your household to be carbon neutral?

    Measure your household's carbon footprint

  • published Case Study - Josh and Cara Bach in Households 2020-05-03 19:22:00 -0400

    Josh and Cara Bach - We're Carbon Neutral!

    We may be the first but who wants to be a part of this massive positive local movement and join Cara and I in becoming a Carbon Neutral Household??? Thank you Daniel Poynter and Carbon Neutral Indiana for your vision to help make Indiana a better place to live!


    Want to become Carbon Neutral? Here is the organization that can help you! It was a no brainer for the Bach family 🌱 🌳 🌸 🌎

    -Cara Bach

    Do you want your household to be carbon neutral?

    Measure your household's carbon footprint

  • published Advocate Leaderboard 2020-04-27 16:39:37 -0400

    Advocate Leaderboard

    7 responses
    10 recruited survey responses
    Top 5 Household Advocates
    Heidi Takada 1
    2 recruited survey responses
    Sidd Das 2
    1 recruited survey responses
    Regan Whitesell 3
    1 recruited survey responses
    Jordan Nowaskie 4
    1 recruited survey responses
    Maria Perez 5
    1 recruited survey responses
  • published What is CNI's vision, mission, values? in General 2020-04-25 18:48:51 -0400

    What is CNI's vision, mission, values?


    Our vision is a world where everyone's unique genius is recognized, nurtured, and set loose to create better futures without end. The movie Tomorrowland is a great example.

    Our mission is for Indiana to become carbon neutral as soon as possible. We're starting by focusing on households, businesses, and academic institutions. Along the way, we're reinvigorating public service through fun and effective climate action.

    Our values are fun, friendship, and effective climate action.

    Learn more about Carbon Neutral Indiana.

  • published FAQ in About 2020-04-25 18:01:06 -0400

    Frequently Asked Questions






    Carbon Neutral Indiana (CNI)



    What does "carbon neutral" mean?

    See answer here.


    Why does carbon neutrality matter?

    See answer here.


    What is Carbon Neutral Indiana?

    See answer here.



    How can my household become carbon neutral?

    See answer here.


    What does it cost for a household to be carbon neutral?

    It depends on your carbon footprint, but it's about $15 per person. This is similar to a Netflix subscription. For the entire household, it'll probably be similar to their water bill.

    Compare this to the social cost of carbon. As Ben Franklin said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A ton of CO2e might cause $220 in economic damages, but we can prevent those damages by cleaning up our carbon trash.


    We buy "green power," are we carbon neutral?

    No. See the question about solar panels below.

    Also, we generally do not recommend such programs. Learn more on this website.


    We have solar panels, are we carbon neutral?

    No. Having solar panels does not make your household carbon neutral.

    Imagine the average four person household in Indianapolis, Indiana. Emissions associated with their electricity are about 7.14 tons:

    Now imagine they install enough solar panels so they don't need to buy electricity from the grid. This would reduce their emissions by 7.14 tons, from 72 tons to 65 tons:

    You can see the average family still generates carbon emissions from many other activities, like transportation, natural gas, and purchasing goods and services.


    How do we reduce our direct carbon emissions?

    The most powerful way to reduce a negative behavior is to put a price on that behavior.

    For example, imagine a person who swears a lot. Their partner has tried for years to get them to stop. So they agree that whenever the person swears they put money into a jar. This will transform their mindset and behavior.

    This is called an "internal carbon price."

    Microsoft is recognized as one of the world's most leading companies on climate action. They began transforming their company's culture by instituting a "carbon fee."

    So becoming carbon neutral -- i.e. paying to clean up your carbon trash -- will cause you to reduce your direct emissions.

    What specific steps can you take? We are working on an online curriculum to answer this question. In the meantime, see these resources:

    • Reduce the amount of air that leaks into / out of your home (see these 19 common areas of leakage)
    • Improve your home's insulation (and use low carbon insulation materials like hemp-based insulation)
    • Buy high quality clothing (e.g. wool shirts). Fast fashion creates about 10% of global emissions.
    • Fly less or not at all
    • Invest in energy efficiency -- appliances, LEDs, etc.
    • Use a heat pump
    • Install solar energy at your home
    • Work from home one or two days per week
    • Switch vehicles to get higher MPG -- hybrid, hybrid plugin, electric
    • Participate in "meatless Monday"
    • Switch search engines from Google to Ecosia

    Of course there are many other ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. Here are more resources:

    Exploring this information might feel like climbing a mountain. You might feel like you lose your footing and slide down the mountain.

    That's why we recommend becoming carbon neutral first. It gives you a solid footing from which you can plan your next steps.



    How can my business become carbon neutral?

    The process is similar as for households:

    1. Measure your business's carbon footprint
    2. Clean it up with a monthly or annual subscription


    Why should my business become carbon neutral?

    Here are a few reasons:

    1. Cleaning up our carbon trash is the right thing to do.
    2. It's a low cost way to do a lot of good. Learn about the social cost of carbon for more.
    3. It'll help you attract intelligent, ambitious, passionate employees.
    4. It's a low cost, high impact marketing investment. 70% of consumers are willing to pay 10% more for environmentally friendly products.
    5. Differentiate yourself from your competition.
    6. By being an early adopter, you'll be proud of leading on an important issue.
    7. Your descendants will be more proud of you.


    What does it cost for a business to be carbon neutral?

    About 1/4th of 1% of annual revenue, paid monthly or annually.

    For example, for an advertising agency with $5M in revenue, it might cost about $1,000/mo to clean up their carbon trash and be carbon neutral.



    What is the "social cost of carbon?"

    The social cost of carbon is a unit of measure. It measures the economic damages caused by a ton of carbon emissions.

    We all know putting carbon emissions into the atmosphere is bad, but how bad is it? This is a question for economists.

    In fact, the 2018 Nobel Prize for Economics went to a man who created the entire field studying this question, Professor William Nordhaus at Yale University.

    Economists debate the exact number, but researchers at Stanford University pegged it as high as $220/ton:

    "A recent U.S. government study concluded, based on the results of three widely used economic impact models, that an additional ton of carbon dioxide emitted in 2015 would cause $37 worth of economic damages. These damages are expected to take various forms, including decreased agricultural yields, harm to human health and lower worker productivity, all related to climate change.

    But according to a new study, published... in the journal Nature Climate Change, the actual cost could be much higher. 'We estimate that the social cost of carbon is not $37 per ton, as previously estimated, but $220 per ton,' said study coauthor Frances Moore, a PhD candidate in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources in Stanford's School of Earth Sciences."

    The social cost of carbon is a critical concept. We're in this problem because many of us are internalizing the benefits of carbon while externalizing the costs of carbon. These costs usually fall on the most vulnerable.

    Become carbon neutral follows the timeless, universal principle of do no harm. 

    And each household can prevent a lot of harm! If the average American household emits 40 tons of carbon dioxide annually, that means the average American household shifts 40 x $220/ton = $8,800 in social costs onto others. But by investing in projects that reduce emissions or pull carbon out of the atmosphere, that same family can prevent causing those damages for about $50/mo.


    How do carbon markets and offsets work?






    Here's all of that in narrative format:

    First, a "project developer" works with a "project owner" to develop a carbon offset project. They must bring in scientists / consultants to verify their plans, and they submit 100+ page project description document to a "registry" (e.g. Verified Carbon Standard). Here is the project description document of the Afognak project we support.

    The registry analyzes the project to see if it passes certain criteria (e.g. it's additional, reasonably permanent, etc.) then they give the thumbs up.

    The project developer develops the project (e.g. plants the trees, gives the cows a methane abatement supplement, change a landfill to capture the methane, etc.).

    Usually a third party comes out to verify everything is legitimate.

    Then, a year after commencing, the registry may "issue" carbon offsets. Each represents one ton of CO2e either sequestered or prevented from being emitted in the first place. Each of these offsets has a unique serial number and is tracked in a public database. Once it's issued, it can be bought/sold like any other commodity.

    Let's say the project developer is acting like a wholesaler. They sell them to someone like Carbon Neutral Indiana. Then we retail them to the end consumer.

    Finally, when any of our clients (a household, a business, etc.) wants to claim those offsets against their carbon footprints, we "retire" the offsets on their behalf. This means they are taken out of circulation and can't be bought / sold by anyone else.  Here's an example of what the retirement record looks like.

    An analogy for all of this is a coupon for a haircut. You could pass the coupon around, but eventually someone is going to get a haircut. At that point, the coupon is torn up so nobody else can use it. In the case of an offset it isn't torn up by "retired."

    If you'd like to go deeper, here's an excellent introduction.


    How do you ensure carbon offsets are of high quality?

    Coming soon.


    What if a forest that generates offsets burns down?

    Coming soon.


    What does it mean to retire carbon offsets?

    Retiring an offset means it's claimed against an individual or organization's carbon footprint, and it has been taken out of circulation to ensure it can only be claimed once.

    Here's an example of what a retirement record looks like.

    An analogy is what happens to a coupon for a haircut. You could pass the coupon around, but eventually someone is going to get a haircut. At that point, the coupon is torn up so nobody else can use it. In the case of an offset it isn't torn up by "retired."


    Shouldn't I reduce my emissions first and buy offsets as a last resort?

    Coming soon.


    How can I support carbon offset projects in Indiana?

    Coming soon.


    Is purchasing carbon offsets tax deductible?

    This does not constitute legal or accounting advice. According to our understanding, they are not tax deductible as a personal expense. For a business expense, they are.


    Carbon Neutral Indiana

    How can I best support CNI's mission?

    The most important thing you can do is to become carbon neutral as soon as possible.

    Once you are, you'll understand that process. You'll speak with more authority, and you'll be more persuasive.

    Then the next things to do (in order) are:

    1. Put up a yard sign if you can. 60% of people who become carbon neutral hear about it from yard signs.
    2. Tell your friends and coworkers by posting about it on social media. This video is a great one to share.
    3. Donate to support our mission financially.
    4. Commit to learning. The more sophisticated our community is, the more it can accomplish. Review materials on this website. We are creating an online curriculum to educate people about critical concepts. Stay tuned.
    5. Be on the lookout for opportunities to make zero percent interest loans, like our recent $19,500 loan from 30+ people.


    How can I keep up with CNI developments?

    We post to our blog regularly. You can also follow us on:

    Once you become carbon neutral, you'll have access to our Slack channel -- a chatroom essentially -- with hundreds of participants.


    What is CNI's strategy?

    See answer here.


    Who is behind CNI?

    See answer here.


    How did CNI get started?

    See answer here.


    Will this expand beyond Indiana?

    Yes, it already is.

    We focus our outreach on Indiana but feel free to refer your friends around the country. In fact, we've already certified households in states throughout the country like:

    • Washington
    • Texas
    • Colorado
    • California
    • Maryland
    • Michigan
    • Oklahoma
    • Ohio
    • New York

    A highly respected venture philanthropy firm said that -- once we help about 500 households total -- we'd be a good candidate for their investment to scale state chapters throughout the country. We already purchased domain names for all states -- like

    Carbon Neutral America will be a national non-profit with state chapters like The Nature Conservancy or Habitat for Humanity.

    Learn more about the potential carbon benefits of this national expansion.


    Where does the money go when I purchase carbon offsets through CNI?

    We support a portfolio of many types of verified carbon projects.

    We sell carbon offsets as a fundraiser. That means, when you purchase through Carbon Neutral Indiana you are not only getting the carbon benefits of the verified offsets but you're also enabling our other work as well.

    We use roughly 60% of carbon offset revenues to purchase offsets at discounted, wholesale prices. We invest the other 40% into growth -- educating more households and businesses and measuring their carbon footprints.


    Why should I buy carbon offsets from CNI and not another organization?

    Coming soon.


    How does CNI fit into the larger climate movement?

    Climate solutions fall into two categories: (1) specific projects that reduce emissions and (2) carbon pricing that transforms how economic actors make decisions.

    Specific projects have an immediate payoff in terms of reducing emissions. Carbon pricing, on the other hand, changes our economic paradigm and increases investment to projects that reduce emissions. It has a multiplier effect.

    1. Specific projects that reduce emissions.

    These are climate solutions you know like solar and wind electricity, electric buildings, public transportation, plant rich diets, etc.

    Several frameworks group and rank these solutions:

    The third Accelerating America’s Pledge report by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ groups them by three principles: renewable electricity, electrifying end uses like buildings and cars, and investing in natural carbon sinks like forests.

    McKinsey & Company’s famous GHG Abatement Cost Curve sorted them by highest potential per dollar invested (see their 2020 report for an updated analysis).

    Project Drawdown sorted these solutions as well. CNI's founder analyzed these solutions in Indiana's context as part of Indiana Drawdown.

    And finally, researchers at Princeton University’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative created The Net-Zero America Project (NZAP). This research informs, “a new National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine Committee…”

    2. Pricing carbon.

    A boring accounting problem created our ecological crisis. It’s simply that we’ve been internalizing profits and externalizing costs. In other words, we've taken short term gains from exploiting the environment, but pushed off the environmental damages to others elsewhere in the world as well as in the future.

    As is relates to carbon, each ton of CO2e we emit causes $220 in social costs. Pricing carbon enlarges our circle of responsibility and changes the way we make decisions.

    Many of the reports cited above encourage not only specific projects that reduce emissions but also carbon pricing and associated carbon markets.

    For example, Bloomberg’s Accelerating America’s Pledge report:

    "While this chapter highlights critical climate policies within each of the three principles, certain actions transcend these categories and have more cross-cutting implications. The most obvious of these are state efforts to price carbon emissions or set a formal cap on economy-wide emissions...

    Carbon pricing has been studied in-depth and is widely seen as a particularly efficient way of reducing emissions in some sectors if not all."

    And McKinsey & Company’s 2020 report:

    "All of the 1.5°C scenarios would require major business, economic, and societal shifts—each enormous in its own right, and with intricate interdependencies. We identified five critical shifts and determined what it would take for them to occur… [The fifth is ramp] up carbon management and markets… Currently, it is impossible to chart a 1.5-degree pathway that does not remove CO2 to offset ongoing emissions. The math simply does not work."

    Carbon pricing is supported by international experts and will become more common. The Financial Times published the following in Jan 2019:

    "Four former chairs of the Federal Reserve have joined with leading economists from both major political parties to issue an unprecedented call for a carbon tax in the US, saying 'immediate' action is needed to address the risks of climate change.

    Janet Yellen, Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker proposed an emissions tax that would be used to pay lump-sum cash rebates to US citizens.

    The statement signed by 27 Nobel laureates and 15 former chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers described the mechanism as a 'cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions' that would correct 'a well-known market failure'."

    And Elon Musk, the Leonardo DaVinci of our day, said:

    "If you ask any economist they will tell you that is the obvious thing to do, put the correct price on carbon because we currently have an error in the economy which misprices carbon at zero or something closer to zero. It is a fundamental economic error.

    To make it neither a left or right issue, we should make it a revenue-neutral carbon tax… If countries agree to an appropriately priced and targeted carbon tax, we could see a transition [to clean energy] that has a 15- to 20-year timeframe as opposed to a 40- or 50-year timeframe.”

    2A. Pricing carbon with regulation

    Various groups advocate a mandatory carbon price, enforced by the government. Citizens Climate Lobby at the federal level, for example, and Climate Xchange at the state level. Regional experiments like RGGI show it can reduce emissions while also spurring the economy. We see a mandatory price on carbon as critical.

    2B. Pricing carbon by shifting social norms

    CNI — along with the rest of the carbon neutral movement — is changing social norms and making it commonplace to pay a voluntary carbon price.

    First we are making it normal to be carbon neutral. Once enough people are — i.e taking responsibility for and cleaning up their “carbon trash” — it will be expected of every decent person and business. The reputational costs will be too high, and businesses would lose their social license to operate if they don’t.

    In this way, CNI’s approach complements the mandatory approach. One is top down, enforced by legislation. The other is bottom up, enforced by a new social norm. In other words, we don’t need to wait for legislators to start shifting social norms. 

    CNI increases awareness of social costs of carbon, early adopters take responsibility and show leadership by becoming carbon neutral, and finally we have enough momentum to enact a society wide carbon price. How? We’ll  connect the early adopters with politicians willing to lead and achieve what the World Resource Institute calls an “ambition loop.” This is a virtuous cycle in which early adopters provide political cover for politicians to take a risk. Then, those politicians enact legislation that empowers those early adopters.

  • signed Butler University 2020-03-16 13:30:05 -0400

    Petition: Carbon Neutral Butler by 2030

    To the Butler University Board of Trustees:

    Butler University prides itself on being a progressive institution. From its abolitionist roots to the student body’s emphasis on the “Butler Way,” our community strives to be one of inclusion, social responsibility, and forward thinking. In accord with the university’s emphasis on social justice, climate change is a social justice issue. The social cost of carbon, which encompasses the economic and social damages that result from GHG emissions, is a crucial consideration.

    "A recent U.S. government study concluded, based on the results of three widely used economic impact models, that an additional ton of carbon dioxide emitted in 2015 would cause $37 worth of economic damages. These damages are expected to take various forms, including decreased agricultural yields, harm to human health and lower worker productivity, all related to climate change.

    But according to a new study, published... in the journal Nature Climate Change, the actual cost could be much higher. 'We estimate that the social cost of carbon is not $37 per ton, as previously estimated, but $220 per ton,' said study coauthor Frances Moore, a PhD candidate in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources in Stanford's School of Earth Sciences." Source: Stanford University News, Jan 12, 2015

    Based on Moore’s estimate, Butler University will shift $8,438,980 in social and economic damages onto others as a result of its GHG emissions in 2020. Moreover, each year that Butler fails to enact substantial climate action, these avoidable social costs will continue to be incurred. By failing to take responsibility for our greenhouse gas emissions, we displace the social burden of carbon onto the most vulnerable populations, often BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities who have long lived in less desirable areas due to deeply ingrained systemic racism. These so-called “sacrifice zones” enable wealthier (and often white) communities to transfer the consequences of their own greenhouse gas emissions onto other groups of people. As a predominantly white institution, Butler University must acknowledge the social implications of its GHG emissions.

    In 2012, President Danko committed to carbon neutrality at Butler by 2050 and to reducing GHG emissions by 45% by 2030 and 15% by 2020. However, a 2020 report showed that net GHG emissions saw a 33.00% net increase between the 2011 baseline year and 2020. Although Butler acquired new buildings on South campus during this period, which in part explains an emissions increase, it is clear that climate action is not occurring at the pace merited by the extreme circumstances we face.

    In addition, an integrated sustainability effort across campus will make Butler a more appealing environment for current and prospective students, staff, employees, and visitors. Many of the measures necessary to achieve this are already outlined in the Butler University Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (BUSCA) 2020 addendum, which recognizes the severity of the climate crisis. The planned measures include improvements in food sourcing, greenhouse gas reductions, waste and land management, transportation, and water usage, among others. If made a university-wide priority, these already-defined measures will enable the advance of Butler’s carbon neutrality deadline to 2030. Many of these measures, such as improved bicycling infrastructure and tree diversity, also have secondary benefits that will make campus a more enjoyable place.

    The climate crisis is the defining issue of our generation. As Butler students, we take pride in attending an institution that leads with its values and strives to overcome its shortcomings. We demand urgent climate action based on the measures outlined in the 2020 BUSCA addendum, with the ultimate goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. This goal is quite feasible; institutions much larger than Butler, like Arizona State University, have already achieved carbon neutrality.
    Butler has the capacity to become a leader in sustainability among Midwestern universities. With courage and proactivity rather than complacency, we can take responsibility for our share of the climate crisis by becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

    Please share this petition! When you use the Facebook or Twitter links below, you'll be included in the Butler leaderboard.

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  • published Franklin College in Academic Institutions 2020-02-19 20:31:52 -0500

    Petition: Carbon Neutral Franklin by 2030


    The climate crisis is the defining issue for our generation. Our children and grandchildren will ask us what we did to help.

    What will we say?

    One of the best ways to help is becoming "carbon neutral."

    What's that?

    All of us produce greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.



    Carbon neutrality is when we reduce these emissions as much as possible... and then cancel out the rest by doing things like planting trees.

    It's sort of like canceling out the bad we do with an equal amount of good.

    Eight colleges are already carbon neutral -- like Colorado College. Ball State plans to be neutral by 2030.

    What if we beat them?

    What if we're the first carbon neutral campus in the Midwest?

    We can do it.

    Let's get started now.

    Sign this petition and ask your friends to sign it too.

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