The most effective donations to combat global warming | A New Shade of Green | Sherry Listgarten | Palo Alto Online |

Local Blogs

A New Shade of Green

By Sherry Listgarten

E-mail Sherry Listgarten

About this blog: Climate change, despite its outsized impact on the planet, is still an abstract concept to many of us. That needs to change. My hope is that readers of this blog will develop a better understanding of how our climate is evolving a...  (More)

View all posts from Sherry Listgarten

The most effective donations to combat global warming

Uploaded: Dec 15, 2021
I am not able to post for the next few weeks, but I want to call your attention to Robinson Meyer's newsletter "The Weekly Planet" for The Atlantic, and in particular his recent post on "A New Estimate of the ‘Most Effective’ Way to Fight Climate Change". Meyer's writeup summarizes the recommendations of Giving Green, a non-profit initiative that uses evidence-based methods to identify the biggest "bang for your buck" donations. They zero in on policy change has having greater impact than offsets, and they use an "Importance, Tractability, and Neglectedness (ITN) framework" to determine where your financial contribution will make the most difference. In other words, they evaluate policy approaches by "their potential impact, their likelihood of happening (i.e. how solvable?), and the need for more funding in that method". Giving Green's work is transparent, grounded in science, and actionable.

'Tis the (giving) season, as they say, and I thought this might come in handy for some of you.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Fr0hickey, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Dec 15, 2021 at 12:50 pm

Fr0hickey is a registered user.

Isn't it enough to stop discretionary spending and increase retirement saving?

Posted by Alan, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on Dec 16, 2021 at 3:44 pm

Alan is a registered user.

I have been a fan of the "Center for Creative Land Recycling". It's an organization dedicated to providing expert advice on urban infill and brownfield redevelopment. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce sprawl, to increase urban density, eliminate blight, and reuse old buildings. A local example they've worked on is the development of the park at Cooley Landing in East Palo Alto - but they've had projects world-wide. It's hard to put a precise number on the CO2 reduction of what they do - so a donation can't be treated as a carbon offset - but it definitely contributes to that, along with addressing other issues. Web Link

Posted by Sherry Listgarten, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Dec 19, 2021 at 1:13 pm

Sherry Listgarten is a registered user.

Please keep posts on-topic. Thank you.

Posted by Eeyore (formerly StarSpring), a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Dec 20, 2021 at 9:26 am

Eeyore (formerly StarSpring) is a registered user.

Once again responsibility for Climate "Action" is being pushed down to the individual level. Every reputable scientific report I have read, combined with the inaction at the IPCC level implies that Climate Change is not addressable at the individual level anymore than SARS?CoV?2.

I went to downtown Mountain View last evening for some takeaway for dinner. The street was alight with towering flames from propane gas space heaters.

What part of "We don't get it" don't we get?

Posted by Annette, a resident of College Terrace,
on Dec 20, 2021 at 2:11 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Ms. Listgarten: perhaps when you return you can shed some light on a couple of issues connected to the City's S-CAP goals. The push for conversion to electric is a constant S-CAP theme. Is there an estimate for how much energy is required for our current daytime population? And for one that is 30% larger as ABAG and many developers and politicians envision? What are the sources of this energy? And what is being done to improve the reliability of the electrical grid? Theory is great, but it doesn't warm a home or heat a meal.

And what about the issue Eeyore raises about remedies being pushed down to the individual level? Palo Altans have a pretty good "Green IQ" but are individuals able to move the needle on climate change? I kinda doubt we can and I think there's a real risk that people will stop incurring the inconveniences and costs associated with electrification if more isn't required of businesses. And higher standards placed on development. Why not reward re-purposing and attach fees to plans that are heavy on demolition? And why not develop a fee schedule for development that incentivizes and rewards projects that are carbon neutral and water-neutral (or near to it)and, again, attach fees for projects that have a high environmental impact?

Is anyone currently in a position of influence watching the big picture? This is a generalization, but it seems politicians are more narrowly focused on supporting donors who help them get re-elected than they are real problem solving. No issue underscores the need for big picture thinking better than housing. We sure do need it. But what about electricity and water? And other aspects of infrastructure?

Continuing to address problems individually rather than holistically will likely only make many matters worse. Right now, I think the best big picture thinker we have is Pete Buttigieg. I sure hope there are more out there like him.

Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.



Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Pacifica’s first brewery closes its doors
By The Peninsula Foodist | 2 comments | 2,126 views

Holiday Fun in San Francisco- Take the Walking Tour for An Evening of Sparkle!
By Laura Stec | 8 comments | 1,993 views

Premiere! “I Do I Don’t: How to build a better marriage” – Here, a page/weekday
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,571 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 30 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away almost $10 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.