Climate scientists fly more than other researchers, first global study suggests

Posted: October 21, 2020 by oldbrew in Accountability, climate, Critique, Emissions, research, Travel
Tags: ,

Climate conference transport


It takes more than a ‘climate emergency’ to keep climatologists on the ground. It’s almost like they don’t take their own theories seriously, although professors not travelling isn’t going to make any difference anyway. Do as they say, not as they do.
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Climate change researchers, especially professors, fly more than other researchers—but are also more likely to have taken steps to reduce or offset their flying, a new study has found.

Climate change researchers, especially professors, fly more than other researchers—but are also more likely to have taken steps to reduce or offset their flying, a new study has found.

The large, international survey of more than 1,400 university researchers was carried out by the UK Centre for Climate and Social Transformation (CAST), which is coordinated by Cardiff University, reports Phys.org.

A follow-up experiment with more than 350 researchers found that providing information about the impacts of aviation and support for workplace policies increases intentions to fly less.

The large-scale study—the first of its kind to survey climate academics about their travel for conferences, fieldwork and meetings—is published in the journal Global Environmental Change.

Director of CAST Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh, who led the study, said the findings were “unexpected” but said it also suggested “knowledge alone is not enough” to tackle global warming.

“Our findings highlight that climate scientists, like many other professionals, can struggle to square their environmental commitments with competing professional and personal demands, and academia itself is not doing enough to change this culture,” she said.

“Crucially, our research demonstrates the need for policies and ways of working to encourage and enable low-carbon travel and use of virtual alternatives—something which is already happening in light of COVID-19.

“Travel restrictions have required businesses, including universities, to replace a lot of physical travel with virtual interaction, such as online conferencing. These virtual options can be just as effective as face-to-face meetings, but at a fraction of the cost, as well as being more accessible for those with caring commitments.”

Flying is one of the most carbon-emitting actions and there have been growing calls from both within and outside the research community for scientists, and in particular climate researchers, to do more to curb their flying so their crucial message on the need to reduce aviation emissions is not undermined.

Continued here.

Comments
  1. Jamie Spry says:

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  2. Bob Tisdale says:

    “A follow-up experiment with more than 350 researchers found that providing information about the impacts of aviation and support for workplace policies increases intentions to fly less.”

    …intentions to fly less????? INTENTIONS?

    Regards,
    Bob

  3. ivan says:

    Of course they do since they know it has no bearing on the climate and the minuscule amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, but then it is always ‘do as I say not as I do’ with such people.

  4. hunterson7 says:

    Accidentally funniest phrase in the article:
    “Climate scientists, like other professionals”.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Climate change researchers, especially professors, fly more than other researchers—but are also more likely to have taken steps to reduce or offset their flying

    How does the climate know their flight has been ‘offset’?

  6. Bryan R Gregory says:

    There is an old word to describe this, it’s called hypocrisy, it’s quite common in our day, in fact, it’s increasing, don’t do as I do, do as I say. The problem is Joe average can’t see it

  7. Paul Vaughan says:

    I simply don’t fly.
    I barely drive.

    It has nothing to do with climate.
    Congestion and pollution are unbearably disgusting.

    I get grilled about why I don’t fly for travel. People hate it that I try to live locally. They see it as a flaw and try to coerce change. Some find it ridiculous and can’t even appear respectful of the choice. Some instinctively see it as abnormal and their trust falls notably.

    Observation: Lots of double-standards in western society and hypocrite leaders who won’t put the rewards where the action they called for exists naturally.

    A telling contrast:

    Local “environmentalists” were thrilled that a restaurant laid off dozens of staff when it was closed by local authorities for emitting “greenhouse gases”. The local authority owns the building and supplies no alternative to propane. MEANWHILE a big development that completely destroyed a long natural shoreline was neither noticed nor protested.

    I remember way back decades ago when it really meant something to be an environmentalist. Now if you’re a real environmentalist: “You’re on your own” — Queens of the Stone Age.

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