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The carbon footprint of academic conference travel

The latest IPCC report on climate change worries me deeply – I can’t ignore the alarm bells this international panel of scientists have set off. Generally, I try to be make environmentally friendly choices: I eat plants, I walk my commute, I buy second hand clothes and furniture as much as possible, my kid is in cloth diapers, I recycle as much as possible etc etc. But the elephant in the room for my lifestyle is my traveling. I used to get excited about the opportunity of going to a conference halfway around the world. Now, I worry about the carbon footprint of my trip.

So I ran a poll on Twitter to see if I’m the only one – and I learned we as academics have heard the alarm set off by our fellow scientists. Now let’s go one step further and take direct action in our teaching and our profession (how? I am still trying to figure that out!). Here’s the poll and its wake:

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