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Climate CV

Preamble

Many of us are aware of the fact that flying is one of the main contributors to the global climate breakdown. Still, many of us fly. Especially we as scientists have – ostensibly – various reasons to fly: We fly to conferences to present talks or posters, we are invited to present our work as keynote speakers, or we simply meet with fellow scientists to discuss future grant proposals. All in the knowing that this behaviour is highly problematic, resulting in a climate footprint that is beyond any scale of sustainability.

The idea of this climate CV originated from discussions in the research group “Environmental Psychology” located at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany. We invite scientists of all disciplines to think about their behaviour, and to create, provide, and discuss their own climate CV. With being transparent in our own ranks, we hope to contribute to a society that questions the necessity of flying.

We also hope to contribute to a shift in mental as well as material infrastructures that make scientific meetings more compatible with strong sustainability concerns and our meta-goal of decreasing emissions.

 

Climate CV Prof. Dr. Gerhard Reese (updated May 2019)

In line with other initiatives that address flying as a huge problem for our planet (e.g., noflyclimatesci.org), I believe that a global climate breakdown presents a dire and longlasting threat to humanity as a whole. With most forecasts painting a bleak picture of climate breakdown’s consequences, we have to change our lifestyles – both in professional and in private settings – in a way that aligns with these climatic realities. As scientists, we have committed ourselves to contribute to a society that is worth living in, a society that provides equal rights, opportunities and duties to its members. Funded primarily by the public, we as scientists have the obligation to live up to this standard.

This does not necessarily mean that we should never fly again – although the planet would certainly be grateful. Many research projects develop through personal contact with international fellow researchers (while others do not require personal acquaintance). Also, with being transparent in our own ranks, we hope to increase awareness that the impact of flying – be it professional or private – is a problematic part of our community’s lifestyle that we have to discuss critically, in public, at conferences, among colleagues and towards a society that questions the necessity of global scientific meetings. Our goal is to contribute to scientists – and people in general – making decisions against flying.

 

The 1st table lists conferences/meetings/talks/scientific stays that were travelled to by plane. Overall, 60.802km were travelled, resulting in CO2 emissions of 15.040kg. This compares to emissions from driving a mid-sized car for approximately 95.000km. The sustainable yearly climate budget for a human being is estimated to be 2.300kg.

Distance and CO2 calculations are based on google maps (Trains), www.atmosfair.org (Flights) and the Umweltbundesamt (Federal Department for the Environment, (https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/376/publikationen/180607_uba_hg_fernbus_bf.pdf).

Year

Flight

Reason

Distance

CO2 emitted

2010

FRA – Las Vegas (via Vancouver) return

2 posters at 11th Annual SPSP Conference

19512km

4805kg

2010

FRA – New Orleans (via Dallas) return

Talk at the 8th biennial SPSSI conference

18144km

4756kg

2011

Christchurch – Adelaide (return)

2 month scientific visit at Flinders University Adelaide

6216km

1352kg

2012

FRA – Chicago (direct) return

Talk at the 35th ISPP conference

14036km

3189kg

2016

FRA – London (direct) one-way

Talk at the 16th biennial ISJR conference

730km

394kg

2017

FRA – Edinburgh (direct)

return

Talk and discussant at the 40th ISPP conference

2164km

544kg

 

The 2nd table lists international conferences/meetings/talks/scientific stays that were travelled to by train. Overall, 9.760 km were travelled, resulting in CO2 emissions of 372 kg. This compares to emissions from driving a mid-sized car for approximately 2.480km. The sustainable yearly climate budget for a human being is estimated to be 2.300kg.

Year

Train

Reason

Distance

CO2 emitted

2009

JENA – LUXEMBURG

Return

Talk at the FGSP conference 2009

1060km

40kg

2016

JENA – CANTERBURY

One-way

Talk at the 16th biennial ISJR conference

1200km

45,6kg

2016

JENA – WARSAW return

Talk at the 39th ISPP conference

1700km

64,6kg

2017

LANDAU – GENEVA

return

Invited Talk at Research Colloquium

1000km

38kg

2018a

LANDAU – VIENNA

return

Scientific collaboration

1600km

60,8kg

2018b

LANDAU – VIENNA

return

Scientific collaboration

1600km

60,8kg

2019

LANDAU – VIENNA

return

Scientific collaboration

1600km

60,8kg

 

There are a number of international conferences – since 2016 – that I have not visited due to the distance and the corresponding necessity to fly.

All national conferences (i.e., within Germany) were undertaken by public transport, primarily by train. These travels will not be part of this particular CV, given that public transport within Germany is the least environmentally degrading means of long-distance travelling.

 

Personal Commitment to Climate Protection                                                                  

  • Neither I nor my wife nor our 3,5year old son own a car.
  • 99.8% Vegetarian since August 2001
  • Bank account in a sustainable & ethical bank
  • Green electricity since 2006; green heating since 2016
  • Close to 5% of yearly Net Income donated to sustainability organizations