A NASA scientist suggests that his colleagues in the climate change orbit, as it were, should consider reducing their own carbon footprint, especially given the “colossal” amount of fossil fuel they apparently burned last weekend alone. According to that scientist, Peter Kalmus, about 25,000 global warming experts attending the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting in New Orleans used 30,000 metric tons (approximately 66 million pounds) of carbon dioxide to get there and back for the event, which runs through December 15.
An AGU member and a self-described supporter of its work, Kalmus indicates that he practices what he preaches and hasn’t traveled by air for about five-plus years. In an essay published in the Guardian that expressed his own personal views, he suggested that other climate professionals need to set a better example, too.
“As scientists, our work informs us — with dreadful clarity and urgency – that burning fossil fuel is destroying the life support systems on our planet. There’s already more than enough science to know we need to stop. Yet most scientists burn more than the average American, simply because they fly more…Like academics, climate activists also tend to fly a lot. This sends its own contradictory message: if the people urging us to burn less can’t even do it, then it must be impossible…”
The atmospheric scientist who works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory suggests that high-profile individuals, in particular, could set a better example in this context.
“I’d love to see what would happen if prominent climate activists and outspoken celebrities would consciously, publicly, and radically reduce their own fossil fuel use. They could begin by flying less. Burning fossil fuel causes real harm, and will become socially unacceptable sooner or later.”
Kalmus is also part of a group proposing more online and regional meetings that would reduce air travel for environmentalists as well as additional support in that regard from universities and other institutions in which they are affiliated.
“When we make a conscious effort to contribute less to global warming, we can better communicate the urgency of the Earth system changes we’re seeing.”
On the subject of outspoken celebrities involved in the man-made global warming effort alluded to above, around the time that the United Nations named A-Lister Leonardo DiCaprio in 2014 as a Messenger of Peace with a special focus on climate change, it was revealed that he took six private jet flights in less than a two-month period, including several cross-country jaunts, the Inquisitr previously reported. It has also been reported that he often celebrates New Year’s on a luxury yacht that rents for $410,000 per week. Other well-known activists have also been known to fly privately as well as travel in gas-guzzling SUVs or limos while on the ground.
Some deniers will try to use the message, "hey Earth scientists, let's fly less," to paint us as hypocrites. However, if we own this and discuss it, and DO it, the public will see us as authentic, as well as our main scientific message: climate change is extremely serious.
— Peter Kalmus (@ClimateHuman) December 12, 2017
Parenthetically, over the objections of climate change advocates and world leaders, President Donald Trump announced on June 1 that the U.S. would exit the Paris Climate Change Agreement for economic reasons. At the same time, he indicated a willingness to renegotiate a new deal that, in his view, is fairer to the American worker and the taxpayer.