A NASA expert says that climate change campaigners actually made the problem worse – emitting 30,000 tonnes of CO2 by flying to an American conference.
Peter Kalmus of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory criticised his colleagues for their hypocrisy – and did not attend himself.
More than 25,000 scientists flew to New Orleans for the annual American Geophysical Union’s meeting.
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Kalmus stopped air travel entirely after he calculated his own carbon footprint from travelling 50,000 miles to scientific conferences.
Along with 400 other colleagues, he’s signed a petition calling for scientists to meet remotely via the web, or to travel to regional meetings instead.
Kalmus wrote in the Guardian: ‘In becoming scientists, we didn’t sign up to burn less fossil fuel or to be activists.
‘But in the case of Earth science, we have front row seats to an unfolding catastrophe.
‘Because of this, the public takes our temperature: if the experts don’t seem worried, how bad can it be?
‘Burning fossil fuel causes real harm, and will become socially unacceptable sooner or later.’