We are all so surprised by this, aren’t we?

Scientists who specialise in climate change fly more than other researchers, according to a study by Cardiff University that has prompted calls for them “to look in the mirror” before demanding that others cut emissions.

Climate scientists take about five flights a year on average for work while other researchers take four. Climate professors catch nine flights a year compared with eight for all professors.

Even when trips for fieldwork were removed from the comparison, climate scientists still flew more than scientists from other disciplines.

The difference could be that climate scientists attend more international conferences, according to Lorraine Whitmarsh, an environmental psychologist and lead author of the study.

Such conferences never, ever, taking place in Nome in December, or Dhaka during the monsoon or – nope, always in places convenient for whores and good restaurants jet travel

19 thoughts on “We are all so surprised by this, aren’t we?”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    I’ll bet there’s a huge amount of Moral Licensing going on with those climate scientists.

  2. “Such conferences never, ever, taking place in Nome in December”

    As you always say, incentives matter.

  3. Nine flights a year for a climate professor?
    So that makes me, pre-Covid at least, around and about three professors.

    Stop sniggering.

  4. It’s exactly the same with the footsoldiers. Every single middle class climate bore I meet has flown more recently than I have; none has got rid of their gas boiler; all seem to have newer mobile phones and electronic stuff. The only area where their preaching is not hypocritical is my faithful old diesel car, and even that is because I bought it when diesel was actually meant to be better for the planet.

  5. JuliaM,

    Honestly, I don’t even know why people do conferences, zoom or otherwise. Why insist on time synchronisation when you don’t need it in the age of the Web and YouTube?

    Make videos, write articles and share them. Use email, zoom, slack for the conversation that follows.

    Ok,i know why people do conferences. Because the company is paying and its 2 days out the office seeing Barcelona and Amsterdam (which is why you never see freelancers at these things), but shouldn’t business be stopping it? Give the guys a night of cocaine and hookers at the local gentleman’s club instead?

  6. Sam Vara,

    Diesels are better for the planet. It’s a localised pollution problem, and mostly about concentration of traffic in cities being bad for air quality. If you’re driving a diesel in the Brecon Beacons, you’re driving with Gaia.

    And yeah, people who buy Macs that are really hard to repair, and then tell you about Apple being so pro-recycling. If you get something like a Thinkpad, it’s easy to repair, so you can keep it a long time.

  7. BoM4,

    And if you eschew all laptops, and work with a desktop, not only is it much more repairable, you can upgrade it incrementally*. It is likely to be faster, not need frequent recharging, have a larger screen, etc etc – and under certain circumstances is less liable to theft. It also encourages you not to fly off anywhere.

    *Unless it is a Mac, of course.

    PS. Do people who expose themselves on the internet do it via a dirty Mac?

  8. Excavator Man,

    “And if you eschew all laptops, and work with a desktop, not only is it much more repairable, you can upgrade it incrementally*. It is likely to be faster, not need frequent recharging, have a larger screen, etc etc – and under certain circumstances is less liable to theft. It also encourages you not to fly off anywhere.”

    In general, yes. My PC has reached a point I’m getting a new one, but I’ve added wireless card, graphics card, more memory and switched from HDD to SSD with this old thing over the years. Switching to Ryzen and reading about replacing the mobo makes me think it’s easier to just get a new one (plus, I’ll screw up the switches, so someone else can do that). I can carry over a few things from the old.

  9. I had a 3.5 litre V8 Rover in the early eighties, it did about 21mpg. My current SUV is a 2 litre intercooled turbo diesel which has more space, better performance and does about 42mpg. As I see it, my diesel is better for me.

  10. My favourite climate statistic is that the internets release about twice the carbon dioxide of the entire global commercial aviation industry. Greenies can stick that up their netflix.

  11. “My favourite climate statistic is that the internets release about twice the carbon dioxide of the entire global commercial aviation industry. Greenies can stick that up their netflix.”

    That’s not really the right comparison. It’s using the internet vs the alternative. Doing a video conference with someone in Poland vs me flying out to Poland. Streaming a video from Netflix vs driving to Blockbuster. Getting Amazon to deliver a parcel vs driving to town.

    Total UK petrol consumption peaked in 2007. Maybe there’s a bit about more efficient engines, but I think it’s also people just driving less because of all this internet stuff.

  12. I’m not sure I care when it’s good for baiting greenies. We had no internets at all not so long ago. Flying, because it’s something that “other people” do, “the rich” do, is one of their favourite targets. There’s no point contending with these people that it’s utterly negligible, and probably some of the best value carbon emissions we have, they don’t do numbers and logic.

    But “you streaming crappy TV shows sautees more polar bears than all the flying in the world does”? That hits home.

  13. “WTF is an ”environmental psychologist”?”

    From what I can puzzle together from dutch uni offerings ( no doubt the UK has similar offerings in basket-weaving) : a sociologist, possibly having a major/sideline in psychology, who managed to jump on the “Environment” bandwagon.

    Usually I’d say: lion pit fodder, but I pity the lions in this case. They run a risk of indigestion..
    Maybe rabid badgers?

  14. Grikath: specifically, rabid honey badgers. That’s the solution when Steve’s Lions™ really aren’t up to the job.

  15. ‘Scientists who specialise in climate change fly more than other researchers’

    Well, yeah. When you make your living off ‘climate change,’ you need to keep it going.

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