Solution to “Climate Crisis”: Ban scientific conferences/conventions

Guest good fracking grief by David Middleton

These people actually seem to take themselves seriously…

How to Make Academia Less Hypocritical and More Ecological

By Martín López Corredoira & Beatriz Villarroel

Science and academia in general are not only a source of knowledge but also a guide to how reason can build a better society. Although most researchers do not intend to claim an ethics for humanity, they should nevertheless set an example of behavior for the rest of the population since they symbolize the wisdom of our epoch. However, at present we observe that science and technological progress, far from being a solution, are driving one of humanity’s major problems: an ecological crisis.

A recent article referring to Sweden declares that universities and colleges account for the greatest emissions of carbon dioxide from air travel among State employees. More than half of their 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO₂) released in 2017 originated from the Ministry of Education.


Ironically, climate scientists tend to fly a lot. For instance, a weekend-long annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, whose scientists study the impact global warming is having on the Earth, was responsible for an estimated emission of 30,000 tons of CO2. The Paris meeting on global warming solutions in 2015 (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 21st session of the Conference of the Parties and the 11th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol) produced around 300,000 tons of CO2 emissions. The panorama of hypocrisy is that we have “jet-setting academics” among the highest ratio contaminators, while they exert their moral authority to demand that people in less privileged groups of our society, such as coal miners, teamsters working on oil pipelines, and mining-dependent workers sacrifice their own economic well-being to fight climate change.


Researchers have different reasons for flying, but the main one is attending conferences celebrated at great distances from their workplace. Are these congresses, symposia, workshops, schools, and meetings so important for the development of science? 


Nonetheless, one thing is clear: those who attend conferences and enjoy the benefits of prestige and networking reap higher rewards for their careers than those who do not. Hence, any measures taken regarding the problem should be taken globally for the entire scientific community because, as in all ecological solutions, sacrifices from well-intentioned minority will not save the planet, but in this case, it will harm careers of this minority.


No, for a science that aspires to be a worthy representative of wisdom and reason on Earth, there is only one solution that is acceptable for the present situation: the suppression of conferences. Not a mere slight reduction, but a total or almost total (> 95%) suppression of the number of these events. And this should be done not by appealing to the goodwill of scientists and academics, but by introducing rules/laws to govern the number of conferences. Governments, administrators, and politicians should think about it seriously, as beer-drinking with colleagues and feeding the narcissism of some researchers at conferences is an expensive luxury that we cannot afford in the times of a climate crisis.

The reality we are facing is a hard one, and it is not time to propose optimistic solutions that give false childish hopes to people about global warming while they keep their bourgeois lifestyles.


Martín López Corredoira (1970-), PhD in Physics, PhD in Philosophy. Staff researcher at Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Canary islands, Spain).

Beatriz Villarroel (1984-), PhD in astrophysics, international postdoc at the Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics (Stockholm, Sweden) and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)

Real Clear Science

Can you say Marxists?

I hadn’t planned on going to the AAPG convention this year. It’s in San Antonio… But now, I think I might just fly over there for a day next week. There’s an entire technical session on aeolian (eolian) system dynamics and there’s a lot of oil in the Norphlet formation. Maybe I’ll drive… Whichever leaves the biggest carbon footprint.

85 thoughts on “Solution to “Climate Crisis”: Ban scientific conferences/conventions

  1. “… they symbolize the wisdom of our epoch.”

    This should be appended to every picture of the college mobs.

  2. ‘How to Make Academia Less Hypocritical and More Ecological’

    Boy – they got that backwards, didn’t they?

    The ability to rationalize is almost supernatural.

      • Strangely I was reading through one of the other posts today and suddenly came to the conclusion that nuMedia (independent creators publishing and discussing whatever they feel important on blogs, video, live streams and pod casts) is in fact a realisation of the original spirt of Marxism – to give ownership of the means of production to the actual ‘workers’.

        The fact that the MSM are so against nuMedia only goes to show that while the ‘spirt’ of Marxism is power to the people, the actual objective of Marxism is to ensure that the ‘correct’ people end up in change.

        Well, it bemused me at least…

        As for Academia I don’t believe any of the people involved actually believe in the spirt and in fact would wake up screaming in the night if they ever seriously pondered the dream of letting the common people be involved in scientific discussion. Academia revolves more around the concept that Academics are vital and important and hence the state must support their vital and important study. The fact that a significant percent of this vital and important study revolves around proving how vital and important academia actually is does not enter into discussion. They have PhDs. You do not. You work the fields. They shall muse on your existence and the importance of a post-capitalist society.

        Remember, in a Worker’s Paradise you are still JUST a worker.

      • If you think academia is run on Marxist lines, you really do need to go back to primary school.

        Academia taps up its rich alumni for donations in the billions: looked at the Harvard Endoement recently? Charitable giving is not a trait of Marxism, taxation is.

        Hierarchy is strong in academia: there is no peasant class there, merely students paying a kings ransom to buy a degree. There is a free market for signing up students, especially in courses not requiring labs. Grad student, postdoc, instructor, tenure track associate right on up to tenured Professor and then on up to Dean or whetever the CEO is called around the world. Titled and status loving is what academic club membership is about.

        Salaries are like those for salesmen in the US, the grant holder gets a cut of awarded grant, like a salesmans commission. Very capitalist, eh? What do you suppose those employment contracts allowing external consultancy are about? Sounds like academics being entrepreneurs.

        Spin out companies. Academic founders get thirty percent equity pre money, minimum. Real Marxism at play there, eh? You looked recently at where the biotech revolution was fuelled? ACADEMIA.

        Just because a few trendy leftie folks have academic jobs does not mean academia is not jam packed full of status seeking, capitalist, money obsessed folks who just happen to use academia as the vehicle to get them rich….

        • I think you will find a lot of the ‘rich alumni’ are having second thoughts about giving donations to their Alma Maters.

          • Stopped giving to Drexel University in the early 2000s when they embraced the CAGW paradigm and took them of the endowment list.
            David Middleton I agree ” The Green Movement Needs Flushing” and I consume as much carbon without guilt, as I can afford it. I drive a TUNDRA never get more than 13 MPG— what a beast—meet me on the road get out of my f*cking way or you pay!!

            CARBON BIGFOOT

  3. Let he who would make a living by the climate crisis have his conference boondoggle die by the climate crisis.

    I am NOT holding my breath hoping the next COP will be cancelled.

  4. “Nonetheless, one thing is clear: those who attend conferences and enjoy the benefits of prestige and networking reap higher rewards for their careers than those who do not.”

    This quote completely explains the reason for climate alarmism. For the last several decades, a bunch of professors and other academics who merely study climate without any hope of actually experimenting on it in a scientific manner, realized that driving up the fear of global warming could give them prestige, research grants, travel packages, and who knows what other benefits. All these conferences and other jet-setting adventures were the desired outcome of their efforts- not an undesirable byproduct of it.

  5. Ah, thank you for leaving the biggest carbon footprint. Carbon dioxide is the basis of all life on land. Thank you for more plants and trees and herbivores and food.

  6. I used to tell my students that if they are really concerned about the climate to plant a tree. The benefits are as follows:

    1. It gets them off their asses.
    2. It gets their faces out of their damned phones.
    3. It shows them what actual work entails.
    4. It gives them that warm, fuzzy feeling that they crave so deeply.
    5. It provides an actual benefit for the environment.

    Needless to say, I didn’t get many takers, and I actually gave them the trees, White Oak or American Chestnut.

    • I thought American Chestnuts were still vunerable to the infestation. They sprout, they grow, but then die early rather than as “mature adults”

      • I have two healthy American Chestnuts on my own property. There are trees out there that appear to be resistant to the blight. Apparently I have some that produced 20 pounds of chestnuts last year. Some of them i turn into new trees.

      • There are trees in the western US, isolated by distance from the rest, that are old.

        Meanwhile, an effort** is on-going via (a) crossbreeding, and now (b) gene-technology, to
        replant (and teach people how to use) a tree that closely resembles the native/natural one.
        When I was young (western Pennsylvania) the dead Chestnuts provided homes for Grey Squirrels and the Shagbark Hickory provided food. Squirrels and Hickory nuts were consumed by the locals.

        **There is controversy about using (b).

    • Why anyone would purposely plant a white oak when there are so many better trees is beyond me.

      • White oaks are magnificent trees. It is these trees that the hull of the USS Constitution is constructed. WTF is your problem?

      • ????
        There are “better trees”?

        White oaks live for centuries and provide bountiful acorn crops at leas bi-annually that are important foods for wildlife.

        Admittedly, American chestnut trees are definitely trees worth planting. Only, try and find a vendor who supplies live blight resistant 100% American Chestnuts; or at least American chestnut trees crossbred to maximize similarity to American chestnut trees appearances and nut production.

      • Why anyone would purposely plant a white oak when there are so many better trees is beyond me.

        Mr. Beam in Kentucky begs to differ.

      • I don’t know if it was planted on purpose or not, but I appreciate the 70 footer in my back yard.

        The leaves aren’t as much of a problem as the big leaf maples or the pin oaks, or the walnuts, or even the plum trees. It doesn’t continuously drop needles and kill everything under it like the firs and the cedar and the laurel.

        It’s big enough and open enough that anything can grow under it.

        As I don’t have any madrone, it is my favorite.

        I wouldn’t plant one for myself, but in planning for future, and others, I can think of a few reasons to plant them.

    • Let them plant an Araucaria araucana, aka monkey puzzle tree, that’s the cutting edge of hands-on climate saving, literally.

      • We had a monkey puzzle tree in our front yard. It’s a miserable tree. You needed to wear a suit of armor just to look at it. We had it removed–professionally, and replaced it with a flowering dogwood. Years later, I still run across its leaves pigeonholed around the yard.


    • I planted four American Chestnuts on my land two years ago. Two died rather quickly, but the other two are flourishing. The breeds available today are resistant to the chestnut blight I’m determined to bring as many of these wonderful trees back as possible.

  7. “Beatriz Villarroel (1984-), PhD in astrophysics, international postdoc at the Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics (Stockholm, Sweden) and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)”

    The Swedes are known for their love of flying to the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands to get some sunshine. And then living on a Spanish island 800 miles from Spain involves lots of air miles.
    I suppose Beatriz is intending her air travel admonitions for The Little People. You know everyone outside her elitist circle.

    Just more reason why the climate change scam needs to be ignored.

    • So… It’s a Douglas Adams sort of thing?

      Governments, administrators, and politicians should think about it seriously, as beer-drinking with colleagues and feeding the narcissism of some researchers at conferences is an expensive luxury that we cannot afford in the times of a climate crisis.

      “Many respectable physicists said that they weren’t going to stand for this — partly because it was a debasement of science, but mostly because they didn’t get invited to those sort of parties.”

      ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

      • Not sure David, never read H.G.G.

        These two could be saying put up or shut up. Many of us say the same.
        They use the warmest buzz words right back at them.
        The warmest want to regulate everyone’s lives, so why should they be exempt? These two, they argue that laws must be passed by a government body which would restrict and control the travel of climate scientists.
        They are putting the warmests on the spot, if it is not a big enough threat that climate scientists accept draconian restrictions then why should anyone else.

        But yeah it could simple be envy, jealousy. But the enemy of my enemy is my friend… for now.


      • That’s what I thought of when I read that sentence.

        Then there’s this sentence:

        “those who attend conferences and enjoy the benefits of prestige and networking reap higher rewards for their careers than those who do not”

        As if simply walking into the door of a conference furthers your career, no effort necessary, just drink some beers and smile and next thing you know you’ll be running a fortune 500 company. It’s classic cult of zero worship mentality, W.O.R.K. is a foreign concept to them.

    • It should also be illegal to cuss on TV. I dunno, is the Jon Oliver show on a broadcast or cable channel?

  8. In theory, every scholar only needs to be connected to the internet. There’s no need to be in the physical presence of other scholars. That’s the theory. Reality is different.

    The sad truth is that people are tribal. link Conferences are important because they’re good places to bond with the rest of the tribe.

      • LOL. Adam Smith had something to say about that.

        People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. link

  9. I could see a point to this if CO2 was a problem but, as it isn’t, there is no problem with flying. It is the hypocrisy of it all that is the annoyance.

    • Whilst there is no problem with them flying to enjoy junkets, there will certainly become more of a problem with YOU flying, for whatever reason you may have. They, being heroes, are saving the world from certain destruction, whilst you, on the other hand, are merely being selfish, so must be stopped.

      It is all quite clear.

  10. The only surprise is that it’s taken 20 years for one of those Marxists to have this through rattle around their brain.

    Though this would only be the first step, to create a faux moral hammer (with a hidden sickle). This hammer would then be turned on concerts, tech conventions, and all manner of other events that people travel to gather at.

    The Marxists want us all to be carry carriers, not party membership cards, carbon allowance cards.

    • And all gas masks converted to co2 exhalation meters. Hold your breath, or pay for it.

  11. “Climate Alarmists are hypocrites, news at 11. In other news, water is declared to be wet!”

    These chuckleheads have been doom-saying since I was an infant and none of it has come true. The late George Carlin was right, these people don’t give a rip about the planet in the abstract. They have narrow, unenlightened self-interest. And in the case of the “scientists/academics”, politicians and others, pure venality.

  12. If you can’t ban the use of fossil fuels in something like academia, what hope is there for banning the use of fossil fuels in industries that actually make stuff?

    I challenge activists who have such a goal to try to apply it in academia, and not even all of academia. Just this little corner of it called climate science. Make it work there, then expand it to the rest of academia. This corner of the world is the most advantageous you could possibly hope for. They don’t make anything, and it’s simply sick with True Believers in the Great Cause. And if you can’t make it work there, then that should be informative.

  13. Having run two different divisions budget for a decade, how three biggest expenses was salary, benefits and travel. Our Legislature hated that the state employees traveled to so many conference. Several times, even when we had a good budget, we had to dramatically restrict the number of people attending conferences. I can tell you modern scientists do not like being restricted from going to conferences. Had a grievance filed against me when I reject someone who was late asking and was over our allowed attendees.

    I also ran grants programs, incoming and outgoing. While we certainly wanted the final results to be published or presented somewhere we had to be careful reviewing project budgets. PIs might put in money their budget request for several conferences or some international conference costing a lot of money. They were always angry when we said you can go to one conference and it had to be domestic.

  14. All of these scientific conferences and meetings can be held on the Internet. The technology is already in place to do this. However, there is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and there is plenty of scientific rationale to support the idea that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero.

    • The technology exists.

      But a lot of the school are state schools.

      State schools have strict guidelines for big purchases, like video-conferencing and supporting bandwidth.

      By time a budget request gets in the budget, gets drafted, gets posted for bids, has contract in place, and clears the time frame for installation, guess how much time has gone by.

      About 2 generations of technology.

      • State schools have strict guidelines for big purchases, like video-conferencing and supporting bandwidth.

        The audience from any given university is going to be relatively small. It’s not a big purchase. It doesn’t require any more bandwidth than your typical residential Internet connection. If you’re the presenter there are streaming services that will do the heavy lifting for very reasonable price. I did our new corporate conference room with a 75″ 4K TV with computer, camera, and Bluetooth keyboard and mouse for less that $2,500. It can easily accommodate 30 people. I don’t doubt that most universities already have suitably equipped conference rooms already on campus.

  15. Academia- “the wisdom of our epoch…a guide to how reason can build a better society…”

    Ivory Tower anyone? Several of my recent comments have touched on the explosive population of PhDs and the fact that prior to the 50s fewer than 3 to 5% of the population even went for a university educ. In 2017, 67% of US highschool completers went immediately to colleges and universities, 44% into 4 year type, and 23% into 2yr programs. The 67% doesnt include the significant additional number that waited a year or more before deciding to enroll!

    It’s an inescapable fact that enrollment must be dipping substantially into the sub 100 IQ population.

    I raised this point in noting that much of the “research” being done by PhD candidates is so trivial and undemanding of other than the shallowest levels of thought and workload. The Australian climate scientist who was awarded the big degree for a statistics lite determination that the Hadcrut temperature series had some innacuracies …the fellow in UK who used a population of 20 persons to evaluate changing tv watching habits …

    To characterize a totally corrupted academia as a guide to anything or a source of wisdom for society is a worlds apart disconnect.

  16. The authors are making the valid point that people should live by their own principles. They’re saying exactly what has been said here many times — that large overseas scientific conferences have large carbon footprints, and that probably most of those scientists profess concern about CO2 levels. In fact what they wrote would fit right in here on WattsUpWithThat. That it’s being criticized here is strange. Good for the authors to break from the ranks and upbraid their peers for disassociative behaviour — if you’re going to preach green, act green is their point. It’s targetted at that audience and not at skeptics.

  17. The real joke was the last one in Poland. WUWT had a post on how many attended from each country. Guinea had the most with about 500. They must have more pressing climate change to deal with.

  18. Unsaid:

    And if we are serious enough about stopping climate change that we are willing to ban these conferences, which we all agree are concerning the most important issue ever to face the human race, then imagine how much more serious we will be about BANNING ANY OTHER CONFERENCES OR GATHERINGS WE DEEM TO BE A DANGER.

  19. The crafty Swedes have invented a phrase for airborne guilt; “Shame of Flying” (Flygskam). Swedish academics nod and wag their heads in shame and arrive at the conference fresh and sin-forgiven.

  20. “Science and Academia… symbolize the wisdom of our epoch. “ Meeting many of these people has demonstrated to me that knowledge and wisdom are not the same.

  21. It’s not a crisis. It’s a dilemma. A conundrum. The obvious good of heating people’s houses and growing and transporting food, versus possible environmental damage by 2 degrees of warming. Most of the general population are on the “heating-my-house-is-good” side without needing to have climate expertise.

    • And while philosophizing, most of the plants, insects, trees, and animals of the world are likely on the “a-couple-of-degrees-warmer-is-nicer” side of the dilemma, also without needing any climate expertise.
      And the general population fully realize that “climate scientists” can’t really proclaim “no problem” or they are out of a job.

  22. Drive.
    A passenger on a commercial liner achieves a fuel efficiency in the realm of 80 – 100mpg.

  23. Wait a minute here….have the Progressives in the USA seen the attendees list?

    I count only two genders acknowledged….what happened to the counts of other genders (61??) in attendance?

  24. David M,

    Of course their suggestions are stupid, but I feel that you took them too seriously.

    How many times here at WUWT have we pointed out the hypocrisy of climate alarmists?

    I see these guys doing the same thing that we do here. I support their words. They are so outrageous that they force academics spouting climate doom messages to look at themselves in the mirror. “Put up, or shut up,” as one commentator wrote.

    If climate scientists want to really get serious about their warnings, then they need to do some serious lifestyle changes, … like NOT flying. I would add that they need to stop driving to their university jobs, stop using credit cards, stop using air conditioning and heating, … hey, maybe just stop breathing.

    Yeah, stop breathing — think I’ll write a stupid article about how climate scientists should just stop breathing — that would quieten the messages of doom a bit, wouldn’t it.

      • It can be tough sometimes, David, when the target of your sarcasm has long since become an unknowing a self-parody – as many in the alarmist camp have.

      • Yeah, David M, … more smiley faces, I suppose.

        My bad — I obviously had a moment of sarcasm density — too much CO2 in the room, I guess — I had to close the windows, because the whether here took a turn towards a cool spell.

  25. Two people with Ph.D.’s in physics, Martín López Corredoira and Beatriz Villarroel, and neither one can figure out that climate model with about 100 W/m^2 of error, is unable to resolve the impact of a 0.035 W/m^2 annual perturbation.

    It’s ludicrous.

    I was going to ask when physicists became so mush-brained. But we know when.

    It was in 1995, or thereabouts, when the physics establishment let Ben Santer get away with his lie in the IPCC SAR, and then stood silently by while the eco-yahoos proceeded to assassinate the character of Frederick Seitz for his protesting the lie.

    Ludicrous? Yes.

    Shameful? Even more so.

  26. It reminds me of “”Animal Farm, “We are all equal, but some are far more

    Forget all about CO2, that just the excuse , or if political, then its clearly a
    smoke screen for World Government, i.e. Communism.

    It reminds me of our politicians and one of their many perks.

    Fact finding. So despite the internet, despite the consuls or embuses in other countries who could supply any meaningful facts, the politicians want to go on these fact finding trips.

    Of course they tend to occur more frequently as our winter approaches, and the Northern Hemisphere summer is coming in.

    One of the local trips was written up as he wished to inspect bridges, yes
    he did as he drove over them at 100 km, ( 60 mph) .

    They get away with it because every politician enjoys such taxpayers
    holidays. So the same goes for all of the academics, its “Someone
    else’s money””.


  27. Networking and glad handing at conferences is a lousy excuse for attending conferences.

    Hearing presentations that are easily read at one’s workstation or commuting to/from work makes little sense when telecommunications/Skype/Video are effective direct communication venues.

    Nor is attending conferences at hot vacation spots conducive to conducting any business.

    Yeah, putting doughnuts or sandwiches and coffee into a conference room quickly attracts attendees; only those attendees quickly disappear as soon as the coffee and foods are gone.
    Nor does one expect those transient attendees to actually remember what they heard while consuming foods and gossiping with their friends.

    And yes, I have been measured and judged based on education I might have received during the past year; education that means conferences or training sessions.
    Sorry, after enduring “Communications for Managers” three times, I chose the conferences.
    That communications class was just one of the ‘approved’ training courses by our HR that ignored employees attending the same course repetitively.
    I lost count of Ethics courses that we were required to take every time an executive was caught doing something illicit.
    Meanwhile, failure to list recent conference attendance gives interviewers that the job candidate tries to stay ‘up-to-date’.

    Tie in a true rewards mechanism for awards/grants/college/graduate research papers; i.e. one that penalizes use of waffle words, bad mathematics, gross assumptions, conclusions impossible to replicate, etc. etc.
    All factors that allow the current charade of bad science to afflict multiple branches of science.

    I vote for banning attending annual or quarterly conferences.

  28. Planning on attending with clear conscious, if not just to take a victory lap on Guyana.

  29. Actually … the students of said universities cause more CO2 emissions as they travel back and forth to their homes far away.

  30. Why don’t they just order us all to emigrate to the tropics and live in straw huts?

  31. Well, both sides jet off to conferences.

    However, I noted several years ago that the “Evil Denialists” hold theirs in Las Vegas in the middle of the friggin’ summer. “Upright Climate Scientists” on the other hand, sip their Mai Tais while lounging on the beach in Bali.

    The correctness of our positions is unassailable, but our sanity is sometimes rather doubtful…

  32. As Mike the Morlock says, this is surely satire on the part of Corredoira and Villaroel. If so, it is nicely judged. If it really is not satire, then of course let the fun continue.

  33. ha ha. youse climate deniers give me the lolz.
    Here we have academics responding to the climate emergency and all you can do is mock and nit pick.
    When was the last time anyone here refused to fly half way across the world for a free holiday and a lobster dinner ? I thought not
    These brave men and women are showing you the way. be respectful.
    And whats wrong with Marx? by far the greatest man of recent generations, a paragon and beacon. Harpo was good as well, although he never got many good lines

    • When was the last time anyone here refused to fly half way across the world for a free holiday and a lobster dinner ? I thought not

      I’d love to be invited to a free holiday and a lobster dinner. Sign me up. Oh wait, I’m not one of these elite academics, so (like the rest of the peasants) I’ll never be given the opportunity to refuse because I’ll never be offered. Free flights and lobster dinners for thee but not for me.

  34. “…there is only one solution that is acceptable for the present situation: the suppression of conferences. Not a mere slight reduction, but a total or almost total (> 95%) suppression of the number of these events.”

    I’d agree with that but make it >97%. That’s much more relevant in a climate science context.

  35. “Researchers have different reasons for flying” – but mostly it’s because they get to claim it on expenses

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