Should the AAG Consider Carbon Offsets as Part of Its Transition to Low-Emissions Annual Meetings?

Type: Panel
Theme:
Sponsor Groups: American Association of Geographers, Energy and Environment Specialty Group, Human Dimensions of Global Change Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 1:45 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Capitol Ballroom 3, Hyatt Regency, Fourth Floor
Organizers: John Hayes
Chairs: John Hayes

Call for Submissions

AAG 2020 CFP: Should the AAG Consider Carbon Offsets as Part of Its Transition to Low-Emissions Annual Meetings?

Call for Panelists for the AAG 2020 Annual Meeting

Session Sponsored by the AAG Council’s Climate Action Task Force and the Energy and Environment Specialty Group

Session Title: Should the AAG Consider Carbon Offsets as Part of Its Transition to Low-Emissions Annual Meetings?

Description: Concern about the considerable CO2 footprint associated with travel to and from large academic conferences is growing in light of the climate crisis. Among the proposed remedies are carbon offsets, which many champion as a way of erasing the detrimental climate impacts of air travel. Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann, for instance, characterizes them as “a viable means of decarbonizing your air travel.” At the same time, many take issue with offsetting. Kevin Anderson, a professor of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester, calls offsetting “worse than doing nothing,” “without scientific legitimacy,” and “dangerously misleading.” As the AAG seeks to dramatically reduce the CO2 emissions associated with its annual meetings—which now draw between 7,000 and 9,000 registered participants--the AAG Council’s Climate Action Task Force invites panelists to engage the debate over carbon offsets. The panel welcomes panelists who will be present in Denver as well as those who would like to participate via video conferencing.

Session co-organized by John Hayes, Salem State University and Joseph Nevins, Vassar College.

Please contact John Hayes jhayes@salemstate.edu if you have any questions or would like to participate.

References
Kevin Anderson, “The inconvenient truth of carbon offsets”, Nature, Vol. 484, April 5, 2012: 7.
Kim M. Cobb, et al., “AGU should support its members who fly less”, Eos, 99, December 7, 2018.
Richard Kim and Benjamin C. Pierce, “Carbon offsets: An overview for scientific societies”, Version 1.2, June 24, 2018 [accessed online October 15, 2019]
Michael E. Mann, “Lifestyle changes aren’t enough to save the planet. Here’s what could,” Time, September 12, 2019.
Christine Middleton, “Environmental sustainability goals drive changes in conference practices”, Physics Today, 72 (9), 29-31.
Judith T. Parrish, “Should AGU have fly-in meetings anymore?”, Eos, 98, December 21, 2017.


Description

Concern about the considerable CO2 footprint associated with travel to and from large academic conferences is growing in light of the climate crisis. Among the proposed remedies are carbon offsets, which many champion as a way of erasing the detrimental climate impacts of air travel. Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann, for instance, characterizes them as “a viable means of decarbonizing your air travel.” At the same time, many take issue with offsetting. Kevin Anderson, a professor of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester, calls offsetting “worse than doing nothing,” “without scientific legitimacy,” and “dangerously misleading.” As the AAG seeks to dramatically reduce the CO2 emissions associated with its annual meetings—which now draw between 7,000 and 9,000 registered participants--the AAG Council’s Climate Action Task Force invites panelists to engage the debate over carbon offsets. The panel welcomes panelists who will be present in Denver as well as those who would like to participate via video conferencing.



Agenda

Type Details Minutes
Introduction John Hayes Salem State University 6
Panelist Kathleen McAfee San Francisco State University 15
Panelist Lauren Gifford University of Colorado, Boulder 15
Panelist Elizabeth Shapiro-Garza Duke University 15

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