[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT:
In this paper we address the consumption of energy by astronomers while performing their professional duties. Although we find that astronomy uses a negligible fraction of the US energy budget, the rate at which energy is consumed by an average astronomer is similar to that of a typical high-flying businessperson. We review some of the ways in which astronomers are already acting to reduce their energy consumption. In the coming decades, all citizens will have to reduce their energy consumption to conserve fossil fuel reserves and to help avert a potentially catastrophic change in the Earth's climate. The challenges are the same for astronomers as they are for everyone: decreasing the distances we travel and investing in energy-efficient infrastructure. The high profile of astronomy in the media, and the great public interest in our field, can play a role in promoting energy-awareness to the wider population. Our specific recommendations are therefore to 1) reduce travel when possible, through efficient meeting organization, and by investing in high-bandwidth video conference facilities and virtual-world software, 2) create energy-efficient observatories, computing centers and workplaces, powered by sustainable energy resources, and 3) actively publicize these pursuits.