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Decarbonising academia: confronting our climate hypocrisy

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Abstract

Academia is generally carbon intensive. Many academics are highly aeromobile to an extent that is now being framed as a form of ‘climate hypocrisy’. Technological advances are not enough to reduce the negative impacts of flying, and behaviour change is needed. As tourism academics our knowledge of the industry means that we have a greater than average responsibility to show leadership, and yet currently will remain responsible for a disproportionate amount of carbon emissions. At individual and societal levels, we morally disengage from the significance of our impacts and exonerate ourselves with worthy causes, we absolve ourselves from personal responsibility, we disregard the impacts at the destination, and we discredit those impinging on our “rights” to fly. It is time for academic institutions to take responsibility and for academics to show leadership in the sector by auditing our own impacts, reducing them within our current institutional constraints, and envisaging and experimenting with low carbon business models that make us proud of being part of a sustainable solution, and not just reporting how unsustainable everyone else’s behaviour is.

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... Internal pressure comes from academics, especially those working on climate change, who are moving to reduce their quantity of flying and compel others to do the same. These academics are in part motivated by a fear of being accused of 'climate hypocrisy' for expressing concern about carbon emissions but continuing to fly (Dolsak & Prakash, 2018;Higham & Font, 2020). In October 2015, 56 scholars from more than 12 countries petitioned institutions and academics to reduce flying-related emissions (Academic Flying, 2015). ...
... Pressure for change is also emerging inside academia. Climate scientists report feeling dissonance about working at institutions that lack carbon reduction goals (Higham & Font, 2020) and worry about losing their credibility if they fly (Sparkman & Attari, 2020). Some academics encourage colleagues to travel by train or bicycle (Delmestri, 2019), and journal editors call on peers to fly less (Nature Nanotechnology, 2019). ...
... If academics fly less, the primary gain would be reduced or eliminated carbon emissions from academia, helping prevent additional negative climate change impacts, protecting institutions from negative reputation effects from being targeted by decarbonisation advocates and protecting academics from charges of climate hypocrisy (Dolsak & Prakash, 2018;Higham & Font, 2020). Shifting away from flyout culture would also enable academics to align their personal carbon values and commitments with those of their profession, perhaps increasing work satisfaction and productivity. ...
Chapter
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Flight is technologically and culturally central to academic life. Academia’s flyout culture is built on a set of shared beliefs and values about the importance of flying to being an academic. But flight also generates a large proportion of academia’s carbon emissions, posing a cultural challenge to flight’s ongoing importance. In this chapter, we assess the underlying values animating flyout culture and examine how those values might change as universities respond to pressures to decarbonise operations. We approach this analysis in four parts. First, we identify six values that support flyout culture—values of ideas, efficiency, quality, evaluation, recreation and status. Second, we discuss how each value will be affected by four modes of decarbonisation: carbon offsets; shifting travel modes; centralised, infrequent or slow conferencing; and virtual communication. Third, we consider new values that may emerge as universities decarbonise: values of localism, climate concern, emissions transparency and verification. Finally, we discuss inertia that will resist change and optimism about how academia can realign its operations and culture with a liveable climate. As decarbonisation pressures grow, the interplay of cultural dimensions will determine if such efforts succeed or fail.
... Under this lens, we see HAEs as academic workers who enjoy a degree of polyvalent, context-dependent privilege, and whose mobility is seemingly restricted only by available funding and time resources (Higham & Font, 2020). In this article, we attest that there is a need to contest and imagine alternatives to the practice of academic hypermobility. ...
... There is considerable evidence showing that those connected with academia perceive academic mobility as a crucial component to advancement, especially for scholars (Glover et al., 2017;Ackers, 2008;Le Quéré et al., 2015). Academic mobility in the form of travels such as field research and conference participation remains an expectation for and perceived right by many HAEs; despite this, it is unequivocally a source of significant negative environmental impacts (Higham & Font, 2020;Arsenault et al., 2019;Fox et al., 2009;Reay, 2003;Burian, 2018;Burke, 2010). Unfortunately, the environmental impacts of academic workers' mobility are often under examined or ignored, both in the literature and in the everyday lives of scholars (Arsenault et al., 2019). ...
... According to Burian (2018), traveling by air remains one of the most carbonintensive activities an individual can undertake in terms of emissions, and "academic researchers are among the highest emitters, primarily as a result of emissions from flying to conferences, project meetings, and fieldwork" (Le Quéré et al., 2015). This is what is meant by the terms "hypermobility" and "hypermobile academics" (Glover et al., 2017;Higham & Font, 2020). Implicating more than just teaching faculty, Fox et al. (2009) found that academic workers in a variety of roles are highly mobile and reliant on air travel as they conduct a range of activities including networking, research, training, managerial tasks, and fundraising. ...
Article
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Examining the hypermobility of many "elite" academic workers, this article situates mobility within the context of higher education and sustainability, decoloniality, and institutionalized expectations for academic travel. The mobility of HEI workers is described in relation to Anthropogenic climate change (ACC), which highlights the need for: (a) critical examination of and responses to the carbon footprint of academic workers; (b) exerting pressure to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) production associated with expected mobility; and (c) deliberate changes to professional mobility approaches that take into account issues of equity vis-à-vis knowledge production, the effects of ACC, and GHG production from academic air travel. We offer an instrument-in the form of queries-to provide starting points for individual deliberations and collective actions to begin addressing these three issue areas.
... Especially in social milieus in which sustainability plays a pivotal role, allegedly unsustainable consumer behaviors, such as eating meat, have already become morally reprehensible (Šedová & Slovák, 2016). The recent upcoming of the term "flying shame" (Higham & Font, 2020) suggests that similar trends enter the social mainstream, turning the vision of sustainability into a social norm. While this form of social control might carry a potential for avoiding unsustainable behavioral patterns (Ekardt, 2017), it can also lead to psychological reactance, describing a motivational arousal to offers, persons, rules, or regulations that threaten or eliminate specific behavioral freedoms (Brehm, 1966). ...
... As they argue, a First, dealing with current unsustainability necessarily confronts individuals with their own unsustainable consumer behaviors as causes for sustainability-related problems. As extensively outlined in the previous section, such a confrontation is likely to prompt feelings of guilt or shame among individuals (Frank, 2017;Tam, 2019;Higham & Font, 2020). If the individual feels unable to change or is motivated to continue with their behavior, it is likely that they will try to dissolve the unpleasant emotional state by repressing, neutralizing, or rationalizing information related to the impact of one's actions (Chatzidakis et al., 2007;Gregory-Smith et al., 2013;Mandel et al., 2017). ...
Article
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Purpose Despite advances in Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) scholarship and practice, ESE has not yet contributed to mitigate the sustainability-related problems it is meant to remedy. As part of an explanation, some scholars have argued that current ESE scholarship and practice overemphasizes intellectual and neglects (intra-)personal competencies as envisaged learning outcomes of ESE learning programs and activities. To date, however, such personal competencies have not been systematically specified in terms of the challenges they are meant to respond to. This paper aims to derive personal competencies from an analysis of inner challenges individuals face when engaging with the cause of sustainable consumption. Design/methodology/approach The study is conceptual and proceeds in two steps: In the first step, it analyzes existing research on challenges individuals experience when intending to change their consumer behavior and engaging in consumption-related learning activities. In a second step, a set of personal competencies for sustainable consumption are derived from the analysis of challenges. Based on the set of competencies, suggestions for future research empirically corroborating the reflections of this paper are made. Findings The discussion of challenges indicates that both sustainable consumption and consumption-related learning activities can come along with a series of affective-motivational challenges. In contrast to established competency frameworks, personal competencies emphasize the importance of affective-motivational learning outcomes instead of intellectual ones. They are defined here as abilities, proficiencies or skills related to inner states and processes that can be considered necessary to engage with the cause of sustainability. Personal competencies responding to the inner challenges of engaging with sustainable consumption include ethics, self-awareness, emotional resilience, self-care, access to and cultivation of ethical qualities and mindsets for sustainability. Research limitations/implications Given that this paper is conceptual, further research is needed to empirically inquire into the importance of personal competencies for sustainable consumption and corroborate the provided reflections. Furthermore, the study has not responded to some of the concerns a few ESE experts have expressed concerning the concept of (intra-)personal competencies more generally. To address these concerns, future research should be dedicated to empirically validating and operationalizing personal competencies, eventually leading to tools allowing for a systematic assessment of these competencies. Based on such assessment tools, pedagogical formats should be elaborated and evaluated with regard to their potential to stimulate personal sustainability competencies. Originality/value The concept of personal competencies explicitly acknowledges that current unsustainability is associated with the experience of inner, affective-motivational challenges. ESE learning programs and activities should prepare learners for these challenges. However, a specification of these inner challenges and corresponding personal competencies has not yet been undertaken. The set of personal competencies outlined in this paper can serve as a first starting point for specifying personal sustainability competencies and makes a case why their consideration is important when it comes to designing and evaluating ESE learning programs and activities.
... In the face of the climate crisis, however, academics' infatuation with flying may increasingly come across as odd, or even absurd-not to say irresponsible (see e.g. Klöwer et al., 2020;Higham & Font, 2020). How can academics carry on their jet-set lifestyle, when, every day, the world grows more conscious of the changes needed to avert catastrophic global warming? ...
... That is the basic question we want to raise with this book, and it is a question which we believe is now more timely than ever (see Higham & Font, 2020). While some of the problems with 'academic tourism' were pointed out quite a while ago (see Høyer & Naess, 2001), a wider discussion about academic flying-its reasons and purposes, its consequences and ethics-has only recently begun to form. ...
Chapter
In this introduction, we note how academic work has come to be ever more closely entwined with air travel, and point out that we, in the face of climate crisis, are obliged to transition to other means of academic communication. Such a transition requires a reliable documentation of the consequences of academic flying; a deep understanding of the various reasons why academics fly; as well as sophisticated insight into what can replace flying and how. The introduction explores these themes first through David Lodge’s novels Changing Places and Small World, and then explains how the book’s chapters follow up the research agenda on academic aeromobility, as well as how this agenda can contribute to practical change.
... A move towards virtual conferences, such as TCs, means that efforts to decarbonize academia can be shared more equally across the global community of researchers. This allows academics to set a good example for collective, rather than individual, efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (Higham & Font 2020). Finally, the considerable reach of tweets that are part of TCs shows that it is possible to share research with both other researchers and the public without travelling, supporting previous conclusions that travel should not be, and is not, an essential element of academic success (Wynes et al. 2019). ...
... Finally, one critical consideration is how F2F events and virtual conferences, including TCs, will co-exist in the future. It is important that virtual conferences are not simply added on to the expectation of attending F2F conferences, further increasing the workload of academics (see discussions on 'co-presence' in Higham & Font, 2020). Instead, virtual conferences will need partially to replace F2F events. ...
Article
Academic conferences play an important role in the scientific community by providing an opportunity for researchers to discuss their work and to network. However, drawbacks of traditional face‐to‐face (F2F) conferences, such as the ostensible exclusion of non‐scientists, the substantial environmental footprint, and the large costs in terms of both time and money are increasingly being recognized. As a result, alternative and complementary formats are being explored. One of these is the Twitter conference (TC), in which research is presented and discussed on the social media platform Twitter. Here, we use hashtag and presenter data from several ornithology and ecology conferences (both TCs and F2F events) to explore the potential reach of the tweets and the magnitude of the difference in greenhouse gas emissions between the two conference types. We found that TCs generated greater engagement than F2F events, have the potential to reach a very large audience and result in a substantial reduction in emissions. Further, we argue that the format promotes presenter and audience diversity due to participation being flexible and virtually cost‐free. While we recognize some disadvantages of this format compared to F2F events, especially in relation to the social and networking aspects of conferences, we envision that virtual events, such as TCs, will play an important role in the future of science dissemination and outreach. By embracing such opportunities, academic conferences can move towards a more inclusive and sustainable future.
... For organisers, online conferences are simpler to plan and less expensive: many aspects such as catering, rooms, receptions, badges, welcome packs, etc. are avoided. Another benefit, for attendees and organisers, is reducing the environmental impact compared to conventional meetings [5]. Some new complications arise, such as hosting fees and licences, but these overheads tend to be significantly smaller than those for an in-person meeting. ...
... Among the many issues arising at the meeting was whether future editions of SoCS should continue as online meetings or at least retain some online aspects. Among the identified advantages are higher participation rates, reduced costs, and a much smaller environmental impact [5,8]. One possibility for a mixed format is to introduce a pre-recorded "micro talk" which can serve as an advertisement for a longer in-person event, but can still give an overview of the paper to people that are not able to attend the in-presence event. ...
Preprint
The 13th Symposium on Combinatorial Search (SoCS) was held May 26-28, 2020. Originally scheduled to take place in Vienna, Austria, the symposium pivoted toward a fully online technical program in early March. As an in-person event SoCS offers participants a diverse array of scholarly activities including technical talks (long and short), poster sessions, plenary sessions, a community meeting and, new for 2020, a Master Class tutorial program. This paper describes challenges, approaches and opportunities associated with adapting these many different activities to the online setting. We consider issues such as scheduling, dissemination, attendee interaction and community engagement before, during and after the event. We report on the approaches taken by SoCS in each case, we give a post-hoc analysis of their their effectiveness and we discuss how these decisions continue to impact the SoCS community in the days after SoCS 2020.
... Apart from the environmental impact of emissions from academic flying, it also has significant social consequences. Frequent flying can affect researchers' credibility negatively, especially those who are working on climate change and sustainability topics (Attari et al., 2016;Higham and Font, 2020). As researchers are often seen as role models or pioneers in society, several authors underline the need to encourage behavior change in academia regarding air travel (Thompson, 2011;LeQuéré et al., 2015;Higham and Font, 2020). ...
... Frequent flying can affect researchers' credibility negatively, especially those who are working on climate change and sustainability topics (Attari et al., 2016;Higham and Font, 2020). As researchers are often seen as role models or pioneers in society, several authors underline the need to encourage behavior change in academia regarding air travel (Thompson, 2011;LeQuéré et al., 2015;Higham and Font, 2020). ...
Article
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This study aims to explore the factors that influence business travel decisions of university staff, in particular the extent and ways in which they are willing to reduce emission-intensive air travel, and the personal and structural barriers to such behavior change. Three strategies to reduce air travel were investigated: abstaining from particular events, substituting travel through virtual participation and mode shifting to ground-based public transport. We tested the effects of (1) specific decision factors for engaging in long-distance travel, choosing specific modes of travel and choosing virtual solutions; (2) former travel activities; (3) postponed trips due to COVID-19; and (4) sociodemographic factors, on the willingness of individuals to reduce air travel in a sample of university employees. We calculated regression models for the three strategies and added a qualitative analysis of open-ended comments. Former travel behavior as well as pro-environmental considerations play significant roles, influencing the willingness of employees to change their business travel behavior. Furthermore, we found that willingness to reduce air travel depends on the scope of behavior change. Although travel behavior is unevenly distributed across different subgroups, sociodemographic factors only play a minor role in the regression models. The present study adds to the limited body of quantitative research on the reduction potential of academic air travel, presenting an examination of university staff's willingness to change their long-distance travel behavior. Implications for university polices are discussed.
... The Global School relies on the significant potential of technology to connect people and people to knowledge; however, it does not seem to describe how these technology and device requirements will be balanced with the resource and energy consumption concomitant with such access. Despite the irrefutable value and potential of technologies to change our world for the better, many scholars have pointed out the limitations of technology to respond to and truly transform overconsumption and the adverse effects of anthropogenic pollution on our earth's health (Kuh, 2009;Caset et al., 2018;Shields, 2019;Higham & Font, 2020). So, while technology may be a solution to many of the world's educational ills, it may not be sufficient for fully responding to climate change. ...
Article
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The purpose of this article is to seize the opportunity to reimagine post-pandemic education. We therefore set forth to answer the following questions: What could a more equitable and human-serving post-pandemic education look like? What role might Comparative and International Education scholarship play in pursuing a post-pandemic educational ideal?
... This has led to pressure to participate in carbon offset travel programs, in which a portion of an academic unit's aggregate carbon expenditure cost is allocated toward carbon offsets or toward a targeted sus-tainability program. 33,34 Although such programs have yet to be widespread on medical campuses, university campuses have been successful in achieving carbon-neutrality within academia, a construct readily translatable to health care faculty and organizations. 35 Other national initiatives are promoting health care system sustainability. ...
Article
The effects of climate change are accelerating and undermining human health and well-being in many different ways. There is no doubt that the health care sector will need to adapt, and although it has begun to develop more targeted strategies to address climate-related challenges, a broad knowledge gap persists. There is a critical need to develop and cultivate new knowledge and skill sets among health professionals, including those in public health, environmental science, policy, and communication roles. This article describes specific initiatives to train future leaders to be proficient in understanding the linkages between climate change and health. We present an agenda for expanding education on climate and health through health professional schools and graduate and postgraduate curricula, as well as in professional and continuing education settings. Our agenda also identifies ways to promote sustainability in clinical practice and health care management and policy. Throughout, we cite metrics by which to measure progress and highlight potential barriers to achieving these educational objectives on a larger scale.
... Technological advances are not enough to reduce the negative impacts of flying, and behaviour change is needed. But for instance, decisions to keep older aircraft in service also slowed the efforts of airlines to reduce greenhouse gas emissions [2], [10]. The International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO mediated a major climate change agreement according to which all airlines with international services are required to monitor carbon emissions since January 1, 2019. ...
... Yet, the recent sanitary crisis (COVID19) has put the entire airline industry on hold and the future of air travel is currently uncertain. Undoubtedly more alarming than the current sanitary disruptions, non-essential fossil fuel-based air travel is a significant contributor to global warming (Higham & Font, 2020;Sharpley, 2020). In this context, other modes of transportation (e.g. ...
Technical Report
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This report is deliverable 2.1 of the SmartCulTour project. SmartCulTour stands for Smart Cultural Tourism as a Driver of Sustainable Development of European Regions. Overall, this European Commission (EC) intervention helps European regions to design and carry out community-led actions towards sustainable cultural tourism. This report (deliverable 2.1) provides the theoretical foundation for the following work packages of this project.
... Although much tourism research has identified four main stakeholder categories: private businesses, tourists, public sector, and destination communities (Renkert, 2019), there is increased recognition that a more nuanced approach to stakeholder identification is required (Hazra et al., 2017;Nyanjom et al., 2018). Therefore, other stakeholder categories may include, for example, specific sectoral interests such as farmers (Xu & Sun, 2020); employees (Tuan, 2020); academics (Higham & Font, 2020); temporary populations (Hall & Müller, 2018); and students (Hergesell & Dickinger, 2013). Nevertheless, despite widespread interest in stakeholder involvement, sustainability programmes have received growing criticism given their failure to generate the changes needed for tourism to become sustainable (Font, 2017;Hall, 2019). ...
Article
Children empowerment should be a core component of any responsible tourism initiatives and their involvement and support is required to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Drawing on a theory adaptation research approach, this study proposes a framework for children's empowerment for responsible and sustainable tourism, inside and outside of the family context. The study sought to answer two key questions: Why children should be engaged in responsible tourism? How should children be engaged in responsible tourism? In addressing these key questions, the study developed a Future Responsible Tourist Capital Development (FRTCD) framework that advises on a prospective process of developing and nurturing children to have the essential skills, education and experience required for the responsible and sustainable development of the tourism industry. The findings of this study propose a new perspective on children empowerment inside and outside of the family context, and highlight the significance of children as sustainability thinkers, actioners, and transformers. Overall, the study contributes to the growing research on empowerment in sustainability discourse in general and children's empowerment in particular. ARTICLE HISTORY
... A 2020 survey found that between 19% and 36% of airline business travel will not return after the pandemic (Idea Works, 2020) and more corporations and governments are seeking to avoid, not offset work related travel (Skift, 2021). Academics are also rethinking travel patterns for a carbon constrained world (Higham & Font, 2020;Kl€ ower et al., 2020). Furthermore, as more businesses adopt NZ goals and emission disclosures become mandatory, business leadership may compel emission reductions associated with business travel. ...
Article
The tourism sector has recommitted itself to be ‘climate neutral’ by 2050 through its 2021 Glasgow Declaration: A Commitment to a Decade of Tourism Climate Action. The declared ambition is consistent with the Paris Climate Agreement and net-zero emission targets; however, lacks specific actions by which such a transition might be achieved. The highly influential International Energy Agency (IEA) has produced the most detailed global roadmap to a 2050 net-zero future. This paper examines its implications for the tourism sector. Getting to net-zero is imperative to ensure the societal disruption of a + 3 °C or warmer world are avoided, but the IEA net-zero scenario would nonetheless be as transformative for tourism as the internet was. International air travel and tourism growth projections from the tourism sector are not compatible with the IEA net-zero scenario. The geography of transition risk will influence tourism patterns unevenly. The incoherence of tourism and climate policy represents an increasing vulnerability for tourism development. While any business and destination in tourism can act immediately to reduce emissions, the findings compel a critical new research agenda to determine how the assumptions of the IEA, or any net-zero scenario, could be achieved and how this will affect tourism development.
... Although the above recommendations flow directly from the results of this paper, for real change, academics in general need a complete shift in their attitudes (Higham and Font, 2020), and in their own conventions regarding conferences. This is a much harder objective but a number of roadmaps have been proposed (Le Quéré et al., 2015, Bossdorf et al., 2010. ...
Article
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An increasing body of literature has highlighted the significant carbon impact of academic conferences. Our paper further adds to this growing body of evidence by introducing a newly assembled dataset from a sample of 263 economics conferences, including 55,006 presentations by 26,312 academics. First, we offer a detailed description of the travelling pattern of academics presenting their work at these conferences, and highlight the main differences between academics and institutions in different geographical regions. Academic conferences are intuitively linked to increased dissemination in the expectation that they boost various impact metrics. For this reason we look at the relative role of the distance travelled and the number of trips made to present each paper in driving the number of citations these papers receive. We present evidence that the number of trips matters for more citations but longer distances are only associated with higher citation numbers for European academics. The potential reasons behind this heterogeneity are discussed in detail. Our results offer support to recent evidence showing that higher carbon impact is not necessarily associated with enhanced academic outcomes.
... A plethora of calls for a more sustainable research system have sprung up, along with discussion and analysis of technological solutions that would allow for "virtual mobility" [5,[7][8][9][10]. A marked reduction in the "hypermobility" [11] seen in the research system-and associated negative environmental consequences-was viewed as being possible only through a paradigmatic shift in research culture [5,6,12,13]. A "denormalisation" of air travel would necessitate "a complex, systemic shift in how academics collaborate and communicate" [14] (p. ...
Article
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The COVID-19 crisis has given us a new, unprecedented impetus for thinking about the imperative of mobility in research. Travel and co-presence are widely accepted as being essential to career progression and promotion in academic life. Academics with fewer opportunities to travel find themselves at a significant disadvantage. COVID-19 and related public health measures have significantly limited the ability to be physically co-present in academia. Addressing obligations of co-presence in a less mobile world allows us to think concretely—and empathetically—about how to improve and extend virtual networking opportunities to those who have been marginalised with respect to research mobility. It also allows us to reflect on the role of reduced mobility and locality in how we think about and enact research. This article is informed and inspired by insights from research addressing academic mobility. I describe and discuss two prospects to productively work towards a new academic modus operandi characterised by limited opportunities for mobility. Furthermore, I highlight those issues and components that will require capacity building and a greater allocation of resources within the research system. In addition, I sketch out some pressing issues and questions for research mobility studies in a less mobile age going forward.
... In such scenarios, critical commenters typically point to the inconsistencies between the moral professions of activists and their patterns of behaviour, accusing them of naivet e and hypocrisy (Piotrowski, 2017). Piotrowski (2017, p. 845) describes these reactions as 'hypocrisy micropolitics', wherein environmental activists must contend with hostile critics and respond in ways that demonstrate their authenticity and credibility (see also Higham & Font, 2020). ...
Article
The paper engages with the concepts of scapegoat ecology and heroisation to explore social media responses to Greta Thunberg’s activism. We sought to understand the broad sentiment towards her anti-flying (flygskam/flight shame) campaign, as symbolised by her 2019 sail to the United States to attend the United Nations Climate Action Summit. Specifically, social media user posts in response to three major news media organisations’ (BBC, CNN, and Sky News) Facebook coverage of her trip were analysed. The findings reveal dichotomous responses – the majority are critical and dismissive, which we interpret through the lens of ‘scapegoating’; however, a substantial number of posts (about 30%) describe the youth activist as inspirational. We conclude that the majority of people are not yet ready to give up travel convenience for climate change or other environmental reasons, and discuss potential implications for the tourism industry.
... The arguments are both wellrehearsed and persuasive, and do not need to be repeated at length here-indeed, it is not the intention of this paper to do so. However, as Higham and Font (2020) have recently summarised, lifestyle (non-essential) air travel is a major contributor to global warming, travel contributes a major proportion of tourism's overall carbon emissions and air travel is characterised by significant inequalities. Not only does a small proportion of the global population have access to air travel but it is also accounted for by a relatively small proportion of frequent flyers. ...
Article
A conceptual paper published twenty years ago concluded that sustainable tourism development is an unviable objective. Specifically, it argued that environmentally sound tourism development (sustainable tourism) is essential; sustainable development through tourism, however, is unachievable. Despite continuing alignment between tourism and sustainable development in both academic and policy circles, not only have the intervening two decades proved this argument in practice to be correct, but also there is little evidence of a more sustainable tourism sector. This paper, therefore, returns to the theoretical relationship between tourism and sustainable development, considering more recent transformations in understandings of the concept of development as well as contemporary approaches to sustainable development. Highlighting the controversy surrounding the continuing adherence to economic growth in development policy in general and tourism development in particular, it discusses sustainable de-growth as an alternative approach to development and, in the context of increasing concerns over climate change, the specific implications for tourism.
... The paths of everyday nationhood seem to be more comfortable due to the persisting incapacity to discuss climate change in daily life contexts. Occasionally, public opinion in specific countries may present their nation-states as paradigms of environmental consciousness: in Sweden the flygskam movement inspired by Greta Thunberg's use of railways and an eco-yacht has led to "a significant decline in air travel […] and a concomitant increase in rail journeys" (Higham and Font 2020). But few, if any, nation-states as a whole can convincingly put themselves forward as paladins of lifestyle changes that could lead to climate mitigation. ...
Article
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Climate change has rapidly expanded as a key topic of research across disciplines, but it has remained virtually untouched in nationalism studies. Climate change is a boundless, uncontainable phenomenon that ignores class, geographic, and ethnonational boundaries. As such, it can hardly be comprehended within the limits of a nationalist world vision. This article reassesses this intuition by focusing on the situational and adaptive plasticity of nationalism, characterized by its notorious Janus-faced adaptability. I first identify and address a methodological stumbling block that precludes scholars in some areas of the humanities and social sciences—specifically nationalism studies—from conceptualizing and grappling with this unfolding reality. Second, I advance a typology that can work as a conceptual grid for studying similar problems that emerge at the intersection of environmental politics, climate change, and nationalism studies. I suggest two ways in which the nation and national narratives have been and are being mobilized to make sense of, contrast, reject, and incorporate new life-changing trends. I identify these, respectively, under the umbrella terms resource nationalism and green nationalism. I conclude by emphasizing the continuing relevance of nationalism in plans for ongoing global energy transitions.
... The paths of everyday nationhood seem to be more comfortable due to the persisting incapacity to discuss climate change in daily life contexts. Occasionally, public opinion in specific countries may present their nation-states as paradigms of environmental consciousness: in Sweden the flygskam movement inspired by Greta Thunberg's use of railways and an eco-yacht has led to "a significant decline in air travel […] and a concomitant increase in rail journeys" (Higham and Font 2020). But few, if any, nation-states as a whole can convincingly put themselves forward as paladins of lifestyle changes that could lead to climate mitigation. ...
Article
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Over twenty years after his death, Gellner’s impact still remains unparalleled, but not unchallenged. Gellner’s weight has been exerted both directly and indirectly, pressing other scholars either to acknowledge his contribution or to attempt alternative explanations. Gellner famously begins by defining nationalism as ‘primarily a principle that holds that the political and national unit should be congruent’ (p. 1). This is the only clear-cut and unambiguous definition given in his most famous book, Nations and Nationalism. All other concepts, from culture to industrialisation, from equality/egalitarianism to modernity, are used in a notoriously generic fashion as catch-all concepts. Work continued here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227545232_Homogenisation_nationalism_and_war_Should_we_still_read_Ernest_Gellner
... Ocasionalmente, la opinión pública en algunos países puede presentar a sus naciones como paladines de la conciencia ambiental: en Suecia, el movimiento flygskam (vergüenza de volar) ha llevado a una disminución significativa en los viajes en avión, con un aumento concomitante en los viajes en tren (Higham y Font, 2020). ...
Poster
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Cambio climático, nacionalismo y cosmopolitismo de superviviencia
... The paths of everyday nationhood seem to be more comfortable due to the persisting incapacity to discuss climate change in daily life contexts. Occasionally, public opinion in specific countries may present their nation-states as paradigms of environmental consciousness: in Sweden the flygskam movement inspired by Greta Thunberg's use of railways and an eco-yacht has led to "a significant decline in air travel […] and a concomitant increase in rail journeys" (Higham and Font 2020). But few, if any, nation-states as a whole can convincingly put themselves forward as paladins of lifestyle changes that could lead to climate mitigation. ...
... This presents a clear tension between the personal and professional benefits associated with academic flying, and the concern for climate integritywhat some have labeled the "flyer's dilemma" (Higham, Cohen, and Cavaliere 2014) and "climate hypocrisy" (Higham and Font 2020). Flying is often justified psychologically as the expression of values, the desire for social conformity, and the justification for utilitarian reasons (Cocolas et al. 2021). ...
Article
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Academia, as many other sectors, has faced wide-ranging disruptions due to COVID-19, with teaching and research activity conducted entirely online in many countries. Before the pandemic grounded travel, academics were often hypermobile, some traveling more than 150,000 kilometers per year for conferences, board meetings, collaborations, fieldwork,seminars, and lectures. It is no surprise then that academic flying is among the leading causes of universities’ greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. Despite growing awareness surrounding GHG emissions from flying and calls for reducing aeromobility, academics have continued to travel. The COVID-19 pandemic, in equitably stopping all flying, offers a unique opportunity to study emerging low-GHG modes of academic internationalization. In this article, we look at academic internationalization, inspired by digital ethnography, to explore how the academic landscape has adapted to meet internationalization goals within the context of a sudden grounding of travel. By investigating flight-free academic internationalization, we illuminate some of the implications and discuss potential opportunities and challenges of achieving less GHG intensive academic internationalization.
... It is not rare for academia to pursue or contribute to the opposite, including, for example, destination marketing and development based on carbon-intensive volume growth, advocacy of reliance on decarbonization technology solutions that lack scalability or do not even exist, maladaptive climate risk responses, new tourism design and planning that propagates climate risk, performance measurement that lack climate resilience indicators (or broader sustainability metrics), tourism policy that is incompatible with climate policy, tourism and international development narratives that do not include climate resilience or climate justice lens. The carbon-intense professional mobilities of academics and the performance systems reinforcing them have also received increased attention for 'climate hypocrisy' (e.g., Higham & Font, 2020) at a time when pressure from students has led several thousand universities worldwide to declare climate emergencies and pledges of ambitious emission reductions. ...
Article
The tourism sector declared a climate emergency in 2020. It is against this background that this Curated Collection on Climate Change and Tourism is launched. A bibliometric analysis of 1290 articles reviews the 35-year development of climate change and tourism scholarship, including major research themes, key knowledge gaps, and our capacity to deliver the enormous knowledge requirements for an effective sectoral climate response. A central finding is that the last three decades of research have failed to prepare the sector for the net-zero transition and climate disruption that will transform tourism over the next three decades. The climate change imperative demands more of the tourism academy and this collection will stimulate research and capacity for climate resilient tourism development.
... However, the traditional view of the field scientist as the roving explorer, visiting new and exciting places, has to be positioned against curricula that often teach environmental responsibility and decarbonisation. Most geoscience curricula now acknowledge the reality of human-induced climate change (Hopkins et al., 2019;Welsh & France, 2012), of which global travel is a significant contributor (Higham & Font, 2020). Whilst not alleviating a global problem, many students, and their institutions, wish to be seen to be playing their part by reducing their own carbon footprints. ...
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At a time when traditional fieldwork is coming under pressure, be it from shrinking budgets, reducing carbon footprints, increased concerns for personal safety or the desire to make field skills accessible to all, how do we ensure that the key skills of observation, data collection and landscape analysis can still be developed in our students? This paper evaluates the experiences of students using immersive virtual reality (VR) to interrogate highly accurate georeferenced landscape models, made from data collected by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, through the medium of Q methodology. It finds that there appears to be an association between prior engagement and expertise with IT and gaming technologies, such that those who declare some degree of prowess engage with and embrace the opportunities of using VR. This suggests that to allow more students to adopt positive approaches to learning in this manner, educators need to worry less about ever complex and realistic models, and invest more into positive prior experiences of using technology. Moreover, an important voice in the narrative around the physical nature of “being in the field” and social interaction with peers and tutors questions an approach that is still a relatively solitary experience. © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
... CO 2 emissions from travelling in general and from flying in particular have increased significantly over the last decades [8] and flying has, for successful academics, become "part and parcel of professional expectations" [9] see also [7,10]. With the Paris Agreement [4] as a backdrop, it has however become abundantly clear that all CO 2 emissions need to decrease quickly [11] and that such a decrease obviously would include decreasing CO 2 emissions from flying [12][13][14]. Flying is in fact one of the largest sources of CO 2 emissions at a research-intensive university, and flying is most certainly the single largest source of CO 2 emissions for any researcher who flies regularly. The topic of academic flying is nowadays being discussed more often and a number of different studies have examined specific aspects such as the carbon footprint of an academic conference [15], the carbon footprint of shifting academic conferences to online [16][17][18], the carbon footprint of a research paper [19], the carbon footprint of a research project [20][21][22], the carbon footprint of a research lab [23,24], the carbon footprint in specific academic disciplines [25][26][27] and the carbon footprint of a university [28][29][30][31]. ...
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CO2 emissions from aviation have been predicted to increase over the coming decades. Within the academic world, flying is often perceived to be a necessary prerequisite to being a successful researcher. Many Swedish universities have ambitious climate goals, but are simultaneously among the top emitters in the public sector. Reaching stated climate goals could feasibly be met through a combination of measures, including decreased flying. One way to address the challenge is to support behavioural interventions with the help of interactive visualizations of CO2 emissions from flying. Those few examples that exist in the research literature are generally directed towards management and are less applicable to universities, given the large autonomy researchers enjoy and their discretionary control of research project funds. This paper uses a design-oriented research approach to present an analysis of the problem space at the intersection of interactive visualizations using air travel data to reduce CO2 emissions from business air travel at our own university, KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Through a number of design experiments, evaluations and investigations, we have unearthed needs, challenges and opportunities for the creation of visualization tools to support more sustainable travel practices at universities and in other knowledge-intensive organisations.
... Whilst often being thought of as a progressive social force, ostensibly contributing knowledge and innovation to help address diverse societal problems (social, ecological, medical etc.), academic institutions and their activities exert significant ecological footprints which cannot be ignored. Like any other industry, this footprint is comprised of a number of factors, including waste, energy use and emissions, to name a few(Arsenault et al. 2019;Higham and Font 2020). ...
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Environmental movements have evolved and expanded across recent years in response to escalating ecological crisis. Developments include an increasingly prominent role for young people, more concerted efforts to integrate environmental and social struggles, and renewed critiques of global capitalism and its growth imperative. Underexplored throughout extensive scholarship in this field is how young environmental activists are (re)imagining socio-ecological crisis and transformation. This thesis aims to develop a deeper understanding of how young environmental activists envisage crisis and the types of futures they seek. The project draws on 30 semi-structured interviews and participant observation with young environmental activists (aged 16-28) in North East England. I develop an open case study approach in which data collected through local, low-impact empirical research is analysed through a theoretical lens centred around the burgeoning transnational academic-activist discourse of degrowth. The project evolved from a (pre)embedded position within this local activist milieu. In contrast with earlier environmentalist discourse, the narrative analysis in this thesis reveals how young activists pursue ecologically sustainable and socially just futures as an integrated ambition. Such approaches reflect the ascendant influence of climate justice frames which foreground the intersections of climate breakdown with existing social-geographical inequalities and oppressions. Bound up with these framings, however, are risks: I caution against the neglect of dimensions of ecological crisis beyond climate, as well as the underappreciation of complex interdependencies between human and non-human wellbeing. I also uncover a predominant oppositional orientation characterising both the forms of action young activists engage in and how they envisage transformation(s). Tensions between antagonistic and imaginative politics are manifest in the way that many activists appear to defer the development of alternative socio-ecological imaginaries until an abstract future moment. For some this deferral is unconscious whilst, for others, it is expressed as a deliberative prioritisation of an oppositional politics in the present. I argue, however, that this
... We must also emphasize that we and others find the response of the tourism academy to the climate crisis to be likewise inadequate with respect to research and training (see Scott and G€ ossling 2022, Scott, 2021, Higham & Font, 2020. We are part of the problem and appeal to all tourism scholars and professionals to prioritize the collaborations needed to accelerate the massive information requirements diverse decision makers will require and develop the human capital the sector will require through our tourism and hospitality programs. ...
Article
The United Nations has declared climate change a code-red for humanity and the 2020s the decisive decade to avoid dangerous climate disruption. The 26th Conference of the Parties in Glasgow, Scotland represents a milestone event and potentially the last chance to keep the Paris Climate Agreement 1.5 °C policy goal within reach. The tourism sector has responded to this critical moment by releasing the Glasgow Declaration: A Commitment to a Decade of Tourism Climate Action. As the third such declaration over 20 years, this paper asks whether it brings the sector closer to an action agenda commensurate with the climate emergency the sector has declared. While the Glasgow Declaration includes some positive advances, we find few themes and recommended actions that were not introduced in previous declarations over a decade ago and inaction on several past recommendations. There is no evidence that the declarations have altered the growth trajectory of sector emissions or influenced the integration of climate change into tourism policy and planning. The climate crisis demands a sectoral response no less than that to the Covid-19 pandemic, and we find the Glasgow Declaration ill-equipped to stimulate the systemic change required by the net-zero transition and accelerating changes in climate.
... The Code Red that we referred to throughout this editorial makes us believe that our journal has a central role to play in gathering evidence that can inform policy and be used to substantiate change. In our editorial for 2020, we made the point that tourism academics need to practice, and not just report, sustainable behaviours (Higham & Font, 2020). Two years later we fully stand by that, in part outraged by the increasing unsustainability that we witness around us both in times of plenty and in times of scarcity, and how COVID-19 has further shown us that calls for building back better tend to be overshadowed by short term thinking. ...
... Advances in VR technologies, social media and mobile satellite devices encourage opportunities for virtual travel and research activities which do not require actual (physical) travel. Moreover, long-distance trips are a growing concern, especially the correlation between aviation and carbon emissions (Hoyer & Naess, 2001;Higham & Font, 2020). However, virtual conferences and advancement of technologies indicate solutions to environmental concerns (Welch et al., 2010), representing a productive challenge to the corporeal element of RrT. ...
Article
‘Research-related Tourism’ (RrT) is broadly defined as any tourism activity in pursuit of learning, exploration or knowledge acquisition. On the basis of this definition, the conceptual paper constructs a RrT typology encapsulating six main types or sub-forms: (1) Scientific Tourism, (2) Education and Academic Tourism, (3) Volunteer Tourism, (4) Business Tourism, (5) Virtual Research Tourism, and (6) Genealogy and Roots Tourism. By conceptualising commonly associated RrT sub-forms (types 1–3), the work situates additional sub-forms (types 4–6) that are not traditionally conceived as conventional types. The enquiry realises that all the types operate synergistically, leading to the formation of RrT categories, attributes and dimensions. The paper's intention is reclarified by enabling and evaluating a robust conception of RrT variations, also establishing a framework for future empirical testing. This enquiry thus enhances the ontological grounding and critical conception of tourism, together with its relationship (and convergence) with research (and knowledge acquisition).
... A recent study ties 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions to tourism (Lenzen et al., 2018). This number is even more noteworthy considering less than one-sixth of the world's population partake in international travel (Sharpley, 2020), within which a relatively small proportion of frequent flyers represent a majority (Higham & Font, 2019) of which the effects inequitably influence the global population as a whole. ...
Chapter
As primary producers of knowledge, academics are required to create and disseminate research. The advent of internationalisation has given great emphasis to the importance of travel as it pertains to the success of an academic career and the international standing of an institution. However, academics who are highly aeromobile—particularly researchers working in the field of climate change—are now facing allegations of hypocrisy that in some cases may compromise the efficacy of their (climate) research. The novelty of this chapter arises from the application of the cultures framework to the study of academic air travel. It highlights three key elements—cognitive norms, practices and material culture. In this chapter, the cultures framework is adopted to provide a structure within which to consider individual and institutional pathways to achieve a reduction in academic flying. By exploring the interplay of cognitive norms, practices, material culture, support and barriers, the gap between academic theory and institutional realities and practices can be systematically explored and fully elaborated. Furthermore, in doing so, academics may be encouraged to engage in critical self-reflection of the cognitive dissonance between personal intentions to reduce air miles and behaviours to the contrary.
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This paper examines an increasingly pervasive aspect of neoliberal research funding regimes, namely the expectation that academic research should influence non-academic policy and practice. More specifically, it explores the reaction of British academic researchers with an interest in sustainable tourism to what has become known as the impact agenda. How do they conceptualise impact? Do they moralise impact (perhaps in relation to the limits of their expertise or the veracity of their claims)? Does this aspect of research policy affect their approach to academic work? The findings of a qualitative study reveal a constituency of academic researchers primarily concerned with their own performativity. There is seemingly limited moral framing of research impact and a suggestion of moral hypocrisy. Widespread affective subjectivation provides a plausible explanation for current academic behaviour. The paper concludes by arguing that without a collective re-thinking of how sustainable tourism research might gain influence beyond academia, it is probable that performative practices will continue to characterise academic responses to the impact agenda.
Article
Labels such as the ‘green tourist’, ‘ecotourist’, and the ‘ethical tourist’ are used to claim moral capital and distinguish this tourist from the alternative, viewed as a threat to the destination. However, these tourist groups open themselves up to feelings and criticisms of hypocrisy when they fail to live up to the moral standards they expressly espouse. This hypocrisy may be conceptualised as a form of inauthenticity—not being existentially true to one's own standards. The present netnographic study uses Graham, Meindl, Koleva, Iyer, and Johnson's (2015) typology of moral hypocrisy to illustrate the feelings of inauthenticity and dissonance, and the social condemnation the environmentally conscious tourist/traveller contends with. Findings point to the inescapability of moral weakness, and the inevitability of moral frustration.
Article
For more than 75 years tourism academia has evolved from humble beginnings in catering and hospitality degrees to become an institutionalised and global knowledge creation sector. Over the last 18 months, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has had the effect of amplifying concerns amongst some in government and industry over the role of tourism academia in the industry's future. This article employs Porter's Five Forces Model to review the forces impacting on the competitive positioning of tourism academic knowledge.
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Understanding how scholars reason about their own flying habits is important when dealing with the problems of large emissions from academic air travel. This study is based on a travel habits survey with scholars at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. KTH has relatively high emissions from air travel, but at the same time, it has a high profile in matters of sustainability and a lot of research related to this theme. One can therefore assume a high degree of knowledge about the climate crisis and the climate impact of various actions. It is also plausible that KTH scholars meet special expectations to be role models and that practices in conflict with their teaching can have consequences for the public confidence in the university. In this study, we look at how scholars reason about how emissions from their flying could be reduced. Their responses display a spectrum of varying attitudes, from climate scepticism to a commitment to radical transformation, with the majority in between, either suggesting different types of concrete changes or invoking arguments to justify the status quo. The proposed interventions, several of which are ingenious and wise, can guide university managements to strategies that have support from employees. The more reluctant arguments point to cultural and discursive habits that must be understood and met in an empathetic way.
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This chapter focuses on how the coronavirus pandemic disrupted ‘normal’ academic life and travel through an analysis of my own travel history over the past decade. After contextualising the ways in which quarantines and confinement radically decreased travel, the chapter has three parts. In the first part, I document my own curriculum vitae of academic travel over the past decade and quantitatively measure my estimated CO 2 emissions. Next, I seek to situate the value of such academic travel in both quantitative and qualitative terms, through extrinsic measures such as publications and impact and through intrinsic values such as the experience of different cultures and places. Lastly, I look at the transition to virtual events and my own participation in online events during the past nine months and consider the relation between physical and virtual meetings within academic practices. Insofar as the pandemic demonstrated our ability to transform academic travel and accelerate the use of remote meetings within academic practices, a pressing concern is how to find ways of extending this into the post-pandemic phase. Among the questions I ask in conclusion are: What possibilities are there for more seriously extending remote no-fly meetings to address the climate emergency? And what are the implications of such changes, both positive and negative?
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Hannah Dalgleish examines ways in which astronomy can help to forge a sustainable future for life on Earth.
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In this chapter, we posit that academics need to reduce their flying in line with the ‘Carbon Law’ if we are to attain the agreed-upon targets of the Paris agreement. This entails reducing emissions in general as well as reducing emissions from flying by at least 50 per cent every decade from 2020 and on. We present data from KTH Royal Institute of Technology regarding our flying and use two specific departments as examples. We unpack this data, using material visualisations (i.e. post-it notes and poker chips) to raise questions that are not immediately apparent when looking at top-down statistics about flying. Our material visualisations instead present data about flying patterns and habits in a format that viscerally displays the differences (‘inequalities’) that exist between and within departments. Such visualisations emphasise that reducing the frequency and the length of air trips will inevitably lead to discussions and negotiations about who gets to fly (or not), as well as discussions about exactly what constitutes ‘unnecessary’ flights. The chapter ends with a reflection about the limitations of our language and how the task of reducing carbon emission from flying necessitates a reinvention of how we think and talk about flying.
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This chapter focuses on the carbon footprint of travelling to academic conferences. The cases I present are the last seven General Conferences of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), which are the biggest European conferences in political science, with up to 2000 participants. My estimations show that the travel-induced carbon footprint of a single conference can amount to more than 2000 tons of greenhouse gases—as much as approximately 270 UK citizens emit in a whole year. The average participant produces between 500 and 1500 kg of CO 2 -eq per conference round-trip. However, by applying three measures (more centrally located conference venues, the promotion of more land-bound travel and the introduction of online participation for attendees from distant locations), the carbon footprint could be reduced by 78–97 per cent. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a general shift towards online conferences—the ECPR switched to a virtual event as well. Estimating the carbon footprint of this online-only conference in a more detailed manner shows that the travel-induced carbon emissions—if the event had taken place in physical attendance as originally intended—would have been between 250 and 530 times higher than those from the online conference.
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Aviation is a fast-growing sector, releasing more carbon dioxide per passenger kilometre than other transport modes. For climate change researchers, work-related travel – including for conferences and fieldwork – is a major carbon-emitting activity. At the same time, many argue that climate scientists have an important role in curbing their own aviation emissions to align their practices with their assertions in relation to emissions reduction. We examine the tensions between competing professional demands in relation to flying; measure levels of flying by climate and non-climate researchers; assess influences on choices and attitudes; and consider how information provision and structural changes might enable changes in practice. Study 1 entails a large, international survey of flying undertaken by climate change (including sustainability and environmental science) researchers and those from other disciplines (N = 1408). Study 2 tests effects of varying information provision on researchers’ behavioural intentions and policy support to reduce flying (N = 362). Unexpectedly, we find climate change researchers – particularly professors – fly more than other researchers, but are also more likely to have taken steps to reduce or offset their flying. Providing information about the impacts of aviation increases behavioural intentions and support for institutional policies to reduce flying, particularly amongst more pro-environmental respondents. However, while attitudinal factors (e.g., personal norm) predict willingness to reduce flying, structural/social factors (e.g., family commitments, location) are more important in predicting actual flying behaviour. Recent initiatives to develop a low-carbon and more inclusive research culture within climate science and the broader research community thus need to be supported by broader policies and technologies to encourage and enable low-carbon and avoided travel.
Article
This essay stems from our growing concern about the carbon intensity of academia, and of conferencing as an epitome of this. Face-to-face conferencing is widely recognised as both unsustainable and inequitable. Against this backdrop, digital conferencing (online only, or in hybrid form) offers a viable alternative. However, shifting to digital forms of conferencing does not automatically bring about equity. Drawing on white papers, academic discussions and results from a PollEverywhere survey, this essay explores issues of sustainability and equity across modes of face-to-face and digital conferencing, with the aim of charting a path towards more sustainable and accessible digital practises for a diverse community of linguists.
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Scope 3 emissions from the UK higher education sector are globally significant, and long-distance air travel and catering are particularly emissions-intensive aspects of workplace routine. They each present complex problems, as transition to low-carbon alternatives requires the reconfiguration of professional practices. This paper examines the sustainability policies of 66 UK universities to establish the extent to which planning and action in these areas are commensurate with climate emergency declarations. The findings indicate that universities recognize their role in creating demand for long-distance travel and sustaining high-carbon diets. However, few have specific emissions reduction targets or action plans that would rapidly and substantially reduce emissions in these areas. Discussion focuses on two core points; first, how greater cohesion in reporting and target-setting can be achieved across the sector to raise the ambition of targets and intervention; and second to identify opportunities for institutions to disrupt and reshape professional practices to reduce emissions in these areas. Key Policy Insights • Reducing emissions in the higher education sector requires organizations to foster low-carbon academic practices by engaging with the systemic cultural and material conditions that support high-carbon academic practices. • The establishment of robust targets, action plans and monitoring processes would further support sector-wide decarbonization, and require consensus across HE institutions and governing bodies. • Sector-wide agreement on the level and pace of emissions reduction will help to accelerate ambition regarding Scope 3 emissions reduction and determining the appropriate contribution of different institutions will help identify where action is most urgently required. • Findings suggest a need for absolute targets for emissions reduction associated with long-distance travel, and that food policies focus on achieving a volumetric reduction in the weight of meat served so that absolute levels of greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. • Travel and food provision are complex aspects of university emissions, but a climate emergency framing requires all organizations to use their full range of influence to rapidly and substantially reduce emissions.
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From “flight shame” or flying consciousness to Stay Grounded and FlyingLess, calls for, and organized efforts to achieve, a marked decrease in flying in response to intensifying climate crisis abound. Of particular concern are frequent flyers, among whom are many in academia, especially in the high-income parts of the world. One manifestation is the proliferation of scholarship that critically analyzes academic flying while advocating for slower forms of travel, new forms of research and collaboration, and a low-greenhouse-gas-emitting academy more broadly. This conceptual article builds on that scholarship by engaging the growing literature calling for the decolonization of higher education institutions and the broader world. In doing so, and by attempting to bring into conversation two currently disconnected streams of literature, it explores how academic air travel both reflects and helps to reproduce patterns of colonial relations. Relatedly, the article considers how flying less contributes to the decolonization of higher education—especially in relation to “nature” and the appropriation of “the commons.” By insisting on the inextricable entanglement of society and nature, it thus illuminates how aeromobility-related consumption both arises from and reproduces persistent inequities born of imperialism and coloniality. On this basis, the article pushes advocates of reduced flying and of decolonization to engage one another in a common project to challenge disparities between peoples and places, as well as interspecies ones, as they relate to aeromobility, consumption, and political ecology.
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This contribution is critical of Neo-Schumpeterian innovation studies for a historic tendency to reify 'industrial' capitalism as its main conceptual framing model. This includes blind spots concerning the sustainability-free advocacy of 'green revolution' chemical fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide practice in industrialist food production. The Coronavirus contagion has alerted regional scientists to these lacunae and this contribution attempts to re-balance the prevailing traditional industrialist bias by considering alternative, more sustainability-informed innovation emphases. These include efforts to conceive innovative sustainable spatial planning models. A particular omission has been re-appraisal of the negative sustainability effects of global tourism. We do this by analyses of 'territorial innovation', including considerations of 'new urbanism' solutions to prevailing discontents, and advocating 'GreenSphere' design of 'circular economies' to escape from the negative effects of the environmental despoliation by urban congestion, widespread pollution (including pandemics), global tourism and human well-being. We exemplify the aspects of these conditions by running through three post-urban Model-types-Megacentres (e.g.
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The Guiana Shield is an understudied region within the north-east of the Amazon basin, hosting high levels of biodiversity and endemics. Its potentially high and intact forest cover plays a crucial role in regional and global climate processes. Due to the mostly impenetrable nature of tropical rainforests, satellite data is more advantageous over insitu data collection. Land cover calculations reveal that deforestation rates are rising and have escalated dramatically since 2012, with a 139.2% increase between 2001 and 2019; leaving previous statements about the intact nature of this region to be considered outdated. Deforestation is not spatially homogenous across the Guiana Shield. Fire occurrence within the Guiana Shield does not follow a linear pattern, with major variation across the study period. 40.7% of all fires in the study period took place within the ‘dense forest’ land cover classification, which was unexpected. There appears to be no large-scale regional relationship between fire and deforestation, leading to the conclusion that deforestation is predominantly driven by other factors. Whilst intact forests may still be classified as pristine, this is becoming increasingly under threat, and if further action is not taken, we may push these tropical forests beyond their limits, resulting in catastrophic impacts.
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Air travel is often justified as ‘necessary’ or ‘unavoidable’, in the sense that trips have purpose and value. Yet it is evident that people travel for reasons that may include forced and voluntary movement, with motives ranging from visiting friends and family, to leisure, or business. In light of the challenge to decarbonise transport, and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, this paper discusses the perceived necessity of flight from individual and societal perspectives, while considering moral and economic viewpoints. It suggests that travel motives have different degrees of ‘urgency’, and that the ‘necessity of flight’ cannot be generalised. To empirically test this hypothesis in an exploratory survey, we used mixed methods to examine the perspectives of 29 international students at Lund University, Sweden on the perceived importance of their flights (n = 587) over a six-year period (2012–2017). Results show that the value associated with individual flights depends on flight motive, experience, life stage, or situational factors. Notably, almost half of the leisure flights made lack importance. Implications are discussed in the context of climate policy and the future development of the aviation system.
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Despite increasing geographic mobility among academic staff, gendered patterns of involvement in academic mobility have largely escaped scrutiny. Positioned within literatures on internationalisation, physical proximity, gender and parenthood in academic mobility and understandings of gender as a process enacted through both discursive and embodied practices, we use discourse analysis based on interviews with academics in New Zealand to examine differences in language that create differing realities with regards to gender and obligations of care in academic mobility decisions. The findings reveal how academic mobility is discursively formulated as 'essential' to successful academic careers, with the need for frequent travel justified despite advances in virtual communication technologies. Heteronormative discourses are shown to disrupt and fragment the opportunities female academics have to engage in academic mobility. However, we also uncover ways in which these discourses are resisted, wherein fathers articulate emotional strain associated with academic mobility. The paper shows how discourse works to constitute the essentialisation of academic mobility, and the uneven gendered practices associated with it, whilst also giving voice to gender inequities in academic mobility from the southern hemisphere.
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Academic mobility for field work, research dissemination and global outreach is increasingly recognized as an important contributor to the overall environmental footprint of research institutions. Student mobility, while less studied, also contributes to universities' environmental footprint. Université de Montréal (UdeM) is the largest university in Montréal, Canada. It has a research budget of 450M$, employs 1426 full-time professors, and has a total student population of 33,125 undergraduate and 12,505 graduate students. To assess the footprint of academic mobility at UdeM, we surveyed the research community (n = 703; including professors, research professionals and graduate students) about their travel habits. We also measured the contribution from travel undertaken by sports teams and international students as well as students engaged in study abroad and internships programs using data provided by the university. While the average distance travelled for work and research purposes by the UdeM community is around 8525 km/person, professors travel more than 33,000 km/person per year. We also estimated that the 5785 international students or students enrolled in study abroad programs travel annually around 12,600 km/person. UdeM's per capita annual travel-related C and N footprints vary, with international students generating for example 3.85 T CO2 and 0.53 kg N while professors generate 10.76 T CO2 and 2.19 kg N. Air travel emissions are the main contributors to these footprints. We provide insights into the distribution of travel-related environmental footprint within the university, the main reasons for traveling, the most frequent destinations, and the factors preventing researchers from reducing their travel-related environmental impact.
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Tourism contributes significantly to global gross domestic product, and is forecast to grow at an annual 4%, thus outpacing many other economic sectors. However, global carbon emissions related to tourism are currently not well quantified. Here, we quantify tourism-related global carbon flows between 160 countries, and their carbon footprints under origin and destination accounting perspectives. We find that, between 2009 and 2013, tourism’s global carbon footprint has increased from 3.9 to 4.5 GtCO2e, four times more than previously estimated, accounting for about 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Transport, shopping and food are significant contributors. The majority of this footprint is exerted by and in high-income countries. The rapid increase in tourism demand is effectively outstripping the decarbonization of tourism-related technology. We project that, due to its high carbon intensity and continuing growth, tourism will constitute a growing part of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
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Emissions from aviation will continue to increase in the future, in contradiction of global climate policy objectives. Yet, airlines and airline organisations suggest that aviation will become climatically sustainable. This paper investigates this paradox by reviewing fuel-efficiency gains since the 1960s in comparison to aviation growth, and by linking these results to technology discourses, based on a two-tiered approach tracing technology-focused discourses over 20 years (1994–2013). Findings indicate that a wide range of solutions to growing emissions from aviation have been presented by industry, hyped in global media, and subsequently vanished to be replaced by new technology discourses. Redundant discourses often linger in the public domain, where they continue to be associated with industry aspirations of ‘sustainable aviation’ and ‘zero-emission flight’. The paper highlights and discusses a number of technology discourses that constitute ‘technology myths’, and the role these ‘myths’ may be playing in the enduring but flawed promise of sustainable aviation. We conclude that technology myths require policy-makers to interpret and take into account technical uncertainty, which may result in inaction that continues to delay much needed progress in climate policy for aviation.
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Geographic perspectives on civil aviation have traditionally been situated within the conceptual landscapes and languages of a transport geography in which quantitative methodologies have been to the fore. While such perspectives have shed light on the increasingly complex morphology of global air routes, this article argues such approaches tend to downplay crucial questions concerning the social production and consumption of airspace. Drawing on ideas from the newly-emergent `mobilities' paradigm, we use this article to flag up some alternative geographies of air travel, arguing that socially- and culturally-inflected perspectives can usefully reveal the iniquitous imprints of global air travel at a variety of spatial scales. We hence conclude that there is much to be gained by adopting such perspectives, and argue that work on the social dimensions of air travel is vital in a discipline where air transport is routinely described as an enabler of globalization, yet is often treated as an abstract, and oddly disembodied, space of flows.
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The action required to stem the environmental and social implications of climate change depends crucially on how humankind shapes technology, economy, lifestyle and policy. With transport CO2 emissions accounting for about a quarter of the total, we examine the contribution of CO2 output by scientific travel. Thankfully for the reputation of the scientific community, CO2 emissions associated with the trips required to present a paper at a scientific conference account for just 0.003% of the yearly total. However, with CO2 emissions for a single conference trip amounting to 7% of an average individual's total CO2 emissions, scientists should lead by example by demonstrating leadership in addressing the issue.
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Despite an emerging consensus that societal energy consumption and related emissions are not only influenced by technical efficiency but also by lifestyles and socio-cultural factors, few attempts have been made to operationalise these insights in models of energy demand. This paper addresses that gap by presenting a scenario exercise using an integrated suite of sectoral and whole systems models to explore potential energy pathways in the UK transport sector. Techno-economic driven scenarios are contrasted with one in which social change is strongly influenced by concerns about energy use, the environment and well-being. The ‘what if’ Lifestyle scenario reveals a future in which distance travelled by car is reduced by 74% by 2050 and final energy demand from transport is halved compared to the reference case. Despite the more rapid uptake of electric vehicles and the larger share of electricity in final energy demand, it shows a future where electricity decarbonisation could be delayed. The paper illustrates the key trade-off between the more aggressive pursuit of purely technological fixes and demand reduction in the transport sector and concludes there are strong arguments for pursuing both demand and supply side solutions in the pursuit of emissions reduction and energy security.
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Policy Update The UK Climate Change Act 2008 requires the UK Government to decide by the end of 2012 whether and how it will include international aviation emissions in the Act's emission reduction framework. The decision will follow two public consultations and will be announced within the context of a double-dip recession and assertions that expanding aviation capacity will reinvigorate an ailing economy [1,2]. The additional GHG emissions from expansion, it is argued, will be minimized by the use of 'environmentally friendly planes' incentivized through aviation's recent inclusion in the EU-ETS; any residual emissions would be offset through traded permits [101]. This article highlights how, given the difficulties of carrying out robust analysis on the economics around aviation, the presumption that further aviation growth is good for the economy is at best premature and may yet prove dangerously misleading. As it stands, the debate is ongoing as to whether investment in aviation generates returns over and above similar investment levels elsewhere in the UK economy. Any resilient decision on investment must heed the carbon intensity of the activity in generating such returns and the likely upwards trajectory of a carbon price. On climate change and emissions the conclusion is unequivocal. Regardless of the EU-ETS, any level of medium-term aviation growth is incompatible with the carbon budgets accompanying the UK's commitments under both the Copenhagen Accord and the Cancun Agreement. Even with optimistic projections of improved aircraft efficiency, it is incumbent on the industry to substantially reduce its emissions over the coming two decades if the UK is not to renege on its climate change commitments. Given the high profile and stridency of claims by Yeo and Darling, amongst many others, for the urgent expansion of aviation capacity [101–103], how do their arguments stand up to the evidence on the role of aviation in climate change and economic reform? 'Environmentally friendly planes' The proposition that environmentally friendly planes will play a pivotal role in delivering a low-carbon aviation industry is worthy of particular focus, as it suggests concern over growth in the sector is misplaced. However, despite the rhetoric, there are significant challenges and inherent obstacles in relying on technology to mitigate the GHG emissions from aircraft [3,4]. Take fuel as an example; there are few fuels that are sufficiently energy dense, and hence light enough, for flight. With those that may be viable, important uncertainties remain over the climate consequences of their combustion at high altitudes. Turning to the airframe and engine design, decades of research, development and deployment leave little opportunity for future efficiency gains, with current estimates of efficiency improvements between 0.8 and 1.5% per annum, and this would still demand substantial and ongoing R&D [5]. This absence of low emission technology is exacerbated by the fast growth that has been observed from the sector in the last 20 years, continuously outpacing technological and operational efficiency improvements [3]. Future projections demonstrate a continuation of this trend [6]. Coupling these challenges with the long lifetime of both aircraft
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This review paper examines the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets postulated by a range of organizations seeking to reduce the consequences of global climate change and how, or if, the global tourism sector can achieve its share of those targets. It takes both existing estimates of current tourism GHG emissions and emissions projected in a business-as-usual scenario through to 2035 and contrasts them with the “aspirational” emission reduction targets proclaimed by the sector. Analysis reveals that with current high-growth emission trends in tourism, the sector could become a major global source of GHGs in the future if other economic sectors achieve significant emission reductions. Success in achieving emission reductions in tourism is found to be largely dependent on major policy and practice changes in air travel, and stated tourism emission reduction targets do not appear feasible without volumetric changes considering the limited technical emission reduction potential currently projected for the aviation sector. The opportunities and challenges associated with a shift towards a low-carbon global economy are anticipated to transform tourism globally and in all respects. Much greater consideration and dissemination of these issues is required to inform future tourism development and travel decisions.
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It is now increasingly recognized that aviation is an important driver of individual and global mobility. Growth in mobility is not evenly distributed, however: recent studies indicate that a relatively small, highly mobile part of society may account for a large share of the total distances travelled. In reviewing one of the processes that may lead to growth in individual aeromobility, the paper focuses on frequent flyer programmes (FFPs) as an institutionalized framework for high mobility, detailing how these programmes reward and thus increase interest in aeromobility. Results are linked to a number of observations regarding the interrelationship of high mobility and social status, and substantiated by a survey of FFP members and their perspectives on benefits provided by such programmes. It is argued that FFPs reward high mobility and discursively interlink frequent flying with social status, which is an important element in the development of mobility patterns which shape and create the social structures that ‘necessitate’ air travel.
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Everyone needs transport to move around and to access everyday needs, but for each individual those needs are different, and they change over time and space: herein lie the seeds of inequalities in transport. In Inequality in Transport, David Banister addresses this complex problem, first through an exploration of inequality, its nature, measurement and extent. He then links inequality and the transport sector through detailed analysis of the variations in daily and long-distance travel in Great Britain over a ten-year period. He argues that there must be a much wider interpretation of inequality – one that links actual travel with measures of wellbeing and sustainability, recognizing that these will change over time. In drawing his findings together, he concludes that there must be new thinking in transport policy and planning if transport inequalities are to be alleviated.
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Chapter
The latest scientific framing of climate change emphasizes the importance of limiting cumulative emissions and the need to urgently cut CO2. International agreements on avoiding a 2 °C global temperature rise make clear the scale of CO2 reductions required across all sectors. Set against a context of urgent mitigation, the outlook for aviation's emissions is one of continued growth. Limited opportunities to further improve fuel efficiency, slow uptake of new innovations, coupled with anticipated rises in demand across continents collectively present a huge challenge to aviation in cutting emissions. While difficulties in decarbonizing aviation are recognized by industry and policymakers alike, the gap between what's necessary to avoid 2 °C and aviation's CO2 projections has profound implications. Biofuel is one of the few innovations that could play a significant role in closing the gap, but with low anticipated penetration before 2020 its contribution would have little impact over the desired timeframe. If the aviation sector does not urgently address rising emissions, there is an increasing risk that investment in new aircraft and infrastructure could lead to stranded assets. This leaves it facing an uncomfortable reality. Either the sector acts urgently on climate change and curtails rising demand, or it will be failing to take responsibility for a considerable and growing portion of climate change impacts.
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This article explores the obligations of presence behind work-related mobility for academics in internationalizing higher education systems. By further developing John Urry’s concept of ‘meetingness’, the article reveals how academics depend on corporeal and virtual mobility to create and maintain a networked professional life outside their own institution, which is crucial in the context of changing work conditions. Our insights are drawn from original qualitative research (42 interviews) in a Flemish and Danish context. The data reveal obligations of presence associated with an interrelated mix of functionality, and the construction of dense and sparse social networks that together support career success and work at the frontiers of academic knowledge. Despite the now well-recognized costs of corporeal mobility, obligations of presence result in virtual and corporeal mobility coexisting, rather than the former substituting for the latter. Virtual mobility is mainly used when conflicting obligations of presence exist, and as a means of sustaining networks over time given the processual nature of meetingness, rather than as a means to reduce levels of corporeal mobility.
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Global emissions scenarios studies, such as those informing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment Report (AR5), highlight the importance of the transport sector for climate change mitigation—along with the difficulties of achieving deep reductions therein ( 1 ) [supplementary materials (SM)]. Transport is responsible for about 23% of total energy-related CO2 emissions worldwide ( 2 ). The sector is growing more rapidly than most others, with emissions projected to double by 2050. Global scenario studies, specifically those produced by integrated assessment models (IAMs), communicate aggregate mitigation potentials by sectors in IPCC reports. Yet recent evidence indicates that emissions may be reduced further than these global scenario studies suggest—if policy-makers use the full suite of policies at their disposal.
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The increase in professional trips to conferences and seminars made by employees in the 'knowledge industries' presents an environmentally worrying trend in mobility in contemporary post-industrial society. A number of factors are involved. Globalisation and regional competition encourage host cities and institutions to put themselves on the conference map. For the individual traveller, conferences and seminars offer escape from daily routines and the chance to experience new, perhaps exotic, places. But trips to distant conferences can have serious environmental impacts, especially if made by airplane. Because of the aggressive impact of greenhouse gas emissions in the upper atmosphere, their threat to the global climate is more serious than similar trips made at surface level. In addition, the time spent on such trips competes with other tasks: conference participation takes scarce time resources available to university academics for research. In the age of electronic communication, it is questionable whether conferences are effective arenas for communicating and gathering knowledge.
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It is becoming increasingly important to think about longer term possibilities and directions that are trend breaking and can help anticipate the unexpected. The future is perhaps becoming less certain, or at least uncertainty is a central feature of future trajectories. This paper discusses the role that different types of scenarios can play in helping derive potential transport futures – including issues of possibility, plausibility and desirability – giving examples of each. It then contextualises the scenarios, emphasising the need for the longer view, the importance of decarbonising the economy, and in engaging decisions makers at all levels in a fully participatory process to confront the need for strong action on mitigation and adaptation. This is illustrated with an example from Delhi to demonstrate some of the recent developments and applications of these principles. Finally, some comments are made on the issues relating to improving our understanding of sustainability, and the difficulty of making radical changes to individual and societal values, and to travel behaviours, often requiring immediate and large scale actions.
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International movements of scientists and researchers have become more common in the increasingly inter-connected global knowledge economy. Geographic mobility is often perceived as a key to academic excellence and career advancement by scholars, especially in advanced economies. In China, where international geographical mobility is a newly-gained privilege after the advent of the Open Door Policy, academics belong to one of the most mobile subsets of the population. This paper interrogates the impact of academic mobility at the individual level among Chinese scholars who have conducted research visits in Germany. Specifically, the paper operationalises the equivocal notion of personal development with the concepts of capital accumulation and conversion (after Pierre Bourdieu). Drawing upon findings from 64 in-depth interviews with Chinese scholars of postdoctoral level or above and six key informants, and a postal survey (123 Chinese scholars with mobility biography to Germany), this paper illustrates how geographical mobility can be conceptualised as a form of capital that can be accumulated and converted to cultural, social, economic and symbolic capital. While geographical mobility is predominantly considered as a capital for positive self- and professional development, examples also demonstrate the potential detrimental effect on social capital, especially among young Chinese scholars. Using an agent-centred approach, this paper argues against a mechanical translation of geographical mobility to capital accumulation, but for a grounded understanding of the highly individualised and contextualised development processes.
Article
The production and exchange of knowledge are inextricably linked to different compulsions to corporeal proximity and therefore travel. As primary producers and transferors of knowledge, academics are no exception to this rule, and their compulsions seem to be further propelled by institutional discourses regarding the alleged virtues of “internationalization.” Tenured academics, moreover, have a high degree of independence and can therefore easily choose how to cope with compulsions and constraints to internationalize. However, the business-travel literature has paid scant attention to academics and their individual contexts. In an effort to rectify this situation, this paper explores a travel dataset of tenure-track academics (N = 870) working at Ghent University. The insights emerging from this analysis are contextualized by means of in-depth interviews of tenured academics (N = 23) at the same institution. This paper argues, first, that varying compulsions and constraints at home and abroad lead to distinct non-travel and travel-intensive academic roles. And second, that academics who have difficulties coping, try to rationalize their corporeal travel behaviour and their mobility behaviour to meet the needs and expectations to internationalize. These strategies give an indication of how travel-related working practises can become more efficient and sustainable in the future.
Article
In this article I discuss just why travel takes place. Why does travel occur, especially with the development of new communications technologies? I unpack how corporeal proximity in diverse modes appears to make travel necessary and desirable. I examine how aspects of conversational practice and of `meetings' make travel obligatory for sustaining `physical proximity'. I go on to consider the roles that travel plays in social networks, using Putnam's recent analysis of social capital. The implications of different kinds of travel for the distribution of such social capital are spelled out. I examine what kinds of corporeal travel are necessary and appropriate for a rich and densely networked social life across various social groups. And in the light of these analyses of proximity and social capital, virtual travel will not in a simple sense substitute for corporeal travel, since intermittent co-presence appears obligatory for many forms of social life. However, virtual travel does seem to produce a strange and uncanny life on the screen that is near and far, present and absent, and it may be that this will change the very nature of what is experienced as `co-presence'. I conclude by showing how issues of social inclusion and exclusion cannot be examined without identifying the complex, overlapping and contradictory mobilities necessarily involved in the patterning of an embodied social life.
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Several scholars have underlined connections between academic mobility and international migration. This qualitative study explores a spectrum of academic mobility articulated by Teichler that empirically contributes to consideration of these connections. This analysis of e-mail excerpts from 20 migrant academics, living in seven countries, illuminates six distinct patterns of academic mobility and highlights key differences between regions of the world. Narrowly conceiving academic mobility in terms of traditional short-term internationalization finds many universities focused on and staffed for academic mobility between countries. Other regions have long been focused on academic mobility that occurs within countries. These patterns are a result of long-term migration. At the conceptual and practical levels, this study distinguishes between the timescales and contexts of academic mobility and the theoretical justification for doing this. The resulting analysis invites a reconsideration of assumptions about academic mobility dynamics and their implications.
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This article investigates how aeromobility is used as a core element in the development of new urban strategies of experience and transformation of urban spaces. Two examples have been selected and studied: the municipalities of Billund (Denmark) and Nyköping (Sweden). It is argued that both examples are not just showing a simple form of causality, where increased access to air travelling creates a new experience destination. They also illustrate the complex impact of the increasing prevalence of air travel on the spatial, social and economic development of the cities, and at the same time, how the spatial, social and economic reorganization contributes to the prevalence of air traffic, airports and air spaces.
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abstractions and idealization of autonomy come out looking morally underdeveloped even though in their moral conduct they may exhibit fewer inhumanities than Western societies that are ranked as morally superior Kohlberg's (1971b) prescriptive stance that moral education in the classroom should consist of moving children through the stages of moral reasoning, even regardless of parental wishes, draws understandable heavy fire (Aron, 1977; Wonderly & Kupfersmid, 1980) and belies the egalitarian characterization of the theory The view of moral superiority as an autonomous self operating above communal norms and concerns does not sit well with many moral theorists Some moral philosophers, who hardly lack competence for principled reasoning, regard the principle of justice as only one among ot
Article
The increase in professional trips to conferences and seminars made by employees in the 'knowledge industries' presents an environmentally worrying trend in mobility in contemporary post-industrial society. A number of factors are involved. Globalisation and regional competition encourage host cities and institutions to put themselves on the conference map. For the individual traveller, conferences and seminars offer escape from daily routines and the chance to experience new, perhaps exotic, places. But trips to distant conferences can have serious environmental impacts, especially if made by airplane. Because of the aggressive impact of greenhouse gas emissions in the upper atmosphere, their threat to the global climate is more serious than similar trips made at surface level. In addition, the time spent on such trips competes with other tasks: conference participation takes scarce time resources available to university academics for research. In the age of electronic communication, it is questionable whether conferences are effective arenas for communicating and gathering knowledge.
Article
The strong growth in air travel raises the question of environmental awareness among air travellers. This article focuses on the exclusion of serious environmental problems of international air travel from the air travellers’ environmental consciousness. It approaches this question, in particular, by exploring international work‐related air travel in two Danish knowledge organizations. The article identifies that the knowledge workers, in general, consider themselves as environmentally aware. However, there is no connection between their environmental attitude and their actual travel behaviour. The article shows that a number of other rationalities seem to affect the travel behaviour more strongly than environmental attitude. Subsequently by reviewing other studies, the article describes how the exclusion of air travel from the environmental consciousness is not only the case among knowledge workers but also seems to be a general problem in relation to flying in modern societies. In the discussion and conclusion, the article therefore focuses on the possibility of creating a stronger link between air travel behaviour and environmental attitude.
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Much of the literature on social exclusion ignores its ‘spatial’ or ‘mobility’ related aspects. This paper seeks to rectify this by examining the mobile processes and infrastructures of travel and transport that engender and reinforce social exclusion in contemporary societies. To the extent to which this issue is addressed, it is mainly organized around the notion of ‘access’ to activities, values and goods. This paper examines this discourse in some detail. It is argued that there are many dimensions of such access, that improving access is a complex matter because of the range of human activities that might need to be ‘accessed’, that in order to know what is to be accessed the changing nature of travel and communications requires examination, and that some dimensions of access are only revealed through changes in the infrastructure that ‘uncover’ previously hidden social exclusions. Claims about access and socio-spatial exclusion routinely make assumptions about what it is to participate effectively in society. We turn this question around, also asking how mobilities of different forms constitute societal values and sets of relations, participation in which may become important for social inclusion. This paper draws upon an extensive range of library, desk and field research to deal with crucial issues relating to the nature of a fair, just and mobile society.
Article
This article explores networking and travel in two international knowledge organizations located in Denmark. It shows that these knowledge organizations are organized in various ways through different types of network on different scales. Therefore the individual employees in both organizations are dependent on their ability to create and maintain relations within networks. The article argues that such networking activities cannot be understood separately from air travel. However, work and travel decisions are also highly individualized, meaning that a number of more individual and non-work rationalities are also significant in employees deciding whether to travel or not. Therefore the article concludes that, in a number of social situations, individual rationalities function as a barrier to the increased use of video technology. It is therefore necessary to create new mechanisms to support the increased use of virtual communications in order to reduce the environmental impact of air travel in knowledge organizations.
Article
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Article
The present paper documents the influential role played by selective moral disengagement for social practices that cause widespread human harm and degrade the environment. Disengagement of moral self-sanctions enables people to pursue detrimental practices freed from the restraint of self-censure. This is achieved by investing ecologically harmful practices with worthy purposes through social, national, and economic justifications; enlisting exonerative comparisons that render the practices righteous; use of sanitising and convoluting language that disguises what is being done; reducing accountability by displacement and diffusion of responsibility; ignoring, minimising, and disputing harmful effects; and dehumanising and blaming the victims and derogating the messengers of ecologically bad news. These psychosocial mechanisms operate at both the individual and social systems levels. of social cognitive theory, which is rooted in an agentic perspective. His landmark book, Social Foundations of Thought and Action: a Social Cognitive Theory, provides the conceptual framework for this theory. In his book, Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control, he presents the definitive exposition of the centrality of people's beliefs in their personal and collective efficacy in exercising some measure of control over their self-development, adaptation and change. He was elected to the presidency of the American Psychological Association and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
Book
This book examines how nations and other key participants in the global community address problems requiring collective action. The global community has achieved some successes, such as eradicating smallpox, but other efforts to coordinate nations’ actions, such as the reduction of drug trafficking, have not been sufficient. This book identifies the factors that promote or inhibit successful collective action at the regional and global level for an ever-growing set of challenges stemming from augmented cross-border flows associated with globalization. Modern principles of collective action are identified and applied to a host of global challenges, including promoting global health, providing foreign assistance, controlling rogue nations, limiting transnational terrorism, and intervening in civil wars. Because many of these concerns involve strategic interactions where choices and consequences are dependent on one’s own and others’ actions, the book relies, in places, on elementary game theory that is fully introduced for the uninitiated reader.
Article
This paper discusses the relationship between internationalisation, mobility, quality and equality in the context of recent developments in research policy in the European Research Area (ERA). Although these developments are specifically concerned with the growth of research capacity at European level, the issues raised have much broader relevance to those concerned with research policy and highly skilled mobility. The paper draws on a wealth of recent research examining the relationship between mobility and career progression with particular reference to a recently completed empirical study of doctoral mobility in the social sciences (Ackers etal. Doctoral Mobility in the Social Sciences. Report to the NORFACE ERA-Network, 2007). The paper is structured as follows. The first section introduces recent policy developments including the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers and the European Commission’s Green Paper on the ERA. The discussion focuses on concerns around the definition of ‘mobility’ and the tendency (in both policy circles and academic research) to conflate different forms of mobility and to equate these with notions of excellence or quality. Scientific mobility is shaped as much by ‘push’ factors (limited opportunity) as it is by the ‘draw’ of excellence. Scientists are exercising a degree of ‘choice’ within a specific and individualised framework of constraints. The following sections consider some of the ‘professional’ and ‘personal’ factors shaping scientific mobility and the influence that these have on the relationship between mobility, internationalisation and excellence. The paper concludes that mobility is not an outcome in its own right and must not be treated as such (as an implicit indicator of internationalisation). To do so contributes to differential opportunity in scientific labour markets reducing both efficiency and equality.
Article
Although rational choice theory has made considerable advances in other social sciences, its progress in sociology has been limited. Some sociologists' reservations about rational choice arise from a misunderstanding of the theory. The first part of this essay therefore introduces rational choice as a general theoretical perspective, or family of theories, which explains social outcomes by constructing models of individual action and social context. "Thin" models of individual action are mute about actors' motivations, while "thick" models specify them ex ante. Other sociologists' reservations, however, stem from doubts about the empirical adequacy of rational choice explanations. To this end, the bulk of the essay reviews a sample of recent studies that provide empirical support for particular rational choice explanations in a broad spectrum of substantive areas in sociology. Particular attention is paid to studies on the family, gender, and religion, for these subareas often are considered least amenable to understanding in terms of rational choice logic.
Article
In this paper, the hypothesis is that there is a connection between international aeromobility, knowledge organisations, and environmental impacts. The object is therefore to examine the driving forces, mechanisms, and patterns of meaning behind the increase in international long-distance work mobility. The author will draw on a case study which involves two Danish examples of ‘knowledge organisations’. He argues that it is necessary to rethink central concepts of travel, tourism, and working life, in order to understand and describe this kind of international mobility in these organisations. The boundary between work and tourism is not distinct and there is a very complex connection between travel, work, tourism, and play. He shows that actually, there is a strong ‘material’ impact from supposedly ‘immaterial’ organisations and this ‘materiality’ is particularly linked to the extension of forms of mobility. This has implications for understanding the possibilities of replacing physical work mobility with virtual mobility as a tool in order to ensure a more ‘sustainable transport system’ in the future.
Article
This paper considers the role that physical, corporeal travel plays in social life. There is a large and increasing scale of such travel. This increase has occurred simultaneously with the proliferation of communication devices that in some ways substitute for physical travel. I hypothesize that the bases of such travel are new ways in which social life is 'networked'. Such increasingly extensive networks, hugely extended through the informational revolution, depend for their functioning upon intermittent occasioned meetings. These moments of physical co-presence and face-to-face conversation, are crucial to patterns of social life that occur 'at-a-distance', whether for business, leisure, family life, politics, pleasure or friendship. So life is networked but it also involves specific co-present encounters within specific times and places. 'Meetingness', and thus different forms and modes of travel, are central to much social life, a life involving strange combinations of increasing distance and intermittent co-presence. The paper seeks to examine the place of travel within the emergent pattern of a 'networked sociality'. It seeks to contribute to the emerging 'mobility turn' within the social sciences.
Article
There is now clear scientific evidence that emissions from economic activity, particularly the burning of fossil fuels for energy, are causing changes to the Earth´s climate. A sound understanding of the economics of climate change is needed in order to underpin an effective global response to this challenge. The Stern Review is an independent, rigourous and comprehensive analysis of the economic aspects of this crucial issue. It has been conducted by Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of the UK Government Economic Service, and a former Chief Economist of the World Bank. The Economics of Climate Change will be invaluable for all students of the economics and policy implications of climate change, and economists, scientists and policy makers involved in all aspects of climate change.
Commercial Market Outlook
  • Boeing
Boeing. (2019). Commercial Market Outlook 2019-2038. Retrieved 22 October 2019 from: http://www.boeing.com/ resources/boeingdotcom/commercial/market/commercial-market-outlook/assets/downloads/cmo-sept-2019-report-final.pdf.
What percent of the world's population will fly in an airplane in their lives?
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Towards a culture of low-carbon research for the 21st Century
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Le Qu er e, C., Capstick, S., Corner, A., Cutting, D., Johnson, M., Minns, A., … Wood, R. (2015). Towards a culture of low-carbon research for the 21st Century. Tyndall Working Paper 161, March 2015. https://tyndall.ac.uk/ publications/tyndall-working-paper/2015/towards-culture-low-carbon-research-21st-century
Behaviour change, public engagement and Net Zero. A report for the Committee on Climate Change (UK)
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Carmichael, R. (2019). Behaviour change, public engagement and Net Zero. A report for the Committee on Climate Change (UK). Retrieved 22 October 2019 from https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/behaviour-change-publicengagement-and-net-zero-imperial-college-london/
Innovations to transport personal mobility
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Schwanen, T. (2016). Innovations to transport personal mobility. In D. Hopkins & J. E. S. Higham (Eds.), Low carbon mobility transitions. Oxford: Goodfellow.
Gender discourses in academic mobility. Gender, Work & Organization
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Cohen, S. A., Hanna, P., Higham, J., Hopkins, D., & Orchiston, C. (2020). Gender discourses in academic mobility. Gender, Work & Organization. doi:10.1111/gwao.12413
Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere in a changing climate
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Read ten thousand books, walk ten thousand miles': Geographical mobility and capital accumulation among Chinese scholars. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
  • M W Leung
Leung, M. W. (2013). Read ten thousand books, walk ten thousand miles': Geographical mobility and capital accumulation among Chinese scholars. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 38(2), 311-324. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00526.x