Sustainable Energy, the Environment & Astronomy:
Thursday 7th January, 12:30pm-3:30pm
Maryland A - Free Pizza
Global climate change is arguably the most pressing scientific, social and ethical issue of our time. Astronomy represents only a fraction of the total human carbon emissions, but astronomers have a great potential, and therefore perhaps a great responsibility, to educate themselves and the public on this issue. In addition, the average per capita carbon emissions of professional astronomers are not small, and our profession can do much to reduce its energy consumption and maximize the cost-benefit ratio of our work. The focus of this splinter meeting will be energy conservation and education as it relates to professional astronomy and outreach. Keynote speaker is climate science and policy expert Dr. Joe Romm.
See the files list below for copies of each speaker's slides, and the session poster.
Presentation material is available below for responsible, educational and non-profit use, with proper credit to the author.
We estimate that more than 100 people attended the meeting, with approximtely half signing up to be sent more information. It was a great mix of people from high school teachers to grad students, post-docs, professors, administrators and observatory directors. Thirty minutes after the end time (on the last afternoon of the AAS mind you!), there were still 25 people in the room discussing, asking questions, sharing ideas. That was great to see!
From Joe Romm: "enjoy astronomy while you can"; and from Roger Angel: "working in astronomy was beginning to feel like playing in the band on the deck of the titanic." Joe Romm's talk was very sobering.
The number one message was "amplification"-- the impact we can have by walking the walk AND TALKING THE TALK. Joe told us that "scientists are supposed to know everything about everything" so educate yourself on the topic so you can answer those questions at cocktail parties, on planes, at the PTA, etc...