The average Canadian produces 22 tones of carbon dioxide each year - equal to the weight of about 4 large elephants. Doesn't everyone measure carbon dioxide in elephants? One of those Canadians happens to be biochemistry professor Hervé Philippe from the Université de Montréal.
Philippe was surprised to discover that his scientific work (computers, air travel, and air conditioning) added up to 44 tons of carbon dioxide a year, or almost 9 extra elephants. Amidst reports of rapidly accelerating carbon dioxide emissions, it is not surprising that we often forget the many aspects of our life that cause carbon dioxide emissions.
Professor Philippe recommends that to combat research's contribution to carbon emissions Universities should encourage fewer conferences, use more virtual technology for communication, and avoid research on 'well explored topics'. Policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions might be trendy now, but will be extremely beneficial to both the environment and the pocketbook once the externalized costs of global warming are recognized. There is a limit to how many elephants can really fit in the atmosphere, CO2 elephants that is. via :: Eureka Alert Article
“I did my PhD on nucleotide sequencing in the hope of advancing our knowledge of biodiversity, but I never thought that the research itself could have a negative impact on biodiversity" said professor Philippe. He continued, "By viewing oil as an unlimited resource we are making a tremendous mistake."
More on How to Reduce Your Carbon Dioxide Emissions
TreeHugger's How to Green Your Work
TreeHugger's How To Green Your Carbon Offsets
Planet Green: Reduce Your Company's Carbon Footprint
Planet Green: Eat a Low-Carbon Diet
Planet Green: Find, Start a Carpool
More on Energy Efficiency and Carbon Dioxide Emissions Policy
Beating the Energy Efficiency Paradox (Part I)
Efficiency is Crucial to a Green Future
Zero-Emission Policy Only Way to Mitigate Global Warming Declare Scientists
Truth & Consequences: When Carbon Emission Has A Cost
Obama Calls for Cap-and-Trade