Splinter Meeting Sustainability

Astronomy and Sustainability

Time: Friday September 17, 09:00-11:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Room: virtual Sustain

Convenor(s): Volker Ossenkopf-Okada [1], Knud Jahnke [2]
[1] Universität zu Köln, [2] MPIA

The current system of human activity is destroying Earth's natural resources, including its climate system, in a fundamental way - foreseeably damaging human livelihood conditions in the not-so-far future. We astronomers have a particular responsibility, both from our above-average per-capita contribution to the developing climate catastrophe, but at the same time through our truly global view of Earth as a solitary location in space together with our role as science communicators.
The splinter will address constructive pathways of how to take responsibility for our own discipline’s emissions, and how to contribute to the required changes in society to limit global heating. It will cover data on astronomy’s key emission points, the basics of CO2-accounting for astronomical institutes, and identify areas of action and initial strategies for the reduction of our own emissions, like sustainable conferences, sustainable computing and efficient observatory construction and operations. The splinter will highlight challenges to be solved, but also our special position as communicators of the unique and fragile character of planet Earth in the Universe.


Friday September 17, 09:00-11:00 Astronomy and Sustainability (virtual Sustain)

09:00  Volker Ossenkopf-Okada:
Introduction: Astronomy and Sustainability

09:15  Jan Rybizki:
Climate impact of flying and computing - aspects to be tackled by the astro community

09:35  A. Hänel:
Light pollution as a threat to optical astronomy

09:55  Knud Jahnke:
Global greenhouse gas emissions of astronomy conferencing: a 2019 baseline

10:15  Vanessa Moss:
A sustainable future for astronomy collaboration and conferences?

10:35  Leonard Burtscher:
Astronomers for Planet Earth: how a grass-roots organisation is helping astronomers address the climate crisis

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