The issue of carbon emissions during travel has come up now and again, most recently raised by one Female Science Professor, who even took a poll of how much her readers traveled. One of the most unexpected comments was from a computer science type
I really want to go to fewer conferences, partly for the environment, but I need the publications, and hardly anyone's going to see them if they go to our journals.autres temps, autres moeurs one supposes. But this is but the thin edge of the wedge.
Eli is a lab bunny. Labs are rooms in buildings with large electrical cables entering, high cooling costs (we heat the damn thing ohmically) and significant ventilation (throwing the bad odors up the flue). Heat exchangers and other means hold down the energy use but even the undergrad labs with their high consumption of solvents are significant greenhouse gas emitters. So other than closing the place down and being careful what should be done? NREL is making an effort as is Harvard, and there are firms specializing in energy efficient design, but the bottom line is that a lab is an energy pit. As for the modeler types, the energy cost of a respectable cluster is close to that of a mid-sized city.