August 16, 2023, #flyingless update

A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in the Journal of Industrial Ecology compares the carbon emissions of different conference formats. The authors, Toscani, Atasu, van Wassenhove, and Vinelli, reflect not just on individual conferences but also on how academic societies can achieve their deeper goals while staying within planetary boundaries. The article draws on research by Klöwer, Parncutt, Ponette-Gonzalez, Kuper, Reay, and many other folks whose work we have highlighted previously.

A report from Possible, a non-governmental organization, titled Pointless: the Climate Impact of Frequent Flyer Status, tallies up the immense implied carbon emissions from various tiers of frequent flyer schemes.

Connected with the remarkable news of progress for the youthful plaintiffs in a climate lawsuit in Montana this month, you may be interested in Joe Nevins’ interview with the legal scholar Mary Christina Wood in 2016 just as our initiative was getting started.

Please continue to share our initiative on the platform sometimes known as Twitter (@flyingless). The diversity of new options has been beyond the ability of our small volunteer initiative to manage. During these times of chaos in social media platforms, if you find merit in our approach, please take your own actions to share our main website link on your favorite platforms with a post or comment of your own ( We need your help.

Parke’s YouTube video series, Lifestyles of the NOT Jet Set, was reviewed in an essay by the writer and educator Amy Benson. The newly released Episode 17: Listening takes a walking tour of New Orleans music history sites, while reflecting on the Juneteenth holiday and an ongoing heat wave.

A pilot multi-site academic and social event

On March 8, we piloted a hybrid conference format in Boston and London as part of the student-organized 16th annual Tufts Nutrition Data Symposium (TNDS), whose theme was “Sustainability Now: Action-Oriented Solutions for Food Systems, Nutrition, and Diet.” Tufts University and the London School of Health and Tropical Medicine hosted a viewing party for the keynote speaker, Dr. Catherine Nakalembe, followed by a social event afterwards so that students, staff, and faculty at both locations could engage with one another (pictures below). Two large TV monitors with speakers hooked up to Zoom allowed participants to interact across sites. In our pilot, the video connections worked better than the audio, and we are now experimenting with technical options for improving the audio in the future. Many conferences successfully broadcast keynote speeches, but there are great opportunities for future innovations to improve the interactivity and interpersonal warmth of social events in multi-site conferences. Our website has a tab for more information on low-carbon conferences.