Trio Of Academics Travel 8,426 Miles For ONE-HOUR Climate Change Meeting

Font Size:

Two taxpayer-funded college presidents and the president of America’s largest university-based climate alliance traveled a combined 8,426 miles this week to meet for slightly over an hour to discuss strategies for carbon reduction.

The “climate leadership meeting” occurred on Monday at Agnes Scott College, a private, all-female bastion of about 1,000 students in the Atlanta suburb of Decatur.

The meeting lasted one hour, seven minutes and 21 seconds, according to the YouTube video which captured it for posterity.

Speakers at the meeting included Ball State University president Paul Ferguson, Portland State University president Wim Wiewel and Tim Carter, the president of Second Nature, a Boston, Mass.-based coalition of colleges dedicated to fighting climate change.

Wiewel’s visit to the Agnes Scott campus all the way from the Portland State campus involved a lengthy round-trip journey of 5,192 miles.

Ferguson’s visit to suburban Atlanta from Ball State’s campus back in Muncie, Ind. took him on a round trip of 1,066 miles (assuming a direct flight from Indianapolis to Atlanta). The distance does not include the 132-mile round trip from Muncie to Indianapolis.

Carter’s expedition from Boston to Atlanta covered 2,168 miles.

According to The New York Times, a 5,810-mile round-trip flight from San Francisco to New York generates a warming effect equal to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per passenger.

Collectively, then, the two college presidents and the president of the carbon-reduction group created about 4 tons of carbon dioxide with their 8,426 miles of travel.

By way of comparison, a typical American generates approximately 19 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Thus, in a single day, the three carbon-fighting academics produced as much carbon dioxide as a single American normally takes 11 weeks to produce.

Besides Ferguson, Wiewel and Carter, it’s not clear if any carbon-fighting luminaries who traveled great distance were present.

Agnes Scott College president Elizabeth Kiss was also present at Monday’s climate leadership meeting on the Agnes Scott campus.

According to the Second Nature website, the group seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on campuses and “to deal with a constantly changing climate and resulting extremes.”

The weather in Decatur, Ga. on Monday was pleasant. The temperature was in the 60s most of the day, according to Weather Underground. There was no rain.

Second Nature recently expanded its efforts to include an “integrated Climate Commitment,” according to a press release Second Nature sent to The Daily Caller.

A “vanguard” of 45 university presidents have committed their schools to this new commitment. (RELATED: Jet-Setting Students Decry Brown University Decision Not To Divest From Coal Companies)

“We have worked closely with our presidential leadership to ensure this expansion would empower the network to continue to push what is possible in climate leadership,” Carter the Second Nature president, said.

“Our institutions continue to be committed to carbon reduction, but we recognize that the effects of climate change are with us now,” Wiewel, the Portland State president who traveled 5,192 round-trip miles for the one-hour meeting, added. “Individually and collectively, we have to increase our resilience in dealing with the effects of climate change, whether it’s drought, fires, storms, or other events.”

Follow Eric on TwitterLike Eric on Facebook. Send education-related story tips to