To be honest, at first I did not realise the detrimental ecological consequences of air traffic, and until recently I whitewashed them. I therefore feel guilty of having travelled around the globe by plane for private and academic purposes until accepting the gravity of the situation.
In my opinion, each of us should be aware of climate urgency, the need to drastically reduce carbon emissions, and that flying is considered one of the most severe individual contributions to carbon emissions. Every person – be it a business representative, athlete or scientist – will find explanations, excuses or justifications why he/she is the person legitimized to continue flying and to maintain other habits that degrade the environment. If this attitude does not change, then I do not look into the future with great confidence. Therefore, I am convinced that – apart from pushing for overdue political action – we also have to question ourselves and change our individual behaviour: as scientists, we should actually practise what we preach, act responsibly and live sustainably to inspire other people. If we are not paying attention to scientific evidence and warnings, and not following scientific recommendations, then who else should?
I am a conservation biologist with particular interest in wildlife monitoring and managing co-existence between wildlife and humans.