Italian Scientist Takes Low-Carbon Route Despite Losing Job

Italian Scientist Takes Low-Carbon Route Despite Losing Job

Gianluca Grimulda, an Italian scientist, recently made a decision to take a slow and low-carbon route for his research trip from Kiel, Germany to Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea. This decision was in line with his personal vow as a climate researcher to avoid taking commercial flights whenever possible. Unfortunately, his employer, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, did not support his decision and ordered him to return to Kiel within a tight timeframe or face termination. Despite facing difficulties along the way, including a volcanic eruption and being kidnapped by bandits, Grimulda remained steadfast in his commitment to slow travel.

By opting for slow travel, Grimulda’s journey took him over 14,000 miles and emitted approximately 925 lbs of CO2, which is significantly lower compared to the over 5.8 tons emitted by a direct flight. In fact, his slow travel approach was estimated to be 12 times more efficient in terms of carbon emissions. His journey involved taking multiple trains, buses, ferries, taxis, and even police convoys when alternative options were not available.

Grimulda’s conscious objection to flying is not just about personal commitment but also about keeping his promise to the locals in Bougainville who assisted in his research. By taking a low-carbon route, he aimed to defy the stereotype of “liars” often associated with white men in this region due to the turbulent historical background. Furthermore, he believes that refraining from air travel is not only a personal choice but also a way to raise awareness about the urgent need to address climate change.

Grimulda understands that some people may view his decision as extreme, but he firmly believes that it is irresponsible to continue with business as usual without taking action to combat climate change. His commitment to sustainable travel serves as a reminder that individuals can make a difference by choosing low-carbon options, even if it means facing certain challenges.


Source: Climate Researcher Fired for Refusing to Fly

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