SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication http://forum.susana.org/ Sun, 01 Feb 2015 16:39:30 +0000 Kunena 1.6 http://forum.susana.org/components/com_kunena/template/default/images/icons/rss.png SuSanA - Forum http://forum.susana.org/ en-gb Re: Air travel to conferences, site visits, etc. - by: joeturner http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11813 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11813
I was just showing that a single return flight has quite a lot of emissions relative to something else (in my case, annual car emissions). I wasn't trying to justify my car emissions.]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Thu, 29 Jan 2015 18:25:41 +0000
Re: Air travel to conferences, site visits, etc. - by: nbfaso http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11809 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11809
As someone who spends most of their time living in-country for my projects I tend to be flying mainly for visiting family at home (unfortunately not very often!), though occasionally I will fly between countries. Recently I had to weigh up getting from Malawi to Rwanda/Uganda and I considered the overland possibility for keeping costs down - even speaking to people who had just done the road trip - to come to a decision to take the flight instead of several days' worth of buses and uncertainty across Western Tanzania.

Having also travelled between countries in West Africa on 24 hour bus journeys I also know the toll it took on me and my ability to work effectively once I arrived at destination. I guess some people are able to travel with little impact on their health and level of fatigue and I would consider them very lucky. In hindsight I don't doubt that some of these trips may have been more effective had I taken a flight. Of course, I have not considered the ecological impact with respect to the work I am doing, but merely from a personal standpoint, and the domain is really field work rather than conferences.

That said I have sometimes been amazed at just how many flights some colleagues with various project partners can take in one year (2-3 visits from Europe to multiple Southern destinations) not just in terms of CO2 but also in terms of project budgets - especially so when their organisations are working on CO2 projects!

I do believe, however, that they are very conscious of the issue and do consider it very seriously. I think many such organisations will, or should be taking steps to reduce such travel. Any credible organisation working in sustainability must really consider this seriously.

One could argue that long-term reliance on travel by Northern experts for an organisation is a key sign of unsustainability, but is there a way of bridging the capacity building gap in the short-term wherein shuttling people around the world can be avoided/reduced?

joeturner:
The emissions from Elisabeth's flights (in tourist class) is only a bit more than the emissions driving my car for a whole year.

I agree that it is up to people to be the change they want to see, within reason. What would the impact be if everyone were to stop driving, or businesses stop shipping giant tankers from port to port to deliver those cars and our smartphones? If taking one flight is deemed unacceptable because it produces CO2 equivalent to a year's car use, why is it any more acceptable to use a car for one year or heat your house using dirty technology?

JKMakowka:
I know that this sounds like a rationalisation to avoid changing ones life style (and it might in fact be subconsciously to some extend ), but what most people fail to see is that climate change can not be seen seperatly from the overall issues in our society which caused it.
And as I don't see anything changing in that regard (at least not before things get much worse), we should rather brace for an hard impact and try to adapt and prepare as well as possible for what will come.

There are people working on reducing transport emissions as there are people working on improving sustainable sanitation and energy generation, and there are some people consciously attempting to reduce their own CO2 impacts, so the overall trend should really be positive - by trying to rationalise it this way and even including the current majority not making any personal changes, I don't feel quite so pessimistic.

It would be good if the long term benefits of these flights outweighed their short term impact, but is there a way to quantify it and know if a good job is being done? I imagine hundreds of projects could be qualified as failures if only we knew the total negative externalities produced directly or indirectly by project implementation only!]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:51:00 +0000
Re: Air travel to conferences, site visits, etc. - by: KaiMikkel http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11758 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11758 Miscellaneous - any other topic Tue, 27 Jan 2015 06:50:58 +0000 Re: Air travel to conferences, site visits, etc. - by: isis http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11747 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11747 Miscellaneous - any other topic Sat, 24 Jan 2015 02:12:20 +0000 Re: Toilet map of India - by: jonpar http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/5896-toilet-map-of-india#11746 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/5896-toilet-map-of-india#11746
I started looking at openstreetmap.org and came across this www.toiletmap.org/ (which has now been "closed") but this one greatbritishpublictoiletmap.rca.ac.uk/about has taken up the baton.

Looks good although could be developed further for people to be able to comment (similar to tripadvisor) and then annual awards/recognition for best public toilet.

But the main reason for the posting is to enquire if there are sites like this for other countries such as India.

regards,

Jonathan

p.s. there is a report on "Publicly Accessible Toilets - An Inclusive Design Guide" available from www.hhc.rca.ac.uk/CMS/files/Toilet_LoRes.pdf]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Sat, 24 Jan 2015 01:52:03 +0000
Re: Air travel to conferences, site visits, etc. - by: JKMakowka http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11743 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11743
I know that this sounds like a rationalisation to avoid changing ones life style (and it might in fact be subconsciously to some extend ), but what most people fail to see is that climate change can not be seen seperatly from the overall issues in our society which caused it.
And as I don't see anything changing in that regard (at least not before things get much worse), we should rather brace for an hard impact and try to adapt and prepare as well as possible for what will come.

Sustainable sanitation can be part of that adaption, air travel to international conferences probably isn't ]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Fri, 23 Jan 2015 22:31:26 +0000
Re: Air travel to conferences, site visits, etc. - by: joeturner http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11742 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11742
Elisabeth's return flight from Germany to Vietnam was a total of about 40 000 km. I have used a couple of online calculators, both suggest that this produced nearly 2 tonnes of CO2 for the round trip in tourist class and around 5 tonnes in business class.

My return flight from London to Zaragoza in Spain produced about 0.25 tonnes of CO2 (there was no business class option).

The emissions from Elisabeth's flights (in tourist class) is only a bit more than the emissions driving my car for a whole year.

My flight apparently emitted more than 10 times the amount from my annual heating and electricity bill and about 5 times more than if I had been able to do it by train.

OK, these are just numbers, but it shows that it doesn't take many or very long flights to make a substantial difference to one's total emissions.]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Fri, 23 Jan 2015 17:15:44 +0000
Re: Air travel to conferences, site visits, etc. - by: joeturner http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11741 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11741 JKMakowka wrote:
Sad/funny fact: asset-e.soup.io/asset/9691/8398_ece4.jpeg

I think the problem is much deeper than individual flights, an reducing them is a bit like buying only organic food... yes not a bad thing to do and it gives you the moral high-ground, but ultimately it doesn't change a thing.
Besides... you flying less probably just means someone else flying more as prices go down (to some extend at least).


I think it is really disgusting that so many private jets are flying to Davos. And I don't accept that reducing flights is a) taking the moral high ground or b) making no difference.

To use a sanitation analogue, presumably a person might think that it makes no difference if they continue with Open Defecation when a village has been declared ODF. But we know that it is possible for one person's behaviour to adversely affect the rest of the community. Just declaring that one's own behaviour makes no difference cuts little ice (if you'll excuse my phrase).

And if reducing flights does not start with us, where is it going to start?

Maybe a pessimistic view, but I think our grandchildren will have other issues to worry about than complaining about their wasteful ancestors.


I think this might be true, but historical research is a bit of a hobby of mine. I think it is possible to look back at various historical periods and wonder why people were so slow to do anything about (for example) slavery. I don't think it is impossible to imagine our grandchildren thinking that we were wasteful in flying when we didn't need to.]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:51:35 +0000
Re: Air travel to conferences, site visits, etc. - by: JKMakowka http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11740 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11740 asset-e.soup.io/asset/9691/8398_ece4.jpeg

I think the problem is much deeper than individual flights, an reducing them is a bit like buying only organic food... yes not a bad thing to do and it gives you the moral high-ground, but ultimately it doesn't change a thing.
Besides... you flying less probably just means someone else flying more as prices go down (to some extend at least).

Maybe a pessimistic view, but I think our grandchildren will have other issues to worry about than complaining about their wasteful ancestors.]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:44:34 +0000
Re: Air travel to conferences, site visits, etc. - by: joeturner http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11739 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11739
In terms of a sanitation community, maybe the truth is that those of us who have been to events like these have a responsibility to not only ensure that the presentations are available but also that the issues are properly discussed with the wider SuSanA community.

For example, I now realise that there are some who maybe are not aware that the proposed post-2015 SDGs are talking about 'safe' rather than 'improved' sanitation. Without input from the SuSanA community, I'm not really sure how those who are drafting and involved in the SDG process can talk about (a) what actually is safe (b) the technologies needed to ensure safety and (c) how one would measure the spread of such technologies.]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:42:30 +0000
Re: Air travel to conferences, site visits, etc. - by: muench http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11737 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11737
Thanks for bringing this up, I struggle with the same issues and often feel very bad about my own air travel. I agree totally with what you and Joe have written.

One day our children and grandchildren will ask us "so what did you do against climate change and why did you fly around the world so much even though you knew that air travel is a contributor to your personal CO2 footprint?". Whilst air travel overall might not contribute the lion share to climate change, it is a major possible contributor to one's personal CO2 footprint; e.g. one long-distance flight per year can already double your personal CO2 emissions if I remember the figures correctly.

One thing that really irks me is how people in the sanitation sector not only fly but even fly business class. Most companies have a policy that if the flight time is longer than 6 or 8 hours then the employees are allowed to fly business class (a notable exception is Stockholm Environment Institute: I was told they all fly economy). Why is business class travel worse? Well as you get fewer business class seats on a plane it incrases your CO2 emissions by about 30% (if I remember correctly).

It also irks me that people often fly for just short 2-day meetings to far away places when a video conference could have done the same.

But I am saying this here like I am a saint, and in fact I have just come back from a trip to Hanoi where I visited the Faecal Sludge Management Conference. It's exactly this dilemma that Joe mentioned. Every now and again (like once a year) I do find it somehow important to reconnect with people face to face (and meet new people), as it does provide connections that video conferences cannot. (by the way, I met many people who said "I know you from the forum" or who said "I use the forum a lot, it is just great!").

At the same time I am wondering if I really learnt so much at this conference and if I couldn't have had almost the same learning effect by spending one very intense week reading and writing on the discussion forum and on twitter.

Which brings me to my last point: I think this forum can do A LOT to reduce air travel by giving people the opportunity to interact in almost the same way as if it was face to face. So I think with this forum we are doing our little bit to help reduce air travel to conferences.

The rise of webinars and online courses (like the MOOCs) is also wonderful, Adobe Connect and similar tools are getting better and better, and internet connectivity is also rising everywhere in the world which is great. I firmly believe this will slowly reduce the need for face to face meetings and conferences and ultimately lead to less flying.

As far as the FMS3 conference is concerned, I was pushing for filming of all presentations and am really pleased that this was done. The videos and presentation files will hopefully be available online very soon. Twitter is also good for quick real-time feedback from conferences (hashtag was #fsm3). Maybe it is enough in future if instead of a full-blown conference, a dozen or so people meet in a room and the rest of the people are connected via the internet.

The only thing that you cannot re-create very well over the internet are those famous "chats over a beer or two". So for that I don't have a solution.

Regards,
Elisabeth]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Fri, 23 Jan 2015 15:40:41 +0000
Re: Air travel to conferences, site visits, etc. - by: joeturner http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11721 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11721
There are voices within my community (science journalists) who say that we should not fly anywhere at any time to anything. In particular if we cover stories on climate change.

This is a struggle for me, because if I don't fly to conferences, I don't have anything to write about.

Last week I flew about an hour to a UN-Water conference. I looked at the other road/rail options and it would have taken more than 25 hours and was about 3 times the cost. I could not justify this.

But it is also true that there is a big question about how much value there is at these conferences which justifies the climate cost of getting everyone there. One UN official told me off-the-record that the conference was an almost complete waste-of-time, that it was really only telling people what they already knew and that many of the people there were working in the same UN building.

Another science conference I attended in Copenhagen late last year was talking about whether it would be possible to have some kind of online conference rather than flying everyone in from all corners of the planet.

So to the question: have I changed practice? Well, put it this way, I could fly to a lot more things than I do, and I feel guilty every time I fly. I always try to find a way to travel by train or coach/bus. But - and this is not an excuse that I'm happy with - the perilous state of journalism means that I either need to chase stories or give up and find something else to do.

I would say that air travel is largely not justified. I am not really sure that these meetings are much more than times when people get to meet (and drink with) their friends. And I put myself into that bracket, I cannot justify my own behaviour given the limited benefits there are from my work.

On the other hand, conferences are one of the few times when I get to meet the people and hear the debates on different issues. It is possible, but much more difficult (and less efficient and probably less accurate) to get stories in any other way.

Ultimately, I suppose, if there was something else I could do which would pay the bills but not involve flying, I would do it. And I know there are other science journalist who travel much further afieldd more often than I do who also struggle with the morality of this point.]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Wed, 21 Jan 2015 09:26:45 +0000
Air travel to conferences, site visits, etc. - by: KaiMikkel http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11719 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11719-air-travel-to-conferences-site-visits-etc#11719
How does this relate to this forum?

Well, its hard not to notice that many of the folks involved in the sustainable sanitation sector make use of air travel fairly regularly in the course of their work, be that attending conferences, making site visits and/or consulting in various parts of the world.

Contrast this against the fact that in the last couple of years some of the world's leading climate scientists and activists have announced that they are boycotting all airline travel, both in their professional lives and in their personal lives.

So, given aviation's inherent unsustainability, its disproportionate effects on the climate and the myriad other problems associated with the aviation industry and air travel, I am wondering the following:

  • Have any of you taken steps to reduce and/or eliminate air travel from your professional and/or personal lives?
  • How do folks balance the notion that we should each "be the change that we want to see" against the desire to travel to far flung places to promote sustainable sanitation?
  • Are there ways to conduct this meaningful work without engaging in air travel, and, if so, what are they?
  • As sanitation professionals and activists, what obligation do we have to our children (for parents), to future generations and to existing peoples to arrange our lives in such a way as to minimize the negative effect that we have on the planet and on its living beings?
  • Are sustainable sanitation professionals struggling with these issues and engaged in formal and informal debates with others in resolving the unsustainability of airline travel against the need that exists to promote sanitation, particularly sustainable sanitation?
  • Is it possible or impossible to justify air travel in the conduct of this work?

Thanks, in advance, to everyone who responds to my questions. ]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Wed, 21 Jan 2015 05:07:10 +0000
Pathetic Sanitation Scenario - by: F H Mughal http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11653-pathetic-sanitation-scenario#11653 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11653-pathetic-sanitation-scenario#11653 www.dawn.com), which appeared today (18 Jan 2015), speaks volumes of the dismal sanitation in Pakistan. Note the following points:

• Plant not operational even after 16 years, in Peshawar;
• We don’t even have the ability to design simple ponds. ADB help was sought;
• Passing on the buck – how irresponsible we are? Nobody takes the blame, and even responsible officers are unaware of what is going on; and
• The land of the plant’s site is valued at billion of rupees.

Kevin: your comments on this, please. You have been to Peshawar.

F H Mughal]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Sun, 18 Jan 2015 06:09:28 +0000
Re: National Survey of Health and Sanitation base, Burundi - by: Florent http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11487-national-survey-of-health-and-sanitation-base-burundi#11585 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-miscellaneous-any-other-topic/11487-national-survey-of-health-and-sanitation-base-burundi#11585 I worked with an local NGO called AVEDEC in Gitega, I know that they had actions on sanitation issue in Buja rural. I wonder you already contact them (Nestor) about your survey!
For information: a call must be launch in near week to construction Ecosan in public's area (majority of school) in Gitega by the project LVEMP II.

Regards,]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Tue, 13 Jan 2015 12:28:21 +0000