Washington, May 8 : A Canadian environmentalist says that university research should be listed among human activities that are contributing to global warming.
Herve Philippe, a professor of Biochemistry at the Universite de Montreal, says that he has found that his own research produces 44 tonnes of CO2 per year, while an average American citizen produces 20 tonnes.
"I did my PhD on nucleotide sequencing in the hope of advancing our knowledge of biodiversity, but I never thought that the research itself could have a negative impact on biodiversity," he said during a recent biology department symposium.
He has reckoned that his own computers produce 19 tonnes of CO2 per year, the air conditioning in his laboratory produces 10 tonnes of CO2 per year, and transport from one meeting to another produces 15 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Philippe suggests that universities reduce their frequency of organising international conferences, increase the use of videoconferences, avoid research on well-explored topics, reduce publications, and evaluate the amount of CO2 produced by research projects.