Refusing to fly has lost me my job as a climate researcher. It's a price worth paying | Gianluca Grimalda

12. října 2023 14:30

Příroda

My company in Germany has demanded my swift return from climate-change fieldwork near Papua New Guinea. I can't do itTwo weeks ago, my employer presented me with a stark ultimatum: return to my offices in Kiel, Germany, within five days, or lose my job. I am a climate researcher and since March 2023, I have been completing vital fieldwork into the social impact of climate change almost 24,000km away by overland routes, on the island of Bougainville off the coast of Papua New Guinea.My fieldwork had been mired in unforeseeable problems, from natural disasters to security threats, and my employer was, unsurprisingly, unhappy that my return had been delayed by many weeks. The urgency of their request to return meant I would have to jump on a plane if I was to meet the deadline; but for me, this was not an option. I have been practising conscientious objection to flying for more than 10 years. My employer has supported me on a "slow trip" in the past. I do not boycott flying altogether, but I will only catch a plane when no other alternative exists.Gianluca Grimalda, formerly senior researcher at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, is a social scientist interested in social cohesion and adaptation to climate change Continue reading...
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