Ben Shneiderman, a professor of computer science at the University of Maryland at College Park, says he was happy to give a guest lecture at Stanford University this past spring, but he was concerned about the environmental impact of his flight across the country to get there.Why don't all us environmentalists just stop going anywhere? But, failing that, let's all bill Stanford for our environmental sins.
So when he submitted his receipts for reimbursement by Stanford’s Symbolic Systems Program, the group that had invited him, he included a charge for a small donation to the Carbonfund.org Foundation to offset the trip’s impact.
“The amount was only $11.33, but the symbolic nature of the Symbolic Systems Lab paying it was very satisfying,” said Mr. Shneiderman in an interview. He said the lab had paid it without question.
He wondered if universities should develop policies to pay such carbon offsets for professors’ travel to make the practice routine. “The principle is that it should be,” he said, since sustainability is such a big issue that higher-education institutions are advocating. “I think it is the right thing to do,” he added.
August 21, 2008
Yeah, that happened. Ha ha.