There is absolutely no question that the trajectory we were on prior to COVID was completely unsustainable. This crisis has given us an opportunity to pause and reevaluate how we do things and gain insights into what could be done better.
Conferences (along with daily commutes) result in large volumes of carbon emissions. We have the technology and know how to massively reduce these, immediately. It will surely be very irresponsible not to do so!
From this research:
“The annual meeting of the European Astronomical Society took place in Lyon, France, in 2019, but in 2020 it was held online only due the COVID-19 pandemic. The carbon footprint of the virtual meeting was roughly 3,000 times smaller than the face-to-face one, providing encouragement for more ecologically minded conferencing.”
Given what we now know is possible with *current* technology continuing with “business as usual” is not justifiable!