Recently a team of astronomers published this paper entitled The carbon footprint of large astronomy meetings
Here is what they found:
“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.”
Yes, anything we do that necessitates the burning of fossil fuels in order to work MUST now be scrutinized in detail. And the question should be “How can we do this without the need to burn fossil fuels or how can we dramatically reduce the need to do so?”
In-person events should be decarbonised and until that is possible we should rely more heavily on virtual events.
If we believe the science we really do not have an option but to radically change the way we do things.