S4F-Twente Newsletter March 2024

Dear supporter of Scientists4Future-Twente,

Welcome to the March-2024 edition of the S4F-Twente Newsletter.

We are happy that you support us. Reach out to people who share your concerns: meet us in one of the activities that are described here or forward this Newsletter to others!

Contents of this newsletter:

  • CO2 reduction-pricing-compensation scheme needed to structurally reduce CO2 emissions from UT flights
  • S4F-Twente needs more volunteers!
  • Fireside chats
  • Letter to the new Members of Parliament
  • Climate Café: Strengthening the UT climate (action) community (4 April 2024)
  • Personal travel stories: Train trips to Berlin and Paris
  • Week of Inspiration: “Wanted: Climate optimists” (Studium Generale, 21 May 2024, 19:30-21:00)
  • Nature of Cities Festival
  • Carbon capture and sequestration: climate resilience or climate problem?
  • A book worth reading: “How bad are bananas?” by Mike Berners-Lee
  • Adapt! Research about dealing with crises
  • Running 4 Climate & Cycling 4 Climate
  • S4F-Twente informal lunch meetings
  • Calendar
  • Interesting links

CO2 reduction-pricing-compensation scheme needed to structurally reduce CO2 emissions from UT flights

The UT SEE group started another initiative to implement a scheme that is supposed to lead to lower flight emissions. Flight data are now available per research chair at least on a half-yearly basis. This provides a basis for faculties to monitor the evolution of flight statistics per group – and to discuss goals with the chairs. Mechanisms to achieve compliance with the goals of the Paris climate agreement are being discussed. 

Overall, the 2023 flight mileage of the UT is 20% lower than in 2019. Even though the percentage of flights attributed to one of our faculties halved, it remained the same for others and increased for two. Total number of flights is up +51% and CO2 emissions are down by 21%. Number of flights, mileage and CO2 emissions from flights all increased compared to our travel behaviour in 2022. This trend needs to be changed. Building on support and awareness of the importance of a CO2 price on flights is essential to bring about structural reductions in CO2 emissions. A CO2 reduction-pricing-compensation scheme may be a first step to achieve this. S4F-Twente is involved in the development of plans. 

S4F-Twente needs more volunteers!

Scientists4Future-Twente enables scientifically trained professionals and students (in all scientific fields) who are concerned about the future, to connect with each other, and to empower citizens and organizations in Twente (and beyond) by strengthening ‘climate literacy’ and advocating for a science- and evidence-based approach to the climate emergency and other environmental crises. 
Are you willing to spend some time for this good cause with fellow UT volunteers? Please contact us! With more volunteers, we will be able to do the many things we would like to do.

Fireside chats

At the moment, no new fireside chats are planned (also because we lack a volunteer who would be willing to coordinate this activity for a while).

Letter to the new Members of Parliament
By Arjen Markus and Jacqueline Hoppenreijs – S4F NL

You probably remember the 2023 elections: their outcome meant yet another shift in the Dutch political landscape, with decimation of some parties and enormous growth of others. The current Parliament (Tweede Kamer) now consists of more unexperienced Members than ever: over 40% of them is brand new and about a third of the remaining group has only a few years of experience (source). This might shift a bit as soon as a new government is installed, but even four months after the elections it’s hard to predict what that government would look like and when that might be.

While we’re waiting, the Members of Parliament have started their work. S4F thought it fitting to remind them of the fact that it’s not just their years in Parliament that count, but that there’s a lot more at stake. There’s always been long-term consequences of fixed-term governments and parliaments, but that’s the case now more than ever: the consequences of the climate crisis will be felt for centuries to come, and we call on the Members of Parliament to recognise their long-term responsibilities and act on them.

Find more information and (in Dutch) the letter on the Scientist4Future NL website.

Climate Café: Strengthening the UT climate (action) community (4 April 2024)

Four times per year, the UT Climate Centre organizes the Climate Café: an informal event where you can meet and be inspired by people who are passionate about education and research that supports climate action. Researchers and students share their work to fight climate change and they will inform you about the latest developments and future plans for the Climate Centre itself. Of course, there will be room for your questions, your ideas and comments, and time to connect with your fellow researchers at UT.

  • Part 1: Sketching and discussing a ‘Who does what?’ inventory (of the UT ‘ecosystem’) of climate-related initiatives – a ‘map’ of the UT climate community.
  • Part 2: Open discussion: Where can we join forces to lobby for shared climate-related causes at the UT?

More info on the website of the Climate Centre.

  • What: Climate Café
  • When: Thursday 4 April 2024, 12:00-14:00
  • Where: Langezijds/ITC room 2201
  • Registration: click here to register

Personal travel stories: Train trips to Berlin and Paris

Taking the train to Berlin and Paris. Last two weeks I needed to visit these beautiful European capitals and taking the train is really by far the number one choice of transportation. Hengelo-Berlin Hbf 4 hours both ways perfectly on time and the same for Paris at one hour extra, even arriving five minutes early. If you buy the metro tickets on the Eurostar you’ll jump onto a metro within 10 minutes of arrival; how smooth can it be. In the latter case it allowed me to join a nice leasurely dinner with my French colleagues on Sunday night and be back Monday night. In the spirit of this letter I just felt the need to share some good news. – Gertjan

Week of Inspiration: “Wanted: Climate optimists” (Studium Generale, 21 May 2024, 19:30-21:00)

Sometimes you lose all courage when you think about rising global temperatures. Will the world act fast enough? Or will we perish from floods, heat or famine? Maartje Bregman is a climate optimist, a greenfluencer who gives hope: even with small individual actions you can do something good together. On sustainability and climate, inequality and injustice. Her positive approach counterbalances the negative tenor of a sustainable life in which you have to deny yourself everything: “you should not fly, skip meat, leave the car at home”. With her enthusiastic performances and on social media, she emphasises precisely what you can do. This Studium-Generale event, moderated by Dan Hartenberg (Green Hub Twente), is in Dutch.

Nature of Cities Festival

The Nature of Cities Festival will be in Berlin from June 3-6, and the online/virtual part will already start in April (15-26 April). 

Three weeks of interconnected events where you can join virtually or in-person to get inspired, to learn, to present, collaborate, or to meet hundreds of new best friends and urban nature co-conspirators. During the physical part in June, an urban green infrastructure walk shop will be organised in Berlin, with UT lecturer Sean Vrielink as speaker (virtual as well as in person). 

Carbon capture and sequestration: climate resilience or climate problem?

In this issue of Resilience ReflectionsSebastian Husein demonstrates that the added value of some forms of Carbon Capture and Sequestration to reduce overall CO2 levels are not all that they appear to be. You can read the article here

In this regular series by the Resilience@UT and 4TU Resilience, UT researchers share their personal reflections on current events and trends that impact our daily lives, exploring the implications for resilience. The series is just one of many UT initiatives responding to the urgent need to respond to rapid societal and environmental change. 

A book worth reading: “How bad are bananas?” by Mike Berners-Lee

“How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon footprint of everything”(Revised Edition), by Mike Berners-Lee, is a very interesting read. It states and compares the carbon footprint of what we do and what we buy – how does coffee compare to tea or a latte, how about sending an e-mail or commuting, what is the difference between an electric bike and a regular one? The latter was surprising: from a CO2 equivalent point of view, it is much better to use an electric bike if that is powered by solar panels, because they are more efficient than us eating food to get energy to cycle (it differs an order of magnitude!). It is still worse if you get your calories from eating burgers: then the emissions are roughly the same as driving an efficient car…

This new edition of How Bad Are Bananas? has been fully updated throughout, and includes new entries on pets, cryptocurrencies, supermarket deliveries, negative emissions, and a 20-page guide to what we can do about our climate.
Mike Berners-Lee is also the author of “There is no Planet B”. He advocates that we should aim for a 5-tonne annual CO2 lifestyle. The current annual footprint of a person is 7 tonnes on average, yet way higher for the richer countries. Five tonnes compares roughly to one premium economy return flight from London to Hong Kong. 

The book gives many insights (what would be penny-wise, pound-foolish) and costs about 400 gram CO2 equivalents (paperback, recycled paper, if all printed books would be sold), which compares to buying a bottle of water, or three oranges, taking a bath, or travelling 8 km by intercity train. According to the author, reading from an e-reader will only be more CO2 efficient if it helps you to read more and thereby cutting on other activities that are more carbon-intense.

Adapt! Research about dealing with crises

The open society is increasingly threatened by crises such as pandemics, terrorism, floods, and earthquakes. The future of the open society depends on its adaptability to prepare for these crises. Under the name Adapt!, a team of researchers from five universities including the University of Twente will spend the next few years researching the cultural, social and policy capacities needed to deal with such crises. Adapt! got a Gravitation grant for a multidisciplinary team to investigate adaptability of societies in crises. Read the article on the UT website here.

Running 4 Climate & Cycling 4 Climate

The Climate Marathon is a metaphor for the climate crisis: an enormous effort that requires patience. The longer we postpone climate issues, the faster the pace must be. That is why “Running 4 Climate” will speed up and accelerate on June 21.

The Climate Marathon runs through the green Utrechtse Heuvelrug and has two powerful symbols: the KNMI, the meteorological institute of the Netherlands, and the city of Amersfoort, which may be called ‘Amersfoort aan Zee’ in the future. Find more info here (in Dutch). 

Alternatively, you are welcome to join Cycling 4 Climate on that same day. Choose your distance, make a climate promise, and find sponsors for your cycling trip.
Find more information here (in Dutch).

S4F-Twente informal lunch meetings

We have lunch with interested supporters of Scientists for Future – Twente twice every month. We meet, usually in a small group, the first Tuesday and the third Friday of each month at 12:30 in the Waaier canteen. 
We have no agenda for these informal meetings. Come and join to meet with like-minded people, share your plans and ideas and be inspired by the other participants! 
We are usually seated at a table near the exit of the Waaier canteen. You can recognise us by the warming stripes (on an A4 at our table) – the stripes that we start and end this newsletter with.


Date, timeEventLocation
Tuesday 2 April 2024, 12:30-13:30S4F-Twente informal lunchWaaier canteen
Thursday 4 April 2024, 12:00-14:00Climate Café: Strengthening the UT climate (action) communityLangezijds/ITC room 2201
Friday 19 April 2024, 12:30-13:30S4F-Twente informal lunchWaaier canteen
Thursday 23 April 2024Boat reveal Solar Boat 2024
15:30: Welcome with coffee/tea
16:00: Boat Reveal presentation
17:00: Free drink
Wilminktheater; get free ticket here
Tuesday 7 May 2024, 12:30-13:30S4F-Twente informal lunchWaaier canteen
Friday 17 May 2024, 12:30-13:30S4F-Twente informal lunchWaaier canteen
Tuesday 21 May 2024, 19:30-21:00Week of inspiration: Wanted: climate optimists (in Dutch)Vrijhof, Agora
Tuesday 4 June 2024, 12:30-13:30S4F-Twente informal lunchWaaier canteen
Friday 21 June 2024, 12:30-13:30S4F-Twente informal lunchWaaier canteen
Thursday 27 June 2024, 15:30-17:30Climate CaféTBA

Interesting links 

The S4F-Twente newsletter team – Leonie Krab, Yuri Engelhardt, Evert Houwman, Daniel Monteiro Cunha, Frieder Mugele, Gertjan Koster, Sean Vrielink – 
Scientists4Future–Twente – Coalition of concerned scientists 

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