Université catholique de Louvain / Bio-engineer specialized in geomatics
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My work aims at monitoring the biodiversity in Europe and my specific contribution consists in mapping land cover changes and unusual events in terms of fires, snow cover or vegetation dynamics. In this context, I am not only concerned by climate change, but also by the erosion of the biodiversity (which is partly due to the climate change, typically the coral reefs, but also to many other factors such as land cover change.)
I do my best to reduce my impact on the climate, even if I could do more. My major actions are related to lowering my consumption of energy: heating at around 18 degrees, going to work by bus… I also take care of my travels. For scientific meetings, I give a priority to skype meeting and I select international conferences only when they are in Europe (with a maximum of 2 conferences per year). Most of the time, I was able not to take the plane (going by car with other colleagues or taking the train), but I must admit that I took the plane three times in 5 years. For my hollidays, I focus on areas that I can reach by car (Belgium, France, Luxemburg, North of Italy…) in order not to take the plane. It is more difficult to act as an individual for biodiversity, especially as I live in a city, but I have my (organic) vegetable garden and I keep indigeneous and melliferous plants in my gardens, as well as nests for birds, insects and bats.
Some things are easier than others. Taking the bus takes me about twice as long as going by car, and I have less flexibility. On the other hand, I can read a book in the bus, which is not possible if I would be driving, and my University pays for my travel pass. It takes some time to getting used to live in 17-18 degree instead of 21, but we keep our pullovers on inside and we use a big blanket when we stay seated for a long time. I think that the most difficult is to miss someimportant scientific conferences or to discard some travel destinations where I would love to go.
I am not a political expert, but I think that our democracy should evolve to reward long term benefits instead of short term benefits only. Preventing problems is better than trying to solve them.