Michel Crucifix / Professor and Research Scientist

UCLouvain / Climate physics

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

  • My main concern is with my area of expertise. Climate change is a concern, not so much because it will be warmer in Belgium, but because it will be an additional destabilizing factor for many societies and will have ecological, social and economic implications. Climate change is only one aspect of a broader concern: our societies are on an unsustainable trajectory. A danger zone is in front of us.
  • Perhaps the most important and radical change we can make is that we do not raise our children with the same values that we have received from our parents. This does not mean that our parents did a bad job. They did a great job. But the way we look at the future today is not quite the same as the way they looked at it. Thus, we explain environmental issues to our children, we teach them that things cannot simply be thrown away to buy new ones. They must learn about natural cycles, for example by experimenting with planting their own plants to learn the values of life and biodiversity. Of course, it is not always easy. They have friends at school who have lots of gadgets that tempt them. Grandparents have a great time offering tons of gifts at Christmas, birthdays….. So it requires a little confidence on our part. But guess what: the children understand it very well and are not as upset as you might think about having a little less toys. They need time, love, and an understanding of the meaning to be given to their actions. Like us, after all.
  • The transition to a more circular economy is fraught with uncertainty and risk. We will need realistic, clear and rational decisions. This is a huge political challenge.