Alexandra Gossart / PhD student

KU Leuven / Geography – polar climate

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My mains concerns relate to climate change. At both remote locations (Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, and ice caps), as well as at local scale (Europe, Belgium and cities). Warming of the ice sheets and related sea level rise, ocean currents patterns changes, de-glaciation of the permafrost etc… will have an impact at a local scale. These systems have a long-term, sometimes non-linear response to climate change, that once triggered, will be hard to mitigate.
In addition, climate change is already impacting us locally: environmental changes such as extreme weather events (draughts and heat waves, floods, hurricanes…) , which in turn can trigger migration of populations impacted by these. I think that climate change will impact the accessibility and amount of environmental resources. And availability to resources has a huge impact on the environment, on the population (health,..) but also on politics, and the economy.

I try to be conscious in consuming environmental resources : energy (green provider for gas and electricity, limiatation of my consumption using timers,…), I bike and take the public transports. I have decided to buy second hand as much as possible, and I do not buy new clothes unless to replace too old/broken items. Finally, I do not use paper tissues nor paper towels, I use fabric ones.

I find difficult to travel without taking the plane, for leisure of work-related travels. Public transport remain expensive, if we compare trains to plane and are not enough incentivised. It is also difficult to find shops that sell organic and local food, that are not pricey in the centre of Brussels.

key changes are: concern at all levels to limit the environmental impact of ALL actions. Individuals, collectivities, corporate and multinationals, as well as deciders at the political level should be concerned and try to limit the current consumption and waste pattern. But most of all, the industry and trade have to realize that the growth ideology is not sustainable and that consumption, profit and trade have to change drastically.