Michael Fettweis / Researcher

Royal Belgian Institu te of Natural Sciences / Coastal oceanography, sediment dynamics

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

Main concerns in my field (coastal oceanography):
Increase of sea water temperature, increase of storminess, changes in fresh water discharge of rivers.
The increase in storminess might impact the sediment dynamics with consequences on the morphology of the seafloor (erosion, sedimentation), the erosion of the shoreline and the clarity of the sea water. All this will impact pelagic and benthic ecosystems and threatens human life.
Increase in temperature will change marine biodiversity and marine production. The ecosystem as a whole will change. More particular this will change biogeochemical cycles and their interactions with physical processes such as sediment dynamics, morphology and water clarity.
Changes and actions:
Professional life: I use the train for distances up to 1500 km. I have reduced the number of international conferences that are more than 2000 km away to maximum one per year. I use the bicycle to go to work.
Private life: I have reduced meat consumption by about 70%; increased the bio-organic and local produced part of my food (so far about 50%); implemented solar panel for electricity production; isolated the house and use wood for heating.
Difficulties:
Being a researcher means also to have an international network and to maintain this network through regular meetings. This is somewhat in contrast with reducing travelling.
Price of transports that produce less CO2 is too high, e.g. train vs airplane. It should be the opposite.
Politics focus on economic growth and not on changing our life style.
Globalization is the major threat for local initiatives that aim to reduce CO2 production.
Key changes:
Education in schools on how to change our life, on how to reduce our greed for consumption.
We need a policy that obliges industry and citizens to lower their ecological footprints. Products with higher footprint should be more taxed.
This needs a stronger collaboration on European (and global) level.
An economic value should be given to biodiversity and a cost to loss of biodiversity.

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