Denis-Gabriel Caprace / PhD Student

UCLouvain / Fluid Dynamics

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

For my research in fluid dynamics, I have the privilege to work with super-computers every day. They allow me to process large amounts of data that I could not analyze in any other way.
But just as any other computer, they consume energy. First, because the production of electronics requires a lot of energy and ressources. Also, because it takes electric power to run a computer, and even more to keep data on a cloud/online storage. And finally, because the proper disposal of these computers requires energy.
Yet, today, everybody has or wants a PC, a laptop and/or a smartphone. More and more people use Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. to store their data. More and more people post photos or videos on WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. All this corresponds to a huge and increasing demand in energy. So when scientific studies show that one urgently needs to reduce human energy consumption, the deliberate and unmoderated use of those technologies is an issue.
Indeed, there are more and more individuals on earth. We thus all need to be moderate.
This does not mean to stop using technologies, but I personally use them with parsimony: I shut down my computer whenever it is possible, I don’t replace my electronic devices unless they really break, I don’t keep data online for a long time, I refrain from posting photos and videos on social networks, I keep my mailbox tidy…
But this is not only about technology. For me, being moderate also means being vegetarian, buying local food, not owning a car, not jumping on a plane like one takes a metro,…
And maybe also not having children? This is an even more difficult decision to take.
It is certain: we need to change our way of life if we want to avoid the ecological disaster. We need to consume less, we need to pollute less. And we need to teach people how to do so.
Education, starting at elementary school, is the most important aspect of the transition. Every citizen should know how to be moderate and reasonable, and why it really does matter.
The time of ‘indefinite growth’ has come to an end: politics should acknowledge that change of paradigm, and take measures accordingly.