Université de Liège / Neurosurgery-Neuroscience
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Concerns: biodiversity and erosion of the very basis of our existence. Humanity appears unfit to focus on vital issues and adapt quickly enough. I am profoundly worried about my children’s future I perceive as threatened by political short term interests and inadequate appreciation of most of us of what’s essential, especially those of us who “have enough.” It’s not a question of knowing how to go forward, but “whether scientific evidence can successfully overcome social, economic, and political resistance.” Donald Kennedy (Science).
Personal changes and actions: single car for the family, bike as much as possible despite missing infrastructure; avoid air travel and if indispensable compensate CO2 emissions, no more skiing despite love for it, holiday destinations based on proximity and durability; renovations with insulation of the house, and less heating; create niches in garden and grow local plants, hedges, old species of fruit trees; create green spaces and break up watertight ground; consume less but high quality and durability; choose with care and think beyond immediate price; local, seasonal and sustainable produce as much as possible; boycott irresponsible economic giants just to save a few cents; accept imperfect items; reduce waste including plastic and single use items; reduce IT equipment; always attempt repair instead of replacement; defence of a local biotope; involved in working group on university campus mobility.
Personal obstacles: I feel part of a minority and am overwhelmed by the prevalence of short-sighted pseudo-gratifications of modern consumerism, as well as the power of endlessly growth of “extrinsic motivation” (especially disproportionate financial benefits). The other obstacle for me to act is my own perceived incapacity to measure the true priorities of what should be done.
Key political changes hoped for:
- Acknowledging vital importance of biodiversity and climate for survival in reasonable conditions. Only then make policies with long term vision, for humanity, not for lobbies.
- Sustainable energy policy: make us pay the “true” price with and modernise the classic concepts of economic health (“growth”).
- Participative democracy reducing heavy responsibilities of politicians while securing their positions and revenues, allowing for higher risk taking to make decisions feared to be unpopular and risky for reelection.
- Accept restrained, reorientated, simply more humble (but not more unhappy or uncomfortable!) living in our western world. Balance out globally, reducing the need for ever increasing waste of resources required for “growth”.