Christine Bingen / Researcher, senior scientist

Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) / Physics, in the field of atmospheric research

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

Studying the atmosphere offers many opportunities to worry about climate: The global temperature shows since decades the same increase: about 15 % over 30 years ! Human activities are increasingly marking the stratosphere, a very quiet and remote atmospheric layer: soot from highly polluted regions, smoke from huge fires up to 10 to 20 km. Another striking picture is the map of NO2 emissions, where the triangle Flanders-Ruhr-Rotterdam is a worldwide hot spot. Leaders, decision-makers have the responsibility to act !
These observations show the urgency of action. I follow these principles: (1) act yourself and show your action: you only may inspire others; (2) forget the “I cannot make a difference alone”. Individual action is our own responsibility, and by snowball effect, we can move mountains; (3) be conscious of your power as a customer: companies sell only what others buy.
On a personal level, I try to reduce electricity, heating, and water use, to bike and prefer public transport, to seek zero waste by re-using packs and bringing my own boxes to the shop for the packaging. However, more changes are needed at society level, by the action of politicians, economic leaders and media people:
We should stop remaining chained to the fear of losing comfort, enjoy the freedom of not being addict to consumption anymore, and get us reconnected to the nature. Feeling the rain, sun, wind and changing temperature on our skin can bring more joy than air conditioning! Studies have shown that populations having just enough resources to satisfy their basic needs reach the highest level of happiness. How much did we exceed this level ?
The best waste is nonexistent waste. The best way to save resources is choosing means requiring less resource. We should think to this simple principle before going further. Instead of a big, heavy “ecological car”, be happy with a small one, or with no car.
Many decisions taken to reduce the ecological footprint are ineffective, because they consider only the ecological cost of the working, and forget about the footprint of the production. Many solutions presented as “ecological” are not, because of this.
There will be no unique solution to a complex problem.
We will win the climate battle if everybody is aboard. The ecological struggle is also social, and we cannot win at the expense of the rest of the planet.

Originally posted 2018-06-14 04:33:17.

%d bloggers like this: