Earth and Life Institute, Université catholique de Louvain / Climatology
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Following the last IPCC special report, we have to reduce our CO2 emissions by around 45% in 2030 compared to 2010 to limit the global warming to 1.5°C. We are in 2019 and we are getting closer and closer to this limit. Today, I am mainly concerned by how quickly environmental and climate changes occur, compared to the political inertia with regard to environmental issues: the vast majority of politicians today does not seem or want to understand how grave and urgent the situation is. Today, the environmental crisis threatens several aspects of our life, however this is not our priority and the priority of the economic system we live in.
Growing up, I have progressively implemented changes to minimize my individual impact, by paying attention to everything I buy, everything I wear and everything I eat (home-made, second hand, organic, local, zero-waste/plastic as far as possible), by reducing the waste I produce, by prioritizing low-carbon transport, by buying less but better in general (what requires to think about what I actually need). I have been a vegetarian for 6 years by ecological awareness and ethics. I am aware that individual changes are crucial but not sufficient since global changes in our political and economic system and in all aspects of the society in general are needed now. Also, the difficulty as a person is not to be overwhelmed by a feeling of guilt over not doing enough, because we do not have always time or money or possibilities to do so, and a feeling of powerlessness against a political and economic system that does not seem to respond fast enough to meet the global social and environmental challenges and more specifically our individual concerns. Today, sustainable solutions keep being accessible only for wealthier social classes and countries while material growth stays our main concept of development, something not viable to face environmental challenges: social and environmental crisis are intrinsically linked together. The growing number of citizens initiatives for a transition to a more socially and environmentally sustainable world, the recent events taking place in different countries and this initiative are for me key changes that demonstrate the willingness of a lot of people to change our way of life drastically and quickly to fight climate change and environmental degradation together with social issues and will lead, I hope, to fast and drastic political reactions.
Originally posted 2018-06-13 13:43:58.