Pascal Mailier / Senior scientist

Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium / Weather and climate modelling and prediction

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

As a professional meteorologist, I am of course concerned by the observed trends in the severity and frequency of high-impact weather events across the world that are consistent with climate-change predictions. I also have deep worries about the societal aftermath of a deranged climate: rising inequalities, aggravated conflicts, massive waves of immigration… Science has proved beyond reasonable doubt that human-driven climate change is upon us. And yet, despite the compelling body of evidence that tells us it’s high time for collective action, it is ironic that our political leaders procrastinate in the name of… realism!
Climate change is not only an academic problem, it also poses ethical and political questions. The current global economy is based on the hybris that we, humans, are omnipotent gods who own the cosmos, that we can bend nature to all our whims, including the planet we live on and ourselves! Our ever increasing material demands should be met by the unlimited resources at our disposal. The present-day system of unbridled capitalism and consumerism is a consequence of this delusion. Global warming, ocean acidification, the plastic soup… All are symptoms of a failing model of society. Climate change cannot therefore be tackled seriously without radical changes in the way we look at the world and interact with it. We need not wait for political decisions to implement many of these changes. We can act right now. Here are a few concrete steps I’ve taken:
• When I need to travel, most of the time I choose the option that will minimise my carbon footprint. For commuting to and from work, I usually take public transport (train, tram, bus). For local journeys, I walk or ride a bicycle. I drive a car and ride a motorcycle only on occasion. I avoid flying as much as I can (one international return flight in the last 5 years).
• Whenever possible I buy from local suppliers and producers. I do not eat meat every day.
• I had solar panels installed at home and switched to natural gas with a certified compensation scheme for CO2 emissions. I’m now looking at ways to decrease our average domestic energy consumption and envisage the possible future installation of a heat pump.
• In my spare time, I write articles, give public talks and take part in initiatives in order to promote citizen awareness and engagement with respect to climate change.

Originally posted 2018-04-28 14:45:48.