Séverine Fourdrilis / Postdoctoral scientist

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences / Evolutionary biology, Marine biology

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

My main concerns are: The slow pace of societal and political changes to address climate change; Ecology is a separate political party while it’s the matter of all human beings independently of political opinion; The influence of lobbies’ economic interests and populism on governments that prevents the ecological transition; The psychological defense mechanism that prevents the majority of citizens to address climate issue.
What I changed: my energy supplier to MEGA (100% renewable electricity of biomass gas at the same price than “less green” energy from Engie); Thermostat on 19-20°C at home; LED lamps; Less plastic waste (solid shampoo, home-made deodorant, tap water, refillable water flask); Vegetarian; Second hand purchases; No more car, use of public transports; Professional scientific research project aiming at saving corals in the face of climate change.
I plan to be involved in a group of scientists at my workplace, which will think about possible actions we could do as scientific institution to support the climate cause.
Difficulties are:
1) Financial: buying products with low environmental impact that are too expensive; renovating home insulation; getting funds for scientific research.
2) Flying less: dilemma between polluting and the benefit of personal development by discovering new lands/cultures when travelling abroad.
3) Reducing water consumption when being a woman with long hair and when the bathroom is cold.
4) Limited decision power: being tenant and not owner implies no decision power to install solar panels on the building even if Brussels Environment offers free installation.
5) Psychological: Guilt feeling about having a lifestyle still not sustainable enough; Feeling different from the majority of people and facing others’ judgement on the implications my lifestyle has on others’ lives (e.g. being vegetarian seen as a trouble at family dinners); Loss of trust in politicians due to some of them involved in scandals or supporting financial interests over environment.
6) Data availability: difficult to know the environmental impact of organic products when shopping at the supermarket.
Key changes needed are: Breaking the direct link between lobbies and governments; Positive propaganda about the benefits of ecological transition, to avoid psychological defense mechanism in people, while still showing the severe and short-term gravity of climate change; Changing of economic model; Ensuring financial equity to help people change their lifestyle; Anticipating and searching for solutions about how to manage increasing migrations, to avoid a societal crisis and the rise of xenophobia.

Originally posted 2018-05-28 05:26:54.

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