This interview was conducted by Rebecca Herbert
Many people think that global warming is just a political game and that famous activists are puppets of environmental lobbies...
Is global warming a reality? If the answer is "yes," are political and media activities sufficient for this (mega) threat?
Global warming is an undeniable reality, confirmed by science. All serious scientists who have studied this issue will tell you: global warming is a fact. It is as solid as the reality of the Earth being round. Denying this fact is as absurd as claiming that the Earth is flat.
Indeed, the flatness of the Earth is an outdated notion, refuted by centuries of scientific discoveries. Those who cling to the idea that global warming is a myth, in my eyes, resemble those who insist that the Earth is flat. Their arguments, based on pseudosciences, ignore the mountains of evidence that the scientific community has gathered over the years. Denial of climate change is a dangerous form of shortsightedness that can cost us our future on this planet.
Moreover, current political efforts to combat global warming are, in my opinion, largely insufficient and often counterproductive. Citizens have lost confidence in politicians, and in France, environmentalists tend to mix everything up: nuclear power, environmental pollution, social considerations... All this makes the message about the problem of global warming inaudible, drowned in other societal problems.
As for the media, their role is crucial. They have the power to disseminate information based on science, and they must do so. We need more facts, more figures, interviews with apolitical people, verbalization. We need more science, more knowledge, more know-how to counter conspiracy theories, do-gooders, and other skeptics.
In my book, "Climate Change Solutions: Acting Together for a Sustainable Future" I talk about these issues and the importance of taking immediate action. This is not a mere intellectual exercise; it is a matter of survival. As an engineer and entrepreneur, I have dedicated my career to finding sustainable solutions, and I firmly believe that we have the power to change the course of things. But we must act now."
Governments, companies, capitalists... Who benefits from the current situation and/or climate inaction?
The current climate crisis may seem to benefit those who cling to the status quo, especially those who thrive in the fossil fuel economy - governments, businesses, and capitalists. However, this view is deceptive.
Governments, chained by financial concerns such as debt and taxation, may find the road to climate action strewn with obstacles. In a democracy, they must represent the will of the people, which makes unpopular decision-making difficult. To get a government truly committed to combating global warming, voters must first be convinced to support climate-friendly policies.
As for businesses, many prefer the comfort of the status quo. Significant changes require large investments and carry financial risks. But this short-term view is deceptive. The long-term costs of climate change - environmental destruction, natural disasters, forced migration, conflicts over resources - will far outweigh the costs of transitioning to a greener and more sustainable economy.
This is what I discuss in my book "Climate Change Solutions: Acting Together for a Sustainable Future". It is an inspiring guide that explores possible solutions to the climate crisis, encouraging everyone to take action to protect our environment. We all have a role to play in the fight against climate change. I hope this book will serve as a catalyst for collective and determined action.
What are your concrete solutions for acting against global warming? How do you prioritize?
The book highlights several solutions to address global warming, which can be grouped into four main areas:
Liberating ourselves from the dependence on fossil fuels: Our dependence on fossil fuels needs to be drastically reduced. This implies a shift towards cleaner and renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro, biomass, as well as nuclear.
Reducing our energy consumption: We can minimize our energy consumption through several methods, including insulating buildings, promoting sustainable transportation, and adopting cleaner technologies like heat pumps and LEDs.
Revolutionizing our electrical grid system: Our electrical grid needs to be reformed to allow every individual to be both a consumer and producer of energy. This requires significant investments, especially in infrastructures like pumped-storage power stations (PSPS) and the generalization of virtual batteries.
Changing our behaviors: It is imperative to revise our consumption habits, particularly by reducing our meat consumption and improving our waste management.
Furthermore, my book highlights the importance of restoring ecosystems and international cooperation, essential for an effective fight against global warming.
World Environment Day 2023 will focus on solutions to plastic pollution. To what extent are plastic pollution and global warming intimately linked? Do they require common solutions?
Plastic pollution and global warming are two closely interconnected environmental crises. In my book "Climate Change Solutions: Acting Together for a Sustainable Future" I address these interconnections and propose solutions to mitigate them.
The production of plastic contributes to greenhouse gas emissions as it relies on the extraction of fossil fuels. Additionally, poorly managed plastic can harm biodiversity and ecosystem integrity, weakening their ability to withstand and adapt to climate change. Uncontrolled incineration of plastic also emits greenhouse gases, exacerbating global warming.
Common solutions can be found to combat these issues. A circular economy, where we reuse and recycle materials instead of discarding them, can simultaneously reduce plastic pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Promoting alternatives to plastic made from renewable and biodegradable materials can also help address both challenges.
However, as I emphasize in my book, a systemic approach is necessary to effectively address these problems. We must consider the entire life cycle of products and understand how different environmental issues interact with one another. In this way, we can identify the most sustainable and effective solutions for a cleaner and safer future.
Discover Frédéric Cheverneuil’s book: Climate Change Solutions: Acting Together for a Sustainable Future