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Posts Tagged ‘environment’

Hello again,
It’s been a real long time since I posted something on the blog. My fault. I could perhaps try to look for excuses, but I guess that would be a waste of time. Let us say simply that there have been three main factors in my disappearance:

  • Some things have changed in my private life, requiring more of my previously free time
  • My job has asked me for more involvement, and I have dedicated a lot of energy to my research (may I remind you that it deals with solar-grade silicon materials. I will post some article about this in the future for sure)
  • Those last 6-7 months, a huge amount of things happened worldwide, related to environmental destruction, ressource depletion, etc. Paradoxically it should have compelled me to more frequent publications but the information was so overhelming and depressing (yes, I have to admit) that I have tended to forget a bit about the blog and divert my interests

Hopefully I couldn’t help reading the news and keeping on analyzing the world as it goes. So I might have some more words to say. In addition, I have been attending this year two 2-weeks intensive graduate courses on Industrial Ecology, dealing respectively on Sustainable Production and Sustainable Consumption. These are offered to lucky postgraduate students in Industrial Ecology (IE) within the Marie-Curie program of the European Union. Although my research is not at all linked to IE since I work at NTNU, the coordinating university, I have had the opportunity to attend those courses where some participants had cancelled their trip. I am by the way deeply grateful to them, they have given me the opportunity to learn a lot and deepen my understanding of the system we live in, the intricate interlinks between its constituents, and such interesting things that I will not miss to write about here.

I do not like to make promises I cannot keep. So I won’t say “see you next week”, but I will just tell you that I am still here, still alive, and more motivated than ever to let you read my thoughts and share my knowledge on these environmental issues that are so important to our common future.

See you soon on blå skärm!

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We are just another animal species, unfortunately given the ability to master fire and technique. I write unfortunately, because it is this gift that is going to cost us our disappearance. And not satisfied enough to put an end to our short period of existence on this world, we will also bring with us to the abyss some thousands of species which never hurt us, never asked anything from us, never attempted to steal us our “territory”. Maybe we will destroy so much this planet that no life as we know it today will be left after our era.

Deforestation by fire (Wikipedia)

We are burning our lungs. Today the Guardian environment publishes an article about the Amazon rainforest being once again burned and chopped down. After reading, a feeling between hate, despair and revolt fills up my mind, and these feelings for my fellow humans is bound to leak here. We are destroying our world, for the sake of growing soy, for the sake of making money. And this soy will, ironically, not feed us humans, but the chicken farms of Europe. What is the effect of eating meat? Here you have the answer: in each piece of chicken you buy, you could see some tropical trees. And if we could hear them, I guess they would cry of hate, despair and revolt. I am myself a criminal: I eat meat.

Why are we burning and chopping this forest? Because, as the article relates, we need to feed ourselves, we need to earn money to survive. And because we are endlessly more on this planet, we will have to feed even more impoverished people. And because rainforest is located in developing countries, where the governments do not have enough will or strength to enforce laws, it is easy for locals to break or violate these laws, set fire to the forest, and plant crops instead. Our thirst for development will lead us to the point where no turning back will be allowed, when we will be left witnessing, powerless, nature taking its rights again, destroying what our civilization has built. Indeed, when there will be no plants left on this planet to produce the oxygen we breathe, nobody will be left claiming “put your faith in the market, it will solve our problems by itself”.

When I read such articles, I realize that my generation will experience something none has lived before. We will witness climate change, resource depletion, while the world population will reach its higher levels ever, thereby requiring even more resources. Get me right: my generation will live what we could call an environmental nightmare. And I am not speaking about the wars that will inevitably follow. Do our children have some hope? I would really like to say so. I would like to believe in Humanity, in our ability to gather and act as one. But I know this is a dream, an utopia. Because there is too much selfishness in human beings. In order to save us all, we would need more than worldwide unity; we would have to sacrifice something. Give up our comfort and grasp on nature. Who would accept this? A couple of individuals who realize what the reality is? Would we accept to give our lives to the reconstruction of a world? No. Would we accept to forget any concept of “the one who works the harder earns the most”? No. Because this concept is based solely on monetary rewards. This is the American Dream: through hard work, sweat and personal involvement, anyone can succeed in life. Unfortunately, to make it brief, the American Dream has two flaws: first, we are no longer in the early industrial age, when corporations were left to create. Second, this dream is based on a materialist and monetary description of what a successful life is. Both points are outdated. The American Dream is virtually dead, but still alive in many people’s mind. We live in a dream.

Human kind has no altruism. That is what makes us different from the other species: our egoism leads us to our self-destruction.

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