when civil society sounded the alarm

On the night of August 10-11, Kirikou collective activists filled the holes of Vieille-Toulouse and Blagnac golf courses with cement. The golfers found the following signs the next day: “This hole drinks 277,000 liters of water per day. Do you drink that much? » or: “In France today, 600 golf courses serve up to 2,800,000 people.” A spectacular and non-violent action following the deflation of SUV tires or the closure of a ring road by other activists following the instructions of the Extinction Rebellion movement, which claims that non-violent civil disobedience is used to push governments to violence. to act against climate change and biodiversity loss. “The SUV deflators”, collective “Bassines non merci! The “Earth Rebellions” or “Recent Update” network is rebelling against what it sees as culpable inaction in the face of repeated messages from IPCC scientists. They are no longer content with climate marches, despite the risk of tensions with farmers, big car owners and law enforcement if they break the law. Others, just as rebellious, chose other paths. This is the work of the “Pour un Awakening Ecological” collective, which brings together students of engineering and business schools who refuse to work for companies engaged in activities harmful to the planet. It was this collective that last May placed posters in the Paris metro (with the approval of Médiatransports, RATP management) with a QR code scanned by 40,000 people, encouraging them to read a summary of the 10 main points of the latest IPCC report. . “When our manifesto came out in 2018, attracting over 33,000 signatories, all the main CAC 40 groups came to see us. We decided to structure ourselves by creating an employer center and a training center.” explains Rémi Vanel, a young engineer who has just resumed his work studies in the energy sector and has been a member of the collective for a year.

Students mobilize

The employers’ division sent questionnaires to companies and conducted sector analyzes on the environmental transition (luxury, distribution, finance, automotive future). In December 2021, a greenwashing Advent calendar was implemented on social networks, including Linkedin (the collective has 120,000 subscribers), where companies were closed. “We will be publishing benchmarks across sectors to identify good practices and companies that are truly committed. This allows for more horizontal management and separation of those that can be changed from within.” Rémi Vanel analyzes. Report on the teaching side Getting to know ecology came out in 2020 based on surveys sent to institutions (engineering schools, business schools and universities). “This mapping has improved somewhat since then, but most schools still lag behind in terms of educational content, both in terms of understanding the issues and skills associated with the environmental transition.” the young engineer laments. “When AgroParisTech students called on them to stop their destructive work on April 30, it put pressure on various public and private actors. Since then, our speech has been heard more and more » rate thirty-one things. For him, this rebellion of certain students is not fashionable. “The whole challenge, as suggested by The Shift Project or Ademe, will be to plan for the evolution of trade, for example from offshore oil platforms to offshore wind power. Some companies do it, some keep feeding the machine.” Remy Vanel concludes the Tour de France with his friends who started trying to get a higher education “wake up” presidents of universities and schools through awareness weekends.

Pedagogy and “debunking”

Still on the subject of this environmental awakening, Rodolphe Meyer is a thirty-two-year-old engineer and environmental doctor who does scientific pedagogy on YouTube under the name Le Réveilleur. On his channel, which was created in 2015 and has 180,000 subscribers, he posts fairly long videos where he deciphers climate issues. “On topics like nuclear power or agriculture, the mainstream media is close to misinformation.” estimates that he devotes 80% of his time to his channel, which generates most of his income through crowdfunding. The guarantee of independence and the ability to spend up to 250 hours of work for one hour of video. YouTube channel of the newspaper The world contacted him to make two videos, one on the effects of climate change (1 million views) and the other on greenhouse gas emissions (500,000 views). An activity that is not without risk. He has been mobbed by climate skeptics, but also by some environmentalists for a video about nuclear power. Journal Reporter The association Sortir du Nucléaire accused him of receiving money from Andra (National Agency for the Management of Radioactive Waste): “First, it is a public entity, not Orano (formerly Areva). But above all, lies! This is slander. Media tolerance for bogus anti-nuclear arguments is high.” Rodolphe Meyer complains. Science is a thankless task that he considers hostile and can sometimes be demoralizing: “When hydrologist Emma Haziza says on ThinkerView (a YouTube interview show) that the problem is water vapor, not CO2, and this video has 800,000 views, I make it hard to make money, it’s true”. Le Réveilleur believes that he can nevertheless influence his followers, some of whom write him to tell him that they will buy an electric car, or even other influencers he likes, such as Philoxim, a youtuber who deals with questions of ethics, or Dare to Understand, more political. “You have to fight to prevent every additional tenth of a degree of temperature rise. We cannot surrender” concludes a thirty-year-old young man about to work with a graphic designer in a series. “hard climate science”, such as the radiation balance and the effects of CO2.

Angry Good Friend

Thomas Wagner, also known as Bon Pote, also warns about the climate emergency in many of his writings. The thirty-six-year-old former financier began writing anonymously about climate in late 2018 before devoting himself fully to the cause in early 2021. Like Le Réveilleur, it is funded by donations from its readers. According to him, the rising voices of civil society can influence decision-makers: “When the speeches of students of the Faculty of Engineering appear in the press, it is seen by politicians or their advisers. The same is true of HR departments at large groups that are struggling to recruit. » In turn, it is conducive to civil disobedience by activists: “Recently, scientists signed an article Nature support these actions. » Despite the apocalyptic summer, Thomas Wagner remains cautious about the real awareness of public opinion and public authorities: “No structural commitment has been taken by the government. Whether he is for Macron or against him, it is factual. » Basically, his work is serious and resourceful. In form, he chose a more muscular approach, directly challenging those responsible for bad environmental practices, for example clashing with supporters of the status quo and climate skeptics on LinkedIn or Twitter: “When former transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari asserts that the airline industry has begun an environmental transition, I publish the Climate Council’s response to the contrary. Whenever Mélenchon says something about nuclear power, I also report on Twitter. » He has started a tour of business schools to raise awareness of what he sees as woefully inadequate training on climate change: “Sciences Po still has professors who believe in green growth. » Neither an optimist nor a pessimist, Bon Pote claims to be a realist, but his findings are troubling: “We need to get rid of our dependence on fossil fuels, but we are clearly not on that path. » Dan Geiselhart, co-founder of the newsletter with Lauren Boudard Climax favors irony and satire, which has recently become a paper fanzine. But its purpose is the same: to warn against greenwashing and bad practices by companies and public authorities.

Swap cool sides

It comes from the world of technology and a publisher of newsletters E-mail and Technical JunkDan talks to Geiselhart Climax to the fairly young readers who are already aware of these issues: “We are all caught up in this ‘growing up’ ideology, our future is full of flying cars. Our goal is to change this perception to fit the physical constraints of a finite world. We have to imagine a world where we are less happy quantitatively, but not qualitatively.” His solution: he needs to switch cool sides. “As long as some young people think that success is being rich, famous, living in Dubai and buying tons of clothes that you only wear for your Instagram stories, we will be losers. » The problem: how to reach this population? Climax already talking to tech people and entrepreneurs. And Dan Geiselhart believes in deconstructing our fascination with today’s world as we know it’s a complicated business: “We are facing a systemic problem and it is difficult to change the accepted views. » According to the co-founder, it is still possible to turn the prospect of behavioral change into a positive one Climax : “If we could get an eco-friendly Nabilla tomorrow, that would be great! » All forms of action are important to him: climate demonstrations, individual actions, civil disobedience and new media. But he prefers humor and irony to this culture of anger and conflict that we encounter on social networks. Climax “Regulation of Journalism in the Heat of the Environmental Emergency” signed by other press titles was posted on the Internet on September 14. Another way to improve knowledge about this important issue of global warming for our future.

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