Green spotlight: Time for brave choices

Turn off the light when not in use. Keep your shower short. Do not turn on the heat too early in autumn. Suddenly the energy companies want to save energy!

“It’s all about the pennies and not the climate,” complains Charlotte, a 26-year-old newly graduated engineer. Obsessed with plastic pollution, it took her many months to overcome her guilt for buying a plastic bottle. Like many of her generation who are about to enter the labor market, she defines herself as ‘Ecoanxious’.

Coined by the philosopher Glenn Albrecht in 2005, the term Eco-Anxiety denotes “the existential pain experienced when the place in which one resides is subjected to environmental degradation”.

According to a global study assessing climate anxiety among young people published by The Lancet in December 2021, 59 percent of young people (aged 16-25) are very or extremely concerned, and 84 percent are at least moderately concerned.

Candidates gravitated away
“Let’s desert before we are stuck with financial obligations,” a group of eight graduates from AgroParisTech – a French higher education institute specializing in science, life sciences and engineering – famously said on their graduation day in April 2022 to denounce the “destructive job ” they had trained for five years to earn.

By expressing their disbelief in , green growth and ecological transition, they created a buzz and opened up a debate.

“Putting plants in laboratories for multinational corporations, designing convenience foods and chemotherapy to treat those who fall ill as a result, inventing ‘good ’ labels, developing so-called ‘green’ energies,” are just four of the careers they thought was waiting for. them in the labor market.

They refused to serve what they consider an “ecocidal” economic model. Instead, they branched out and called themselves deserters. Two will retrain (one as a fisherman, another as a farmer-baker), while two others intend to farm (bees; sheep).

An ecological awakening
Since 2018, 32,000 students have signed the ‘Wake up Call on the Environment: a Student Manifesto’ to pressure employers to become climate-friendly if they want to attract young talent.

It started in and is now spreading in , Italy, Spain and , as well as selected universities throughout Europe.

“Sending an email with an attachment is as energy intensive as a light bulb on for 24 hours, and it has the same CO2 emissions as a light bulb on for one hour,” they argue. “In 2020, the digital sector emitted as much as aviation.”

This fresh vision contains powerful ideas: it is not only about developing new energies, but also, and above all, questioning our quest for infinite growth.

Unattended alerts
“We cannot accept that the biodiversity of a project remains limited to the number of beehives in a nice CSR report,” claims another student.

So yes, Charlotte was right, it’s all about the penny, despite scientists warning us for decades about climate change and the disasters that would follow.

With rising and the worsening energy , some parents have even encouraged their teenagers to swim at the local club in an affluent suburb of to save some of their pennies.

However, history has often proven that dramatic changes are driven by our ear. In the context of the pandemic, the buildup, mega-fires, floods and shortages, humanity will have to be resilient and adapt faster.

Source: The Nordic Page

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