Plea for the union of environmental activists

Advocacy for the union of environmental activists

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You remember the visit of the young Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. 

Many, who agreed with the need to change the way we live and consume, were annoyed by these “impatients” a little too alarmist in their eyes. Yet, from summit meeting to summit meeting, it seems that nothing changes and that we are always placed on red alert.

At the Montreal Conference on Climate Change, organized by the UN in November 2005, stakeholders committed to concrete and rapid action. However, 17 years later, the situation is frightening: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are constantly increasing, the planet continues to warm up and the impacts of global warming are multiplying and worsening, notes the author of this new cry of alarm, Hugo Séguin, activist from the start.

Obviously, goodwill, promises and “small victories in the snatch ” are not enough to change the course of things. 

“We are not at all 'in control', warns Séguin. The climate is racing all the same, and the policies softand incremental measures deployed so far are not enough. The strategy of small steps does not yield the results that should be achieved. » 

The author does not deny that the pragmatic approach, that of the political class and of a large part environment, has borne fruit, but it's not enough, he claims. And the news proves him right every day. What is more, this accumulation of bad news – devastating fires, deadly heat waves, disappearance of species, etc. – also affects our mental health – we now speak of eco-anxiety.

Towards radical action

Faced with such an acknowledgment of failure, is it not necessary to resort to a certain form of radicalism? are we entitled to ask. We cannot save the world by playing by the rules, we hear more and more among the younger generations. Because the big protests of the past few years have not led to any real change. At most, they were vectors of hope in the face of a reality that seems immutable.

But what would a profoundly transformed, environmentally friendly and carbon-neutral society look like? Save the planet, yes, but without reducing the growth and economic enrichment of populations. Utopia or feasible project? This issue is so complex that many activists are more inclined to withdraw from the political spheres, where decisions are made, to work at the local level, “among friends and accomplices”, where it is easier to change. things. One more illusion, believes the author, for whom “the adoption of radical ideas and measures now seems unavoidable, given the deterioration of the environmental situation and the growth of inequalities”. < /p>

However, deplores the environmental activist and teacher, we are rather conservative and innovative and radical ideas are scary. However, the history of the world teaches us that great social advances have often been the product of radical actions. However, he recognizes that certain ideas, considered too radical yesterday, have ended up gaining ground and prevailing. This is how Quebec announced, in the fall of 2021, “the end of all oil and gas exploration and exploitation activities on its territory”. 

A another such drastic action, according to the author, would be “the nationalization of the oil and gas sector in Canada to force the rapid reduction of production and associated emissions”. An idea that will eventually prevail, he hopes.

This book does not claim to provide solutions to all environmental problems, but is intended to be a contribution to the necessary and urgent reflection. An invitation to dialogue between the different activist organizations. A call to the youngest to occupy all the space, because often bad decisions are made when they are conspicuous by their absence. Mission accomplished.