While the 6th IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) assessment report has just come out with alarming news, I am finding myself about to undertake a year of research training, so as to specialise in management and research of sustainable development issues.
I've been passionately trying to learn how to respect the environment for the past years, whilst struggling with my own personal imperfections and daily random issues. As a teenager and young adult, I had believed almost every cliché about being an environmentalist - the same ones I hear now. I had undermined the cause, thought I'd never be able to adapt my already-not-so-comfortable lifestyle, particularly as a student, and that any effort I made would be worthless compared to the immensity of the issue. I realised rather quickly that the things that kept me from acting weren't linked to my comfort nor my ability to act, AT ALL.
They were all caused by the false beliefs I had learned all my life. I was accepting all of these clichés as knowledge, but they were only shortcuts my mind would borrow to avoid all those temporary negative feelings you have once you stop denying your problems: anxiety, guilt, helplessness. The good news is: these feelings aren't the reality either, but a simple reaction from your organism that tells you you're on to something important.
Once I accepted that I had not always been an environmentalist, that I liked comfort and good food, I was also able to accept that being environment-friendly could be exactly as comfortable and delicious, if not even more. That I had thought it would be hard to make the switch, only because I didn't know where to begin, I was overwhelmed, and had been told and taught it would be hard.
The main purpose of this blog will be this: deconstruct the myths around the flawless, garden-owning and rich environmentalist, and deconstruct the belief that pollution-inducing habits (taking the plane, eating too much meat, throwing your former phone away) are normal, and that it takes a lot of time, money and effort to change them.
I will also be sharing a lot of resources that helped me - and a lot of others - start being more environmental and deconstructing myths about it. This one might be the one I find the most relatable, and the most heart-warming 10 minutes video you might watch today.
The photography section of my website will remain the same for now, as my goal in photography had already always been to deconstruct our views of little, futile things, to render something different that what it seemed, or interpret them in my own ways.
PS: as mentioned before, I am flawed as well, and would appreciate that all feedbacks would be constructive. I will probably be talking about cognitive biases a lot, and I know I have my own. I'll therefore do my best to welcome suggestions and food for thought !
IPCC, 2021: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S. L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M. I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J. B. R. Matthews, T. K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press. Visit online
Renée Lertzman, March 2020: How to turn climate anxiety into action. [Video] Ted Conferences. Watch online