Celebrating an eight-year commitment

Somewhere in March / April 2004 as I was a 20 year old student at the Burgundy School of Business I discovered both the threat of climate change and the potential of solar energies.

These topics have never left me ever since. Indeed what better or more captivating projects for a twenty something kid from rural France than help saving our civilization and keeping our beautiful planet habitable ?

I wrote afterwards most if not all of my academic papers afterwards on these topics and started reading any news article I could find on those topics.

Back to December 2006 as I was just finishing my Master’s degree I decided to share the most interesting stuff I was coming across. My blog was born a few weeks later…

Of course, this event had to have some background. Before writing that paper on solar energies, I already had been raised in rural areas, spending a lot of time in the family farm with my grandparents and the whole family.

Learning to live frugally and to avoid wasting energy is not new to me. It was already part of me as a kid. I had learned the importance of insulating houses in my mid-teens as I was lending a hand to my grand-father as he was weatherizing a flat.

But back to the topic : eight years is a LONG time for a person who isn’t 30 years old yet. At the time, I hadn’t discovered the huge potential of efficiency. I thought solar could single handedly solve all our problems.

The term cleantech was either confidential or not invented yet…  It is also a long time to see the evolution of a sector. And I daresay that we have reasons to both hope and despair.

Reasons to despair :

  • Media coverage of climate change has decreased significantly globally ;
  • Little to nothing has been done internationally to tackle the twin threats of peak oil and climate change ;
  • In most G20 countries, elected representatives act as if they didn’t know about these very threats.
  • We are seeing the first dramatic effects of global warming.

Reasons to hope :

  • Despite the awful media coverage, people are beginning to connect the dots between extreme weather and climate change ;
  • More and more countries are willing to tackle the triple crisis: the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Mexico…
  • A consensus on a carbon tax is slowly forming as Italy announced it was also considering one.
  • The continuous rise of oil prices are leading people to drive less, thus decreasing oil consumption and most importantly, is leading to behavioral change

On the overall, albeit the situation is getting more desperate each day, I am still optimistic.

What about you ? How did you come to environmental and energy issues ?

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