The collectif Argos brings images of climate change

“Our house is burning… “ If the formula of president Chirac at thethe fourth Earth summit, in September 2002, is now long past, the remedies were slow. The collectif Argos, composed the previous year, has guided its work for nearly twenty years around the environmental concerns.

→ FORUM. Climate : there is no time to lose

At the beginning, this small group of photographers (Hélène David, Cédric Faimali, Laurent Weyl, Guillaume Collanges) seeks above all to share ideas and thoughts. Very quickly, they decide to integrate people from feather in their project.

Account of global warming

At the beginning of the XXIe century, figures, graphs and pie charts of the Grouping of the intergovernmental panel on climate change (Ipcc) are beginning to alarm the media and many governments. “It seemed important to make palpable and sensitive data on global warming “, stresses Guillaume Collanges.

Arles and Perpignan, the fate upset festivals photo

The village of Shishmaref, Alaska, affected by the melting of the permafrost, to the archipelago of Tuvalu submerged by the rising waters, the photographers travel the world to report stories of men and women who bear the brunt of the effects of global warming. They are the first to document and embody the reports a bit boring scientists of the Ipcc.

The project, launched in 2004, extends over several years. A book is coming out in 2007, which will be re-released. The photo Festival La Gacilly, also involved in an ecological approach virtuous, promotes an exhibition of their work in the same year.

Identify and illustrate the positive initiatives

The exhibition then travels through France, accompanied by conferences and meetings. The exchanges are rich and also reveal the impact of the local climate, as well as the initiatives that are taken at this scale. In the wider world at its doorstep, the loop is closed.

The culmination of this work is reached when, in 2009, the embassy of France program, their exposure to the COP15 in Copenhagen, which will strengthen the urge of the collective to continue to dig the furrow environment. A commitment that requires time and money : everybody is going about his work, is dedicated to reports about the society, working on the news, responds to commands, but never stray too far from the path set.

The team is ready again to write a second chapter on the actors of the transition energy. The project “Footprint” identifies small and large initiatives, the Amap Île-de-France the development of wind power in Cape Verde.

A new exhibition, visible in early 2021

It finds its culmination in the dawn of the COP21 in Paris with an exhibition at the town hall. A touch of color and optimism after observing the very dark of the first component. “It seemed to us essential to also bear witness of the solutions “says Jérômine Derigny, who joined the collective in 2006.

→ TO READ. Of science fiction to the “climate-fiction” : novels for thinking about the climate change

Nearly twenty years have passed, some members left, new ones arrived, but the spirit remains. The collectif Argos lives his life, always on the alert on disordered ecological. A page is written today with a new documentary series titled ” Bitter “. They leave, this time, to the meeting of small fishermen deprived of their livelihood by private interests, tourism or industrial.

The exhibition, postponed because of the sars coronavirus, will be visible early next year, on the occasion of the world Congress of the international Union for the conservation of nature (IUCN) in Marseille.

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Hear Nicolas Hulot, a necessary word

Thomas Legrand, editorial writer enjoying a great deal of attention as part of France Inter’s morning show of May 12, questioning both the form and the substance, attacked the campaign “the time has come” with violence launched by the Nicolas Hulot Foundation (FNH) and of which the latter is the spokesperson.

→ ANALYSIS.Climate, Nicolas Hulot is betting that the lines have moved

As Thomas Legrand recalls, the popularity of Nicolas Hulot is envied by many politicians and the media. However, he does not hold back his words, does not work his look, does not run the Parisian dinners, does not invade the pages of magazines and is even able to take against the President of the republic himself. Like Goldman, Zidane or Noah, he is a man of the “general public” and the FNH campaign is therefore a campaign aimed at this general public. It uses a grammar adapted to this target, thus associating personalities relay to this public.

French condescension

Thomas Legrand is right to recall that the FNH arrests are nothing new but it is unfortunately the tragedy of all environmentalists; they have been repeating the same things for ages and nothing has changed. Do they have to resign themselves and fold around organic vegetable gardens in Provencal eco-hamlets? The Covid-19 is an additional element which confirms the alerts of environmentalists and their recommendations, more than ever, remain valid!
In reality, there is nevertheless a new element, one more proof, I should say. It is illustrated by the way in which France condescendingly considered Italy at the start of the crisis, reminding us of a Russian cloud which, too, should not have passed through French customs. Until we have the buttocks on fire, we don’t react. This attests to the cognitive dissonance of which we are capable. Regarding the climate, we have this same dramatic attitude.

→ RETURN. One year after the “Power to Live Pact”, listening and disappointment
Thomas Legrand also questions the timing of this campaign. While environmentalists of all stripes, politicians of all stripes, scientists and media stars have been expressing themselves wrongly and through since the first days of the crisis, the Nicolas Hulot Foundation has just waited for deconfinement to speak. Did she have to wait until a vaccine was discovered? Did she have to wait until the “next world” looked like the “worse before world”? In particular, should it leave Medef and its president free rein to restart the machine at full speed?
We do rely on entrepreneurs to guarantee the sustainability of their activities, and therefore the employment of employees who themselves support entire families. But it is essential to remember that the conjunctural crisis of Covid-19 comes in a structural ecological context that is much more threatening to human health, as underlined by “the call of carers” which has just been launched by very many doctors and nurses.

The flaws in our system

In the name of the youngest, in the name of territories that are already dramatically undergoing the effects of climate change, in the name of those that globalization is already leaving by the side of the road, in the name of the collapsing biodiversity, there n ‘is not tolerable to envisage the continuation by freeing us from ecological constraints as requested by the President of Medef. Nor is it conceivable to ask Nicolas Hulot to shut up when so many others speak out and lobbyists are sieging the departments and the European Commission.

→ READ ALSO. Nicolat Hulot or the despair of an already lost fight
The lessons of the Covid crisis highlight the flaws in our system and provide an opportunity for everyone, whether an individual, public or private, to redefine their role in the design of humanity and its organization.
More than ever, the company must contribute to the creation of a better world. More than ever, it must specify its raison d’être and the raison d’être for those who work there. More than ever, companies and public players must develop new financial rules that help meet the environmental and social challenges of our time. And more than ever the media, including France Inter, must know what story they want to promote. Reach the microphone to those who harbor fear and withdrawal, or to those who, admittedly sometimes in a “nice” way, remind us that there will be no future for our humanity if it does not take care of it. ‘itself and the natural ecosystem of which it is a part.

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novels to think about climate change

What if men had to pollinate flowers by hand because the bees were gone? What if water became such a scarce resource that it would become the subject of a global conflict between peoples? What if a terrible drought transformed California into a barren desert …? The Norwegian Maja Lunde in A story of bees (1) – novel sold by a million copies – the French Jean-Marc Ligny in Aqua ™ (2) or the American Claire Vaye Watkins in The Sands of Amargosa (3) imagine these worlds where global warming would have done its work.

Novels by climate fiction (“Climate fiction”), according to the term coined by the American journalist Dan Bloom in 2011. Coming from the United States, this sub-genre of science fiction is also developing in France. “Most of the time, these are situations in the near future, where global warming has gained momentum with consequences becoming more and more visible and less and less manageable; either from post-apocalyptic worlds, where global warming has caused societies to collapse, “ explains Loan Treca, director of Arkuiris Publishing.

“Alert the general public”

“The main goal is to alert the general public to the challenges of climate change”, poses Dan Bloom. “Fiction can reach an audience that would not necessarily read IPCC reports or scientific articles”, abounds with Yann Quero, author of two novels by climate fiction. Since becoming aware of the gravity of the phenomenon in the 1990s, he feels invested with a certain ” responsibility “.

→ READ. From science fiction to climate fiction: novels to think about climate change.

In 2005, he published The White Man Trial (Arkuiris), which projects into 2143. Global warming has caused the Gulf Stream to stop and plunged the Northern Hemisphere under ice. The novelist started from a current scientific hypothesis: the water resulting from the melting of Greenland’s ice and excessive precipitation could disturb the ocean current which is at the origin of the temperate European climate.

Inward withdrawal

If the stories of climate fiction most of the time describe dystopian or post-apocalyptic worlds, some approach the problem from a more optimistic angle. In his essay Out of the rubble of the world (Champ Vallon), Yannick Rumpala points to these hopeful scenarios.

Already in 1975, Ernest Callenbach imagined in Ecotopia the secession of three states on the American West Coast to found a radical ecological society: the country is reforested, internal combustion engines are prohibited, manufactured products fully recyclable…

But this green utopia is realized at the cost of withdrawal and increasingly communitarianism. “There are always ambiguities in these models”, notes the lecturer in political science. Ambiguities which have precisely the merit of asking us questions: what concessions are we collectively ready to make to save the planet?

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Climate policy is under pressure due to the corona crisis

Berlin It was not long ago that climate protection was a key issue. Worldwide, young demonstrators in particular took to the streets, Germany presented a climate protection law, the EU Commission a green deal.

But since the corona crisis made the headlines internationally, the issue has been difficult. Instead of thinking about the decarbonization of society and the economy in view of the increasing global warming, aid programs worth billions are adopted within a few days, which are primarily to prevent a complete collapse of the companies.

The Corona crisis will make the necessary climate-friendly restructuring of the economy more difficult than it will accelerate, partly because the necessary financial resources are becoming scarcer, the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW) recently stated.

The United Nations Climate Change Secretariat and the British government have now decided that the COP26 world climate conference will be postponed to the coming year due to the corona crisis. It makes no sense to bring people from all countries together in the middle of a pandemic, it was said late Wednesday evening. However, the fact that the climate conference is being postponed does not mean that climate protection is also being postponed.

COP stands for Conference of the Parties and should have taken place in Glasgow, Scotland this November. Now, it is said, the world climate conference, which usually takes place once a year, will probably take place in the middle of 2021.

Sustainable revival of the economy

According to experts, the obligation under the Paris Agreement for all countries to improve their national climate plans by 2020 still applies. Because the climate protection contributions of Germany, the EU and most countries have so far been far too weak.

This misses the common goal of the agreement to limit the global temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius or better to 1.5 degrees Celsius. That is why the states have to tighten their contributions significantly. Now the focus should be on how the international community manages to sustainably shape the economic revival that was necessary after the corona crisis.

This is exactly the question that thoughts and business games of environmental associations have been dealing with for days. They are concerned that climate protection could fall by the wayside this year and are therefore working on papers to prevent this.

The decision made last night was generally understood, but at the same time demands were made not to neglect climate protection. “Economic stimulus packages have to protect us from the worst consequences of the consequences of the corona crisis and at the same time prepare us for other crises,” said Ann-Kathrin Schneider, Head of International Climate Policy at the German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND) immediately after the announcement of the postponement.

While the corona crisis “caught us cold, we can still contain the climate crisis,” said Schneider. Green responses to the consequences of the corona crisis for our economy could save the most catastrophic effects of the next crisis on the horizon, the climate crisis.

Long-term measures

The development and environmental organization Germanwatch also praised last week’s adoption of the supplementary budget in Germany as an important first step in combating the economic consequences of the corona crisis.

At the same time, Christoph Bals, political director of Germanwatch, warned that the forthcoming economic stimulus programs at national and European level should specifically strengthen health systems, the resilience of societies and the climate targets necessary to avert danger.

“We cannot fight an exponentially growing crisis by firing another exponentially growing crisis – the climate crisis,” said Bals. The investment stimulus should therefore be the start for the implementation of the European Green Deal.

All measures should be checked for their long-term sustainability and their contribution to the resilience of society, Bals demanded. “You must not cement outdated structures.”

From Germanwatch’s point of view, the first steps would include the immediate abolition of the funding cover for solar energy, the waiver of blanket distance regulations for wind power, and greater support for energetic building renovations. “It is absurd that Economics Minister Altmaier is slowing down important future industries instead of promoting investments there,” said Bals.

World at a crossroads

“The world is at a crossroads,” warned BUND chairman Olaf Bandt repeatedly in the past few days. The corona crisis shows “how vulnerable we humans are and how vulnerable our economic and social systems are”.

In this challenging situation, it is good that the federal government is handing over money to help quickly. Bandt called for a “green deal” for Germany: “Securing people, creating sustainable jobs, building a climate-friendly future with strong regional cycles.”

The conservation organization WWF also warned against “business as usual”. “We have to manage the overdue transformation with a fair structural change in our economy and infrastructures and align programs accordingly,” demanded Eberhard Brandes, Managing Director of WWF Germany.

Germanwatch also urged support for the countries of the global south. “The corona crisis threatens to have many more devastating consequences in the global south than here,” said Bals. “Germany and the EU have a duty to live up to their global responsibility and to support the poorest countries very quickly in containing and fighting the virus.”

2020 should be a decisive year in climate policy – driven by Germany and the EU. Neither the G7 presidency of the USA nor the G20 presidency of Saudi Arabia are expected to give any particular impetus to climate policy. Berlin will have the EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2020, which has been seen as a good opportunity to spur the world on to more ambitions.

New dynamism

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) had already announced that she wanted to use the presidency for a new dynamic in European climate and environmental protection. The EU also wanted to hold a summit with China in September. The environmental associations hope that the world’s largest (China) and third largest (EU) climate polluters will put pressure together to fight climate change.

The preparation of the Paris Agreement concluded in 2015 had been decisively driven by the rapprochement between the United States and China at the time. At that time, Barack Obama was still ruling in the United States. Today’s US President Donald Trump announced in 2017 that he would withdraw his country from the contract. The termination that has now taken effect will take effect at the end of 2020.

More: Public life is largely at a standstill. In the short term, this reduces emissions. But the crisis will slow ecological modernization.

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Scientists have been mobilized for a long time

They are not the only ones. But scientists are particularly mobilized in favor of education on climate issues – whether they come from the disciplines concerned or not. ” It’s logic, notes astrophysicist Pierre Léna, at the origin of the educational program

” The hands-on “. Everything we know about climate comes first from science. They are therefore at the heart of the machine and well placed to know that we need trained citizens to initiate the necessary transformations. “ Asked in our columns at the beginning of March 2020, the paleoclimatologist Valérie Masson-Delmotte said nothing else: “We will have to make informed choices in the face of climatic hazards. We need benchmarks! “, she confided, noticing a delay in France.

→ ANALYSIS. Learn about the challenges of climate change

“When I ask simple questions about the greenhouse effect to my students in 1re year, the answers remain vague ”, noted the scientist, member of the IPCC, who continues to call for strengthening the skills of students – a requirement that is also included in article 12 of the Paris Agreement. With others, like her colleague Jean Jouzel and the biologist Gilles Bœuf, she joined in a petition at the end of 2018 demanding a real place for the environment in the common core of the school.

” We must go further “

More recently, Valérie Masson-Delmotte also supported the “Make Our Lessons Great Again” initiative to strengthen these lessons in higher education – a working group set up by the Ministry of Research should “Make its first conclusions by the summer of 2020”, according to Jean Jouzel, who chairs it.

→ MAINTENANCE. Valérie Masson-Delmotte: “Some teens know more about the climate than a minister”

On the high school side, things are moving forward. The general terminal program was thus reinforced, notably on the climate, energy and the history of life, during the last reform (for the start of the 2020 academic year), with the aim of encouraging interdisciplinarity. “It’s a good thing, but we have to go further”, insists Pierre Léna, who regrets that the “Vocational high school is not affected” at this stage.

Support for teachers

Beyond the programs themselves, he also knows that the challenge lies in the training of teachers, fearing two obstacles: the prevalence, in France, of an education “in silos”, discipline by discipline ; and the reluctance of some teachers to deal with inseparable subjects of a certain “ethical”, therefore political, dimension. “In terms of ecological transition, this dimension is essential”, observes the researcher, member of the Academy of Sciences.

To make it easier for teachers, several renowned institutions (1) founded in 2018 the Office for Climate Education (OCE), an international initiative for climate change education. Its goal ? Offer educational resources, but also support teachers on these major subjects, worldwide.

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Learn about the challenges of climate change

At first glance, Matt, a handsome 39-year-old man with an irreproachable cut, has everything from a young dynamic framework. You can easily imagine him strolling through the streets of the City, portable by ear or jumping on a plane, tireless and in a hurry. “I frankly decelerated here”, recognizes this former employee of a multinational insurance company. Here ? At Schumacher College (1), a higher education institution located in the green hills of Devon, in the south-west of England.

Its particularity is that it is a pioneer establishment in education on the challenges of ecological transition. Founded in 1991 by activist and thinker Satish Kumar, this British “college” now welcomes around 800 students per year – a minority in one-year masters, a large part for thematic seminars of one to three weeks, open with very diverse profiles. We meet young idealists as well as big bosses, including a large majority of foreigners.

→ DEBATE. How to strengthen education around the “world of tomorrow”?

Matt is English. In 2019, after careful consideration, he decided to leave his business and his life as a busy man in Singapore, to take a radical turn. “I had a very good salary and a lot of responsibilities but also the growing impression of missing out on the real issues”, explains the former businessman, made aware of ecology by the works of scientist James Lovelock. His readings, his rationality, his humanist convictions, everything pushes him to take an interest in the question of transition … and to question his own role. In September 2019, he started a master’s degree entitled “Economics” at Schumacher College, which shakes up the fundamentals of the neoliberal approach. And he settles, for a year, his suitcases in Devon.

The head, the hands, the heart

This March day (2), at lunchtime, the dining room is filled with a cheerful atmosphere. Here, the shared meal counts as much as the lessons given. Side by side, students and teachers serve themselves at the vegetarian buffet, in large bowls of steaming soup. Half of the fruits and vegetables come from crops in the neighboring field – salads, leeks, beets, potatoes, apples, currants, etc. -, that the fifteen or so horticultural students work daily, with the help of their comrades. “The hands” as much as “the head” would say the founder, Satish Kumar, who adds “the heart” – in other words, community life.

Learn about the challenges of climate change

This triptych is the foundation of the institution. Since the responses to the climate crisis, and more broadly ecological, require a profound change in society and new paradigms, it is the person in all its dimensions that the establishment addresses. Here, we cook, we put our hands in the ground, we practice meditation and sport, with as much care as we work to obtain a master of arts or master of science (MA and MSc equivalent bac +5 in France). Degrees validated by the nearby University of Plymouth, with which the curricula are developed.

→ EXPLANATION. Scientists have been mobilized for a long time

“Thirty years ago, we were taken for an alternative place, this is no longer the case. With the growing importance of ecological issues, we are even being watched very seriously because we have three decades step back ”says Andrea Kuhn, one of the backbones of the small administrative team. “We are not a” hippie college “!, laughs Andy Letcher, associate professor. Here, he continues, we are working on how to initiate a transition from our large-scale business models. And of course, there is no quick fix or one way. The challenge is to rely on our students, who will then transform the world with their ideas, their talents, their courage. In the meantime, we are of course trying to deepen their knowledge, but also to sharpen their critical sense and give them confidence. “

Transform the system from the inside

This is undoubtedly where the great strength of Schumacher College lies: a primarily constructive approach, far from the sirens of “collapsology” – but without angelism. “Our credo is that of resilience, rather than resistance”, sums up Pavel Cenkl, the director. “We don’t focus on the concepts of crisis or emergency, we avoid being in the“ Only there, we have to ”, he continues, assuming to confront complexity. He also knows that the cost of a master’s degree remains prohibitive for many students (from € 9,000 to € 16,000 a year).

The fact remains that for Marguerite, who is following a six-month course in horticulture, the director’s words resonate very concretely. “When I got there, I was very angry. I was angry with people for the climate crisis, I was depressed, worried “, confides this ex-manager at Doctolib, who can be found in the middle of the fields, parka and muddy boots on her feet. “I understood that this anger was useless, that I could act on my scale, continues this 28 year old woman. Above all, I found a lot of cheerfulness. Here, we cultivate joy, sharing, despite the harshness of the issues. It gives me strength for the future ”.

Matt also has this feeling. But he has every intention of returning to work in his field, insurance, to change the system from the inside. “I know the codes, the springs and it is an absolutely key sector to initiate the ecological transition: insurers are the best risk experts, they are everywhere in society and have billions of assets”, smiles the thirty-something.

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four alarming consequences for the planet

Multiplication of droughts, acceleration of sea level rise … The 2019 report of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) presented this Tuesday at the UN headquarters in New York, confirms that 2019 was the second hottest year on record. This warming seems inexorable: the years 2015 to 2019 are the five years that experienced the highest average temperatures, and the warmest decade 2010-2019 observed, ensures the report.

“We just had the hottest January ever, said WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas. The winter was unusually mild in many parts of the northern hemisphere. Smoke and pollutants from devastating Australian fires have gone around the world and caused a spike in carbon dioxide emissions (one of the main greenhouse gases responsible for global warming, editor’s note). The record temperatures reported in Antarctica have been accompanied by large-scale melting of ice and the dislocation of a glacier, which will affect sea level rise. “ The report points to the multiple consequences of this warming for nature and humans.

– Rising sea levels: populations under threat

Last year, the global average sea level reached its highest value ever recorded. An increase mainly due to the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps.

Sea level rise, in millimeters per year between 1993 and 2019. (Source: Copernicus / Satellites Localization Collection (CLS) / National Center for Space Studies (CNES) / Laboratory for Studies in Spatial Geophysics and Oceanography (LEGOS))

The report specifies that this rise in sea level is not uniformly distributed over the globe: it tends to increase off the coast of Japan in the Pacific, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, east of New Zealand in the Pacific Ocean and east of the Río de la Plata Estuary in the South Atlantic.

»READ ALSO – Half of the world’s sandy beaches could disappear by the end of the century

This rise in sea level will have dramatic consequences for the Pacific atolls or certain Asian coasts, which may eventually be submerged, causing an inevitable flow of populations.

– Ocean acidification and deoxygenation: the impact on marine life

The oceans are a carbon sink: they absorb a (large) part of our CO2 emissions. During the 2010s, they captured about 23% of annual carbon dioxide emissions, cushioning the effects of climate change. But this process changes the chemistry of the ocean, lowers its pH and increases its acidity. This acidification reduces the ability of marine organisms such as mussels, crustaceans and corals to calcify. The absorption of CO2 also leads to the deoxygenation of the oceans: the WMO indicates that since the middle of the last century, the oxygen content of the ocean worldwide has decreased by 1 to 2%, which represents a major threat to ecosystems.

– Heat waves: vulnerable populations and an increased risk of developing diseases

The unprecedented temperatures experienced by some countries in the past year have had a direct impact on people’s health, the report said. Among the examples cited is Japan, where an intense heat wave killed more than 100 people in the summer of 2019 and required 18,000 hospitalizations. Climate change makes it easier transmission of viruses like dengue by the spread of the Aedes mosquito. Today, about half of the world’s population is at risk of infection.

– Droughts and extreme climate events: food security at risk

Parts of Southeast Asia and Australia have experienced very severe droughts. Southern Africa, Central America and parts of South America have received unusually low amounts of precipitation, adds the WMO. For example, after below normal rains from May to August 2019, around 50,000 families lost almost 80% of their maize production in Guatemala.

Frequency of severe droughts in cereal regions of the world over the period 1984-2011. FAO.

Food security has also deteriorated markedly in some countries in the Horn of Africa due to the combined effects of climate, displacement and conflict. It is estimated that at the end of 2019, around 22.2 million people (including 6.7 million in Ethiopia) were in serious food insecurity.

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Global warming and sea level rise threaten half of beaches

Climate change and rising sea levels could cause half of the world’s sandy beaches to disappear by the end of the century, according to a study released Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

And even in the scenario of humanity sharply reducing its emissions of greenhouse gases, responsible for the rise of the global average temperature, more than a third of the sandy coastlines are threatened, pointed out in the study.

Its disappearance would have an impact on tourist activities, but not only.

“In addition to tourism, sandy beaches often offer the first protection mechanism against storms and floods, so without them the impacts of extreme weather events are likely to be stronger,” said Michalis Vousdoukas, who led the study and is a researcher at the European Commission’s Joint Research Center. “We must prepare,” he insisted.

Sandy beaches occupy more than a third of the coastlines worldwide and are often located in highly populated regions. But they are threatened by the erosion resulting from new construction, rising sea levels and storms, which threaten infrastructure and lives.

Australia may be the most affected country, with some 15,000 kilometers of sandy beaches streaked off the map in 80 years, more than Canada, Chile and the USA. Other threatened countries are Mexico, China, the Russian Federation, Argentina, India and Brazil.

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Half of the world’s sandy beaches could disappear by the end of the century

INFOGRAPHY – Rising sea levels, erosion, concreting … A study published in “Nature” points to the vulnerability of coastlines around the world.

Half of the world's sandy beaches could disappear by 2100.
Half of the world’s sandy beaches could disappear by 2100. MIKE LEYRAL / AFP

Will the seaside holidays soon be a distant memory? A little reassuring study published this Monday in Nature reveals that half of the world’s sandy beaches could disappear by the end of the century.

These beaches occupy more than a third of the coastal areas, which are among the most developed and most densely populated in the world. Critical to the tourism economy, they also provide natural protection against storms. They are also very important in terms of biodiversity, since they are home to a particular flora and fauna. Their existence is however increasingly threatened. This is due to the proliferation of human infrastructure, the erosion and even the rise in sea level which has accelerated over the past twenty-five years.

To carry out the study published in Nature, Michalis Vousdoukas, of the Joint Research Center (the scientific service of the European Commission), and his colleagues based themselves in particular on

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Those who “fix the world with low noise”

The reports are overwhelming – there would only be a few years left, says the UN, to initiate a systemic transformation of our economies and avoid the climate catastrophe. In response, how many sterile hassles, simplistic debates over the length of Twitter thread and TV platforms? Are you “for” or “against” nuclear power? “For” or “against” glyphosate? Meat ? The wolf ? Wind turbines ? Macron? … And how many contradictory injunctions: you have to eat organic, but it is found mainly in plastic, from the other side of the world. Pause. Sometimes we would like to curl up in a corner, away from the hubbub.

TO READ. “La Croix” launches its first “Ecology Meetings” in Angers

And then there is life. And all those, far from the media platforms, “Fix the world with low noise”, as the philosopher Corine Pelluchon (1) says with her beautiful expression. Like this seabird lover in Brittany, who has been talking for months with the authorities and the population to extend the nature reserve for which he is responsible. Puffins and Northern Gannets need a whole marine ecosystem to live. But the Conservative faces the understandable fears of fishermen, who fear losing their freedom.

More than 300 kilometers away in Sarthe, a director of an agricultural cooperative is fighting to produce quality chickens. This has a cost, reflected on the sale price, because it is necessary to enlarge the hangars, give time and care to the breeding, etc. The director is aware of a raw reality: “How to do it, when a large part of the French are at 10 € to do their shopping?” “, he wonders.

AT The cross, over our reports, we often meet them, those who repair and wonder. They are in businesses, schools, laboratories, natural parks, inter-municipal unions, associations, everywhere, finally. Each time, they inspire the same feeling: that they are a peaceful army of “doers”, who do not pay for words, know their subject and avoid as much as possible ideological rifts. Who, above all, in no way underestimates the sometimes colossal difficulties that there are in transforming our lifestyles to limit our carbon footprint and restore nature to its place.

On the banks of the Maroni river in Guyana, a doctor from Maripasoula has been educating Amerindians for twenty-five years about mercury pollution. From small children to old people, these populations are sick of this metal which poisons the entire food chain, via fish such as the amara which the villages are fond of along the river. Opposite, the gold panners keep the gold fever. It’s written in reports and theorists know that. The doctor is still there. And we suddenly want to believe it.

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