The least we can say is that we're taking in some hard news when it comes to the environment. Although scientists and activists have been sounding the alarm for decades, it seems that the immobility of many is leading us towards alarming data.
If we look at 3 specific elements, we can easily see that it is important, even urgent, to act at all levels.
Earth Overshoot Day
The Earth Overshoot Day is a calculation made by the Global Footprint Network. This calculation establishes an annual date by which humanity has consumed all the resources the planet is capable of regenerating in one year. After this date, humanity irreversibly consumes non-renewable resources. In the last decade, we seem to need more or less 1.7 planet Earths to meet our "needs".
In 2021, a pandemic year, the organization has set this date at July 29. Can we celebrate? Yes and no. No, because the only valid explanation is containment, particularly in industrialized countries. Yes, because it shows that we can do better by adopting new strategies.
The waste report
A few weeks ago, the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) unveiled a dazzling report on L'état des lieux et la gestion des résidus.
According to Recyc-Québec's most recent annual data (2019), over 6 million tonnes of residual materials were disposed of. This is equivalent to 724 kilograms, the highest amount since 2011.
Although the government has a waste management policy, the BAPE states that, at the current rate of progress, it is utopian to reach the target of 525 kg/capita set for 2023.
The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently published a comprehensive report of almost 4,000 pages (well, no, I haven't read them all ;). The document is drawn up by 270 authors and focuses on the human and ecological consequences of climate change.
Based on scientific research, the authors show that humanity is heading for catastrophic and irreversible events.
Fortunately, they also argue that the consequences could be avoided if fossil fuels were phased out.
However, it is understood that there is very little room for manoeuvre, and that changes must be made now.
I confess that, as an environmentalist, this news, one after the other, has shaken me. Humbly, momentarily paralyzed me. Once I'd put it down, out of love for the Earth and everything that makes it up, out of love for my children and those to come, I landed on my feet. We are part of the solution. Each of us and collectively. But what power do we have?
If we look at 3 areas of our lives, we can see that there's a lot there: transport, waste and food. If each and every one of us were to adopt more eco-responsible habits and share them with others, we'd clearly be winning.
To find out more about ecoresponsibility, I invite you to read an article on the subject.