mardi, mai 28, 2024

The Comb Lab letter: Local conviviality

The second edition of the Festival des possibles (Festicval of Possibilities), organized by the Combrailles Sioule et Morge community of communes, took place in Blot l’Église (63440) on May 4. Producers, associations, local councillors and local players in all their diversity chatted, had a drink and exchanged opinions on a thousand and one subjects, all contributing to the emergence of collective intelligence. Clearly, these high points in local conviviality encourage informal discussions between people from diverse backgrounds and opinions. They tackle subjects whose issues concern all geographical scales. Let’s take two examples:

1. Everyone can see how the seasons change. Last year, autumn came late. Just recently, a persistent return of night frost followed the heatwave of mid-April. Fruit trees certainly didn’t appreciate it. More specifically, “shallow-rooted trees, and similarly meadow grasses, green up earlier, lose a lot of water and become more sensitive to summer drought than deep-rooted plants.” 1 Beyond personal opinions and convictions, these tangible realities concern everyone via the soil fertility/productivity that governs our food chain.

Global markets won’t solve everything because, for several weeks now, Southeast Asia has been experiencing temperatures reaching 40 or even 45 degrees. A situation to be closely monitored, given that the northern hemisphere, and particularly the European continent, is the fastest-warming region. By 2022, a 4-degree rise in temperature in the Auvergne region will have passed from assumption to reality.

2. In the last 10 days of April, Canada faced its first forest fires.2 In addition to the – at least temporary – loss of precious carbon sinks, this early onset of major fires points to studies carried out in the wake of the very large Australian fires of 2021.3 In particular, they reveal that smoke masses composed of carbon, water and other components rise to the stratosphere (15 to 19km above sea level), a phenomenon which in turn disturbs the lower layers of the atmosphere. In other words, our territories are fully exposed to these distant catastrophes.

In the absence of any major disruption to our immediate environment, our daily habits remain reliable points of reference, and our behavior remains unchanged despite the spread of eco-anxiety throughout the population. And yet, on April 18, Anders Levermann, head of the Department of Complexity Science Research at the Potsdam Institute, published a study showing that doing nothing about climate change, biodiversity loss and ocean acidification will cost six times more than the mitigation costs needed to limit global warming to 2°C.4 In concrete terms, this will mean a 13% reduction in French income over the next few years. These figures are all the more worrying given that the estimates only apply to past emissions!

These economic studies complement the scientific studies that constantly warn of the urgent need to reorient public policy. To no avail. On April 18, Enrico Letta presented his competitiveness pact5 for the European Union to the European Council. Entirely based on the further liberalisation of markets and their increased financialisation, we are going to see the Union’s green pact set aside, and consequently the abandonment of the energy-climate law in France. 6

Young and old alike can add their voices to the collective which, on April 18, headlined an article in Le Monde: “A growing mistrust of political power is taking hold in our scientific community. »7

Let’s return to the May 4 event mentioned at the beginning of these lines. This kind of grassroots dynamic makes it easier for people concerned about irreversible atmospheric and oceanic mechanisms to meet and get involved with associations working in this field and, of course, to take part in the working groups of territorial climate, air and water plans, territorial target contracts and territorial coherence schemes initiated by local communities.

As a result, the pooling of feedback from local elected representatives and organized civil society enables knowledge to be shared and fruitfully amplified. This leverage effect instantly benefits local public policies. Collaboration between players in the field and local elected representatives is THE guarantee for maintaining a viable, liveable and resilient territory.

1 Jadu Dash, Professor of Remote Sensing within Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton.



Nature 13 07 2021 :





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