Heïdi Sevestre: “Glaciers, works of art of nature”

Heïdi Sevestre: “Glaciers, works of art of nature”

You have double news: a regular column on France Culture and a book. Make our mouths water…

If we manage to make the public understand what is currently at stake for humanity through climate change, we will succeed in changing behavior. By sharing my field experiences, I try to get as many citizens on board as possible on the climate action train. It is by cooperating together that we can move forward!

What does this commitment reveal about you?

When we have a good reason to fight, we surpass ourselves. I had to overcome my shyness to carry out all these awareness-raising actions. No question of staying in my office writing articles that are only read by scientists.

The place that inspires you to work?

Svalbard. Landing fifteen years ago as a student in this Norwegian archipelago, I have lived there for part of the year since then and give courses at the university, the northernmost in the world. This part of the globe is warming twice as fast as elsewhere. The climate is completely out of control, with torrential rains in the middle of winter, when it should be -20 to -30 C.

The person who matters most in your family?

Grandma Kiki. She turns 99 this year. During my childhood, she welcomed me to her chalet in Aravis (Savoie). I got to know every pebble, every tree and almost every chamois (laughs) of these mountains… In her way, she taught me to contemplate this Alpine landscape.

A gesture of sobriety?

Shared gardens: a good way to reconnect with nature, while cultivating conviviality.

A solidarity initiative that touches you?

The Banlieues Climat association, which trains young people from working-class neighborhoods around Paris in environmental issues. An initiative to be welcomed!

Which beauty will save the world?

That of glaciers, obviously (laughs). I marvel at these works of art shaped by nature and which we would be incapable of recreating as is.

The Pope grants you an audience. What question is burning on your lips?

How can we reach out to those who do not feel concerned by the loss of biodiversity and climate change?

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