Testimony of a physicist at the service of Climathon students
By Elena Iuliani
“What do you bring to the project as a trainer and scientist?”
We went to meet Olivier Dorvaux, teacher-researcher in physics and trainer at MPLS Alsace, as part of the follow-up of the Climathon projects. Within the framework of the construction of the eco-mobility project of the middle school of Haute Bruche of Schirmeck, Olivier made available to teachers and students, his scientific viewpoint on the theme of climate change and more specifically on the notion of carbon footprint.
A mission of public utility and long-term challenges:
For Olivier, the role of a scientist is not only to carry out fundamental research in his laboratory, it is also to help society, and the theme of climate change is close to his heart, because it will concern future generations for more than a hundred years, with a new relationship to the environment.
“I am involved in this type of project because I am convinced that this kind of cause can only be achieved through education.
He also underlines the importance of intervening to give students and teachers a more factual look at the subject, compared to the mainstream media, which often offers a very pessimistic view of the situation, while the speeches of scientists say that there is hope, that all is not lost, even if it is now time to get up and act !
Olivier has notably worked with the Schirmeck middle school on the notions of carbon balance, and is careful to warn about the use of these indicators, which are rather complex and must be understood and handled with care, to be used wisely.
What is the difference between the carbon balance of organic bananas from South America compared to non-organic bananas from Martinique (French)? What are we really comparing? Are we taking all factors and contexts into account? So many questions to ask before embarking on comparisons.
Concerning his participation, Olivier helped to co-construct this two-part day and willingly made himself available to teachers and students.
“We did a rather interactive question and answer session with the eco-delegates, they really played the game well, it was very pleasant. In the afternoon, I worked with them on their theme of the carbon balance : Are there ways to reduce CO2 and means of sequestration? If we manage to trap all the greenhouse gases emitted by energy production, does that solve the problem? The answer is yes, now we need to know how to trap them, how it works and see if it is effective. It’s an idealistic answer, but nevertheless there are ways to capture CO2, in different ways.Olivier Dorvaux
In any case, I had the feeling of being useful as a scientist! »