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Planetary Hero #5 Nathan Bonnisseau

The Terror of Denialists.

Nathan Bonnisseau is our words guy and proud France ambassador – as he kindly reminded us after the World Cup 2018. Like any good French ambassador, you can easily spot him entering the workplace with a coffee in one hand and a croissant in the other, while smoking a cigarette that he later carefully disposes of in bins (never on the floor).

He is the one behind those articles that answer the questions we’ve all been asking: “what the heck is climate change”?

Our head of content is always ready to joke, try puns in foreign languages and never says no to a cheeky competition. Too bad for him, he has never been able to beat Berta at foosball, but he never gives up.

He’s better at carrying signs than painting them.

What is climate change to you? How does it affect you? How to stop it?

Climate change is the consequence of a dominant vision among mankind that we are separate and superior to nature. (Un)surprisingly, this is not the case. Turns out that the planet is our petri dish. Much like bacteria, we need to understand there are boundaries to this petri dish, and that we cannot overstep them without unsettling a balance that took a few billion years of trial and error by nature to attain.

As I’m writing this, it is 36°C in our office, plastic is all around and the news are tallying the count of bodies from wildfires across the world, both developed and developing. That’s how it affects me.

Already hungry.

We need to unite, organise and prioritise the work. The environmental success stories we know (and there are some, we are still here after all) all stem from a smart focus of global efforts on a specific problem. We should play it like this. Second, climate chaos mitigation needs to be heavily funded and financed. From the biggest to the smallest stakeholder, there needs to be a redirecting of investments, donations and efforts towards solid, sustainable projects. Climate action cannot stay confined to a corner of society between walls called philanthropy and volunteer action.

Where do you get your environmental fibre from? How did it all begin?

I am from the forest and my father was a biology teacher so I have always felt close to nature. I had a mini-garden at the age of 6 and was building treehouses at about the same age.

It seems obvious in my mind that climate mitigation is the great fight of our generation. And I kinda find it exciting. This is an opportunity to solve so many problems at once and create the foundations for another society. When everyone has something to fight against, doesn’t that encourage them to unite?

What is your totem animal? Why?

It’s OK to have a couple right? The first one is the whale. I’ve met one of these cool rulers of the oceans while scuba-diving. It was a third-type kind of encounter. I was submerged (literally and figuratively) by the beauty and grace of this creature.

I feel very inspired by foxes. I find them smart, pretty and quirky. I was never the one to steal chickens, but I’ve always admired their techniques, like standing against the wind to keep preys from smelling their carrot-coloured furs. Nice.

Understanding totem animals with Nathan.

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