I believe this fusion of ecology and economy backed by the digital technology is our great achievement.

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Brice LaLonde
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Dear grandkids,

I can only approve your decision to demonstrate against the Chinese Earth Systems Inc.’s initiative to launch high altitude balloons filled with sulfate aerosols in the stratosphere. One never knows what could happen if something goes wrong. But on the other hand, at this point of global warming, there are not many solutions that can buy a little time while COP 56 agrees on the European Federations’s proposal for a Crash Action Program, which could reduce greenhouse gases emissions much faster.

It seems we are always late catching up with reality. It took us twenty years to seriously consider adapting to climate change, and now you have to deal with these unilateral decisions to cool the Earth by sending sulfates in the atmosphere. One can understand that the Chinese rice harvest is at stake, but if this launch messes the weather in India or elsewhere, it could trigger a serious political crisis. Another mistake of our generation.

We knew geoengineering was a last resort technology that could be used temporarily if emissions overshot the target and temperatures were too high. But we never organized a coordinated effort to see how it could be done cautiously with internationally agreed safeguards. So up to you to correct this gap.

I am happy to see you are enjoying a family life and raising your children in love and respect of nature. There has been a great change in the way modern civilization has considered nature. I remember when we started to create these huge marine reserves to protect the ocean. It is good to know the fish are back. Unfortunately, your children will not have to chance of seeing wild elephants or rhinos. That’s lost forever. But at least, CEOs now manage their companies knowing that nature is as important as labor and capital, and governments have programs to protect or even create ecological infrastructures in order to benefit from a thriving agriculture and high quality of life. I believe this fusion of ecology and economy backed by the digital technology is our great achievement.

We had to overcome this terrible moment of religious sectarianism, actually more a political extremism than a genuine religious feeling, but dressed up in bigotry. It took a lot of time to defuse the situation and isolate the extremists. In the end, the ideal of respectful secularism did succeed, but it showed us that nothing can be taken for granted in a world of 10 billion people with strong inequalities. Luckily, the great transition helped us to unify the world in a common endeavor. You must keep striving to reach a peaceful, healthful and prosperous planet. I hope you’ll keep our French heritage with its universalist reach and hedonistic features.

With love,

Brice

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