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How to accept radical changes?

How to accept radical changes?

**This article has been translated automatically and contains French/Quebec references.**

We need to make a radical shift to fight climate change.
But are we ready to do it?

I recommend reading the book

Letter to impatient ecologists and those who find that they are exaggerating, by Hugo Séguin

It is an essay on radicalism. This blog article is inspired by this work, you will also find some passages there.

You can rent it on Prêtnumé via the BANQ
Or via Montreal libraries

“To get results that we’ve never had, we have to do things that we’ve never done”

- Jean-Marc Léger


Radicalism is seeking to understand the root causes of a problem, finding effective solutions and implementing the changes necessary to resolve them.

Radicalism can be contrasted with conservatism, which is an attitude that favors maintaining the status quo. Conservatives tend to view change as a threat and favor stability and tradition. Radicals, on the other hand, see change as a necessity and a tool to improve society.

Radicality = extremism?

No! We must not confuse them: radicalism is not violent, it is in search of solutions. Aggressive demonstrations, terrorism, public disorder are rather extremist gestures, regardless of whether the people behind them are radical or not.

In the essay, we can read in the definition of radicality that…

“Being radical also means seeking to go beyond temporary, piecemeal solutions whose objective would only be to improve “at the margins” a problematic situation. »

By being radical, we are therefore aiming for a major transformation and not just on the surface of society.

With this in mind, driving electric cars is not a very radical idea.

Closing downtown Montreal, Mont-Royal Avenue and Saint-Denis Street to cars to make way for pedestrians and cyclists is more radical.

Ban solo driving too.

Or, impose a tax on the purchase of an SUV or a gasoline car.


“I find myself resigning myself every day, putting up with small steps every day, when the situation [requires] that we change scale, that we change paradigm”

-Nicolas Hulot

It seems like people are dreaming of the status quo. The majority of the population is clearly not on the radical path! We saw it last October 3, people just want to “continue” and not change anything. For what?

We are conservative in the face of novelty , and this reflex hinders the rapid adoption of new ideas that we need to meet the challenges we face. If it seems essential today to make room for such ideas, we still need to define what exactly we are talking about. There are calls for radicalism, but it would be hard to imagine what it consists of. »

At the environmental level, for example, we are finally starting to recognize the problems and disseminate them massively. GHGs, the destruction of nature... We know the problems, but we lack major alternative ideologies and major substantive solutions. We feel stuck in a system, unable to move (no desire to move either it seems).

> On the one hand, radicals are not capable of proposing or implementing action plans to transform society. They don't have big revolutionary ideas, are afraid to propose them and/or don't know how to make them happen.

> On the other hand, some propose social projects (e.g. left-wing parties like Québec Solidaire or the NPD), but this is not unanimous.

So here we are.

Stuck in the status quo, because on the one hand, governments are not radical enough and on the other hand, the population doesn't care at all.

“We are witnessing a spectacle showing our overall failure with astonishing indifference...”

In the meantime, without necessarily claiming to be able to change the world, a multitude of solutions are emerging on a small scale and companies are striving to put them in place. Some ideas are even better, more comfortable, more efficient than what we currently know. But then why don't people adopt solutions that work better (and are better for the planet) than what they are used to?

They get there eventually, but it takes time.


There are a host of ideas that were radical at the time and have become normal today : taking the church out of the state, women's suffrage, social leave, gay marriage...

It can also be at the level of innovations, such as alternating current, the telephone, the car, the plane.

All these innovations were poorly received at the start. Nobody believed it. Tsé the “Come on, that doesn’t make any sense” or the “Are you crazy, that will never work!” ". And yet, it made sense and it worked very well.

These apprehensions still exist today and we still go through these stages:

We laugh at innovations, we reject them and finally, we adopt them and they become obvious and natural.

And how can we successfully reach the crucial stage where we finally accept and try a new idea?

1- We get informed

2- We realize its advantages

3- We decide to adopt it

4- The idea is implemented

5- We see if it was beneficial and we see if we maintain it or abandon it

It's still quite simple! It just takes a little patience. That's why we are patient at Bateau Bateau with people when we talk to them about washable toilet paper and reusable tissues!

“People are not ready for that”

Anyone who says that is so wrong! (It seems to me that I was also told this on the set of In the Eye of the Dragon)

Whether for any new idea! This is general...! In fact, it is to demean humanity and leave them to rot in inaction.

OK, some people aren't ready for it right away (whatever "it" is), but they can change their minds over time (and in some cases, will have to change their minds over time).

Then, an idea that repels YOU does not mean that it repels everyone . If we stop at the fact that YOU are not ready for this, we won't get far!


We know that it will take years for this to become normal, but we know that we will succeed. People sooner or later end up recognizing that we are right to say that it is better and that it has its place in our daily lives. In short, we are planting seeds and we are happy to do so, because one day, people will reach the stage where they will accept the idea that has germinated.

“To fight climate change, reduce inequalities and save what biodiversity can be saved, we will need to find ways to welcome and accept – as quickly as possible – new ideas that appear radical to us today. today but which will be part of our new normal tomorrow. »


Well, making the switch in your house to washable is not a super radical idea. We won't overthrow the capitalist system with that! But the fact remains that accepting small avant-garde gestures allows us to become conciliatory with new ideas, which were perhaps radical for us at the start.

It accustoms our brain to change ; to say to yourself that it's not that bad to adopt new habits! We then get ready for the next step.

Imagine if François Legault used washable toilet paper in his life! He would probably be a little more open and sensitive to eco-responsible solutions rather than campaigning for a 3rd link?

We need this as a people. We need to learn to make a host of small “radical” gestures to learn resilience. Because when the time comes to abandon fossil fuels for real... to stop overconsuming crap... to cut meat... In short, when the big radical changes are put on the table and we will be forced to adopt them, well we will need our brains to understand and we will need to be there.

So let's get started today!


“We do not realize that we ourselves, as simple individuals, determine to a large extent the destiny of a host of innovations that present themselves to us. New, innovative and radical ideas must take root in our minds and in our practices before spreading in society and being transposed into laws and public policies. »

Whether it is to simply adopt the sweet Bateau Bateau products or to be ready to embark on major fundamental changes, you need people to carry these ideas! And that’s YOU.

New solutions spread through imitation. The more people, organizations and businesses adopt them, the more quickly they are adopted by the population subsequently.

“If we give them, individually or collectively, a cold, indifferent reception, or if we strongly oppose them from the start, then their diffusion will be slowed down. If, on the contrary, we show openness and take the trouble to analyze and test them – in our heads as in practice – then the chances are that the most meritorious innovations will spread more quickly throughout the world. society as a whole is increasing. »


If solutions exist, are you generally able to radically break with your habits and counter your impulsive and automatic decisions?

5 little tips:

Take a step back
Slow down the flow of our thoughts
Take the time to inform us
Take time to think
Stay open to new things!


Cover photo by Anthony Tori on Unsplash

By M.eve

I enjoy questioning and informing myself, and write! It's through this blog that I take the time to speak to you transparently about my business or share what I learn or observe regarding environmental topics that concern us all.


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