My name is Maxime Thuillez and I am a journalist. For 5 years I worked on TV, then I went to a group called My Little Paris. Then, as part of My Little Paris, I launched the Greenletter Club 3 years ago. It is a media specialized in ecology. We are present in podcasts and on Youtube.
We have over 50,000 subscribers today. The editorial line is to say that global warming will affect our lives from A to Z.
On the one hand, we are talking about the scientific consequences. Then we also talk about the evolution of the consequences on each core business. For example: fishing, architecture or agriculture.
This media on ecology serves to see society through the prism and angle of global warming.
What is an editor role in environmental media?
The bulk of the job is to read and get informed. I spend a lot of time reading reports. This is ¾ of the work. In total, I must have read 300 books on ecology. It's a lot of work but it makes the value of the podcast and that of the interviews.
After that, you have to interview the personalities, then edit the interviews.
How do you choose your guests?
Unlike many people, I identify a subject. Then, I try to have the best person to talk about it. Sometimes I find these people in reports, in books, in articles. Or I ask my guests if they know anyone on the subject in question.
Sometimes it crashes. For example, I have been looking for someone to interview on the subject of sand for three years. It is the second most used material in the world. But I can't find anyone. I can't find anyone qualified on the subject. Sand is closely linked to industry. This is an opaque subject where there is the presence of mafias (in India, Morocco or Indonesia).
What is your favorite part of your job?
A downstream part of my job is to give conferences. Communicating about global warming in companies, universities and many other places.
What I enjoy most is understanding phenomena. Then there is also the human part.
I'm lucky enough to be able to meet a lot of people. Unlike many subjects, this one makes people more human. There is a kind of humility because we are all in the same boat.
All people who work on ecology are committed to sharing what they know. Especially since we talk about it little compared to the importance of the subject and the consequences to come on our lives. There is a kind of fellowship, of solidarity between the different actors.
What was the trigger for the creation of a media on ecology?
I have been reading environmental books and reports for several years. I was often struck by the fact that the media did not talk about it at all. To give an idea: there is the engineer Paul Leclercq who scanned all the television news in France between 2013 and 2018. It showed that 99.2% of the subjects did not talk about global warming.
If the job of a journalist is to show the importance of subjects, of the world as it is and as it will become, then in reality journalists are not doing their job.
As a journalist, it is my duty to report on this subject.
What do you think are the qualities of a journalist?
I would say:
Because a bit like actors, journalists must constantly improve their skills on the subjects they cover. It requires a lot of work.
Recently, I did an interview about how Earth's climates have changed over the past 4.6 billion years. It is a technical subject and I had to increase my skills in order to feed the exchange with my interlocutor. I really wanted to understand and synthesize the subject. My goal was to share with as many people as possible the evolutions of the Earth since its origin. It becomes almost scientific mediation.
Do you think we are starting to talk more often about global warming?
For a few months now, we've been feeling a little tremor. The teams at TF1 and France 2 are beginning to be formed. But there is still a lack of general culture and understanding of the subject.
I am going to share with you an example that struck me a lot, it is revealing of what is happening. The day before the publication of the 2nd part of the IPCC, there was a 3 minute and 30 second report (which is huge on TV) on France 2. It was about an American company that was trying to revive mammoths using their DNA, 20 years from now. Knowing that mammoths can avoid permafrost thawing. Permafrost has become a subject of concern. These are lands that were previously frozen. They emit methane with global warming.
This is a very controversial hypothesis and a far-fetched subject. We do not know if we will succeed in reviving mammoths.
In short, this shows that the journalist and editor-in-chief of the France 2 newspaper, do not understand climate issues. It's more about show information rather than actually telling people what to do. For example: stop the meat, the car…
Do you have other media to share with us?
Do you have something to say to the younger generation?
Changes are made through a balance of power. As long as the balance of power does not change, there will be no change. Businesses and governments will not change unless they are forced to.
The balance of power has to change and pressure has to be put on the leaders. This can be done in the street, through boycott or civil disobedience.
If you had all the necessary resources, what would you do?
I would do either a big agricultural reform. That is to say we completely do without fertilizers and pesticides. Or a major institutional reform. Because it is by changing the institutions that we will be able to carry out reforms.
Do not hesitate to consult our article about biobased materials: Houbly