Annale corrigée

The Reality of Climate Change

Scientific innovations and responsibility Sujet zéro 2020

The reality of climate change

expression orale

20 min

10 points

Intérêt du sujet • Ces documents abordent l'axe sous l'angle écologique : quand certains effets du changement climatique sont indéniables, comment pouvons-nous encore remettre en question notre responsabilité ?


Choisissez un document et expliquez en quoi il illustre le mieux, selon vous, l'axe « Innovations scientifiques et responsabilité ».

Document A

Joel Pett Editorial Cartoon used with permission of Joel Pett and the Cartoonist Group. All rights reserved.


This Joel Pett cartoon for USA Today appeared on 7 December 2009, the opening day of COP 15, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen

Document B


ph © Darren Staples/Reuters

Flooding in York city centre, 28 December 2015

Photograph by Darren Staples/Reuters


Les clés du sujet

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Préparer sa présentation

Tableau de 2 lignes, 2 colonnes ;Corps du tableau de 2 lignes ;Ligne 1 : Si vous choisissez le document A; Ce dessin se réfère à un sommet international sur le climat. Il liste plusieurs solutions technologiques et objectifs à fixer aux États.Si les citoyens peuvent améliorer leur impact éco­logique, certaines décisions ne peuvent être prises que par les États, qui doivent assumer leurs responsabilités.; Ligne 2 : Si vous choisissez le document B; Cette photographie présente le nouveau quotidien de nombreux individus suite au dérèglement climatique : il est indéniable que les ouragans, inondations, sécheresse sont de plus en plus fréquents. Ironiquement, le pub inondé s'appelle « the Watergate Inn »…Face à ces catastrophes naturelles, il faut réfléchir aux découvertes et technologies à développer pour rétablir l'environnement, mais aussi à ce qui nous a conduits là.;


Voici un exemple de présentation orale à partir du document A.


Privilégiez le document A si vous suivez un peu l'actualité et que vous avez suffisamment de vocabulaire sur l'environnement pour donner des exemples précis.

To my mind, the document that best illustrates the idea of scientific innovations and responsibility is the first, and I'm going to explain why.

The reality of climate change

First of all, one aspect of this document tackles the reality of climate change.

The scene in this cartoon takes place during a climate summit, obviously referring to the COP 15 here. During this conference, talks revolved around environmental issues, global warming and the consequent natural disasters.

But not only that: the aim of such conferences is to consider the various solutions states have to implement to curb greenhouse gas emissions. And this doesn't go without encouraging scientific innovations in the fields of renewable energy, recycling, etc.


to implement : mettre en œuvre

to curb : réduire

Climate change denial

But, on the other hand, this document also shows that the reality of climate change is denied by some.

des points en +

Le mouvement « ­Fridays for the Future », lancé par Greta Thunberg, pousse les jeunes à se mobiliser pour faire pression sur les responsables politiques.

Indeed, in the audience, we notice the presence of a climate change sceptic. He is questioning aloud the reality of global warming, as well as how worthwhile it is to try to improve the situation.

This is a criticism of some politicians that refuse to acknowledge the responsibility of governments and to assume it in terms of interaction with industries. This attitude is consistent with the defence of the current economic model.

Individual v. states'responsibility

Therefore, this document illustrates two levels of responsibility.

Indeed, very often, citizens are encouraged to act for a better environment – for instance, to buy electric cars (even though their batteries are not recyclable), or to sort and reduce household waste.


to sort : trier

single-use plastic straw bans :
interdictions des pailles en plastique à usage unique

However, we soon reach a limit at the individual level, if states don't act through legislation. We can give the example of single-use plastic straw bans, already implemented in many countries and American states. It is possible to replace plastic straws with decomposable materials like paper and bamboo. But such research must be developed.


In other words, this cartoon highlights the fact that individuals may change their habits, but what matters in term of improvement of global warming is the implication at a national level in terms of responsibility and decisions.


Voici quelques questions que l'examinateur pourrait vous poser.

Do you personally do things for the environment?

Yes of course. It's difficult to do a lot, as I'm not in charge of the shopping, even if I tell my parents to avoid buying plastic-packaged food… But I sort things using the correct bin, I try to avoid using too much paper.

How could we make climate change sceptics eventually change their minds about global warming?

Honestly, I don't think this is possible. The scientific evidence is there, and yet they refuse to admit it. Yet I wonder how some people can be so blind as to what's happening to our planet. Maybe the younger generations are those who will make the world a better place. At least I hope so.

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