Bertrand Hespel / Professor of philosophy

UNamur / Master in physics and Ph.D. in philosophy

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

I live with my family in a pedestrian city. Our house is well-insulated, heated with natural gas, covered with solar panels and supplied with “green” electricity. All our lamps are low-energy and only turned on when needed. As we prefer showers, the bathtub is unused. We have never owned more than one single car with a small engine used in moderation. We travel little, and very rarely, by plane. We avoid producing too much waste, sort it and seek to feed ourselves healthy. For some time now we eat less, and especially much less meat. Focusing on quality rather than quality, we source mainly stores selling local products “bio” labeled. Since we have repaid the loan from our house, some of our savings are entrusted to a bank that claims to be respectful of the environment. As soon as we can, we publicly express our concern about climate change. Etc.
Putting all this in writing, I tell myself that adopting such a way of life is the least that could be expected from someone as me who has read The Meadows Report when it was published in 1972, has always been aware of the state of our planet and lives in one of the richest countries in the world. Indeed, none of these choices has never required the slightest effort, if not attention. Moreover, even taken together, they do not reveal any exceptional determination: many others do as much, and sometimes even more, than me. Finally – and this is not the least disturbing – this deliberately ecological attitude is desperatly derisory and would remain so even if I choose to accentuate it further and decide for example to swap myAn ecological but car for an electric, to never take the plane again, to become vegan or even to settle in the countryside to feed my family of my vegetable garden and tree fruits. And this because all of these actions are, or will be, too limited and too late, and because, as a consequence of the obstinacy in considering the laws of economics as laws of nature, most of the humans are doomed to fight for survival and can not care about the planet.
What compels me to admit today that the most radical of us are probably right when they claim that only a global injunction of degrowth and solidarity, designed and imposed collectively, would avoid the worse.

Originally posted 2019-03-05 03:59:37.

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