Fifty years ago, Dennis Meadow (accompanied by his wife Donella and two other scientists) released a fundamental report for the Club of Rome (ancestor of the IPCC): “the limits of growth”. In this text, the physicist already demonstrated that the planet’s resources were limited and that the injunction to growth inherent in the capitalist system had no reason to exist. BAMS. In 1972 we knew everything!
Although we have literally shit on this report for the last five decades, we know how much we are confronted with the climate emergency (the last IPCC report announced that we had barely three years left to rectify the situation and hope live in a livable world in the coming decades, YAY).
WOWOUUUUUU. Once that’s done, we can calmly start this top on the bullshit expressions of ecology. The ones that may have made sense initially, but have been so taken over by technocrats that they don’t mean much anymore. OK, kiss.
1. Sustainable development
The original expression born in the 80s was: “sustainable development”. The idea then, in the words of the UN, is to “meeting the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs”.
Basically, treat yourself but be nice, don’t prevent your children from enjoying life a little too. But from “sustainable” we went to “sustainable”, and there it starts to smell of fir. Why then, will you tell me? Because sustainable development implies that we will protect the environment AND continue to develop the economy. But that was not at all what we wanted at the start, damn it. Damn.
2. Green growth
One of my favorites! To reconvene Dennis Meadows, it must be understood that there is no possible growth from an environmentalist perspective. Talking about “green growth” is an oxymoron (like when we say a vegetable steak or a tender rapist).
More generally, attaching the color “green” to everything and anything smacks of bullshit. And sticking you with green labels, green hydrogen and all the rest. After that, huh, I don’t want to break the atmosphere of the “Green New Deal” but I admit that I tend to see the green half empty. LOL.
3. The energy transition
Realize! We even have a Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, it’s good that the transition must be something serious, right? Well that was with a good intention. Dennis Meadow (him again) spoke in 1972 of the need to “the transition from a growth model to a global balance”. There yes. But that was in 72. What’s the point of still talking about energy transition when we no longer have the time to make a transition?
The term “transition” has replaced the “energy crisis” simply because it is less distressing or as Delphine Batho explains “It suggests that ecology is only a long-term issue. The transition has thus been taken over by proponents of conservatism to postpone action until later, as a pretext for present inaction..
Especially since the big companies, the banks, also pride themselves on acting in favor of the energy transition when they planted three wind turbines while the vast majority of their investments are focused on fossil fuels. Aren’t we kidding ourselves a bit? Yes.
4. Carbon neutrality
In principle, carbon neutrality aims to rebalance the greenhouse gas emissions generated by an individual or a company by committing to absorb the same amount of greenhouse gases by creating carbon sinks.
Basically I can pollute like a pig if I plant a tree. You see how that smells like bullshit? In the same basket, I obviously also put carbon offsetting which allows rich countries to continue to afford the luxury of polluting by… offsetting.
5. Responsible behavior
What if we did responsible tourism? What if we ate responsibly? What if we wore responsible clothing? Today’s world encourages us all to become “responsible”, the sacrosanct quality of the ecologist in the making: the eco-citizen. He has adopted eco-gestures and eco-responsible behavior.
Here again, it’s a way of making the individual bear the brunt without ever involving the government, which has clearly decided not to take the blame in terms of climate responsibility. Honestly, if I was on reality TV and the government was in a house with me, I would go too bully and talk too badly about him in confessional.
6. Be resilient
Very sexy this word, it allows you to put a little bit of everything in the same basket: consume less/better, adapt, prepare for collapse, sort your waste, have a poster of Aymeric Caron in your room. In short, what is resilience at the start? A scientific concept born in the 1970s, it designates in ecology the ability of an ecosystem to adapt after a shock.
But resilience has since conquered many other spheres and even the Citizen’s Climate Convention. You know this assembly organized by Cyril Dion which aimed to propose 150 measures to reduce greenhouse gases by 2030 and on which Emmanuel Macron rather said “balek of your life”. Well, a bill has nevertheless been drawn up based on this “law on the fight against global warming and strengthening resilience to its effects”. Except that in fact, no resilience measures have been taken.
The word is tossed around proudly because it implies that you can adapt to anything, it’s even an injunction. Basically, be resilient bros so you can more easily accept the shit to come. So-so.
7. “Clean” energies
“Clean” is a bit like “green”, it looks pretty on paper but it’s a joke in power. Quite simply because an energy cannot be clean. Clean cars, clean airplanes, that’s all nonsense.
If you still have some memories of physics and chemistry, you remember that “nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed”. So we don’t make pollution disappear, we move it. For example, an electric car (and therefore “clean”) pollutes less when it is driving but more when it is made.
“And if we watched a film on Netflix? », “What if we sent a funny video to 50 people by email HAHAHAHA? ». Digital has a good back. Everything seems to happen by magic. But the carbon footprint of digital is considerable, if the Internet were a country it would be the fifth largest consumer of electricity in the world. I refer you to this top of the ecological consequences of the web, it should give you the seum. In short, behind the confabulation of pretty words like “dematerialization” or “cloud” hide bandwidths and very materialized data centers, and whose energy consumed is rarely “green” or “clean”.