Éric de Kermel, before his dedication in Uzès: “In terms of ecology, we have tried everything except love!”

This Thursday, June 2, author and journalist Eric de Kermel will sign his new book “La Promise” at Ombrière in Uzès, as part of a meeting “What Children Will We Leave for the Planet”.

How did this book project “La Promise” dedicated to ecology originate?

Before this book, there was a column for “La Croix”, after young people’s demonstrations for the climate. I, the father of four children, took this demonstration as a personal challenge. As if my children said to me: you say you love us, but in your way of governing the planet, where is the evidence of love? It is often said that we would be ready to die for our children, but in the face of the climate crisis, we are not sacrificing ourselves for our children at all. On the contrary, it is they who will toast.

After this column, an editor from the Bayard group called me and thought it might lead to a book. I had done this in a single gesture. She sent me a few words at the end of November 2020. This weekend I wrote the first chapter. This Christmas I wrote this book. In January 2021, we convene with Yann Artus-Bertrand for the new year. I tell him I wrote a text where I talk about him. As soon as he read it, he told me he was overwhelmed and would be happy to give me pictures.

To become aware of ecological issues, you think the technique is not enough. Is it a matter of love?

In terms of ecology, we have tried everything except love! All the reasoning, the carbon balances, the electric boilers, the rational elements do not work. My question is deeper and more philosophical than eating organic food and taking the train. Basically, we do not have a loving relationship with the world. Some of our contemporaries no longer visit nature. The most powerful lever is love, which can move mountains.

To save the planet, start by wondering about the beauty of the world?

If we start talking to the general public with arguments or bans, it will not keep up with the times. You need a stronger motivation. I run the magazine “Terre Sauvage”. The basis is the image, we say to the reader: see how beautiful it is! Then there is a text that helps to understand. And we hope the reader will realize that this environment needs to be protected. The first handle is marvel. The French are mainly urban. When I was a child, we had access to nature, gardens, scrub … The emotional dimension that the sensitive relationship can develop. Today, children learn about nature from books.

Even worse, when you watch the news channels, nature is a threat, with landslides, floods, bird flu, monkey pox and pangolin … Nature can seem scary. Some are afraid to go into the woods. Some are afraid to go out into nature at night. But a night under the stars is sublime.

Man has forgotten that it was a part of nature?

Many speak of man’s relation to nature, as if man were not of nature. He is a species among species he needs his ecosystem. With the idea of ​​the amplified human being, we imagine living without the basic natural substrate.

Some young people no longer want to have children for ecological reasons. This testifies to great despair. But this attitude exists in nature. When an environment is threatened, the animals stop reproducing and stop growing. This is especially the case with bees. We are in a terrible moment where our generation knows for the first time that it is getting more complicated for our children. We are seeing the emergence of a phenomenon of eco-anxiety among young people that adults are facing.

Nature has helped you in difficult times, especially in grief …

I believe that nature is a neutral place where man repairs himself. Some will talk about meditation. But we can just land in front of a landscape, flying birds, plants in the spring. It is deeply soothing and enables resilience.

Basically, as a 58-year-old, you have remained a scout!

Once a scout, always a scout! This marked me deeply, and today I am who I am thanks to the values ​​that scouting has never left me.

Meeting “Which children will we leave to the planet” Thursday, June 2 at. With Eric de Kermel, author and journalist, author of “La Promesse”; Pablo Servigne, author and agronomist, author of the book “Another End of the World”; Sophie Marinopoulos, psychoanalyst, author of “For Each of His Nine Months”. L’Ombrière, Place de la Croix-des-Palmiers 3, Uzès. Free, upon reservation. 04 48 21 57 40.

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