Two objectives are the focus of attention of most governments and media of the developed world: Climate stability and the renewal of growth.
However, what has not yet been fully realized is that these two objectives, as sought after today, are totally contradictory.
First of all because growth (and production in general, as it is organized today) exacerbates threats to the climate by emitting more and more greenhouse gases (though, and I am of the same opinion, human activity is not believed to be the only and maybe not even the main cause for the current climate changes). Next, because all too often the way climate protection is organized results in a sharper recession. Thus, in the name of the fight against global warming, today countless investments that generate growth and employment are halted. Sometimes in an unlawful manner, as in France, where pressure groups are successful when calling into question investments decided according to democratic procedures. Or in a lawful manner, as in Germany, where the implementation of a senseless and hypocritical energy policy which, on the pretext of no longer producing greenhouse gases, makes the whole German industrial production dependent on Polish coal and France’s nuclear energy.
Or, as in the emerging economies, who have been asked nicely to remain poor to avoid damaging our climate.
The result of this reasoning means that infrastructures will no longer be modernized, high-rise buildings, railway stations, airports and ports will no longer be built. Night life in cities, work on Sundays or other days will no longer be possible. This means depression for sure.
It might even be decided one day, for accountability purposes and out of pure lunacy, to no longer produce or have children and thus no longer harm nature.
In so doing, and since climate change surely does depend on other factors, there is a risk of having neither growth nor climate stability.
Conversely, there might even be some strong economic growth in global warming beneficiary countries such as Russia and Canada; where large areas will become inhabitable and arable.
According to this logic, 2015 threatens to be the year of living in delusion: One that will include climate control with an agreement in Paris in December, which will be all the more binding as its horizon is far in the future. All governments will eagerly sign documents with promises for 2060. None of today’s leaders will be there to provide accountability, and in particular the French government that will preside over this conference and that most likely will not be there in 3 years.
The real solution, if we dare, is simple: Engage in immense investments in sectors and technologies that are using as little fossil fuel as possible, in organic farming, networks transporting information, sharing economy, holograms, 3D printers, nuclear energy, offshore wind farms and many others, like those that will make it possible to capture greenhouse gases.
In particular, France needs ports, waterways, fibre optic networks and buildings producing their own energy.
That should be our position: the future is in a redirected progress. Not in obscurantism.