Fires: our house is burning and we are watching the fires on TV

It was beautiful and visionary Jacques Chirac’s speech, written by Jean-Paul Deléage, on the occasion of the 4th Earth Summit. It was September 2, 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty years later, the house is on fire everywhere, but the images are so beautiful on TV that it would almost be a shame to change the model of society, wouldn’t it?

Three hundred and seventy hectares here, one thousand two hundred there… Every day in France, new fires devour the dry forests like old grimoires and ready to ignite at the slightest spark. There are the arson attacks by criminals all excited to be the makers of local apocalypses, those of arsonist firefighters which unfortunately is not just an expression, those still unconscious who throw a cigarette butt out of the door of their car or find it clever to have a barbecue in the middle of the scrubland. This is happening in Gironde, in Brittany itself, but also elsewhere in the world, in California, in Morocco… This was the case last year with heat domes in Canada in particular and gigantic fires in Australia. And we can put our hand to the fire that this will still be the case next year.

On the news, “emotion sequence”, as we said in Ushuaia

Is it inevitable then that these fires which ravage trees and scrubland, reduce houses to piles of ashes and force holidaymakers to leave their campsites to find refuge in municipal gymnasiums where the promiscuity is much the same as at the Flots bleus? For TV in any case, it makes for beautiful images: white or black smoke, pines transformed into a torch, red, yellow and all shades of orange, the ballet of the Canadairs or the too few Dash, dazed fellows repeating over and over that they “have never seen this”a grandpa all in contained emotion, the hand of a helpless fireman on his shoulder, who sees ” all his life “ and his house “built in 1969” burned before his eyes… “emotion sequence”, as we said on the show Ushuaia.

So we see. We sympathize but we don’t understand much. Quite simply because the explanations never go all the way. Admittedly, these are the holidays and the editors of the continuous news channels would not want viewers to burn their neurons before aperitif time, which coincides well with that of the pub. It is also true that we have politicians who have optimism ingrained in them and who know how to boost the morale of the troops. This is the case with Christophe Béchu, ex-mayor of Angers, who became, by the grace of small political calculations – the man is a Horizon insert – Minister for Ecological Transition. So let us be reassured in terms of forest devastation: we have already experienced worse. “The fires have been divided by four, the area burned, compared to the 1980s taking into account the prevention plans”explained the new minister learnedly.

Fires: our house is burning and we are watching the fires on TV – Charlie Hebdo