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Yannick Jadot: the empty green

« For fifty years, the simple idea that there could be ecological limits to growth and expansion has remained dissonant, a minority in public opinion, and downright heretical among decision makers. The idea of degrowth is at best ignored, at worst used as an easy invective to disqualify all environmentalists as inconsistent fools. The rejection is so strong that, even among proponents of degrowth, many prefer to censor themselves (…) For political ecology, the main lesson of the 2022 election is the confirmation that the question of limits to growth remains an immense political unthinkable, conscientiously confined outside the field of thought by the overwhelming majority of decision-makers. A few breaches appear here and there, but without any lasting political project breaking with growth and its world. It is up to political ecology to ask itself once again about its raison d’être (…) It could be the bearer of an assumed project of massive reduction of the over-consumption of the richest, of protection of the most vulnerable, of sharing of wealth and of equitable distribution of the efforts of sobriety, within the framework of an urgent decrease of the flows of matter and energy — hence less cars, less airplanes, less equipments… ».

This is an excerpt from an excellent article by Luc Semal, lecturer in political science, published the day after the first round of the presidential election in Le Monde.

The least we can say is that the candidate of the official political ecology, Europe Écologie-les Verts, illustrates in a caricatural way this strategy of avoiding degrowth. 

Let’s just quote it:

- « The word ‘degrowth’ is a screen word. Once you say it, people don’t listen to you anymore. The word ‘degrowth’ […] says nothing about education, health, environmental protection, living together and the distribution of the value created. » Yannick Jadot, La Vie, February 24, 2022.

- AFP Infos, February 18, 2022: « — Is the « energy sobriety » that you regularly evoke a more acceptable synonym for « degrowth »? Yannick Jadot: — No! »

- « The growth-decrease debate, I don’t give a damn » Yannick Jadot, August 27, 2020, Meeting of French companies (MEDEF).

Yannick Jadot’s « realistic », or « electoralist », strategy is defined by the idea of wanting to break with the traditional image of the ecologists in order to appear as a « unifying and serious » candidate capable of reaching the Élysée. The result is that he holds a discourse that no longer differs from that of his competitors, and worse, that regularly outbids them in anti-environmentalism. He ends up opposing his own base. So here it is:

- the first candidate to enjoin mandatory « vaccination » (experimental gene therapy):

« We support vaccination, we support going to find each person far from the health systems, convince them to be vaccinated « : Yannick Jadot, LCI, January 4.

- among the first candidates to call for the delivery of weapons for an external conflict:

« We’re not going to let the Ukrainians fight without body armor, without response to Russian tanks and missile fire » (February 28, 2022)

- support for surrogate pregnancy (GPA), modern-day slavery denounced by Jean-Luc Mélenchon or Fabien Roussel,

- but also of the techno-marketing of reproduction through the PMA, the commodification of bodies simply in its support for prostitution which caused the indignation of feminist associations: « The absolute shame for EELV. A historical and antifeminist fault, » tweeted the collective Dare to be a feminist.  » (AFP, December 3, 2021).

- apostle of digital technology and other contemporary technicist delusions (« electric » cars and planes)…

So much so that Yannick Jadot succeeds in the feat of proving Sandrine Rousseau right when she observes: « Zemmour or Macron impose a narrative. We sell boilers »(Le Parisien, March 3, 2022):

Obsessed with the idea of seducing the mass media, he regularly rides their debilitating rhetoric, sending any contradiction to the « Godwin Point(1) « . Just one example: « Presidential 2022: ‘There is only the far right that supports nuclear power,’ Jadot replies to Macron, » RTL, February 11, 2022.

« It is an understatement to say that these vital issues for our country, for us and our children, have been largely ignored in this confiscated campaign, » said Yannick Jadot on Sunday evening when he saw his score of less than 5%. But isn’t it rather the strategy that he embodies that has confiscated ecology from consistent ecologists? Isn’t it him who, by dint of wanting to emancipate himself from his base, ended up being unable to bring it together?

All this to become in the end the perfect « useful-idiot », or vote-catcher, of the McKinsey & Company candidate, « & Company » meaning the consultants of Pfizer, Iliad or Altice media. Let’s not worry about Yannick Jadot: there is no doubt that his ambition will be rewarded one day by a ministerial post when he will be dropped by an EELV disappointed by his results. So Luc Sémal is right: it is up to political ecology to return to its original reason for carrying the assumed project of degrowth.

Vincent Cheynet, editor-in-chief of LaDécroissance

Notes et références
  1. NDLR : (Internet) (Sens propre) Instant d’une conversation où les esprits sont assez échauffés pour qu’une référence au nazisme intervienne.  (Internet) (Ironique) « Récompense » qu’on attribue à une personne qui en est venue à faire référence à Hitler ou au nazisme comme argument dans une discussion sur un tout autre sujet.
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