In Couthures-sur-Garonne, ecology at the heart of the debates of the International Journalism Festival

The two fires raging in the Gironde, in the Landiras and Teste-de-Buch sectors, in intense heat waves, are at the heart of many concerns that have emerged during the debates of the Couthures-sur-Garonne International Journalism Festival, which started on Friday 15 July. .

Also read: International Journalism Festival: three days to look back on a crazy year in the news

Among the topics discussed during the exchanges, ecology is central, which has been addressed through a number of questions. The 2021 edition, organized by the Le Monde Group, had attracted nearly 5,500 festival-goers, in this village of Marmandais of 370 inhabitants, a stakeholder in the festival.

Faced with the extreme temperatures faced by all the departments of Gironde and Lot-et-Garonne, which Météo-France placed under the heat wave orange vigil on 14 July along with nine other departments, the International Journalism Festival had to adapt. The festival-goers, who came in great numbers from this first day, try to find a little freshness among the misters lined up in different places in the city. The places of certain debates, too exposed to the heat, have been moved, certain hours arranged. If some bathers already made use of the supervised bathing area on the banks of the Garonne from noon, others will follow until 8 p.m., throughout the festival.

“Are there too many of us on Earth? »

“Having a child, an ecological anomaly?  »: conference with Cécile Duflot, general manager of Oxfam France, Laure Noualhat, journalist, and Emmanuel Pont, author of « Should we stop having children to save the planet?  »

“Having a child, an ecological anomaly? The first debate on the issue of global warming, which brought together Cécile Duflot, director general of Oxfam France and former minister, Laure Noualhat, freelance journalist and author, environmental specialist and author and engineer Emmanuel Pont, hit hard. ” Is reproduction polluting? ? ” A question ” which we never spoke of before, and which we now begin to wonder, explains the former Secretary of State for the Greens, and mother of four.

I don’t know any parents committed to ecology who don’t ask themselves the question adds Laure Noualhat, who says she has no children. On this subject, which is still delicate to tackle, the room – outside – is packed and questions from the audience are flowing. The debate ends with a question from a young woman raising the audience: Isn’t it our duty to have a child when we are green? Should we leave the planet to people who don’t care? »

Most of those who came to hear the first debate stick with the second: “Are there too many of us on Earth? ”, following the latest UN report on the number of people expected to stabilize at around 10.4 billion by the end of the century.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Before the end of the year, the world population will exceed 8 billion

The “photovoltaic puzzle”

From left to right: Alain Rousset, President of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, Sylvie Nony, Community Activist, and Benoist Aulanier, elected Local Vice-President of the Community of Municipalities of Montesquieu.

On this first day of the festival, two local politicians take part in two debates about ecology. The first with Alain Rousset, Socialist President of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, Benoist Aulanier, Local Elected Representative, Vice President of the Community of Municipalities of Montesquieu, and Sylvie Nony, Associative Activist. The theme of “Energy and soil art: the photovoltaic puzzle”, will be the subject of a lively debate, in particular around the Horizéo solar project in Saucats, in the Gironde, which is responsible for the deforestation of 1,000 hectares in the heart of the forest of Gascony .

“The concern is to be self-sufficient in gas by 2050! », says Alain Rousset, proponent of the project. But it is the very stirring debate about the project to extend the LGV Bordeaux-Toulouse line that is essential between a part of the public who is suing ” the lack of daily trains in favor of the LGV which is not necessary and the socialist, fierce defender of the project.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers In Toulouse, the future LGV line is making some progress, but still waiting for financing

Involve citizens

Pierre Hurmic, EELV Mayor of Bordeaux and Emmanuelle Wargon, former Minister of the Castex government.

Under not much milder temperatures at the end of the afternoon, the mayor of Bordeaux, Pierre Hurmic (EELV), took part in the final debate of the day. “How to involve citizens? ”, in particular in the fight against global warming: the question is put to the ecologist, to Lionel Moncla, winegrower from Gironde, member of the citizens’ convention for the climate, and Emmanuelle Wargon, deputy Minister of Housing in the government by Jean Castex.

The issue of the great debate is raised, including that of the citizens’ convention. How to interest citizens in public debate and ensure that politicians take their opinions into account? “Power uses those who have not the wisdom to share it”, goes forward Pierre Hurmic, explaining the bet made in Bordeaux to have shared the use of the boulevards, increasing the practice of cycling on this Bordeaux axis by 75%: that of an attempt at a temporary settlement, which was eventually adopted by the inhabitants.

The questions multiply – “ Isn’t participatory democracy used to save time? asks a festival-goer – but the clock is ticking. In Couthures, the debates often go on late into the night on the banks of the Garonne, and that evening many people will try to find some freshness there too, given the temperatures that could continue to rise this weekend.

At the Couthures-sur-Garonne International Journalism Festival, July 15, 2022.

Leave a Comment