This Thursday, June 2, writer and journalist Eric de Kermel signed his new book “La Promise” with Ombrière in Uzès, as part of a meeting “What children do we leave on the planet” .
How is this project in the book “La Promise” dedicated to ecology?
Before this book, there was a column for “La Croix”, followed by youth demonstrations for the climate. I, who is a father of four, accepted this demonstration as a personal challenge. It’s as if my kids are telling me: you say you love us, but in your way of managing the planet, where are the proofs of love? It is often said that we are willing to die for our children, but in the face of the climate crisis, we have never sacrificed ourselves for our children. On the contrary, they are the toast.
After this column, an editor from the Bayard group called me, thinking it might bring a book. I did it in one move. He sent me a few words, end of November 2020. At the end of the week, I wrote the first chapter. At Christmas, I wrote this book. In January 2021, we called with Yann Artus-Bertrand for the new year. I told him I was writing a text where I was talking about him. When he read it he told me he was overwhelmed and was happy to give me pictures.
To figure out ecological issues, you think technique is not enough. Is this a question of love?
In ecological terms, we’ve tried everything except love! All the reasoning, the carbon balance sheets, the electric boilers, the rational elements don’t work. My question is deeper and more philosophical than eating organic food and riding the train. Basically, we have no loving relationship with the world. Some of our peers are no longer always temperamental. The most powerful lever is love, which can move mountains.
To save the planet, you have to start by marveling at the beauty of the world?
If we start talking to the general public with arguments or prohibitions, it will not continue over time. You need stronger motivation. I run the magazine “Terre Sauvage”. The base is the photo, we tell the reader: look how beautiful it is! Then there is a text that helps to understand. And we hope the reader realizes that this environment needs to be protected. The first lever is amazing. The French are urban. When I was young, we had access to nature, gardens, scrubland … The emotional dimension, the sensitive relationship can develop. Today, children can learn about nature from books.
What’s worse, if you look at the news channels, nature is a threat, with landslides, floods, bird flu, monkeypox and pangolin … Nature seems scary. Some were afraid to go into the forest. Some are afraid to go out in nature at night. But a night under the stars is glorious.
Has man forgotten that he is part of nature?
Much has been said about man’s relationship to nature, as if man were unnatural. He is a species among species, he needs his ecosystem. With the idea of being raised human, we can imagine living without the basic natural substrate.
Some young people no longer want to have children for ecological reasons. This proves great despair. But this attitude is in nature. If an environment is threatened, animals will stop breeding and stop growing. This is especially true of bees. We are in an awful time that for the first time, our generation knows it can be more complicated for our children. We have seen the rise of an eco-anxiety phenomenon in young people, in the presence of helpless adults.
Nature helps you through difficult times, especially in mourning …
I believe that nature is a neutral place, where man heals himself. Others will talk about meditation. But we can only land in front of a landscape, flying birds, spring plants. It is very calming and builds strength.
Basically, at 58, you remain a scout!
Once a scout, always a scout! It marked me very well and now I am I am thankful for the values that Scouting has never left me.