Combining science, work and the environment

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Amar Bellal Editor-in-Chief of Progressives

There is another conception of gathering than the one that claims to decree it from “the top” only: that which consists of gathering by content, by what science and business workers experience, by reality, the challenge of the climate , industrial development, research. Thus, during the Fête de l’Humanité, there is a political event, the gathering of personalities from the scientific world, the world of work and the defense of ecology, which takes place during the evening meal of the review Progressive of Thursday evening. It is the whole challenge of the social progress camp to succeed in articulating these issues: that of the world of work, employment, industry, on the one hand, that of the development of scientific and technical advances, of on the other hand, as well as that of the major environmental questions and in the first place the climate challenge. However, today, everything is done to oppose them.

We oppose the world of work, the production of wealth to the environment: the famous factory that pollutes but without which we would have to import products from the other side of the world. We oppose scientific and technical progress to jobs: robotization which would put employees out of work. We oppose science to the environment by designating discoveries or possible new technologies that would threaten the environment. If it is so easy to oppose science, work and the environment, it is because everything is steered by capital at the service of the shareholders, without the citizens, the employees really having their say, without putting discusses the purpose of scientific research. While, on the contrary, it is necessary to articulate and combine these three major subjects. This implies that employees have more power when making strategic decisions in companies, in research institutes. This requires funding, based on other criteria, notably social and environmental, economic development. If we do not do this work of articulation, the speeches of the left will prioritize decline, fear, making people feel guilty and denouncing scientific and technical progress.

It so happens that the PCF, a party historically attached to these issues, is soon to hold its congress: if this great moment of collective intelligence allowed even this idea to emerge, it would already be an enormous support for the world of work ! Rebuilding the left goes through the rejection of populism, whatever its form, such as scientific populism. When the left ventures into populism, in the end, the winner is always the far right: just look at the ravages of health populism in the West Indies, which carries the left very high in the first round of the last presidential elections. , but it ends up with a massive vote for Le Pen in the second round.

Let’s also mention climate populism, which for example puts forward the idea that 67 billionaires would emit as much CO2 as 30 million French people, implying that this would solve 50% of the problem. It is absolutely false. The number is ridiculous. In reality, their own emissions correspond to those of approximately 100,000 French people, which is already scandalous. The exaggeration comes from the fact that we have taken into account all the industrial productions they possess, productions that we consume such as the steel and cement of our homes, the oil burned in our cars, and so on. It is therefore a biased presentation of the problem. Denouncing the lifestyle of billionaires – and we have to do it, we have to legislate – is therefore not enough to solve the climate crisis… Indeed, beyond the symbol, we are only talking here about 0.1% of the problem . Demagogy in this area causes lasting damage: we lose credibility with scientists and specialists who know the subject, on the one hand; on the other hand, we fall behind in the political battle by deluding ourselves with a ready-made solution.

To get up, the left must work to articulate science, work and the environment, which means refusing all forms of populism.

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