On the train journey to my native Basque Country, just after Dax station (Landes), I always cast a grateful glance towards the landscape of Barthes, populated by birds and invisible living things, which unfolds on my left. In the 1980s, these floodplains of the Adour were saved – by the federation of Landes hunters at the time – from the drying planned by the State to develop intensive agriculture.
“The preservation of ecosystems requires a look that goes beyond the immediate, because when we only seek a quick and easy economic return, their preservation really interests no one,” sighs Pope Francis in the encyclical Laudato si’. However, the loss of certain species corresponds to “values which exceed all calculation”, he continues.
Despite the ecological emergency, many projects in France continue to threaten too few fertile lands and wetlands. In the Camargue and the Crau plain for example, where a motorway project is continuing, as if nothing had happened, to bypass the town of Arles (Bouches-du-Rhône).
Yes, it’s all a question of perspective. How can we transform it to the point of seeing a true “public treasure” in what is only land, water, plants and sometimes tiny animals? I don’t know what people think about it at Bercy. In the new government, the Ministry of the Economy has indeed taken over a significant part of the responsibilities of the Ministry of the Environment. I hope it’s to find gold in the ordinary.