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Look at the info. The green growth trap

Market ecology, green growth, a lure? (Illustration) (BORIS SV / MOMENT RF / GETTY IMAGES)
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Hélène Tordjman economist, lecturer at Sorbonne Paris-Nord University who has just published Green growth against nature, criticism of market ecology, at the Découverte editions, is the guest of Thomas Snégaroff. Engineers have brought to market a small revolution, a pollinating drone. A numberCorrespondent told us about it two years ago.

franceinfo: Pollinating robots, pollen released by drones. We are in the United States, but we think about it everywhere. Are we there, I believe in the heart of your book?

Hélène Tordjman: Absolutely yes. This is quite typical of the absurdity of the contemporary world where, at the same time, we kill bees with neonicotinoids that are still not banned, and we invent robot dragonflies that will come and pollinate the flowers.

But you could say, “this is great, here is a solution!”, non ?

This is not a solution. We will not be able to redo all the functions carried out by nature in the biosphere. The cycle of water, carbon etc. this is not what can be done by machines

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More broadly, what you reject is technicism, the crazy belief that technology can solve environmental problems …

So it’s the technique and the market. The industrial capitalism that has existed for two centuries has shown its limits in terms of the environment but also of human well-being. The problem, logically false, is to seek in industrial capitalism for answers to the problems which it has itself posed. Doing so only deepens the problem.

You don’t believe in a virtuous market at all? For example, carbon quotas?

No, I don’t believe it. Economists have never succeeded in proving the superiority of the market mechanism. It is a matter of faith, of the dogma of orthodox economics. Markets are rarely in equilibrium. Look at the labor market, the real estate market, the financial markets… They require a whole series of institutions around to function properly. The free market alone does not work.

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If we go back to the title of the book, do you consider that growth cannot be green, is it an oxymoron, “green growth”?

Today, we need to decrease. I know that angers a lot of people, but we need to reduce our footprint on the planet. This can only happen through a drop in material production. It is impossible otherwise …

And for you, the technical solutions that we have mentioned are a form of decoy that prevents us from thinking about another world?

Yes, it reassures us to tell ourselves that the man is so ingenious, intelligent. Solutions will always be found… However, the problem is so huge today, it is not technical or local solutions that will suffice.

You are not hostile to solutions, perhaps in the short term, but like the tools developed to clean the oceans or electric cars?

No, it is necessary for a transition, but the electric car also poses problems. It is not that green, there is the whole problem of recycling batteries, extracting rare earths etc … But that said, we still have to be pragmatic, we will not be able to miraculously change everything. all of a sudden.

Helene Tordjman, Green growth against nature, has just been published by La Découverte editions.

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