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Paris Gas

The ‘‘Historical’’ Agreement

Fabrice Nicolino

(published in Le Partage, 13 December 2015)

I know it, be sure of that. It was trotted out more than a million times, the comparison with the Munich Agreement. This will only be an additional one. As I constantly wrote for months, it was certain that COP21 would end up with a prodigious, "historical", never seen, etc. text. And so is the case.

Recall : on 28 and 29 September 1938, Daladier, Chamberlain, Mussolini and Hitler met in Bavaria to try, at least officially, to avoid war. The first two were the President of the French Council and the British Prime Minister. No need to introduce the others. The Sudetenland crisis—this area situated in the North-East of Czechoslovakia and inhabited by people of "true German origin"—threatened an European peace that had only lasted for twenty years. This quadripartite conference offered to find a solution.

The only thing Hitler thought about: invade Sudetenland, then crush Czechoslovakia, a nation he virulently hated and this we are well aware of. He didn't intend to offer any concessions and as neither the French nor the British wanted a clash, he carried it off. Sudetenland passed to Nazi Germany and then came the turn of Czechoslovak President Edvard Benes and his country.

In the plane back to France, Daladier was scared. While approaching the Bourget airport, seeing the crowd gathered on the ground, he feared that people have come to stone him for having once again given in to the Nazi boss. But no, he was acclaimed! Didn't he assure peace to the world? No he did not. And that it would have taken a very different policy to prevent Hitler from killing tens of thousands human beings. That's enough, end of the lesson in history. What do I want to say? Not that the agreement signed last Saturday at COP 21 is of the same nuture as the one concluded in Munich 77 years ago. Clearly not. But in any case, that people readily delude themselves, with a relief greatly looking like obscenity, when their fear is so intense that it muddles up their capacity to reason. It has happened many a time and it will continue to happen.

Is it the case today? I say it again, I don't know. But in all sincerity, I do think so. Isn't it appalling to see an army of journalists broadcasting without a break the poor imaginary propaganda of Laurent Fabius, President of COP 21, and his numerous communication agencies? Courtesy Google News, I came across the prose of Arnaud Gonzague, journalist for Nouvel Observateur. 1 promise, I have nothing against him. I don't know him, I have never seen him. Let's read together; "It is indisputable that Laurent Fabius, President of this COP, whom everyone hailed for his involvement since a year and a half, won his bet. People's planet is not yet cured of its deadly addiction to carbon energies, far from it. But without playing the token yes-man, this time, one can say that it is seriously on its way to getting healed."

Gonzague was certainly not the most delirious optimist in the place. He made sure of taking minor precautions, because one never knows. But still, on the the whole, the reactions are just outrageous. This 36-year-old guy is in charge of educational issues for Nouvel Observateur. Someone working above him considered it to be a good decision to suddenly transfer him to follow the sequence of events of COP 21. I don't know and I don't care, but it is wholeheartedly ridiculous. He doesn't know anything about the climate crisis, and in that way, he happened to be the perfect person to swallow what politicians wanted to read and hear. Let us not dwell on it. The triumph was scheduled, and here it is!

I myself have followed closely climate issues for more than forty years and the only thing I can do is giggle—or either cry, it's the same—when listening to stupid and so badly informed reactions of Emmanuelle Cosse, in charge of Europe Ecologie—Les Verts, or of Pascal Canfin, formerly minister and lately general manager of WWF-France. You will try to find out by yourselves and you will think by yourselves. The general feeling is one of a complete collapse of any critical thought. Note that I do not ask anyone to follow my dark and radical words (I am aware of their gloomy nature). But why the cock-and-bull glowing reports. The climate crisis imposes such political and economic choices as no elite in positions of power, neither here in the North nor there in the South, is capable of making. This swirling following around Fabius, Hollande and their bunch, makes me inevitably think of Versailles at the beginning of summer 1789. The ball is dazzling, everyone feels good and believe that prospects are good, yokels are at their feet, in kennels, in dungeons. We know the prognosis. As for me, I know where my path is.

(translated from French by J Adarshini)

Frontier
Vol. 48, No. 28, Jan 17 - 23, 2016