This book of some 400 pages is a welcome addition to Emmanuel Leroy-Ladurie’s “Histoire humaine et comparée du climat” (Fayard, 2004), the reading of which had led me to question the assertions about the exceptional and dramatic nature of the recent so-called global warming.
But Yves Roucaute goes back in time and traces the formation and multiple environmental modifications since the origin of our planet, billions of years ago, and especially the recent appearance of humanity, about 7 million years ago, which managed to survive despite the climatic conditions (most often glacial) and terrifying volcanic activity leading to considerable geological modifications. Nothing remains of these millions of years except mass graves testifying to natural disasters.
From 12,000 BC onwards, milder climatic conditions, particularly in the Near East, allowed for the joint development of agriculture and sedentarisation, paving the way for civilisation (now accused of destroying nature) and the invention of property rights.
A mature reflection
Y. Roucaute summed up his project well, begun in 2020 with the publication of “L’Homo creator face à une planète impitoyable”, and developed in 2022 with this new work: “The time has come to say that human creativity for the total subjugation of the planet was the reason for survival and that it remains so”.
In other words, he takes on all those who speak out today on the climate, not to polemicise in vain but to convince them. He thus addresses himself primarily to the youth, hypnotised by Greta Thunberg, who “should be carrying the future of humanity and not cursing it”.
A scientific and polemical book
Its easy reading should not hide the scientific content of the book, presented in 5 parts with 300 notes and 56 bibliographical references, which dismantles the official thesis that anthropogenic CO2 is the main cause of global warming and that it poses a mortal risk to the planet.
But Y. Roucaute cannot help but be polemical, multiplying unfriendly expressions against his opponents, described as “green prosecutors”, “frugal activists” or “hucksters of darkness”, which could be detrimental to his argument.
The book also offers a philosophical, theological and moral reflection that gives hope: “putting humanity at the centre of the universe, chasing everything that harms the joy of living, freedom and human power, that is the path of true ecology”.
For a public debate
Y. Roucaute does not hesitate to assert that the global warming observed for more than a century is part of the normal climate change cycles of alternating cold (the most numerous) and hot periods. He even claims that around 2030/2040 we will enter a period of cooling comparable to the ‘Little Ice Age’ that prevailed in Europe from the 14th to the 19th centuries.
If this were the case, it is clear that all our policies to combat “global warming” by 2050 would only result in impoverishing humanity. Should we then agree with Yves Roucaute’s peremptory assertion – “Saving the planet from humanity is a joke” (Le Figaro, 3 June 2022)?
The question, like the entire content of this dense, passionate and fascinating book, deserves to be debated, first among scientists, then with associations concerned with the fate of humanity and freedom, as well as with citizens and the media.
Yves Roucaute, L’Obscurantisme vert – La véritable histoire de la condition humaine, Cerf, 2022.