“The impact of the environment on our health”: Monique, 72, Poitiers (86)
“As a child, my parents had a huge garden in which I learned to cultivate, so in 1986, when I had my own land, I immediately started composting, then I installed waste collectors. water, melliferous flowers… I believe that I have always been committed to nature, but in 2007, accompanying my husband in oncology, I really discovered the impact of the environment on our health. Pollution, especially linked to the overuse of chemicals in agriculture, is killing us from the inside! I talked about it a lot at the time with my daughter who is an agricultural engineer and with my son who has done two years of research on breast cancer: since then, we avoid processed foods, we eat organic and local. The disappearance of bees is an alarming symptom. I truly believe that pesticides are unnatural so their removal is essential for survival on Earth. More and more people are convinced of this, so there is no point in giving them a bad conscience, rather we need laws to force industries and agriculture to preserve the environment.”
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“I have my little Geiger counter”: Micheline, 63, Embrun (05)
“When the Chernobyl power plant exploded in 1986, I was 27 years old and I was on vacation with my family in the Hautes-Alpes. Shortly after, it was impossible for us to buy raw milk from the region. Then the local salads and vegetables disappeared from the markets. All this, without explanation! We continued to pick and eat mushrooms… It was long after that we learned that the information had remained hidden from the inhabitants. Remember, we were told: “the cloud did not return to France, it stopped at the border”! These statements were supposed to insure us and prevent tourists from fleeing. The following year, my brother picked mushrooms to have them analyzed at the Cadarache Nuclear Research Center, where he worked. Stupor, one of his colleagues told him: “you put it directly in the trash, do not eat them above all”. Since then, I have my little Geiger counter…
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“A horse poisoned by green algae”: Françoise, 72, Saint-Hilaire de Villefranche (17)
“I was shocked by the Amoco Cadiz oil spill, but at the time I perceived it as an accident, not yet as an ecological issue. My outlook then changed. More recently, in 2009, I was very marked by the death of a horse, poisoned by green algae, during a walk on a beach in Côtes-d’Armor. These algae were so toxic that this beast, however powerful and fast, could not escape! In my childhood, I knew a poor Brittany, but whose human activity did not make the shores deadly.
When I retired in 2017, I left the Paris region for Charente-Maritime to enjoy the fresh air and today I learn that it is one of the departments that uses the most pesticides for agriculture. ! On these questions, I recommend reading the review “Ecologie et Politique”, edited by Professor Jean-Paul Deléage, who wrote the famous sentence pronounced in 2002 by President Chirac: “The house is burning and we are looking elsewhere”.
Read also: Daniel Cueff: “I am not attacking farmers, but pesticides!”
“I then changed certain behaviors”: Monique, 65, Montdidier (80)
“In 1986, we had just moved into our house, the children were young and, with the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the future suddenly seemed uncertain to me. Doctor friends warned us against picking mushrooms and milk… when we had just left the “big city” to live closer to nature, far from pollution! The media was reassuring, but we knew it had had an impact on nature and it was stressful. Finally nothing could protect us, wherever we went.
I then changed certain behaviors: wash the vegetables several times, buy bottled water and more mushrooms. It may sound silly, but I also feared the rain and, if the weather was threatening, we no longer went out without a hood. This experience and the fear I felt changed my outlook on ecology. I am a waste sorting enthusiast and I am fundamentally attached to the reduction of nuclear energy, but I also feel confusedly that it might not be enough, that more serious dangers await us.
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“Stop the waste!”: Jean-Claude, 79, Templemars (59)
“My first ecological shock is old… and recurrent. In addition to the major ecological disasters that have affected me, I am scandalized every day by the presence of abandoned waste in public spaces. Everyone should question their behavior: I think we must all try to do our best for the environment, we have everything to gain: living environment, health, economy, etc.
For my part, my ecological inclinations date back to the 1980s, when to save money, I became a handyman. I fix everything I can! Gradually, I realized that reducing consumption and waste by refurbishing appliances contributes to improving our environment. Stop the mess! Admittedly, the attraction of the new, the attraction for the objects presented in the innumerable advertisements make many fellow citizens crack. But, did they ask themselves the question: do I really need this new device? That’s it, it’s my way of doing ecology, but we still have to do better and more to bequeath to our children a habitable planet!”
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“We were the dustbin of Europe”: François, 80, Fontainebleau (77)
“As a native of Brittany, ecology has always been a concern. When I was young, the boats that followed one another off Ouessant were so numerous that they formed a black line that we called the “rail “. So in 1978, when the Amoco Cadiz defiled our coasts, it became obvious that we were the dustbin of Europe! The Jolivet brothers, comedians who officiated on France Inter had declared: “The Bretons may have ideas, but now they have oil”. This was their last column!
I was a sound engineer at Radio France and, a year later, I did a sound report on board the Baccarat, one of the last wooden boats in the French Navy: it was on a mission to prove to the many tourists that our beautiful beaches had been cleaned. What about today? Brittany is known for the enormous pollution of its rivers.”
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