The first wave and its confinement had already tipped the scales strongly, the second confinement established the hypothesis: to leave the capital, to take refuge in the countryside, to live more directly with nature.
Before taking the plunge, let’s take the time to read Eric Lambin, with An ecology of happiness (Le Pommier, 2020), who questions the virtuous articulation between happiness and nature, wondering if this is necessary for our human development. Final conclusion: “Preserving nature is (…) both in the egocentric interest of everyone, but also in the anthropocentric interest of man, in the name of moral reason which binds all members of humanity. “ It is therefore the track of instrumental value, without denying the intrinsic value of nature, that Lambin borrows to try to transform our motivations for a more global behavioral and political modification. Deforestation, soil erosion, disproportionate agricultural expansion, disruption of the water cycle, acidification of the oceans, overfishing, all this also has a human cost, in terms of physical and mental health, not to mention economic inequalities more or less reinforced by dynamics of great extraction of natural resources. In terms of behavior change, the distribution is played out in this way, knowing that it can also coexist within the same person. Less than 20% of people are ready to change the way they consume and produce for ethical reasons. Between 20% and 30% of people are “Free riders”, free riders who take advantage of the system and protect their special interests. The ” swamp “ or the “Plain”, would have said the Revolution. The rest are “Followers” or “Conditional cooperators”. The more you have in your sights “Free riders”, the less the followers are willing to change their behavior towards higher moral and social standards.
Steven Pacala, a biologist at Princeton University, has also calculated the very harmful impact: in 2007, half of global carbon dioxide emissions originate from only 7% of the world’s population. Lambin recalls the factors linked to a happy existence, five in number: personal situation (health, emotional life, leisure, work, mobility), the feeling of security (fear of crime, conflicts, wars), social environment (belonging to a network of relationships, trust, availability of help in case of need), the institutional environment (freedoms, political participation, the proper functioning of justice) and the environment natural (exposure to noise and pollution, access to preserved natural spaces, the feeling of connection to nature). At the end of a thorough investigation, the degradation of the environment leads to the impoverishment of human experience and happiness.