The new mayor of Bordeaux has announced his intention not to install a Christmas tree in the town hall square this year and to invest the money otherwise. This kind of talk locks environmentalists in the caricature of “punitive ecology”, deplores Daniel Boy, specialist in political ecology.
During his back-to-school press conference, the new ecological mayor of Bordeaux, Pierre Hurmic, expressed his desire to put an end to the traditional Christmas tree on the town hall square. The city councilor mentioned “the dead Christmas tree”. An announcement which earned him Friday, September 11, a flurry of criticism from his political peers, “green delirium” for the Republican Eric Ciotti or accusation of not “loving the joy of others”, formulated by the Minister for Citizenship, Marlène Schiappa.
“It’s a small mistake in political strategy”, estimated on franceinfo Daniel Boy, political scientist, research director at CEVIPOF, specialist in electoral sociology and in particular political ecology who is not surprised for all that. “There is an ecological wave and this is turning things around. Now you have to choose what you want to shake up inside”, he warned.
There is always this somewhat complicated controversy over the aspect of punitive ecology. You have to be careful of that. to franceinfo
In a tweet, then explanations on Facebook, Pierre Hurmic defends himself from an intention to harm “to the magic of Christmas” and re-explains its decision not to “not waste public money” by financing a “dead tree”. “Why spend nearly 60,000 euros to which are added significant induced costs, ecological and economic?”, questions the elected representative, who argues that “giving up these excesses does not mean giving up celebrating Christmas”.
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“What is boring about Pierre Hurmic’s speech is that it will be difficult for people to understand”, comment Daniel Boy because he places them “cantilever telling them it’s ‘a dead tree’. It locks environmentalists into the idea of prohibition, defense, punitive ecology and we must escape that because it is not the basis of ecology. That they want to upset the cultural field is very good, it is not a bad thing to innovate. But as soon as the environmentalists put themselves in a strong posture of prohibition on something which is not crucial, it is a small error of political strategy “, insists the political scientist.