He was a figure of agroecology. The writer Pierre Rabhi died on Saturday, December 4, at the age of 83. Author in particular of Towards happy sobriety, sold more than 460,000 copies, this activist of the environmental cause, adored by personalities like Cyril Dion and Marion Cotillard, died of a cerebral hemorrhage, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) his son.
Born in 1938 at the gates of the Sahara, he was very early torn between “Modernity and tradition”, when his father entrusted him to a family of French settlers, in order to provide him with better education. Rabah will then become Peter. “Heartbreaks, ruptures, suffering, there was a lot of it”, confided this autodidact, rooted in Ardèche since 1961, after having left Algeria at the beginning of the “Events” and known “Incarceration” of a Parisian life.
This pioneer of neoruralism settled in 1961 on a farm in the south of France. He will remain as one of the pioneers of agroecology, which aims in the agricultural field to regenerate the natural environment by excluding pesticides and chemical fertilizers. A method applied from the 1980s in sub-Saharan Africa, where he made many trips. The Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard saw in him a “Brother of conscience”.
Countless works of undeniable success
Reference in the ecologist and alter-globalist seraglio, the one who was the friend of Thomas Sankara or the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, experienced some media exposure in 2002, during an ephemeral presidential candidacy, for already “Introduce ecological and human urgency into the debate”. Sixteen years later, in 2018, he declared to the World : “The solution does not go through the political, it goes through the raising of consciousness. “
Father of five children, he then divided his time between interviews, animation of his foundations, conferences and writing of books… A great admirer of Socrates, he said that “Each human being must try to know himself in order to change himself positively”.
His countless works have each time met with undeniable success. With Cyril Dion – the author of the successful activist documentary tomorrow – he co-founded the citizen movement of Hummingbirds, which calls for local actions, such as shared gardens, educational farms or even short supply circuits. “You have inspired millions of people around the world”, reacted the movement on Twitter Saturday night. “Hummingbirds and ecology are in mourning”, also tweeted The League for the Protection of Birds (LPO).
“Sometimes presented as a technician, he was interested in the interiority of people”, said his son to AFP. “He touched many people”. Pierre Rabhi had chosen this little bird to illustrate his philosophy based on an Amerindian legend: faced with a fire in a forest, the hummingbird “Was activated, going to fetch a few drops with its beak to throw them on the fire”, causing sarcasm from other animals. “I know it, but I’m doing my part”, he replied in this legend that Rabhi kept telling.
Without party, militant of ” joy “ instead of ” the decrease “, Pierre Rabhi categorically rejected the notion of ” sustainable development “, “A stupidity adjusted to economic growth”.
Several political figures, including environmentalists, reacted to the announcement of his death on Saturday evening, welcoming the writer’s action in favor of ecology. The former Minister of the Environment, Ségolène Royal, paid tribute has a “Plowman of the earth and plowman of conscience”.
“He seemed immortal like his ideas”, Chantal Jouanno tweeted on Saturday, president of the national commission for public debate and former secretary of state in charge of ecology in the government of François Fillon. The finalist of the primary of Europe Ecology-The Greens, Sandrine Rousseau, for her part, greeted an “incredible precursor of ecology”. While the “Thanking for ecology”, she also mentioned her “conservative” positions on societal issues, including homosexuality, with reference, in particular, to her controversial remarks on same-sex marriage and medically assisted procreation (MAP) in 2015.
Anne Hidalgo, socialist candidate for the presidential election, paid tribute has a “Thinker and writer who was committed to protecting our planet”, while the ecologist MEP David Cormand greeted memory of a man who “Was keen to do its part with humility for a society with peaceful links with nature and to invite [chacun] to do his own “.