French ecologist Pierre Rabhi has died aged 83

French farmer, writer, philosopher and environmentalist Pierre Rabhi has died aged 83, his family has confirmed.

He died on Saturday November 4 of a cerebral hemorrhage, his family confirmed to AFP.

The great mathematician and author of Towards happy sobriety (published as The power of restraint in English) has been praised in recent years for his beliefs on environmentalism, capitalism and happiness by well-known figures such as Cyril Dion and Marion Cotillard.

The French Buddhist monk Mathieu Ricard called him a “brother of conscience”.

He will be remembered as one of the pioneers of “agroecology”, which aims to regenerate the natural environment by excluding pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

He was also an environmentalist supported by animal and bird welfare and environmental activists such as the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO).

Mr. Rabhi was born under the name Rabah in Algeria in 1938. His father allowed a family of French settlers in the village to raise his son, with the aim of giving him a better education. His name Rabah was changed to Pierre, and he spent his life in France and Algeria until the age of 14.

The writer has since said that “there has been a lot of heartbreak, ruptures and suffering” in his life. In 1961, he moved to Ardèche and lived on a farm, having left Algeria at the start of what he called the “events”. , and feeling dissatisfied with the “incarceration” of life in Paris.

He briefly presented himself as a presidential candidate in 2002, with the aim of “bringing the ecological and human emergency into the debate”. Sixteen years later, in 2018, however, he told the world: “The solution does not come through politics, it comes through awareness. “

Admirer of Socrates, he once said: “Every human being must try to know himself in order to change positively.

Mr. Rabhi also co-founded the Colibris ‘citizen movement’, which called for local community actions such as shared gardens, educational farms and the establishment of short supply chains.

Mr. Rabhi has five children.

After the announcement of his death, several political figures, including members of the environmental party, offered their condolences.

The former Minister of the Environment Ségolène Royal described herself as a “worker of the land and worker of conscience”, while Chantal Jouanno, president of the public debate commission of the National Commission of public debate, declared: ” He seemed immortal, like his ideas.

The environmental candidate Yannick Jadot paid tribute to the memory of “one of the great precursors of agro-ecology”, while the finalist of the primary Europe Ecology-The Greens, Sandrine Rousseau, paid tribute to an “incredible precursor of ecology “.

However, she mentioned her “conservative” positions on societal issues such as homosexuality, in reference to her controversial remarks on same-sex marriage and assisted reproduction in 2015.

Socialist presidential candidate Anne Hidalgo said Mr Rabhi was a “thinker and writer who was committed to protecting our planet”, while Green MEP David Cormand hailed him as a man who ” was committed to doing its part with humility, for a society with a peaceful relationship with nature, and which invited [everyone] do theirs “.

In November 2018, The connection interviewed Mr. Rabhi.

Regarding his book The Power of Restraint, he explains: “We live in a world where there is a part that suffers from overconsumption and throws too much, and another part where there is still famine. We produce 40% more than what we need.

“One-fifth of our world, of which I am a part, uses four-fifths of the world’s resources. I cannot morally accept this situation. To change this, we need to embrace more modest lifestyles. In our society we have more than enough to eat, but even then we are not happy.

“There is no joy in life. Westerners always worry about what they don’t have, rather than taking advantage of what they have. If we produced all these goods and people were satisfied, then maybe our civilization would have been successful, but people are not happy, so we have to change things.

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