Mr. Mathieu Bock-Côté: A revenge of nature [«Une vengeance de la nature?»]

First, here is the original article by Mr. Bock-Côté, published today in the Journal de Montréal:

Second, Bambi hopes you will appreciate this thoughtful article, translated below.

If not, she hopes this piece will make you stop to reflect, learn something new or different, and perhaps even allow yourself to challenge your own beliefs.

“While our societies are engaged in an exceptional mobilization to confront COVID-19, which destabilizes them and from which they will recover painfully, we find some in the radical fringes of the ecological movement, but also in certain intellectuals who we would say politely enlightened, to take an excited or tender look.

Their speech is roughly as follows: humans would have done great harm to the planet in recent decades. They would have martyred it by over-exploiting it. And today it would take revenge, throwing down a world that had become insane. In its own way, and in its own language, it would counter-attack with a virus and does herself justice.


How can we not see in this a form of morbid poetry, that of exalted prophets who consumed a little too much hallucinogenic ideological substances?

These remarks also testify to the resurgence of a certain pantheism in our societies, which believe themselves freed from religion, except in their margins.

Pantheism, let us remember, consists in deifying nature, in lending it a form of global consciousness, which is done in their own way by those who call the earth “Gaia”.

Nature “wants” things, it “acts”. This virus is said to be part of planetary self-defense.

It is a particularly primitive form of religious feeling, prior to its civilization by the great spiritual traditions which have shaped humanity, among these, Christianity, of course. Let’s make the necessary distinctions.

Without a doubt, the development model of recent decades was untenable. The global tourist invasion, for example, was certainly catastrophic.

The environmental rampage was undeniable, and our societies were about to undergo immense upheavals if they did not reorient themselves.

But the truth is, it is not the earth that humans has been harming. It is themselves, by making the world less and less habitable.

The earth doesn’t care about what happens to it. It was there before humans were there and it will survive them if they die. But it will be nothing more than an inanimate pebble, turning in the universe. Human beings are the ones driving it, leading its exciting adventure there.

What is revealed here is an unspoken hatred of humanity, and more particularly, perhaps, of Western civilization, guilty of all wrongs.

In our living room or country house, we meditate on Gaïa’s revenge by putting into perspective the thousands of human losses and the immense suffering of those who lose their loved ones. We pontificate on the formal notice from Mother Nature, who would take the opportunity to heal herself by condemning human beings to forced rest.


We forget about the economic crisis that will follow and will force us not only to sacrifice the superfluous, but to ration on the necessary. Will our virus applauders then have the nerve to poeticize misery?

Undoubtedly, this crisis is indicative of a generalized civilizational dysfunction, which will force us into immense reforms.

However, I find it hard to respect those who thank “Nature” for punishing an evil human.”

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