Tour de France: Water to irrigate the roads is "absurd" and a bad symbol for environmental activists

Tour de France: Water to irrigate the roads is “absurd” and a bad symbol for environmental activists

The 10,000 liters of water used to cool the roads of the Tour de France provoked a wide wave of reactions, especially within associations and elected environmentalists, who saw this measure as an absurdity, contrary to the rules imposed on all French. heat wave.

The controversy, sparked by 10,000 liters of water available to cool the routes taken by Tour de France riders, has sparked a harsh response from elected officials or environmental associations, who struggle to understand such a measure, in areas where locals are deprived. Watering their crops due to the heat wave.

‘We’re still in the ostrich politics’

“It’s a decision that represents the absurdity of our system,” upsets David Belliard, assistant transport ecologist for the city of Paris. While we have drought issues, with more than 60 departments on alert for a heat wave, and wildfires everywhere, we need to better maintain research Water, which has become so precious with climate change, and there are already thousands of liters of water for the Tour de France that will be used to cool the road and let runners pass.”

“We have the impression that we always follow the ostrich policy on the issue of climate and the question of water in particular, we have the impression that it is ‘climate change. And I’m well aware it’s very little water, but it’s a symbol that we’re not adaptive to climate change, the paradigm should be changed the best way is to delay the ride while waiting for warmer temperatures. This is better to keep the riders healthy and save water.”

“What we are facing is the climate emergency.”

Arnaud Schwartz, president of the French Natural Environment Association, thinks the decision is not “particularly shocking”: “We must keep runners and spectators healthy. 10,000 liters of water is 1,000 times that watering can. 1,000 10-liter watering cans in the Tour de France, I think.” That it is not an exaggeration. It is a competition that conveys environmental values ​​while modernizing the bike.” The manager believes that this does not exceed the water consumption needed for a car wash.

“Ask farmers who will see their crops depleted by this water stress, if 10,000 liters of water couldn’t be used better,” David Billard asserts. Every liter counts. If we tell ourselves these little things don’t matter, we’ll never get there (. ..) What we are going through is a climate emergency, a state of drought that must make us change our way of life. To live, to manage water resources.”

‘Night runners must be overturned’

Gabriel Mazzolini refers to the politics of double standards, where everyone is asked to make an effort, but where nothing is set on a collective scale. The spokesperson explains: “We all have to make an effort on the water issue. But on the other side, we don’t have any concrete action on the part of the government. In the face of the fires in Gironde, the government’s response has been to create a toll-free number. As a citizen, you can’t help but feel that you are being mocked at This issue “.

Everyone is wondering about the future of the Tour de France, while global warming should force the organization to expect further heat waves in the coming years. “Other solutions can indeed be found, but it is not the difference between two and three hours that will change the temperature, as Arno Schwartz points out. During a heat wave, the roads accumulate a lot of heat and the stages are so long that it will not change anything. Racers must drive at night, but that would raise other safety issues.”

The most pessimistic, Gabriel Mazzolini hopes that this outburst of discontent will allow everyone to “rethink the way these sports competitions are organized,” and raise awareness: “I don’t want to be overly dramatic but it will no longer be possible to live in a world at +4 degrees.” So it will invite us to be more vigilant, to tell ourselves that we must now make more drastic decisions to prevent this global warming from drifting further and that we “can’t even imagine pursuing sporting competitions of this kind in the future”.

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