Trump presidency ‘good news’ for the world, says controversial French author Houellebecq

Controversial French author Michel Houellebecq has again raised eyebrows with a quasi defense of the US president. Under Donald Trump, “America is no longer the world’s leading power,” he said, adding: This is “good news for the rest of the world”.

Despite commending Trump for his first two years in office, Houellebecq admitted he also empathized “with the shame many Americans (and not only ‘New York intellectuals’) feel.”

“On the personal level, he is, of course, pretty repulsive.” [ . . . ]

Full story at FRANCE24: Trump presidency ‘good news’ for the world, says controversial French author Houellebecq

‘In the end, the power of love is all’

Pierre Rabhi
Pierre Rabhi

As one of France’s most admired environmentalists, Pierre Rabhi advocates a simplified existence in order to live a sustainable, happy life. Jane Hanks falls under the sage’s spell in an exclusive interview

Pierre Rabhi is a French farmer, writer, philosopher and environmentalist who is well known to the French as a man who has been promoting an alternative, simpler way of life for many years, long before it became fashionable. He is now 80, but retirement is not for him as he continues to strive to create what for him would be a better world, with less emphasis on making money and more on being happy with what we already have.

Just recently a report from the government environment and energy management agency body Ademe quoted an Ipsos study which found that most households thought they had a total of 34 electronic pieces of equipment, but in fact the figure is closer to an astonishing 99 and that people buy three times more now than in 1960.

One of Pierre Rabhi’s many books, Vers la Sobriété Heureuse, was translated into English last year, The Power of Restraint. What did he mean by this title?

“We live in a world where there is part of it which is suffering from over consumption and throws too much away, and another part where there is still famine. We produce 40% more than 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 that situation. To change that we need to adopt more modest lifestyles. In our society we have more than enough to eat, but even then we are not happy.

“There is no joie de vivre. People in the West are always worrying about what they do not have, rather than enjoying what they do have. If we were producing all these goods and people were satisfied, then maybe our civilisation would have been successful, but people are not happy, so we must change things.”

Source THE CONNEXION: ‘In the end, the power of love is all’

French ‘ice wine’ producers begin freezing harvest

ice wine

Harvesting has begun for a small number of producers in the Savoie (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) who make high-end “ice wine” made from frozen grapes.

At the right time of year, as winter deepens, the producers gather in the early hours of the morning when temperatures are barely above freezing, to pick the Jacquère grape while it is still frozen on the vine.

The grapes remain frozen as they are pressed, and will stay in temperatures of under 3°C for the next 48 hours.

Next, the frozen grapes and juice are suspended from a helicopter, and flown up to the mountainous altitudes around Mont Blanc. There, they will freeze for a second time.

This intensive process results in a highly-concentrated, sweet and high-sugar wine.

This is because, at freezing temperatures, the water in the grapes freezes, but the sugars and other solids do not, allowing the juice to become sweeter and more concentrated.

It is only after this two-stage freezing process that the wine is allowed to ferment normally [ . . . ]

Continue at CONNEXION FRANCE: French ‘ice wine’ producers begin freezing harvest