Jacques Arnould, Jacques Blamont

Rise Up and Walk Publication date : August 27, 2009

Within the next fifty years the world's population is expected to reach 9 billion, greatly surpassing the finite capacities of our natural resources and leading to serious shortages of water, food, arable land and energy — and consequently to global conflict. Do we possess the technical solutions to stop these threatened catastrophes from interacting in a devastating synergy? Will additional technology cure the ills brought on by too much technology? Instead, shouldn't we be looking for the causes of our current problems in our culture's irrepressible belief that "more is better", which absorbs, wastes and destroys resources accumulated over 500 billion years? Could the real solution be provided by calling upon specialists in the spiritual arena to overthrow the present value system and build up a new ethics of "less is more"? From this perspective, argue the authors, the Roman Catholic Church may well be the only structured power capable of providing the troops for an enterprise of moral renovation. Written in the form of a dialogue between a man of science and a man of faith, who could have been expected to hold diametrically opposed views, this book shows how their different paths have led them to a common diagnosis about the state of the world: we now live in a civilisation dominated by malice — a mixture of power drive and engineering logic. Based on a rigorous approach and backed by numerous historical, social and economic facts and figures, the authors develop a number of proposals to reconcile humanity with other, more spiritual values, in order to build a new ethical system. This is an urgent appeal to the Roman Catholic Church to call an ecumenical council and to set in motion a reflection on a universal scale.

A founding member of the French space agency (CNES), Jacques Blamont was the agency's first technical and scientific director and later served in the capacity of senior scientific adviser. He is a professor emeritus at the University of Paris-VI and a member of the Academies of Sciences of France, India and the United States. He is the author of Le Chiffre et le Songe (2005) and Introduction au siècle des menaces (2004). Jacques Arnould is a member of the Dominican order, an agricultural engineer and a Doctor in the History of Science and in Technology. He is a project director at the CNES, where he works on the ethical, social and cultural dimension of Space activities.