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Richard Pellegrino, Le bois avec lequel je me rechauffe, Villa Thuret, no-made 2023

A visit to the garden at Villa Thuret reminds one that decarbonisation is the new imperialism, largely the construct of a few liberal countries.

It is not usually subscribed to by those who study the universe for similar planets to Earth where life might theoretically form. Planets of this kind go through cycles of evolution as would the make up of their atmospheres and their temperatures.

Even within the greenhouse gas theory, natural releases of methane are a much more likely cause of the sudden warming experienced this decade than the steady uptick in the presence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The decarbonisers have hijacked environmental concern away from the very immediate dangers of particulate pollution, plastics pollution, pesticide pollution and habitat destruction that are rapidly killing life on earth, reducing its fertility and, at an alarming rate, eliminating species, for the more abstract, at-some-removes consideration of carbon dioxide concentration.

Sometimes this may favour their industrial interests, just as the crusades were hijacked by a few for purposes unrelated to the objectives - like diverting a crusade to fight a war within Christendom in Constantinople.

The switch to diesel powered cars in parts of Europe has not reduced carbon dioxide emissions. The use of inappropriate insulation will trap hot air within buildings during stifling summers when heat sink materials would have been better and less favourable to the air conditioning and heat exchanger lobby.

The theme of Villa Thuret's 2023 no-made sculptures in the garden exhibition is adaptation. Adaptation is what the institute (INRAE) is rapidly pursuing for plants grown on this particular site. They must survive in the warming and drying Mediterranean climate.

Adaptation and acclimatisation is possible and we should rapidly divert more resources to it.



We are familiar with Jaume Plensa's Nomade which has pensively guarded the approaches to the port of Antibes since 2010 but across the water you will find Cathy Cuby's more organic Nomades and the occasional and now, post-pandemic, probably repetitive appearance of sculptures in this botanical garden has the series title, no-made.


Cathie Colto, The Mutants

Not a mutant, not invasive but they adapt

Hubris on red? Rather than reduce pollution and so save species, humans think they can change the climate, put the methane back into the ice caps, and refreeze them by reducing carbon dioxide in the air. Nature can do it over thousands of years, nature will also adapt, but humans must save life now.

Nicola Powys, Dirty Water

Even a reviewer knows how to adapt

Elise Dartmour, Contemplation de l'arbte

Marie Cagnasso, Dans le vortex

Gustave Thuret, a botanist and algae expert, established the garden over 160 years ago. His systematic approach turned acclimatisation into a science.

Beyond the founder of the garden, like the nearby Eilen Roc, the survival of this gem on the cape for public enjoyment has a female donor to thank.

Well before 2004, I recall going past the other sites on the cape - a tennis court for the former use of the staff is one of the remnants - and seeing exotic plants seemingly trying to escape past the boundary walls and fences. Visually exciting and should you live near a botanical garden people will forever be asking if one of your plants is an escapee and perhaps you never know. For sure, what grows on your patch year in, year out, and never dies out, adapts, acclimatises and accommodates.

In the Villa Thuret garden you see unusual neighbours for plants and sculptures, and the artists must come from everywhere.