Running Out of Ideas: Macron Pleads with French to Use Less Energy to Avoid Rationing

France's President Emmanuel Macron addresses media following a conference with Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz on the energy crisis via video link, at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris on September 5, 2022. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron has pleaded with the general public to use less energy so that he will not be forced to ration energy.

France’s embattled President Emmanuel Macron has asked the public to ration their energy use voluntarily, with the head of state claiming that them doing so may avert the need to ration energy officially by government order in the country over the winter months.

Having previously warned that France was seeing the “end of abundance“, the move appears to be the latest attempt by an embattled Macron to avert a now-probable energy crisis as opponents grow ever more critical of the politician.

According to a report by Le Figaro, Macron has once again urged “sobriety” from his country’s population, saying that individual efforts to use less energy could translate to rationing being unnecessary over the coming months.

“The solution is in our hands,” Macron is reported as telling the public, pleading that individuals reduce their energy consumption by “putting the air conditioning a little less strong” and “the heating a little less strong than usual”.

He specifically called on French households to voluntarily limit their home heating to 19 degrees over the coming winter period, something the French President appears to hope will “save about 10 per cent of what we usually consume”.

Macron’s push for the French to voluntarily save energy follows his claim that his country, along with many others on the European continent, was now facing the end of an era where the likes of food, fuel and other resources were freely available.

“I believe that what we are experiencing is of the order of a great shift or a great upheaval,” the president said. “Basically, we are living through the end of abundance, that of costless liquidity — we will have to draw the economic consequences — that of products and technologies that seemed perpetually available to us, the break in value chains.”

The head of state went on to warn that such a shift towards poverty would fill many in France with “great anxiety”, but urged them to “agree to pay the price” of worse living conditions seemingly in the hopes of combating the rise of populism, and what he called “illiberal regimes”.

Although Emmanuel Macron appears to spy a panacea in the voluntary collective action of the citizens of the Fifth French Republic, such a romantic notion will most likely be met with ridicule from the President’s critics, which now number in the multitude.

Even the outgoing CEO of the EDF — a major energy company that the French government is not only the majority holder in, but now aims to nationalise — has been openly taking pot shots at Macron, with the energy tsar blaming the head of state for the sorry state of the French energy sector.

More specifically, CEO Jean-Bernard Levy said that Macron’s push to downsize the company had left them without enough skilled workers to repair nuclear reactors, reducing the country’s capacity to produce electricity.

A recent picture of Emmanuel Macron on a jet ski while on holiday also served to greatly undermine his lamentation of the “end of abundance”, as well as his push for the French to be more frugal with their usage habits, with many within the country’s political scene accusing the leader of hypocrisy through the use of the gas-guzzling machine.

Econ-warriors in the country were particularly enraged, especially considering the fact that the average jet ski reportedly uses between 20 and 60 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, as opposed to around 5 litres for the average family car.

“This confirms the persistent impression that he does not understand climate change,” one climate-crazy politician reportedly claimed.

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