A few short essays about English language, happiness, abortion, science, global warming, public transport and smoking.
A short essay: "To what extent is the English language a necessary instrument of globalisation?"
First, we can notice that the English language is already necessary for almost all jobs, in every country: thus, nowadays, you need to speak English in order to communicate, travel and trade with other countries, but also in your country, to understand the installation guide of most of the electronic devices or to be able to get some help for any technology, thanks to the Internet.
Because of globalisation, the majority of publications are now made in English, specially in sciences, because it's much more convenient for scientists to communicate using a single language: the ways of communicating allow researchers to release their articles quickly and, so, they don't want to wait for translations and they use English.
Moreover, American culture is widely spreading in Europe, in a lot of domains such as films, music, TV series and, of course, food, fashion and life styles, so more and more people feel concerned by this culture and want to visit the United States, read American literature or see films (in cinemas or at home) in original language.
Concerning the industry, it is quite obvious that the English language is really useful: as a consequence of globalisation, nearly every product, from jeans and T-shirts to computers and airplanes needs components made by several countries and coming from different parts of the world. For this reason, a common language is absolutely necessary because in this case, good communication is essential.
To conclude, I would say that nowadays, the English language is necessary in all domains: sciences, industry, culture... because it is necessary for globalisation and makes it possible.
A short essay about my conception of happiness.
The idea of happiness is a very personal and variable subject. Though, a few elements are quite constant and can be explained.
The first point is about present. In my opinion, the best way to be happy now is to fully live the present moment. That's why one of my favorite Latin sentences is "carpe diem". More, I think a very important consequence is, for each thing you do, that you take all the time it needs. Indeed, for me, being happy means enjoy each moment, each action even if it's unpleasant (for example doing your homework). As a matter of facts, it allows you to become calm and evacuate your stress. So, even if I have a lot of homework, I try not to scamp it, thinking I'll have all the time I need to do it.
The second point concerns the future. Of course, I think my future is a very important subject that oughtn't be under-estimated. But it mustn't fill all my mind in the detriment of present. The best ways I found to "focus on the present" are breathing the fresh air in the morning or dipping in a piece of music, when you hear nothing more or less than each note of a music you like. But there are a lot of other ways to become happy. Use problems to learn. Take advantage of change. Do not worry unnecessarily : when you receive bad news, try to relativise. Theater helps in not taking things too seriously... But for me, the nicest way to become happy is to make another person happy, someone you love...
To conclude, I'd say each person has to find his own way to be happy.
An english speech against abortion, written like a poem.
I say it to you today, my friends,
That despite all the horrors we can see in the world,
I still believe in Love. I still believe in Life.
You say embryos and fetus are not human beings.
Really? Is an embryo a cat? Is he a dog?
Were we cats or dogs before birth?
You say you were not alive before birth.
And that's right. But you were viable!
Why isn't killing a viable being considered as a crime?
You say everybody can make mistakes.
And that's right. But you should assume them!
Don't you see you rectify your mistake by another?
You say a young woman can't cope with both a baby and her studies.
And that's right. But she isn't alone!
Aren't men responsible for their acts too?
You say you can't do anything to prevent a woman from aborting.
And that's right. But you can sing!
"Didn't I forget to say you mum 'Thank you: I'm alive!'?"
You say abortion is a right.
And that's false: I thought killing was forbidden!
Isn't Life a right?
So, don't say abortion is well,
So, don't say Life is a mistake,
So, believe in Love,
So, make love your aim.
And, help these human beings,
And, protect these human beings,
And, respect these human beings,
And, Love these human beings.
Trust in Life.
The truth about abortion
March for Life in Paris
Science, risk and progress
Science and progress
Explain why "progress" is ambivalent.
The word "progress" is deeply ambivalent. Thus, we can notice that there are two ways to understand the term:
On one hand, it is quite obvious that since the 18th century, many devices or machines that make work and life become easier have been created, in every domain: housekeeping, transports, entertainment, communications, comfort of life and quality of food have been transformed by several revolutions such as the ones that occurred in energy, materials and prices.
On the other hand, those inventions transformed common life and, consequently, changed societies and men. We are more and more liable to fear the future and believe that science is dangerous: every founding seems risky since technology evolves more and more quickly without letting us time to understand it. Moreover, we are used to relying on those technologies and so we feel lost when our mobile phone doesn't work or when there is no microwave oven.
To conclude, to call "progress" an innovation, this one has to serve life and not only technological improvement.
What about the link between science and progress?
To me, science can help to control the risks linked to progress.
First, science is more and more able to measure the consequences of human actions. Thus, scientific studies and modeling are currently helping to the prediction of the way the climate will evolve for the next decades and what would be the effects of the measures that could be taken.
Moreover, experiments are necessary to decide whether a chemical substance is harmful or not for human beings and for the environment. For example, concerning CFC gases, scientists had to discover the hole in the ozone layer, find its cause and then warn the world about the risks. Since then, more efforts have been made to find substances that does not alter the atmosphere. So, science is apt to denounce the excesses of technological improvements that have sometimes bad consequences.
Yet, progress is necessary to invent new sources of power or more efficient materials that are less pollutant or decrease fuel consumption. Thanks to science and progress, natural resources, forests for example, are much more taken care of than they were two centuries ago.
To conclude, progress and science have to work together in order to use and help each other.
Do you think that global warming is mankind's responsibility?
Describe the possible actions to solve this issue.
I'm convinced global warming is mankind's responsibility: our species is responsible for a lot of important changes on our planet, because we transform landscapes, divert rivers and cut down forests. Since the beginning of the Industrial Age, we have been using coal in our factories which, like cars or planes, release a lot of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, increasing greenhouse effect. Moreover, the use of CFC gases caused a hole in the ozone layer that is supposed to stop a great part of the radiations of the Sun. It will take decades to reform.
To my mind, it's high time we reacted: global warming has already begun and we can see that the climate is more and more complex to understand. Thus, summers are hotter and hurricanes are more frequent and more violent than they were in the past. Furthermore, a lot of species are disappearing because of the melting of ices or deforestation. I can see two scenarii of action:
- The first one is a sudden revolution of our habits and lifestyle: everybody would abruptly stop using their cars, use fewer packagings and reuse consumer goods. People would travel by train, bike and public transports and plant more trees in their gardens, when they have one. I don't expect this scenario to happen: it's nearly impossible and our economy would certainly collapse, but such a change will be necessary when we have no more oil if we change nothing before it happens.
- The second scenario is a progressive change: we would rely on the scientific research to discover technological improvements to make current technologies less pollutant, for example making cars that work with Hydrogen. In this way, we would progressively set in place a new economy, based on sources of energy that don't release greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as hydraulic or solar energies, instead of oil or coal. Moreover, the use of nuclear fusion would produce electricity with one thousand times less waste, which would be radioactive for a one thousand times shorter period, than nuclear fission since the fuel is no longer Uranium but Hydrogen.
To conclude, I'd say that to tackle the problem of global warming, we have to change our sources of energy (and so our habits) and that if we don't, it will do nothing but get worse.
Reflexion about the use of public transport.
It is obvious that cars are a burden for our society: the pollution and the noise they make cause several diseases and, of course, cars kill thousands of people every year and not only on the roads! Most drivers aren't even conscious of being really dangerous: they drive too fast and don't care about it.
Moreover, in a lot of towns, car parking has become an important issue and people park their cars absolutely anywhere making traffic very difficult for other users and also, of course, for pedestrians.
So, increasing the use of public transport would be a great idea: currently, the main services are accessible to users but it's high time efforts were made: several towns are left out of the transport network and don't have stations or buses. Another important point is public information: people have to understand that public transport is a good solution for them: it's less dangerous (they don't risk accidents when they are tired) and they have to walk so they take a little exercise.
Another argument is the cost: a car is a real financial juggernaut: you've got to buy it, to pay for gas, to get it fixed, to pay for insurances and it's not always reliable and may break down just when you need it.
Train seems to be a good solution for those who travel from one town to another: it's quite practical and you can sleep or work during the trip. Moreover, you can now buy your tickets on the Web and receive them by postal mail (at least in France).
Finally, public transport needs to be encouraged, to reduce pollution and health problems: people have to use it (or a bike) instead of their cars. It's the only solution to tackle the issues of noise and traffic jams.
Economy and the future
Reflexion about the future of our economy
A few decades ago, French people were discovering mass consumption. Furthermore, economic outlooks used to be wide, for the society was becoming wealthier and wealthier. Neither were we speaking about unemployment nor about environmental issues.
Yet, the situation has changed. Whereas progresses have been made in the technology, medicine and current life, our economy is currently facing several difficulties that hinders a real development, from international competition to the lack of raw materials. Moreover, more and more restrictions are to appear in our world.
Thus, France and Europe now have to take public decisions in order to lead those evolutions and not to suffer from them. Besides, if we don't want our democracies to collapse, we must change our lifestyles quickly, as to anticipate the future, for example becoming more respectful for the environment.
The two main words we will have to think about will finally be, on the one hand "truth", since we must be conscious of the risks we face and on the other hand "solidarity": if we want to survive, we cannot leave billions of people without assistance.
Here are some illustrations related to science, technology, energy and transports.
Smoking is forbidden!
About the law
A short essay about a french law forbidding smoking in public places.
French government recently decided to forbid smoking in almost all public places.
Although it will avoid thousands of deaths in the country, some people consider this measure as a liberty-killing law. Besides, they think that education would be a better solution than a nearly dictatorship.
Experts, however, answer that it would be far too simple if educating people could prevent them from all risky practices, as sexual or alimentary ones. The reason why it shouldn't succeed is that people are still prone to acting as they want, even if they know it's dangerous for their health. Furthermore, men and women are only semi-conscious of their decisions or of their desire, especially when about pleasure.
Moreover, the access to the education system depends of your social background. So, a law seems necessary.
Do you think that education is a good solution to prevent people from smoking?
Even if education seems to be a good solution to avoid excesses, I think that it's not sufficient.
On the one hand, regarding smoking, education can prevent people from smoking when other people are present, and so, the number of second-hand smokers decrease. But when smokers are at home, when they disturb nobody, smoking is still dangerous for their health and when they are ill, social security will pay, so, everyone is sill concerned by what people do in their private life. Of course, it is not possible to control how much people smoke: a law can only decide whether smoking is allowed or forbidden: it decides where people smoke but not how much. And this is the same problem for all "pleasures": alcohol is not dangerous if the consumption is low, risk only appear when there are excesses.
On the other hand, education depends of your social background, but having a better education doesn't mean being more responsible: I often noticed that wealthier people were more prone to smoking as this is also a problem of fashion, as drug consumption. If poor people may use drugs to forget their situation, wealthy people, who can afford it, may also want to try, just to have fun. Finally, would you be rich or poor, when you're addicted, you don't decide by yourself anymore!
To conclude, I would say that education is not a sufficient solution: it may be necessary to ban some products in some places or in the whole country, since people are not reasonable enough to prevent themselves from making excesses.
Here are listed some resources in English language:
Page dédiée : Australia
A document about Australia, its history and its fauna and flora; an audio version is available.
Page dédiée : United States
Some general information about the USA, especially Arizona, California, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas.
Page dédiée : Great Britain
A guide book about several trips I made to Great Britain: London, Cambridge, Hastings and Canterbury.
Cette page en anglais a été créée par Peter à partir d'un exposé scolaire, le 15 juin 2004 et modifiée pour la dernière fois le 25 août 2020. Son avancement est noté 2/3.