“The Endless World”, this wonder of the book shook the environmentalists

Unheard of for a book published more than a year ago, at the end of October 2021. The reason? With extraordinary longevity in the world of comics, “Le Monde sans fin” is, with more than 500,000 copies sold in 2022, the best-selling book of the year. A success that greatly expands the audience of this energy specialist involved in the fight against climate change.

680,000 copies

“This is a wonderful success, confirms Stéphane Aznar, managing director of Éditions Dargaud. Especially for a book on such a complex subject, sold in addition to 28 euros. The installation is now 700,000 copies. According to the Gfk institute, the album has sold more than 680,000 copies since its release. And it continues! » Sales driven by an enthusiastic media reception and extraordinary word-of-mouth. “Communities, works councils, banks even bought them to offer to their employees. » Sometimes by whole pallets.

“The Endless World, Energy Miracle and Climate Drift”.


This success surprised those who, in environmental circles, have made nuclear shutdown their totem. The content, however, is not surprising. Teacher at the Ecole des Mines ParisTech, co-founder of the consulting company Carbone 4, which specializes in issues related to climate change, president of the think tank The Shift Project, member of the High Council for the Climate, essayist… Jean-Marc Jancovici will develop over many years a well-rehearsed discourse.

“The comic book is very faithful to the content of its conferences, believes Nicolas Goldberg, energy expert at Colombus Consulting. There are some very good things about the place that carbon energies have taken in our lives, that is, two-thirds of world energy consumption, but also about the climate. However, he has a rather dated speech on renewable energies (EnR). I am also critical when he ventures into the field of biology. Wanting to sweep too wide, he ventures… “

What energy for tomorrow?

But it’s Jean-Marc Jancovici’s positions on nuclear power that are troubling environmentalists. The author clearly prioritizes the fight against climate change. A struggle involving the gradual abandonment of fossil fuels. “There are three levers for this,” he confessed to us when the album was released. Energy conservation, renewable energy and nuclear energy. For the engineer, renewable energies alone, under current conditions, will struggle to meet ever-increasing needs. The other two levers remain.

“This is to ignore scenarios like the one established by the electricity transport manager RTE, which modeled 100% EnR”, recalls an activist close to ecological associations. Which admits, however, that the book is controversial, including anti-nuclear, in the face of the accelerating climate crisis. “But EPR2, if they see the light of day, will only be effective in 2035. And Jancovici underestimates the amount of long-term high-level nuclear waste that needs to be managed. RES is the best choice. »

“A Viral Book”

Jean-Marc Jancovici, who is present in the media and on social networks, argues with the critics one after the other. “He was a great popularizer,” recalls Christophe Blain. The desire to deliver is what motivated me to write this book with him. The designer is aware of the divisive themes that arise. “They are not approached in a dogmatic way but in a pragmatic way. We must go beyond epidermal reactions. »

“This is a viral book. People share it, exchange ideas, it makes sense”

Blain, who saw in this work a response to his own eco-anxiety, admits that he was sometimes overwhelmed by the success of his comic strip. “This is a viral book. People share it, exchange ideas, it gives meaning. Stéphane Aznar is completely in line with this approach. “That is our role as a publisher. And everyone has the right to disagree. The erroneous erratum is however the subject of a complaint. But for pretending…

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