Newly Elected Emmanuel Macron Invites American Climate Scientists to Come to France

May 12, 2017 –  The President-elect of France has a far different message on climate change than America’s Donald Trump. In a video posted to YouTube, Emmanuel Macron invites American scientists and researchers to come to France and make it their home, a place where they can continue the important work of climate science, do research on new green energy technologies, and make the dream of the Paris Climate Agreement become a reality. He goes even further, inviting American green industry to find a home in France as well.

 

Emmanuel Macron pictured during a press conference in Paris on February 8, 2016. (Photo credit PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Macron isn’t alone in extending an invitation to American researchers at the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, NASA, and NOAA, who have had the ground taken from under their feet by Trump and his acolytes. China, too, has indicated that it intends to take a leadership role in research and development of solutions related to climate change. It would not be too much of a stretch to see President Xi Jinping of China extending an invitation to American researchers to make a similar move.

Shortly after the November election which brought Trump to the White House, Canadian universities working in collaboration with American colleagues on climate science announced efforts to preserve the research and data by moving it to secure Canadian computer networks. Was this paranoia or a dose of reality? Was Trump anti-climate science rhetoric to be realized in policy post-election? The appointment of climate science deniers to key government posts by Trump has justified the effort by Canadian researchers and others to preserve the data legacy.

On March 17, 2016, I wrote a blog posting asking the question “should America’s scientists be contingency planning” to become self-funded researchers in a model similar to what occurred in Australia back in 2013 when the government of Tony Abbott dismantled funded research into climate change. The Climate Commission and the Climate Change Authority, two government bodies both were axed. The scientists and Australian public reacted by crowdfunding a not-for-profit Climate Council and raised $800,000 in three days.

On March 8 of this year, I suggested that Americans “launch a people’s democracy initiative through a crowdfunding campaign” on Kickstarter or Indiegogo to create a government alternative to institutions like the EPA, and NOAA to ensure that climate-based research and observation can continue in the United States rather than flee overseas. Wouldn’t this be preferable to watching the American scientific community leaving to pursue legitimate world-saving research?

This new era of science skepticism that has been part of the “alternative facts” and “fake news” is reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s denial of “Jewish science.” German intellectuals, both Jewish and non-Jewish, were victimized by a regime whose political agenda ran counter to science based on evidence, but rather on belief in racial theories that were as dumb as those spouted by climate-science skeptics.

The call by Macron is far more than just an invitation to climate scientists. Macron’s an invitation includes American companies working in renewable and green technology initiatives. For France with unemployment hovering at 10%, it is an interesting ploy and call to action.

Should U.S. companies find under Trump that they are no longer in a regulatory regime that is attractive, they too could move to France, or China, or even Canada. And I have no doubt that all three countries would welcome this since the fastest growing industries on the planet, in terms of new jobs, are those associated with solar and wind energy, electric vehicles, biofuel and biomass, geothermal energy and other green initiatives.

In fact in the United States in 2015, 8.1 million jobs were in the green energy economy. And when you compare where new private sector dollars are going to create jobs in the U.S. in 2017 and beyond, the areas of highest employment investment are new mass transit solutions, building retrofits and rehabs, biomass, solar, and wind. They are not in fossil fuels like coal and natural gas.

 

 

So Trump wants to bring coal mining jobs back. So he denies climate change, calling it a “hoax” and ignores the science that shows coal’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. It makes one wonder what the President thinks or reads when he goes back to his private quarters at the White House each evening to watch Fox News coverage of the “great job” he is doing.

How is it possible that this man and his followers can be so blind to the evidence, not just of climate science, but of where the real economic growth can be had within the country that elected him to office?

 

 


Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...

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