Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
French weatherman Philippe Verdier is a free speech hero, a heretic whose livelihood has been stolen by the intolerant Church of Climate Change.
Two days ago, Philippe Verdier, a prominent weatherman with the publicly-funded, government-owned broadcaster, France Télévisions, lost his job. In the short term, his family will be economically punished. In the long term, he may be forever blacklisted and his career destroyed. Why?
Because Verdier has a spine. Because he believes in intellectual freedom. And because he thinks the climate change juggernaut is out of control. On Saturday, while a videographer hired by his publisher recorded the event, Verdier opened a letter from his employer telling him his services are no longer required.
As the headline over at the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s website observes, we are regressing Back To The Dark Ages. Heretics will not be tolerated by the Church of Climate Change. Bow your head, kneel, and submit. Or else.
In June 2014, Verdier was minding his own business when he and other weather presenters were summoned to a meeting with Laurent Fabius, France’s Foreign (Affairs) Minister. Paris is hosting this year’s UN climate summit. (Last year it was held in Lima, Peru. In 2013 it took place in Warsaw, Poland. In 2012, it was held in Doha, Qatar.)
Today, France is a nation governed by people who think even weather forecasts should be politicized. At the meeting, Fabius urged his nation’s weathermen and women to use terms such as “climate chaos” on air.
Verdier was understandably appalled. Rather than acquiescing to this outrageous request, he did what any independently-minded journalist might have been expected to do – he wrote a book challenging conventional thinking about the climate.
Even in France, Verdier is hardly alone. In 2013, renowned philosopher Pascal Bruckner released The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse: Save the Earth, Punish Human Beings, a scathing indictment of the contemporary environmental belief system. Last month, the Paris-based Mathematical Calculation
Society company published a 195-page white paper titled The battle against global warming: an absurd, costly and pointless crusade (download the English translation here).
Climate policies are based on predictions of how the climate will behave decades hence if we don’t slash greenhouse gas emissions today. Those predictions were produced by mathematical models. On page 74 of its white paper, the company
Conclusions based on any kind of model should be disregarded. As [this company] specializes in building mathematical models, we should also be recognized as competent to criticize them. Models are useful when attempting to review our knowledge, but they should not be used as an aid to decision-making until they have been validated. Now, validating a climate model requires thousands of years.
As is true elsewhere, in France there’s growing concern about the way climate change activism is undermining sound government decision-making and inhibiting free speech. In Verdier’s words: “I put myself in the path of [the Paris climate summit], which is a bulldozer, and this is the result.” Or, as the white paper says:
In the case of global warming, a number of bodies are telling us they have all the evidence, but refuse to tell us what it is. The data have been processed, but how? Time series have been altered, but why? Some phenomena have been left out of the equation, but on what grounds? We do not know, and we are simply required to keep quiet and do what we are told. No second opinion is permitted. [bold]
Verdier is nothing less than a free speech hero. How horrible and twisted that, less than a year after world leaders gathered to lead a free speech rally in Paris following a murderous attack on a magazine, free speech has quietly said adieu in France.
see also: French Weatherman Taken Off Air (No Climate Free Speech, Part 5)
update 9 Nov. 2015: I’m advised that, in French, the word Société typically means company rather than Society. My apologies for mischaracterizing the Société de Calcul Mathématique. It is a private company rather than an organization.