France’s top meteorologist sent on ‘forced holiday’ over book questioning ‘climate change’ – Effort to ‘fire’ him for dissent
Sent on "forced holiday" for releasing book accusing top climatologists of 'taking the world hostage'
Philippe Verdier, weather chief at France Télévisions, the country's state broadcaster, reportedly sent on "forced holiday" for releasing book accusing top climatologists of "taking the world hostage"
'We are hostage to a planetary scandal over climate change – a war machine whose aim is to keep us in fear.'
Unions at France Television called for Mr Verdier to be fired.
According to Mr Verdier, top climate scientists, who often rely on state funding, have been “manipulated and politicised”.
He specifically challenges the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, saying they “blatantly erased” data that went against their overall conclusions, and casts doubt on the accuracy of their climate models.
Mr Verdier told France 5: “Making these revelations in the book, which I absolutely have the right to do, can pose problems for my employer given that the government (which funds France 2) is organising COP [the climate change conference]. In fact as soon as you a slightly different discourse on this subject, you are branded a climate sceptic.”
Mr Verdier writes: “We are undoubtedly on a plateau in terms of warming and the cyclical variability of the climate doesn’t not allow us to envisage if the natural rhythm will tomorrow lead us towards a fall, a stagnation or a rise (in temperature).”
In a promotional video, Mr Verdier said: “Every night I address five million French people to talk to you about the wind, the clouds and the sun. And yet there is something important, very important that I haven’t been able to tell you, because it’s neither the time nor the place to do so.”
He added: “We are hostage to a planetary scandal over climate change – a war machine whose aim is to keep us in fear.”
His outspoken views led France 2 to take him off the air starting this Monday. “I received a letter telling me not to come. I’m in shock,” he told RTL radio. “This is a direct extension of what I say in my book, namely that any contrary views must be eliminated.”
The book has been released at a particularly sensitive moment as Paris is due to host a crucial UN climate change conference in December.
Asked whether he had permission from his employer to release the book, he said: “I don’t think management liked it, let’s be honest.”
“I put myself via this investigation on the path of COP 21, which is a bulldozer, and we can see the results.”
“What’s shameful is this pressure placed on us to say that if we don’t hurry, it’ll be the apocalypse,” he added, saying that “climate diplomacy” means leaders are seeking to force changes to suit their own political timetables.
According to L’Express magazine, unions at France Television called for Mr Verdier to be fired, but that Delphine Ernotte, the broadcaster’s chief executive, initially said he should be allowed to stay “in the name of freedom of expression”.