Climatoscepticisme à la française

[This article grew out of a comment I left on a French sceptical site which I mention below, which got some very positive reactions. I hope to encourage French-speaking sceptics to participate in the discussion. It’s clear from reading French sceptic sites that many French sceptics have no trouble reading English, but may feel nervous about writing it. Please feel free to make comments in French if you want, and I’ll translate them, (if they’re not too long!)] 

I’ve been meaning to write about climate scepticism in France for a long time. As I indicated at

https://geoffchambers.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/in-praise-of-french-ecologists/

it’s not easy to do without going into a lot of background detail about the politics and the state of the media. The arguments used on both sides are pretty much identical to those heard in Britain or the USA, but the cultural differences mean that the debate can seem utterly different in its nature.

A major difference arises from the French electoral system, which ensures the presence of a sizeable group of Ecology Party MPs. The French public are also familiar with dozens of other Green Party personalities who are not in parliament; Eva Joly, the Norwegian-born examining magistrate; José Bové, the moustachioed pipe-smoking peasant; Nicolas Hulot the presenter of popular TV nature programmes; Dany Cohn Bendit the Franco-German hero of May ‘68 – these and many others give ecology a political and media presence which the British Ecology Party can’t hope to equal, and which is out of all proportion to their political support, which hovers round 2-3% in national elections.

The French attachment to its culinary and agricultural traditions also gives ecology  a very specifically French air. It’s much more about protecting French cuisine against the invasion of “le fast food” than about the ethical puritanism of the Anglo-Saxon variety. Dismantling a Macdonalds is a more popular stunt than climbing a power station chimney. And anyway, power station chimneys are a rare sight, since France’s electricity is 80% nuclear, relatively cheap, and available for export when Britain’s coal-fired stations wheeze their last gasp.

Despite the fact that the French ecology movement seems more aesthetic than technical when compared to the equivalent movements in English-speaking countries, there’s plenty of room for debate about  “le Changement Climatique”. This is largely due to the pathetically poor quality of French TV. There are loads of channels, many of them minority channels concentrating on news and culture in order to attract the moneyed middle classes and the advertising aimed at them. So there’s lots of debate on the telly, though it’s late at night and attracts small audiences. Debate is cheap, particularly if it’s between intellectuals who will appear for free in order to push their latest book.

There are at least three prominent French scientists who are vocal climate sceptics. Paul Reiter and Vincent Courtillot, both of whom are on the Academic Advisory Board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, are probably too grand to appear on the average TV debate (please correct me if I’m wrong about that!).

The third sceptical scientist, Claude Allegre, a distinguished vulcanologist, is probably the only climate sceptic who is a household name in France – unfortunately. Unfortunately, because Allegre was recently one of the most hated figures in French politics. He was unknown to the French public until in 1997 he was made Education Minister by his old friend, socialist prime minister Lionel Jospin,  and immediately announced his intention to “cut the fat off the mammoth”. All education ministers announce their intention to streamline the French education system and reduce its impressive budget, but few as crudely as Allegre. His career ended as the careers of most French education ministers do, with millions of students and teachers on the streets demonstrating. Allegre added a touch of North Korean-style contempt for democracy by refusing to talk to the press for ten months. Teachers are the backbone of the socialist party, and also the core audience for late night tv debates. The chance of persuading any of them to take climate scepticism seriously are vanishingly small, given their lasting hatred for the only sceptic known to the public.

Allegre did nothing to improve his reputation when he published a book, “l’Imposture Climatique” in the form of a long interview with a journalist, a style of book which is unfortunately very popular. It’s quick and cheap to produce, but the result is usually pretty rubbishy. Allegre’s scepticism is perfectly orthodox, of the Lomborg / GWPF variety, but a number of graphs which seemed to have been drawn by a five-year-old made the book an easy target, and the environment correspondent of “Libération” replied with a book “L’imposture – C’est Lui”.

I watched a couple of TV debates recently, one of which featured Jean Jouzel, vice-president of the IPCC, who was seconded by an Ecology party  MEP, and opposed by Pascal Bruckner, a well-known essayist (or philosopher, as the French  call almost anyone who writes a book) and Benoît Rittaud, a maths lecturer who has written a book called “le Mythe Climatique”, which was rubbished by Jouzel in le Figaro a few years ago.

The debate started predictably. Jouzel speaks well, and properly refused to attribute the recent hurricane in the Philippines to global warming. The ecologist burbled about putting energy production under the control of local authorities, as if a windmill and a solar panel on every mairie would do the trick. Pascal Bruckner was little better, in my opinion. He’s established a solid reputation as an opponent of “la pensée unique” – the unfortunate herd mentality of French thinkers which makes them a prey to whatever intellectual craze is in fashion – and he’s a trenchant  critic of the green taste for self-flagellation. But there’s only so many times you can say “I’m not a scientist, but…” in a debate without seeming ridiculous.

Rittaud made some good points, but as soon as he got on to the 15-year pause in temperature rise Jouzel was onto him, interrupting continuously, and the debate deteriorated into a shouting match, as French TV debates usually do.

[When they’re dodging bullets on the streets of Damascus (and sometimes, alas, not dodging them) French journalists are second to none. But when it comes to mastering a subject in order to conduct a live debate, they’re about as useful as the French Highway Code is for negotiating French traffic].

This used to annoy me, but I put it down to a cultural difference which is not entirely negative. It goes with the tolerance of disruptive demonstrations, disorderly queuing and a lot of other things. George Orwell made a similar observation about the Republican Army outfit he was attached to in the Spanish Civil War. Anarchy and disorder are annoying at first, but you can have too much discipline and rationality. (Orwell made the point in a quasi-racist way which I hope I’ve avoided).

I found a post by Benoît Rittaud at

http://www.skyfall.fr/?p=1247

and left a comment, suggesting that it would be interesting to compare the way the climate debate is conducted in the two countries. My comment got a lot of encouraging replies, which is what prompted this article.

I hope my brief caricature of the French debate is not too cruel or misleading. Comments on cultural differences between countries are always false in some way, and often appear condescending or insulting. Please don’t hesitate to point out any mistakes.

The two other French blogs I’ve looked at, and which I’ll be exploring further, besides Skyfall, are

http://www.pensee-unique.fr/index.html

http://climatdeterreur.info/index.php/fr/ 

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38 Responses to Climatoscepticisme à la française

  1. There is a paper by Grundmann & Scott,
    “Disputed climate science in the media: Do countries matter”.
    you can find it on the web and there’s a discussion of it at klimazwiebel. They say
    “Sceptics are much more visible in the USA and France compared to Germany and the UK.”

    Seemingly in contradiction is
    “Cross-national comparison of the presence of climate scepticism in the print media in six countries, 2007–10”
    by Painter and Ashe (again I think you can find it with google)
    which says there is more media scepticism in the UK and US than in other countries including France.

    Which if either of these is more correct in your experience of both countries Geoff?

  2. Thanks Paul.
    Grundmann is one of the good guys, a sociologist at Aston who wrote a reasonable analysis of Climategate.

    They may be compatible, since visibility is much a matter of being invited on debates and chat shows, and Allegre got a lot of that when he was an active politician, and even after, whereas the print media are largely in the politically correct centre left Guardian mould.
    There’s an analysis of post-AR5 reporting in the English speaking countries versus in France and Germany, at
    http://www.pensee-unique.fr/news.html#ar5
    They complain rightly of the paucity of scepticism in the French-speaking countries.
    The problem, briefly, is the”pensée unique” I mentioned in the article – the herd instinct in the little world of French intellectuals, and Parisian journalists in particular. Plus the élitist tendency of the arts-educated élite to look down on anything involving numbers. I mentioned Pascal Bruckner, who is an interesting writer (Bishop Hill had an article not long ago about a book of his recently translated) but was quite incapable of taking part in the debate between the climate scientist Jouzel and the mathematician Rittaud, though there was nothing in it that would have fazed an average “Today” or “Newsnight” reporter. He just didn’t know his stuff. There’s too much polished phraseology and not enough content in much French “thought”.
    On the other hand, the anarchic nature of much of the media, particularly the TV, means that stuff gets through which would certainly not pass the BBC filter. The idea of commissioning reports on impartiality would seem crazy to a French editor, I suspect. The French way is to get lots of people who disagree with each other into a studio and hope the sparks fly.
    A commenter at Skyfall has recommended a guy called Serge Gamal who does mathematical modelling of something he’s invented called sociophysics. This article looks extremely interesting:
    “Collective beliefs versus individual inflexibility: The unavoidable biases of a public debate”
    Serge Galam
    Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications (Impact Factor: 1.68). 01/2011; 390:3036-3054. DOI:10.1016/j.physa.2011.03.021
    ABSTRACT The combined effects of collective beliefs and individual inflexibility in the dynamics of a public debate are investigated using the Galam sequential probabilistic model of opinion dynamics. The study is focused on pair interactions for which the bias produced by collective beliefs is the decisive factor to win the debate. The current value of that bias is a fixed external parameter. It is a constant of the problem not given to change. In contrast, inflexibility is an individual property. It results from external ingredients, which are susceptible to be modified during the debate. More precisely, giving some beliefs we determine the required inflexibility to oppose its associated bias in the debate outcome. The results shed a new and counter intuitive light on paradoxical outcomes of sensitive issues, which are discussed in the public. The cases of global warming issue and debate over evolution are discussed.

  3. Fritz says:

    Geoff
    Please free to make comments in French if you want;
    Est-ce qu’il ne manque pas “feel” dans la phrase ci-dessus ?

  4. Fritz says:

    @Paul Matthews
    In France we say ” je vois le verre à moitié vide , d’autres dirons qu’il est à moitié plein ” It is the same for températures : some see they grow , other fall , in fact they don’t change since scientific measurements are done
    Now , I have to read Geoff’s paper , because I began with the comments

  5. Fritz
    Merci! Corrigé.

  6. jean l says:

    Your sight about the climate issue in my country seems fair enough to me. I’m OK with you, also, concerning Courtillot and Allegre (sorry, I ‘ve never heard of Reiter : a great unknown here, it seems). No big mistakes, Mr Chambers !

  7. Fritz, on dit le meme en anglais!
    Geoff, Reiner Grundmann is now at Nottingham. As you say he seems to be one of few sociologists who study the subject with objectivity.

  8. tlitb1 says:

    Fascinating incite thanks! Regarding Paul Reiter I don’t know if you remember, but he featured quite prominently in The Great Global Warming Swindle a few years back.

  9. tlitb1 says:

    Lol! freudian slip? I meant something more like “Fascinating insight thanks!”🙂

  10. TonyN says:

    Geoff
    A mundane and rather off topic question I’m afraid, but why is French electricity relatively cheap when 80% is nuclear generated? The received wisdom here is that nuclear is very expensive; on a par with wind. Where are we going wrong?

  11. scaletrans says:

    Good show Geoff. I am afraid your were NOT ENOUGH cruel with the French climate columnists🙂
    Anyway I put your blog among my favourites
    Keeping in touch

  12. TonyN
    It’s possible the French don’t account for decommissioning properly in their costing. Everyone thought nuclear was cheap in England until Thatcher tried to privatise it, and no-one would buy it because of the completely unknown cost of decommissioning.
    (It’s amusing how defenders of free enterprise describe themselves as the risk takers, when the most risky situations in life are left to public servants:- the enemy in battle; the sick and dying in hospitals; and the kids in schools).
    jean1
    Paul Reiter is one of the world’s leading medical entomologists, specialising in insect-born diseases. He caused the first major IPCC (GIEC) scandal in 2001 when he resigned from the second working group and demanded that his name be removed from the report, because the section of which he was lead author didn’t reflect his views.
    He’s French, works at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, but the Wikipaedia articles on him exist only in English and German (the German article is not a trranslation of the English, but has different references). Something very strange there.

  13. Dear Geoff,
    Thank you for this post. Some points I would like to emphasize (apologiez in advance for the spelling mistakes) :
    – The problem of language. In France, only a few people are able to read English, or any other foreign language (let alone to be able to hear criticism when coming from strangers).
    – The problem of scientific awareness. Most of our politicians and leaders simply do not know what science is.
    – The fact that the main political parties agree on most of subjects. The meme of “pensée unique” is not always without reality : many political subjects that are in debate in the USA or the UK just cannot exist in France. Global warming is only a small example. I don’t know why, maybe it is because of our tendency to be “moutonniers” (acting like sheeps,i.e.: do not go out of the herd).

    Hope that criticism like yours will be useful us. In France we need criticism, but we even more need help.

  14. Benoît Rittaud
    Many thanks for your comments. You probably know that the English are even worse than the French when it comes to foreign languages, and our parliamentarians are no better at science. There are two M.P.s (=députés) with science degrees that I know of; Graham Stringer (Labour) and Peter Lilley (Conservative) both of them sceptics.
    On the presence or not of sceptics in the media, see Paul Matthews’ question above and my attempt to answer it.
    In a sense there’s more visibility to scepticism in France, because of the more anarchic state of the media. The fact that someone as eminent as Jauzel had an article in le Figaro critcizing your book – that would never happen in England. The most important sceptical book in England is certainly Andrew Montford’s “The Hockey Stick Illusion”. It’s unthinkable that any prominent scientist in Britain would even mention it.
    The BBC has undoubtedly higher standards in its treatment of serious subjects than most of the French TV and radio – but just because of their serious attitude, they commissioned a serious study of impartiality in science which effectively censors discusssion of climate scepticism.
    I hope these examples demonstrate that it’s extremely difficult to make valid cross-cultural comparisons, and hence to answer Paul Matthews’ question. (He’s a maths lecturer, like you, which is maybe why he asks awkward questions).

    PS. For general information about the state of scepticism in Britain, the best blog (our Wattsupwiththat) is undoubtedly Andrew Montford’s
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/
    Would Skyfall be interested in an article about the state of the debate in Britain, with references to useful blogs?

  15. Nicias says:

    the Fritz,
    On dit aussi, et pas que nos amis écologistes, “l’herbe est toujours plus verte ailleurs”🙂

    Geoff,

    Yes, I didn’t remember him so I made a quick search and the first reference is Wikipedia in English !
    French Wikipedia is smaller and Paul Reiter seems to work a lot outside France.

  16. Fritz says:

    @Ben,
    Je pense que dans le pays des droits de l’homme on n’est pas si moutonnier que tu dis ; mais c’est vrai que cette histoire remonte à plus de 2 siècles ; je pense simplement que les Français ( à part les médias et les politiques ) pensent simplement que le problème du réchauffement n’en est pas un ; mais dès qu’on veut leur imposer une écotaxe , la réaction est violente ; donc les Français laissent parler les journaux et les politiques de cette pseudo science climatologique tant que ceux-ci n’en profitent pas pour s’ingérer dans leur vie active
    Geoff, you can translate
    [translation]
    “I think in the country of the Rights of Man we’re not as sheeplike as you say, but it’s true that’s going back two centuries.
    I think the French (apart from the media and the politicians) just don’t think global warming is a problem, but as soon as you try and impose an Ecotax, there’s a violent reaction. So the French let the papers and the politicians talk about the pseudoscience of climate, as long as they don’t take advantage of it to interfere in their everyday lives.”

    [Agreed: note that few French people read a serious national daily paper – 8% the last time I looked – but journalists of the serious papers and weekly magazines are very conspicuous on tv talk shows, and are prolific writers of books and pamphlets]

  17. Geoff, be careful: with all these comments from France, your blog is becomming a Skyfall-bis. That’s a problem: how would you translate Skyfall in English?😉
    Your discussion about climate-skepticism in UK and France is interesting and a little bit paradoxical for me, since the Bishop’s, the GWPF, Durkin’s Great Global Warming Swindle or Lord Monckton do not have their French counterpart. But indeed, since the failure of Copenhagen, there are some known French skeptics on TV sometimes. The television programme “C dans l’air” (France 5), which often organizes debates around climate change, regularly allows a skeptic to present his point of view. I was invited there several months ago, I can tell you from the number of e-mail I got hereafter that it has some audience. At that time, Jean Jouzel was also present (French theorem: climate debate => Jean Jouzel), but much less vocal than he was on LCP (a friend of mine suggested that some communicational coaching took place there).

  18. Would Skyfall be interested in an article about the state of the debate in Britain, with references to useful blogs?

    Yes, indeed !

  19. Benoît Rittaud
    Great! I’ve actually got more readers from France Belgium and Switzerland today than from Britain!

    I often watch C dans l’Air on economic and political subjects. It’s the only discussion programme where they’re reasonably polite to each other, though it’s possibly because they’re all rather “pensée unique” – at least on economic matters. And, dear British readers, it’s on five days a week for two uninterrupted hours in the early evening, repeated later; now that’s discussion for you.

    It occurs to me that cultural comparisons may be deceiving, since each country passes through different phases at different times. The BBC, for instance, was at one time serious and authoritative (but rather boring). Then, in the sixties and seventies it became more adventurous and irreverent and therefore more entertaining, and now its declining into triviality.
    But of course, my own aging process plays a part in forming my views. I’m old enough to remember when the BBC first dared show comedians parodying the prime minister – at a time when de Gaulle was still writing the questions that were put to him by interviewers.

  20. Nicias says:

    Thanks Geoff !
    Surprenant, je pensais que le débat était beaucoup plus ouvert chez les Grand Bretons, visiblement ce n’est pas vraiment votre vision*. Je dois dire que je n’ai plus de télévision depuis longtemps et la BBC n’autorise pas les étrangers à regarder ses programmes sur internet (en même temps, on paye déjà notre redevance télé à nous, beaucoup moins chère et on en a pour notre argent, ce qui donne plutôt envie de payer moins). Il n’y a plus de monopole de la BBC, qu’en est-il des autres chaînes ? Murdoch ?
    Je ne lis plus beaucoup les journaux non plus, surtout les français. Par contre je lis un peu le Guardian et quelques autres dont je ne connais pas trop la sensibilité politique (H/T BH pour les articles climatosceptiques qui paraissent), ni les tirages (probablement 10 fois supérieurs au plus gros journal français). Le Guardian n’est pas différent de nos journaux de gauche, la parole climato-sceptique y est inexistante. Pour les autres journaux britanniques, je ne me souviens pas d’y avoir vu des scientifiques sceptiques s’exprimer alors qu’il me semble qu’il existe des journalistes climatosceptiques dans ces journaux. En France, les journalistes sont anti-climatosceptiques et verrouillent les articles, ce qui ne nous empêche pas d’avoir droit de temps en temps à une tribune d’un climato-sceptique dans un journal national.

    On a pas de Graham Stringer en France, ni de Peter Lilley. Pas plus que de Lawson ou GWPF.
    ——
    About french nuclear electricity.
    It’s cheaper now because investment is a huge part of the costs and nuclear plants were paid during their first 30 life years.
    French nuclear is cheaper than everywhere else (taking account of the load factor) because we did it fine🙂 (standardisation, economies of scale…).
    French price do account for decommissioning costs properly. The majority of our plant are based on an American design and there is at less 2 plants of the same kind in the USA that have been already decommissioned (“retour à l’herbe”). We have a good idea of how much it will

    [Thanks. Very interesting about French nuclear. Here’s the translation of the first part:
    Surprising. I thought the debate was more open among the Brits. Apparently it’s not your point of view. I must say it’s a long time since I’ve watched television, and the BBC doesn’t let foreigners watch its programmes on the internet (and we already pay our own TV licence, much cheaper, and you get what you pay for, which makes you want to pay even less). The BBC no longer has a monopoly. What about the other channels? Murdoch?
    I don’t read many newspapers either, especially not French ones. On the other hand I read the Guardian a bit and some others without knowing much about their political leanings. (h/t to BH for the sceptic articles) nor their sales (probably ten times the sales of the biggest French papers).
    The Guardian is no different from our leftwing papers – climate scepticism is inexistent. In the other British papers, I can’t remember seeing anything by sceptical scientists, although I think there are sceptical journalists in these papers. In France the papers are anti-climate sceptic, which effectively prevents the appearance of climate sceptic opinion pieces in a national paper.
    There’s no Stringer or Lilley in France, nor a Lawson or a GWPF.]

  21. Murps says:

    Hello
    When I used to be a teen, I have always been told that BBC news were an example of objectivity regarding to the standards of international journalism. It cannot be worse than the french TV, as you said above. I confirm that french journalists have all a real lack of independance (they are from the same high schools than our politics ), they regularly get subsidies from the differents governments.

    One of the leader of the ecologists has been for years a TV newscaster, others are or were maried with politicians, ministers, they mary the politicians in a proportion you can guess, think that the french first Lady is journalist !
    There is a real fascination for the french journalists for authorities.
    How can you do your job correctly if you are a friend of the people you are supposed to interview ?

    Moreover there is a lot of mortuary and claim from many of our them, they pretend to know what is good and bad, what must be said and what shouldn’t be said.
    Its not facts, it’s opinions.

    This might be the reason of the decline of french newspapers, and the absence of real debate on AGW…

    Sorry for my english, I tried my best.

    Murps

  22. Murps says:

    Ooops…
    I think that the word “mortuary” should be replaced by “peacockery” or something like that.
    Hope you understand the text…

  23. Lewis Deane says:

    Geoff,

    Before I read what I have no doubt will be, as always, a fascinating and well written piece (I notice you did get our French friends to comment! Oh la) I wanted to paste a kind of reply to a comment you made on Bishop Hills (you’ll remember the context):

    Bish,

    This is a bit late, but never mind. I don’t think any of us really know what the Left or the Right really mean, now. Hence, as you imply, there is no ‘Identikit’.Tim Yeo vs Graham Stringer. My family, for many generations, always voted Labour. My dad is still a Trotskyite – bless his socks (Reminds me of an old story about Confucius – he and his friends where walking down some road and they came across an old man, squatting by the way. And Confucius started beating him with his stick. His friends tried to hold him back, asking “What are you doing?”. He said “I can respect a young man trying to discover himself but a man of 60?!”). There was a Left that hated the State (in those days it was called ‘bourgeois’) and deeply distrusted, knew it for the corporatist, incestuous, slug of a parasite that it is (isn’t the State always a parasite, a foreign body?). Of course, they had ‘absurd’ dreams of a better world – but don’t we all? Hence, on this, I’m with Goeff, though I will never vote Labour – or Tory (or UKIP, for other reasons).

    Merely because it will probably get lost and it was in support of you (it was also very late – as always). And as I’m listening to the Music of the Sphears – George Osborne – God knows why? – I just wanted to say I very much enjoy your blog – only could I have learned that there is a right-wing, racist party named after my dubious educator, Ezra Pound. You paint well, too!

  24. Lewis Deane says:

    ‘only here’ etc sorry

  25. Lewis Deane says:

    I’m reading but I can’t help thinking of Proudhon – philosophy de la miseria, to which Marx replied…?

  26. Lewis Deane
    I don’t think I’d agree with you much about politics (maybe with your dad?) I don’t think Confucius would approve of me, either.
    Yes, Ezra Pound is a dubious educator, but doesn’t he write well? And in Canto 12 there’s a marvellous dirty joke…

  27. Lewis Deane says:

    Good stuff but I realise you were being polite (I wish xp didn’t insist on American spelling! – most annoying) I try to watch those French debates, ever since I was a kid, even though my French is less than passable. You know the Romance languages – do you know German? It would be interesting to ‘see’ what’s happening there. I have a little Czech and in the East they are becoming very much against – history, you see? What we ‘against’ people might call ‘balanced’ and our Guardian friends very much against – their blue stocking would certainly fall down! Please write more about what you know of the European ‘debate’. Most engaging. And don’t be polite!🙂

  28. Lewis Deane says:

    Geoff, I would give you my Cantos pdf but I think I stole it. When I met the mother of my kid at four in the morning in Trafalgar Square I had just (!) been to the Modern Poets Library on the South Bank and had his old red book. Well, guess what?, she asked me to read and we were there till seven. That’s how love begins!

  29. Lewis Deane says:

    Baldy’s interest
    Was in money business.
    “No interest in any other kind uv bisnis,” …..
    Being now unpopular with the Cubans.

  30. Lewis Deane says:

    Sorry for this – I do tend to over-comment – do what Ben Pile does and put them all in one comment? But I was thinking there few really ‘big’ books that I have read from cover to cover and really read – the bible (I think I’m one of very few atheists that has done so – and for pleasure – I mean in its entirety), Edward Gibbons Decline and Fall and the Cantos. I would say Montaigne’s Essays but I purposefully never read his last Essay because I loved him so much I never wanted to leave him. I remember buying that in ’91 and have it still.

  31. Nicias says:

    Geoff
    In France the papers are anti-climate sceptic, which effectively prevents the appearance of climate sceptic opinion pieces in a national paper.”
    Désolé, un petit contresens, Perhaps it was poorly written, even in French🙂
    It should be “In France the journalists [the papers too of course :)] are anti-climate sceptic, but that doesn’t prevent opinion pieces from scientists to be published”
    It seems to me that’s the opposite in England. There is climate sceptic journalists but no opinion pieces from scientists.
    But we need real data, not our biased judgement. That’s what i learned from your post.

    If you want to write a guest post on Skyfall, please use my, or Ben, email address. Our web-master is very buzzy.

  32. Lewis Deane
    You’re way ahead of me in your reading, but I’ve got more Montaigne to look forward to😉 And I’ll be polite if I want to – you can’t stop me. See my comment under yours at Ben’s
    http://www.climate-resistance.org/2013/11/what-is-science.html

    Nicias
    Thanks. Here are some regular sceptical voices in the British press.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/author/jamesdelingpole/
    http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/home/search.html?s=y&authornamef=David+Rose
    Rose is a journalist. Delingpole is a humorous blogger, but very well informed. Booker is an excellent ex-investigative journalist with a tribune in the Sunday Telegraph.
    No prominent climate scientists are willing to come forward as sceptics, though there are plenty of protests about the extreme positions taken by the Royal Society and the BBC.

    Cheers everybody. I’m off to Paris for a few days.

  33. Lewis, regarding your question of what’s happening in Germany, I was amused to see recently that two German blogs (DIe Kalte Sonne and EIKE) have posted German translations of one of my posts, see
    Vorhersage-Flop des UK Met Office 2007
    which has a link to the other one. These blogs have blogrolls linking to others, suggesting that there is a moderately active Klimaskeptikerblogwelt.

  34. Lewis Deane says:

    Ah, our friend has been called before the Comité de salut public!

  35. Lewis Deane says:

    Thanks, Paul. I read Klimazweibal (can’t remember how to spell it) which gives me some idea.

  36. Lewis Deane says:

    klimazwiebel.blogspot.com My laziness.

  37. Lewis Deane says:

    For Geoff, When he comes back (If the Comite lets him!): http://poetryintranslation.com/ a real gem – his translations are some of the best I’ve ever read and he’s a damn good thinker/poet himself.

  38. Nicias says:

    Thanks Geoff !
    I’m not aware of any climate sceptic French journalist but I will ask on Skyfall if someone knows one. I will also ask for a list of climate sceptic French scientists and politicians.

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