Sarkozy’s Climate Conversion

French Ex-President Sarkozy has come out as a climate sceptic—sort of. WUWT has the story, and Benoît Rittaud is covering it (in French) here and here.

Sarkozy is not exactly famous for precision of thought. His “position” as expressed in a press interview, translates thus:

“We’ve had a climate conference and there’s been a lot of talk about climate chaos. It’s very interesting, but the climate has been changing for 4.5 billion years. Man is not wholly responsible for this change.”

As Benoît notes, the importance lies, not in the specifics of Sarkozy’s intimate convictions on the subject, (he is well-known for making outrageous off-the-cuff statements which are later retracted or simply forgotten) but in the fact that discussion is no longer taboo.

Benoît continues:

Let’s be clear: this is not an appeal to vote for Sarkozy in the forthcoming presidential elections, especially as his simultaneous declarations on the so-called “demographic time bomb” were just as anti-scientific and backward-looking as the most extreme forms of climate alarmism.

And quotes a relevant warning from his book “La Peur Exponentielle”:

Climate sceptics are often asked to explain what they think are the “real problems” facing the planet, as if it was taken for granted that the end of the world is nigh and the only question was how this end was to come about. “Let us be afraid” is the demand of those who reproach sceptics for their refusal of the idea of a coming climate disaster.

In the face of such a question, the natural reaction is to demonstrate one’s good faith by proposing some alternative apocalypse: access to drinking water; urban pollution; problems of energy resources; inequality, and so on. Whatever one thinks of these other problems, their highlighting allows them to become integrated into the dominant discourse, which is based above all on the concepts of fear and repentance.

And finishes with a quote from the presentation he gave (in English) at the recent London “New Dawn of Truth” conference.

So, in a sense, the climate fear is the newest avatar of the irrational exponential fear. It is not the first one. And it is probably not the last. Hence, we should be concerned by the fact that, sooner or later, it will be replaced by another one. (…)

May we be able to prevent its emergence.


  1. As an IT professional I observed an interesting phenomena – that was where some truly intelligent people would stop thinking altogether when faced with something new. Their intelligence went into reverse and they sometimes even shot below their less gifted workmates. They used their intelligence to convince themselves that they wouldn’t understand so shouldn’t even try. Climate is the same. Despite there being numerous easily understood issues – including what we do about it and how much it would cost they shy away from all of it because they fear the science. This applies to people on both sides of the fence. Which is why so many political sceptics make such a bodge of debating against the warmists. Both sides take a position and then stop thinking about it.

    The cost of CO2 reduction is what’s slowly waking people up. It turns out that cutting CO2 is both hard and expensive. Even the most science phobic PPE graduate must eventually see the bills rolling in while we’re not making much progress. The first steps of rebellion is throwing out a few daring words to see how many people feel the same way.

    For a while now, British politics has been full of touchy feely, emotional politicians who don’t just refuse to look at technical aspects, when it comes to AGW, they feel it’s somehow wrong to even look at any of the issues. Like a betrayal of trust. Of course warmists have pushed that with their denier accusations. Cameron was very much a Lib Demy type of guy and while I thought he gave them charge of climate as a cunning plan, it turned out he was thick and thought energy wasn’t important enough to give to someone with brains. The Conservatives are still treating energy supply as a luxury we can take or leave, it should have been given to a tough, industry savvy politician. To be fair May has a lot on her plate but without energy, we’ve got nothing to make Brexit or staying in the EU work.

    Is Sarkosy brighter than them? Or is he just feeling out the other side as a cynical desire to acquire an untapped following?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What has he actually said that marks him out as a man-made climate change sceptic? Nothing. A few off-the-cuff statements which very few down-to-earth climate scientists would disagree with, basically acknowledging the very long natural heritage of climate change and challenging the arrogant assumption by some that we are now the sole drivers of climate change in the modern era, in addition to pointing out what should be bloody obvious that industrial emissions did not create the Sahara Desert. Totally, utterly unremarkable. The fact that the media is reporting this as an ‘event’, as the ‘coming out’ of Sarkozy as a climate sceptic, seems to be evidence of how much of a death grip extreme left wing nutters, eco-loons and political activists have on the climate change narrative. The merest hint that climate change past and present was not/may not be due to demonic anthropogenic CO2 is now heresy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interestingly Sarkozy is also demanding that immigrants become French. Oh Mon Dieu it’s as if he’s started listening to what the people really want as opposed to what politicians keep telling them they want.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Unlike Jaime, but with Benoît, I think what Sarkozy said is hugely significant. Here’s another such straw in the wind – what Simon Jenkins wrote about the London luvvies in the Evening Standard yesterday:

    This week Roth’s V&A has opened a dazzling exhibition, You Say You Want a Revolution: Records and Rebels 1966-1970, on the counter-culture of the Sixties. It depicts an uprising against conventional politics, taste and opinion, a burst of outrage, a shake-up of the system. It broke down established taboos and demanded a daring radicalism.

    Brexit confronts the establishment with just such a “counter-culture”. The old guard has experienced a political Woodstock. The outsiders have risen in revolt against the risk-averse insiders. The fusty old Remainers should recognise the challenge. They should visit Roth’s exhibition, snap their chains and join the new.

    I don’t think Sarkozy would have broken cover, even as a confused sceptic, without the example of Brexit. Let’s help some more snap their chains and join the new.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If Nicolas catches too much heat from the bien-pensant class (whom I understand to be just as powerful in France as anywhere in the Anglosphere), he can always say he forgot the /sark tag.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. @Brad Keyes, Sarkozy forgot the /sark tag? Say again slowly…

    The Trump discovered an ingenious marketing strategy. Keep on saying the most outrageous things you can think of and you’ll get unlimited free coverage. Is it not possible that Sarkozy, whose political career is in dire need of resurrection, has adopted this now-proven methodology?


  7. TINYCO2
    “Is Sarkozy brighter than them? Or is he just feeling out the other side as a cynical desire to acquire an untapped following?”

    No; and not that either. Sarkozy is a sail-close-to-the-wind weathercock. He’s facing a close election in the primaries in December to choose a single rightwing candidate. Whoever wins will almost certainly face Marine le Pen of the Front National in the second round run off in the presidential election in April 2017. If it’s conservative ex-prime minister Alain Juppé, some socialists will hold their noses and vote for him to keep le Pen out. If it’s Sarkozy, they’ll probably stay at home and le Pen may win.

    Sarkozy’s one political aim is to become president in order to stay out of jail. One case against him was dropped today, but there are still three or four investigations which may lead to him being formally charged at any time. The most interesting is the little matter of suitcases of banknotes from the late Colonel Gadaffi. The most dangerous is about a 20 million euro overspend in his election campaign.

    His current tactic seems to be to stay in the news at all costs. The day after climate scepticism, it was his insistence that newly naturalised immigrants must accept that their ancestors were Gauls. To the media it’s just one insanity after another. I’m afraid Benoît’s hope that this may open up the “Pandora’s Box” of discussion may be a shade optimistic. As a commenter at his blog said (in English) “with friends like these…”

    Liked by 1 person

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