France: Weak Link in the Climate Maginot Line?

Paul Matthews recently commented on the French government’s position on petrol-driven vehicles.

They’re against. While 99.9% of French citizens are for. We’ll see how that plays out.

I’ve finally updated the transcription of the French TV debate in which our French colleague climatosceptique Benoît Rittaud wiped the floor with one of France’s favourite environmentalists Yann Arthus Bertrand. If you read it you may notice that Audrey Pulvar, the journalist chairing the debate, shows a remarkable bias towards the three wallies opposed to Benoit, but has great difficulty in fixing the debate in their favour. She brings Benoît on first, a bit like putting the suspect first in an identity parade, exactly as George Monbiot did with Steve McIntyre in the Guardian Climategate debate.

All is now made clear. Audrey has said goodbye to 25 years of TV journalism in order to take the place of Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot at the head of his Foundation (the Nicolas Hulot Foundation for Nature and Man).


So Audrey Pulvar, star journalist, and past mistress (is that the feminine of past master?) of Socialist minister and would-be presidential candidate Arnaud Montebourg, is now Presidente of a Foundation which, according to the Canard Enchainé, benefits from the rights of numerous products bearing the name of Nicholas Hulot’s TV programme “Ushuaïa” – worth three million euros in the pocket of the founder of the “Fondation Nicolas Hulot” – recently named Ecology minister and third in precedence in Macron’s government – Nicolas Hulot. Well done Audrey Pulvar. Montebourg was simply an unsuccessful candidate for the unsuccessful socialist candidature for the presidential election. While Nicolas Hulot, without ever being elected to anything, finds himself third in importance in the French government.

And those products (according to the Canard Enchainé) are (according to Greenpeace and the WWF) chock-full of nasty chemicals. Which is why the green Nicolas Hulot could never win an election within the green movement. But he’s long been one of France’s favourite political figures, despite never being elected to anything (but neither was Macron.)

If you follow French politics even a little, you will know that Macron, three months into his mandate, and with a huge parliamentary majority, is screwed. He is toast. He’s promised Madam Merkel that he will obey her every edict. Unemployment is going to rise due to his austerity measures, and especially here where I live, where we’ve just elected a Front National MP, and Macron will soon be as unpopular as the last three or five French Presidents.

This is important because President Macron came out of the recent G20 meeting promoting a future Paris meeting to save the planet, just as it was saved in 2015 by the COP21. The same journalists are going to repeat the same facts about the hottest July since records began, and the same non-actions will be non-executed. And Macron will make sure that he’s at the heart of the non-action to save the planet. But in the real world there are real workers ready to blow up real factories to save their real jobs, and real voters are going to understand where their real interests lie.

But where is that? And which of 27 European countries will realise first where their real interests lie?


  1. Not really very black? WTF? That could only come from someone who has no experience of discrimination. I hope you are happy with your national front MP, Geoff.

    As for the real interests of the French, do you think cutting CO2 emissions will hurt them? As a socialist, you cannot believe that state involvement in the economy is bad, nor that subsidies are bad. You also have no idea how much nuclear power has been or is subsidized. So why should state action to cut CO2, suitably lubricated with state funds, do any harm?


  2. “But in the real world there are real workers ready to blow up real factories to save their real jobs…”

    Did you mean “not” blow up their factories? A better way to save their jobs.


  3. “Did you mean “not” blow up their factories? A better way to save their jobs.”

    According to my recollections of the 1970s culminating in the ‘Winter of Discontent’, I can assure you that there was – probably still is, judging by Corbyn’s success – a considerable faction of the Trade Union movement – Crazy Arthur Scargill’s disciples for example – that couldn’t see there was any problem whatsoever with blowing up their factories to save their jobs.


    You’re right. It’s a stupid remark, so I’ve removed it. It was an ironical comment on Pulvar’s position at the beginning of her career as the token black journalist. Now French TV is more normal, so it’s irrelevant. More relevant is the fact that she continued to do political reporting when she was the companion of a government minister and is now running the foundation of another government minister.

    Threatening to blow up their factory is actually proving quite effective way of pressuring the government. Two clients (Renault and PSA, partly government owned) have coughed up 9 million to save the factory, though it may not be enough.


  5. Geoff, you didn’t answer, why should state action to cut CO2, suitably lubricated with state funds, do any harm?


  6. “suitably lubricated with state funds


    There are no “state funds”.

    Every red cent of “state funds” comes from and belongs to the taxpayer.

    Unless you are one of the parasite class who work for the state, of course (note I DO NOT include the likes of doctors, nurses, firefighters, police or any of the ‘sharp end’ public employees in the parasite class)…

    Now, I wonder what YOU do for a living, Martinez?


  7. Are you Geoff’s poodle? And what if I were one of those who does payroll for doctors and nurses, or one of those who recruits potential police, or one who works in tax or vat collection that obtains the money from people and companies that is used to pay police and firefighters, or an admin who provides computer services for hospitals and police stations, or if I’m in maintenance or cleaning for the tax office, or… are they all the parasite class? How many example of people in essential jobs would it take to get beyond your idiotic notion that public employees not at the “sharp end” are parasites?

    As a Marxist (I think that is right), Geoff’s opinion on why state action to reduce CO2 emissions would be harmful is of great interest, probably not just to me. I may be wrong, but I had thought that Marxists were not normally against state involvement in the economy. Geoff must have given this some thought, so his explanation for this contradiction would be educational for us all.


  8. “And what if I were one of those who…”

    I refer you to Matthew 7:16.

    Thus we know YOU.



    What Catweazle said. And he and I are 180° apart on things politic, I think.

    “As a socialist, you cannot believe that state involvement in the economy is bad… why should state action to cut CO2, suitably lubricated with state funds, do any harm?”

    Why should state action to cut off the goolies of ardent warmists, suitably lubricated with state funds, do any harm?” I dunno. As a Marxist, I have no answer to that.


  10. after all, it’s not as if there were any ill-effects of governmental involvement in the economy in the USSR between 1920 and 1990, were there…


  11. Yes the Soviet Union was terrible is many respects, but perhaps Geoff, in his support for Marxism, would claim that the USSR did not implement Marx’ ideas. That is rather beside the point, which is that Marxism involves state interference in the economy. It is easy to see why those on the right might object to CO2 emissions reduction under government decree, seeing it as against their basic philosopy (although they like state involvement in the economy where it suits their interests), but why would a Marxist? Geoff, like any lefty opponents of CO2 emissions reductions, really must have given this some thought, so his(and others’) explanation for this contradiction would be educational for us all.


  12. We of the Left don’t object to government involvement in our affairs. For me that includes the economy.

    We do prefer good policy to bad, on the whole. At least I do.

    The Russian government labeled itself Marxist and talked a lot about Leftist ideas. Surprise! They weren’t telling the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So what is not good about electrifying transport, eliminating engine noise and traffic fumes in towns and cities, reducing imports of oil and gas (500 billion euros annual for EU), reducing dependency upon middle Eastern dictators or autocrats, reduced interference abroad to maintain supply or to corrupt governments, and increases in investment and innovation that all this entails, etc? Is this all somehow bad compared to the the status quo?


  14. All of yours don’t and can’t exist; all of mine do. So what’s wrong with them, if you can manage to think in term of reality and not fairy tales or the supernatural?



    So what is not good about … reducing imports of oil and gas (500 billion euros annual for EU)…

    A new species of one of Len’s unicorns has been spotted at
    US coal exports are up 50% on last year, and half of it’s going to greener-than-thou Europe. There’s nothing wrong with unicorns,in fact they’re rather cute. If only..


  16. Geoff and other lefties, you must be very insecure in your beliefs if you can’t answer such simple questions as why should cutting CO2 emissions be harmful and what is wrong with electrifying transport, cleaning the air, reducing oil and gas imports, and reducing support for nasty regimes. If you are going to throw in your hand with the often odious right, you’d best have answers to such questions for your own self respect.


  17. Our wordpress stats page alerts me to the fact that we are getting hits from the Nonversation.
    A comment under a particularly absurd and extremist article (even buy their usual standards) “On the origins of environmental bullshit” links to this very article with the statement “Apparently the denier tribes form mobs to drown comments sections with their brand of bullshit”.

    The following comment claims that “any comment whatsoever that does not support their view is deleted before it is allowed to appear”, which can of course be immediately falsified simply by looking at the comments on this thread. Evidently this was not something that Rodriguez Emanuel Blatt did before writing his comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Why should the climate kooks at “The Conversation” be bothered about the reality of this blog? Few over there have any true interest in the reality of climate…..


  19. Len.,

    Why is cutting CO2 emissions beneficial? To whom is it beneficial?

    What is wrong with electrifying transport? How is the electricity generated and what externalities are so created?

    Cleaning the air. What is your standard for clean air and how did you derive it?

    Reducing oil and gas imports. Why are they important? Reducing support for nasty régimes. Such as the EU? Seriously do you want to stop the EU subsidising Nigeria etc?

    Is it good to buy solar panels from China? Is it bad to frack for gas and oil in Dorset?

    Let’s see your broad lefty shoulders answer the questions


  20. Miab, no answers from you then – typical of the “often odious right” I mentioned before. Happy with that company Tom Fuller?

    I’m not a lefty, for what it is worth.


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