Making Macron Great (Again)

The French government has just published details of what its ministers are worth. (In monetary terms that is; their fundamental value is a closely guarded secret.) Only twelve out of thirty two are millionaires, (not bad for a government which is “neither left nor right”) the second richest being the popular minister of the environment Nicolas Hulot. Hulot, a kind of low cost David Attenborough, fronted a popular TV programme about the environment called Ushuaia, then founded the Nicolas Hulot Foundation for the protection of retired environmentalists, while retaining the rights to the Ushuaia brand name (Ushuaia perfume, organically extracted from the glands of rare squirrels in Peru by renewable indigenous labour – things like that.)

The press was mildly surpised to discover that part of his seven million euro fortune consisted of nine motor vehicles, including a BMW, a pickup truck, a boat and a landrover. In today’s “Journal de Dimanche”  he explains to everyone’s satisfaction that his scooter and all his official ministerial cars are electric, that the landrover is for use on his estate in the mountains of Corsica, and the truck is for transporting his horses on his other estate in Brittany.

He could have argued that, however rich and important he might be, he (or his chauffeur) could still only drive one car at a time, so shut up and let him get on with the only thing that counts, saving the planet getting the timing of his resignation right.

Because next month President Macron will put an end to a forty year hesitation about whether to build an new airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes in Brittany on an environmentally fragile site currently occupied by several hundred green activists, who can call on several thousand supporters in the case of an attempt to evict them. Whether the President follows the legally binding decision of local government and the regional council plus a local referendum and goes ahead with the airport, or bows to the greenies and public opinion nationally, he has promised to clear the site, in which case Macron’s reputation as a planet saver will go up in a puff of tear gas.

The other difficulty which projected Hulot on to the front pages for several days recently, and may have given him the urge to retire to his Foundation and spend more time bottling perfume, was the government’s backsliding on its promise to reduce the proportion of nuclear in the energy mix from the current 75% to 50% by 2025. (The new date for switching off the lights is 2035.) The government is also banning all prospection for and extraction of fossil fuels in mainland France, and promising all electric transport for 2040.

What makes all this madness possible is the perfect ignorance of the French journalistic corps. True, a climatoréaliste like Benoit Rittaud may occasionally get invited on a discussion programme, (you can see him here at about 36 minutes in) where he was politely listened to, and then ignored; but there is no room for a Christopher Booker or a Delingpole in the French media, and, as Benoît laments here, no equivalent of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

In the discussions I saw about nuclear policy, most journalists seemed to assume that closing nuclear power stations was part of the battle against climate change. In a country with four major 24 hour news channels largely filled with discussions between panels of journalists, just being on telly is a full time job for most of them, and a chap just doesn’t have time to actually find out stuff, especialy on boring subjects like energy policy.

Here are three random bits of information I picked up by accident recently, but which have escaped the attention of mainstream media

– The French airforce has pressured the government into banning wind turbines over 90% of the territory because they interfere with their exercises

– Environmentalists have just won a court battle to prevent the number of turbines on the Mediterranean coast from being multiplied by five

– Environmentalists have blocked plans to install a solar farm on mountainous terrain where eagles feed.

Meanwhile Eléctricité de France’s official plan to go 50% renewable by 2040 involves increasing hydro from 6% to just 7%. Of course, they could do more, if they concreted over every valley in the Alps and the Pyrenees, but somehow I think they won’t. Most people, including the minister of the environment, would prefer to go on using their landrovers.

French climato-réalistes may be making some surprising alliances in the future.


  1. If Hulot’s 20 year old Land Rover is diesel, the engine is probably a 300TDI. A very sensible choice, having no electronic “chip” that can be adjusted. It was preferred by the British Army to more modern engines, despite its higher emissions, because the engine was tried, tested and understood, and because there were no chips/electronics that could be interfered with by the environment or warfare.

    The French have not got too excited about verte-merde, because they had nuclear, and did not need much coal. Hulot helped win the Green vote for Macron, and now, like Merkel, he is realising they make no economic sense or case, once the electorate have voted.


  2. There is a small group of anti-turbine activists in France.

    From Google Translate

    To the members of the Sustainable Environment Federation

    In 2017, the Sustainable Environment Federation will fight, with all the legal means at its disposal, onshore and offshore wind projects, and it will help local associations that trust it.

    It will continue to denounce the strategic mistake of implementing these machines intermittent, ruinous,
    anti-ecological, dangerous for the health, destructive of the landscapes and the inheritance of our country.

    It will combat the “Aeolian madness” that corrupts the social fabric and contributes to the decay of France’s political system at the national, regional and local levels.


  3. Presumably bunging millions of Euros to climate scientists such as Camille Parmesan to continue producing Lew quality papers will be essential in the de-energising of France. Sooner or later we will all be burning peat


  4. Astounding post. It reminds me of this rare example of understatement from Penn Gillette @2:30:

    … it feels to me, like in 30 years, ther’re going to look back on the environmental movement like hula hoops. …


  5. Man in a Barrel
    Here’s a funny thing. Camille Parmesan is coming from the School of biological & marine sciences of the university of Plymouth (UK)
    Under the Macrony title “Make our Planet Great Again” the National Science Research Centre (CNRS) of Midi Pyrenees also announces the arrival of four other Climate Science refugees, one from Colorado, the others from Spain, Denmark and Spain.


  6. It seems a wholly good thing for the French that they don’t have an “interpreter of interpretations” like Dellingpole or serial misleaders like Booker and GWPF. It is amazing the Booker is still employed by the Torygraph when he is so often wrong. But why do you think it is that such figures/groups are not present (or visible) in France?


  7. Len. So you think the following members of the GWPF Academic Advisory Panel are all misleaders then? You know more than them?
    Professor David Henderson
    Adrian Berry
    Sir Samuel Brittan
    Sir Ian Byatt
    Professor Robert Carter
    Professor Vincent Courtillot
    Professor Freeman Dyson
    Professor Christopher Essex
    Christian Gerondeau
    Dr Indur Goklany
    Professor William Happer
    Professor Terence Kealey
    Professor Deepak Lal
    Professor Richard Lindzen
    Professor Ross McKitrick
    Professor Robert Mendelsohn
    Professor Sir Alan Peacock
    Professor Ian Plimer
    Professor Paul Reiter
    Dr Matt Ridley
    Sir Alan Rudge
    Professor Nir Shaviv
    Professor Philip Stott
    Professor Henrik Svensmark
    Professor Richard Tol
    Dr David Whitehouse


  8. Phillip,
    In climate alarmists eyes they are all disqualified from any open debate because they question some or all of mantras like ““AGW is real, human-caused, serious, and solvable”.


  9. Geoff, sure, Brits are so much more intellectually curious and open to reason! The Brexit campaign and subsequent chaos should disabuse you of that fantasy. How many readers does Dellers have anyway?

    Philip, for the ones on the list that I’m familiar with, I’d say yes.


  10. Mr Hulot has responded to the claims of hypocrisy.

    “The minister sought to brush off the revelations by saying on Sunday that he travels in electric cars that belong to his ministry or on electric scooters “95 percent of the time” and that accusations that he was not practising what he preaches were “absurd.”

    Which fundamentally misses the point. Like most warmists he only thinks of one issue at a time. He forgets that a big part of the lifetime CO2 produced is in the manufacture. By having a holiday home he is taking a potential home away from someone else and/or forcing another home to be built. Homes need possessions and maintenance. The amount of CO2 he emits while driving is small compared to his overall emissions.

    These people are creating a new way to divide the haves and the have nots. Green tax is currently a type of VAT, where it should be a new income tax. There should be a minimum CO2 anyone should be allowed before any tax is taken. The tax should then rise rapidly the more energy you use. Thus the big users like Hulot, should be reducing his fleet and his holiday homes before a single ordinary driver is made to get an electric car.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. GEOFF CHAMBERS says:
    17 Dec 17 at 8:31 pm

    Geoff, it seems you are unaware that Camille Parmesan is the ‘Outstanding woman working in climate change’, as noted at your favourite, The Conversation:

    She is the National Marine Aquarium Chair in Public Understanding of Oceans and Human Health, at Plymouth University, no less…


  12. The whole thing about “climate scientist refugees” is slightly akin to footballers. They will travel and work anywhere for a suitable transfer fee and expenses, together with a guaranteed place in the first team.

    For example, CRU scientists are placed all over the world, as are those from Potsdam and NCAR. It is known as “outreach”. When they publish, it is under the name of their new institution, thereby adding to the list of institutions that support “the consensus”.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. The fact that she is on the panel of The Conversation counts for a lot. That site has an unmatched talent for attracting fools, knaves, charlatans and mediocrities, and Lewandowsky, who deserves a category all of his own


    Thanks for the link on Professor Parmesan. Not only is she “one of the 27 ‘brave thinkers of our time’” but she also has “a share in the Nobel Peace Prize” according to the Conversation.

    And she’s coming to a mountain range near me, since she’s apparently been hired to examine endangered species in the Pyrenees, which is a bit worrying. Our most notable endangered species is the tamarro, a kind of deer or goat with two legs shorter on one side, to facilitate running round mountainsides. That should enable it to escape her clutches.

    But there’s also the desman, known as the “rat trompette” or, more kindly, the elephant mouse, a kind of aquatic shrew which lives under waterfalls by sucking up insect larvae. The bother is, the trumpet rat actually exists. But will it survive the arrival of an invasive species like Professor Parmesan?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Len Martinez asks “But why do you think it is that such figures/groups are not present (or visible) in France?”

    They are not French!

    Liked by 1 person

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