French Socialist Presidential Candidate Offers Asylum To US Climate Scientists

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Leading French Presidential Candidate Emmanuel Macron has invited the entire US climate science community to relocate to France.

Climate scientists wary of Trump: Please come to France, says presidental hopeful

By Martin Enserink Feb. 10, 2017 , 8:15 AM

The mediagenic wunderkind of French presidential politics has a message for U.S. scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs working on climate change and worrying about their future under President Donald Trump: Come to France.

In a video posted to his Facebook and Twitter accounts late last night (and hashtagged #ScienceMarch), Emmanuel Macron renewed his commitment to fighting global warming and extended a warm welcome: “We want people working on climate change, energy, renewables, and new technologies. France is your nation.”

He may well get an opportunity to make good on his promise. Polls released this week suggest that Macron, the founder of a new center-left party who is campaigning on environmental protection, has soared past two more traditional candidates and is likely to face Marine Le Pen, the leader of the extreme-right National Front, in the 7 May runoffs. One poll says he’d defeat her with 63% of the votes.

For most scientists, moving to France is easier said than done, says Michael Halpern, deputy director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C. “It’s not as if you can just pick up a NASA climate satellite and just reassign it to France,” Halpern says. “But politicians the world over now recognize that science is a global endeavor, and seem increasingly eager to ensure that it is not disrupted by political interference. Gag orders and immigration bans do make it more challenging for scientists to do their work.”

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