Le Figaro, one of the most read French daily papers, has an interview with Prof. Vincent Courtillot, that would not have been possible some years ago. Let me remember that in France two prominent scientists are the most outspoken skeptics of the IPCC and the AGW climate scare: Claude Allègre, which is a former professor of geochemistry and a former minister of Education is well-known for his very clear (some say: brutal) rumblings. Vincent Courtillot, a geophysicist and specialist in paleomangetism and director of the “Institut de physique du globe de Paris“, says in short that the IPCC is not the holder of the scientific truth. It should be noted that this interview is in response to a petition by some 400 French “climate scientists” to their minister of Education who complain about the climate skeptics (the text of this petition and Courtillot’s answer can be found here). It is indeed strange that scientists have to ask their minister for help, akin to small children that are unable to defend themselves.
In the same issue of Le Figaro, editorialist Yves Thréard writes with some irony that the politicians have made a serious error by over-dramatizing the climate question (you have to watch French TV news to be inundated by messages on “saving the planet”, reducing CO2 emissions,… usually presented in a larmoyant, remorse loaded whining tone); he also insist rightfully that current eco-political messages all are negative, with their litany of mandatory negative development, and that a switch to positive ecology is needed.
So finally, the tide is turning in Europe’s press too, and climate hysteria seems to become uncool.
PS1 : Read also this excellent comment (in French): “Climato-scepticisme: Galilée convoqué devant le Saint-Office?”
PS2, 04 Apr10 : Here is an open letter (in French) from mathematician Benoît Rittaud to the writers of the petition