French President Emmanuel Macron Offers Refuge To American Climate Scientists

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Just one hour after Donald Trump said that he was withdrawing the United States from the global climate accord negotiated in Paris — saying that he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris” — the new French president, Emmanuel Macron, offered refuge in France to American climate scientists.

In a three-minute address to the American people streamed live from the Élysée Palace, Macron offered hope for the future, and a message of solidarity that seemed to echo those delivered in the cold war era by American presidents speaking to captive nations behind the Iron Curtain — or aimed at resistance fighters in an occupied country.

“Tonight, I wish to tell the United States, France believes in you — the world believes in you,” Macron said. “I know that you are a great nation. I know your history — our common history.”

“To all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the president of the United States, I want to say that they will find in France a second homeland,” he continued. “I call on them: come and work here with us. To work together on concrete solutions for our climate, our environment. I can assure you, France will not give up the fight.”

At the end of his remarks, the French president made it crystal clear that his message was intended as a rebuke of not just his American counterpart’s decision, but his entire worldview.

“I call on you to remain confident,” Macron said, standing in front the of the flags of both France and the European Union. “We will succeed, because we are fully committed, because wherever we live, whoever we are, we all share the same responsibility: Make Our Planet Great Again.”

Macron’s social media team made sure that closing rejoinder to Trump and Trumpism was not missed by those lacking the strength or the stamina to make it to the third minute of his speech.

A few hours later, Trump responded in a typically sophisticated, mature fashion.

Trump, whose beef with climate scientists might actually stem back to his deep dismay at no longer being allowed to use aerosol hairspray, finished his own remarks by claiming a second time that he was acting to put the interests of Pittsburgh ahead of those of Paris. With this refrain, he was apparently hoping to con ill-informed voters into believing that the international agreement negotiated in the French capital, in which 197 nations agreed to limit fossil-fuel emissions for the global good, was somehow to the unique benefit of the French people.

The same minute Trump finished speaking, however, the mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto, reminded him that the city had in fact voted overwhelmingly against him.

Peduto also confirmed that the city’s government would continue to honor its obligations under the Paris framework.

In his own response to Trump’s decision, Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, held out hope for working with local governments in American cities and states, while expressing regret at what he called a decision by “the United States federal government.”

“We are all custodians of this world,” Trudeau added, “and that is why Canada will continue to work with the U.S. at the state level, and with other U.S. stakeholders, to address climate change and promote clean growth.”

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