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France Offers An Underwhelming Amount Of Money To Scientists For Climate Research


France created a $34 million fund Saturday to help finance research for foreign climate scientists from the U.S and elsewhere.

Minister of Higher Education Frederique Vidal and investment commissioner Louis Schweitzer “have decided to set up a priority research program for the fight against climate change,” according to French media reports. The French environment ministry will fund the initiative with public money to match what the government hopes will be a $30 million from academic institutions.

Total funding for the fund is expected to tally upward of $67 million, which would fund 50 researchers for five years, the French ministry said in a press statement announcing the decision.

Appropriations for the fund come on the heels of French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent belligerent attitude toward the Trump administration’s move to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

Macron set up a website called “Make Our Planet Great Again,” a play on President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, which advertises positions for researchers, junior researchers and Ph.D. students to do work on global warming.

He promised climatologists up to $1.7 million if they emigrated from the U.S. to France for work on climate change. The newly elected French president wants to entice American climate scientists who disagree with Trump’s budget proposal, which cuts global warming programs.

Macron has painted France as a type of safe haven for scientists who feel that Trump is supposedly muzzling and ostracizing them for working on climate research. Many of the most cantankerous climate scientist are opposed to the U.S president’s climate policies, so they have jockeyed for position inside the anti-Trump movement.

Some American media outlets have already signaled warning signs that Macron’s positions on foreign policy and national security might anger American liberals politically appreciative of his environmentalism. The New York Times Editorial Board, for instance, wrote June 12 that the new French president could be a bane for citizens’ constitutional rights.

Macron drafted a piece of legislation, according to TheNYT, “that would permanently legalize much of the state of emergency instituted by President Francois Hollande shortly after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015.”

“Even more alarming is enshrining the state of emergency in ordinary law, resulting in a permanent curb on French citizens’ constitutional rights,” the paper wrote. “The bill would allow police to conduct warrantless searches, place individuals under house arrest, order the wearing of electronic tags and bracelets and demand the passwords of people’s computers and cell phones.”

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