France’s top weatherman has found a new gig after being fired in November for questioning global warming in his new book: he’s working for Russian state-owned media.
French news outlet Le Figaro reports Philippe Verdier is covering the United Nations climate summit in Paris for Russia Today France. Verdier has a daily news segment dedicated to covering what goes on during the U.N. climate talks.
Verdier, the former head of France 2’s weather service, was fired early last month after publishing a book questioning the global warming narrative being pushed by environmentalists and politicians.
“In 2007, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Al Gore and the IPCC climate change experts,” Verdier said. “They told us ‘if we don’t deal with climate change, there will be more risks to have wars.’ But for 20 years, we are experiencing the warmest years and we have a parallel decline in wars and declining numbers of victims from conflicts.”
Verdier’s book, Climate Investigation, claims activists are exaggerating global warming science to scare the public and says the U.N. “politicized” the issue and published false data. The weatherman even committed the heresy of claiming there could be some benefits in a warmer world, like cheaper energy prices and more tourism.
“I am being punished for exercising my freedom of expression,” Verdier said after being let go. “I put myself in the path of COP21, which is a bulldozer, and this is the result.”
Verdier said he was inspired to write his book after meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and top meteorologists. At the meeting, Fabius told them to start warning the public about the dangers of global warming and featuring stories about how warming was impacting people today.
That inspiration cost Verdier’s his job, but now he’s back on television covering the U.N. climate talks for Russia Today — a television station funded by the Russian government.
U.S. media outlets have criticized Russian media for not giving enough attention to global warming, especially given the massive wildfires ravaging Siberia which the media has blamed on global warming.
American media has also criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for being dismissive of global warming. In 2003, Putin said warming would allow Russians to “spend less on fur coats,” adding that “agricultural specialists say our grain production will increase, and thank God for that.”
Putin believes “there is no global warming, that this is a fraud to restrain the industrial development of several countries, including Russia,” Stanislav Belkovsky, a political analyst and Putin critic, told Reuters.
“That is why this subject is not topical for the majority of the Russian mass media and society in general,” Belkovsky said.
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