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French President-Elect Macron Urges Action On Climate Change (newsweek.com) 174

After Sunday's election in France, Macron's victory "is likely to be a boon for the French digital economy and its startup scene," writes a foreign policy think tank blog, "but the country's frosty relationship with U.S. tech companies is likely to remain over the next five years." Yet even before he was elected as France's new president, Emmanuel Macron was already warning the U.S. that withdrawing from the international Paris Climate change agreement could cost America its brightest innovators. Thelasko writes: French President elect Emmanuel Macron has a message to U.S. scientists and engineers working on climate change. "Please, come to France. You are welcome. It's your nation. We like innovation. We want innovative people. We want people working on climate change, energy renewables and new technologies. France is your nation."
Newsweek reports this week that without America's involvement, the Paris Climate agreement "will have no way of meeting its goals of reducing global net carbon emissions" -- but that Macron could persuade the U.S. to honor its agreement. ("It reportedly took just one phone call conversation between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the president for Trump to reconsider withdrawing entirely for NAFTA, another international agreement signed into law prior to his tenure in the Oval Office.") And in the meantime, Macron has also promised not to cut France's energy-research budget, and will even reinforce it "to accelerate our initiative."
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French President-Elect Macron Urges Action On Climate Change

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  • As the US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Esteanil ( 710082 ) on Saturday May 13, 2017 @03:58PM (#54411705) Homepage Journal

    As the US continues falling into a post-intellectual, foreigner-fearing state, the brain drain will only continue.
    Vast parts of the scientific progress the US "gave" the post WWII-world was built on immigrants, but now the tide is turning - the empire falling apart at the seams.

    • Re:As the US (Score:5, Interesting)

      by iMadeGhostzilla ( 1851560 ) on Saturday May 13, 2017 @04:06PM (#54411731)

      You're making a prediction about the future -- you are asserting what *will* happen. Barring any psychic abilities you may have, which I wouldn't deny, the question is how do you know. Yours is not a trivial prediction, and many major non-trivial predictions regarding Trump have turned out to be false: from his inevitable loss in the elections through Paul Krugman's forecast that if Trump wins "the stock market will crash and will *never* recover" and so on. So what gives rise to the absolute certainty of this upcoming brain drain?

      • Re:As the US (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Esteanil ( 710082 ) on Saturday May 13, 2017 @04:22PM (#54411773) Homepage Journal

        Trump, and even the whole Republican party, is hardly the only source of anti-intellectualism in the US, it's been ongoing for quite a while.

        You've got colleges and universities that can't handle debate, and appear to value the contributions of their sports teams far above any science produced.
        Ideological interests have been shaping your school books for decades, and the problem's getting worse.
        The right disbelieves global warming, the left disbelieves GMO and nuclear safety - two of the most important tools to actually solve some of the problems caused by said global warming.
        Federal science funding has been stagnant / dropping in real value since the 80s.
        Your corporates are raiding the most successful university labs - turning them from basic to applied science, and locking that science up to the point where they're blocked from even discussing in general terms what they're working on with their peers.

        This is just off of the top of my head, I'm sure the slashdot community can come up with more examples.

        And, of course, if Trump gets his budget through thousands of US scientists will be unable to get funding and be forced to look for employment elsewhere.

        That the US is going to see significantly more brain drain in the years to come does not seem to me like a very controversial prediction.

        Here's to hoping things change or that I'm just wrong.

        • You've got colleges and universities that can't handle debate, and appear to value the contributions of their sports teams far above any science produced.

          Not that it's anything to brag about, but we are still doing quite well compared to Europe, and China so just where are the brains going to drain to ?

          France and Germany are trying to larp Caravan of the Saints. India ? the worlds largest diploma mill ? Japan they are perfectly happy not having you.

        • Fair enough. I'd only like to point out that the sense of doom being around the corner has been present in this country since at least the Great Depression and possibly much longer (I watched HBO's John Adams and they captured that feeling well too), certainly in the 50s and 60s and so on -- but it never really materializes. Even if the inflow and outflow of smart people change by 10-20% (I admit haven't looked up the trends) I imagine we'll still be far from a net negative. I may be wrong too but hoping th

        • That the US is going to see significantly more brain drain in the years to come does not seem to me like a very controversial prediction.

          That's very probably true but I very much doubt it will be to France where at least ~15 years ago you used to pay over 50% of your income in tax, academic salaries were far lower than the US and Canada and the VAT/sales tax is 20%. There are many non-financial advantages such as the food, country, culture, people etc. but while I loved all of that when I lived there I've noticed that Americans seem to care quite a bit more about the financial side and on the US scale the politics is probably somewhere left

        • Re:As the US (Score:4, Insightful)

          by acrimonious howard ( 4395607 ) on Saturday May 13, 2017 @08:16PM (#54412345)
          Not going to challenge the main point, but

          The right disbelieves global warming, the left disbelieves GMO and nuclear safety...

          Almost all left-leaning people I talk to believe in GMO and nuclear safety, and the few that don't are always open to listening to my persistent arguments for them. I'm open to hearing who I should be talking to, I'm just sharing that it's hard for me to see these people being powerful voices based on my admittedly anecdotal experiences. Hrm, maybe it's because I live in Texas?

          • "Almost all left-leaning people I talk to believe in GMO and nuclear safety,'

            These exist, even in Texas?

          • Lots of people "on the left" simply do not believe the promises of the companies and trade groups that their products are known to be safe (GMO) or known to be managed safely (nuclear).

            Something that I do not see enough is documentary evidence that the decisionmakers in technical agriculture or in management of nuclear facilities could give two shits about the long term effects of their work (GMO) or costs of waste management (nuclear).

            I for one fully trust decisionmakers to increase their profits to the ex

        • Trump, and even the whole Republican party, is hardly the only source of anti-intellectualism in the US, it's been ongoing for quite a while.

          You've got colleges and universities that can't handle debate, and appear to value the contributions of their sports teams far above any science produced.
          Ideological interests have been shaping your school books for decades, and the problem's getting worse.
          The right disbelieves global warming, the left disbelieves GMO and nuclear safety - two of the most important tools to actually solve some of the problems caused by said global warming.
          Federal science funding has been stagnant / dropping in real value since the 80s.
          Your corporates are raiding the most successful university labs - turning them from basic to applied science, and locking that science up to the point where they're blocked from even discussing in general terms what they're working on with their peers.

          This is just off of the top of my head, I'm sure the slashdot community can come up with more examples.

          And, of course, if Trump gets his budget through thousands of US scientists will be unable to get funding and be forced to look for employment elsewhere.

          That the US is going to see significantly more brain drain in the years to come does not seem to me like a very controversial prediction.

          Here's to hoping things change or that I'm just wrong.

          You don't need brain drain, you need affordable education. Why is it that all (each) G7 country has more than 65% of student population complete university. In the USA it is under 55%.
          Yes, the innovation centers of the world are outside of the United States.

        • by mikael ( 484 )

          Nuclear safety is basically reduced down to "where can we find somewhere remote to store toxic stuff that isn't already a national park, isn't at risk from earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, droughts, subsidence, fault lines, landslides, forest fires, or property developers for at least 10,000 years".

      • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
        Yes, it's a prediction, but one that does seem at least likely to be a general trend, if not the ultimate outcome posited. The US (and the UK, for that matter) seem to be going out of their way to make themselves less attractive a destination for both long and short term visitors, whether for tourism or business. Not just from a general increase in xenophobia amongst the populace that feel a need to keep out all Muslims in case a few might looking to blow them up, or Mexicans in case they take the jobs th
        • From what I've read, China's internal dynamics prevent it from ever being what the US and Europe is/are in global terms. Every time China opens to the world, like it's been doing now, its coastal regions become very prosperous due to all the trade but the vast inland area remains unbearably poor in comparison. Then someone like Mao comes along, raises the army of a million peasants, takes over the country, redistributes the wealth (and poverty) and shuts it off. Then after some decades of peace the country

        • Screw French though; I suspect Mandarin is going to be much more valuable to have as a secondary language, and a lot sooner than most of us were perhaps expecting.
          Hm, hard to say. The french bonus is: french girls are definitely hot. And on top of that Paris is such a multi culture thing, you basically find hot girls from all over the world. Including China.
          On the other hand, with Mandarin, you are limited to China. And there basically only live chinese girls. Many of them are hot, too! But depending on reg

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Brain drain does not represent politics, brain drain is a response to the other symptoms of corrupt governance and not just at federal level but across the board down to the tiniest county. What that corruption produces is shitty infrastructure, cheap ugly for profit law enforcement, toxic pollution, fucked up for profit charter schools, exorbitantly expensive medical services, inflated for profit higher education, corrupt banks and insane religiosity making . All of those combine to make the US a less desi

    • Re:As the US (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Saturday May 13, 2017 @04:23PM (#54411777)

      As the US continues falling into a post-intellectual, foreigner-fearing state

      Sweeping generalizations like this lack accuracy. There is a good possibility we can emerge from this slump with a more enlightened perspective on the world.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A narrow minded cherry-picked story if I've ever heard one.

      Yes many scientifically progressive people ESCAPED their home countries to work for the US in post WW2 timelines. If that's what you mean.
      These scientists were not babies in the US, growing up here due to immigrant parents, we cannot claim them.

      But it is a modern narrative to believe the latest generations of illegal immigrants are our future. No they are not, they are one of many contributors to the US's and the world's future...

      So this whole "Wa

      • Re:As the US (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Esteanil ( 710082 ) on Saturday May 13, 2017 @04:51PM (#54411869) Homepage Journal

        Where did I say anything about illegal immigrants? The fact is the US has been a significant brain drain on the rest of the world for ~70 years. You've had some of the best schools, the best labs and the best funding for science. This has attracted top-league scientists and entrepreneurs.

        But the growing security state, the rising xenophobia and the very public hostility to science is now leading many of the same kinds of people to avoiding visiting the US altogether, much less wanting to immigrate.

    • the brain drain will only continue.

      What brain drain are you talking about here? Have scientists been leaving America in droves to seek out better opportunities in other countries? You are the first person I've heard mention this.

  • by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Saturday May 13, 2017 @04:06PM (#54411725)
    The French Academy of Sciences has determined significant CO2 reduction is not feasible if France if they reduce nuclear. Here is a copy of a summary with some translated excerpts;

    France cannot achieve a significant reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases from electricity production while also reducing the share of nuclear in its energy mix, the country's Academy of Sciences says.

    "Simple common sense leads one to conclude that production of electricity that can meet the country's needs requires the availability of 'on demand' energies, which do not suffer from intermittency and which can be called upon at all times," it said. This means, in the absence of energy storage solutions, significant use will need to be made of thermal and nuclear power plants if France is to increase its use of renewable energy.

    Nuclear power last year accounted for 13% of electricity production in Germany, which decided in 2011 to phase out its use of this form of energy. In 2010, nuclear power had accounted for 22%. The academy noted that, even though renewable energy accounted for 30% of power production last year, the share of fossil fuels was unchanged at 55% because Germany has had to open new fossil fuel plants to provide the back-up required for intermittent renewable energy. Germany thus remains one of Europe's largest CO2 emitters.

    France, through its high dependence on nuclear energy, is one of the lowest emitters of greenhouse gases per capita: about half as much as Germany. France produces around 540 TWh of electricity with emissions of 46 million tonnes CO2 per year, compared with Germany, which produces about 631 TWh from 334 million tonnes.

    "Nuclear energy is objectively the most effective way to reduce the share of fossil fuels in the production of electrical energy," it said. "Within this general framework, there is a real contradiction in wanting to reduce emissions whilst reducing the share of nuclear power. In fact, many studies show that the total share of renewable energy cannot exceed 30-40% without leading to an exorbitant cost of electricity and the emission of greenhouse gases."

    The academy said "realistic and coherent" scenarios show that it is impossible to have an energy system based wholly on renewable energy sources, which also "indicate a reasonable trajectory towards an energy solution where nuclear power will have its place in the coming decades".

    In February, the French Nuclear Society issued a white paper stating the country needs to maintain its nuclear power generation capacity in order to raise the share of electricity from renewables without increasing the cost of electricity production.

    http://www.academie-sciences.f... [academie-sciences.fr]
    • Another item from the Academy for the 'wind blows everywhere' crowd;

      The variability in output from wind and solar energy requires the use of other forms of energy to offset this intermittency, the academy said. "One might think that energy exchanges at the European-level could mitigate this problem, but long nights are everywhere at the same time in Europe, and anticyclones are often with us and our neighbours simultaneously."
      • If you want to say 'storm' say storm.
        The word 'anticyclone' is only understood by people who are sailing or flying, and hence have an understanding of 'weather slang', Hint: on the northern hemisphere, we have no 'anti anti cyclones', if we talk about cyclones, we call them cyclones. I guess no one actually knows in which direction low pressure zones rotate ... (I mean, unless you are an weather expert)

        But my point actually is: there are no storms thinkable that would shut down whole Europes wind plants.
        Fir

        • You are again demonstrating ignorance. An anticyclone is widespread period of low wind that can cover large areas, such as a good portion of northern Europe or half of the United States. Would you PLEASE stop spouting stupid things and do some checking.
          • An anticyclone is a low pressure area, that rotates anti clockwise.
            Unlike an cyclone that is a southern hemisphere phenomena that is rotating clockwise.
            Hence the names.

            If you want to talk about periods of no wind then call it like that.

            And again: Europe, and even small countries like Germany or Denmark are to big to have 'no wind' on a meaning full timescale.

            • An anticyclone is a low pressure area, that rotates anti clockwise. Unlike an cyclone that is a southern hemisphere phenomena that is rotating clockwise. Hence the names.

              If you want to talk about periods of no wind then call it like that.

              And again: Europe, and even small countries like Germany or Denmark are to big to have 'no wind' on a meaning full timescale.

              I used the same term the scientists used. If you want to attack me for the choice just because you made a fool of yourself, well if it makes you feel better go ahead.

              • Scientists don't use the term 'anticyclone' for a period without wind.
                And: I did not attack you. If you felt attacked that is only in your mind.

                https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik... [wikipedia.org]

                Here, anticyclone, high pressure area. Rotating clockwise. Mixed it up in my previous post as I assumed you were talking about american hurricanes.

                Cyclone or Anticyclone, nothing implies: no wind. Except in the center of it, obviously.

                So your posts about anticyclones make no sense whatsoever. And as I pointed out: no one understands

                • Anticyclones are typified by large areas of very low wind speed conditions over a large area;

                  The centre of an anticyclone has a characteristic pattern of air circulation, with subsiding air and horizontal divergence of the air near the surface. The name anticyclone comes from the circulatory flow of air within the system; anticyclonic circulation has a local circulation that is opposed to the Earth's rotation. Winds, generally light, circulate around the high pressure centre in a clockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere and anticlockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.

                  The subsiding air compresses as it descends, causing adiabatic warming. The eventually warmer and drier air suppresses cloud formation and thus anticyclones are usually associated with fine weather in the summer and dry, cold, and sometimes foggy weather in the winter. Calm settled weather is usually synonymous with anticyclones in temperate latitudes. Anticyclones are typically relatively slow moving features.

                  http://www.weatheronline.co.uk... [weatheronline.co.uk]

                  You are impressively persistent on your quest to demonstrate your ignorance.

                  • So we agree that Europe is to big to be covered by an anti cyclone, (why you not call it a high pressure area is beyond me) or we do not agree?
                    I suggest again to look on a map, and perhaps find some links that tell you how big the "low wind speed" area in the center of a high pressure zone is. (*facepalm*)
                    The link you posted actually has a nice picture. The High pressure zone is surrounded by *5* low pressure zones. I suggest to learn what that actually means for wind.

                    You are impressively persistent on your

                    • Just as the scientists from the French Academy said, and anticyclone can affect France and a large number of its neighbors with low wind conditions at the same time. Send them a letter if you don't agree. Sources I linked to plus fully credible scientists at and established institution make it pretty obvious you are just spouting nonsense
    • by Ichijo ( 607641 )
      Why can't demand be reduced during times of low production in order to prevent blackouts the same way eBay prevents too many people from winning the same auction?
      • We are working on that with Smart Grids and Smart Meters.
        So a washing machine or dish washer etc. can shut down when supply is low.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Crashmarik ( 635988 )

      Oh stop with your facts and reasoning. These people have gotten so much harm done with shouting people down.

      • What is sad is that not a single normal news source covered this. Had they said the opposite it would have been reported all over the place.
      • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

        says one of the biggest spewers of bullshit and dismisser of facts on /.

        • Oh please, coming from a guy who has made green his religion.

          Tell me oh wise one, just how are you going to power a fleet of electric cars that charge at night off solar power ?

    • a) germany has a so called base load of about 40% of peak
      b) nuclear power used to provide about 20% of peak
      c) meanwhile we produce about 30% of our power with renewables, hence nuclear has to power down to 10% - we are phasing it out anyway (at night, otherwise we would pump more energy into the grid, than is needed)
      d) germany has not build 'new coal plants to back up renewables'. We have huild very few new coal plants and decomissioned old ones in parallel.

      France btw. is silently decomissioning its nuclear

      • The only expandable renewables are wind and solar. Nothing you said negates the very valid points of the French Academy
        • You mean except the points that what they say is wrong?
          E.g. the claim Germany had increased its amount of coal plants?
          Or power produced from coal?

          • Total coal and gas have increased since 2011, coincident with their last nuclear reduction. Sorry that once again your un-researched claim doesn't match reality;

            https://www.cleanenergywire.or... [cleanenergywire.org]
            • I linked you the frauenhofer sources ... so go figure.
              No idea what your agenda is.
              Germany has reduced its CO2 footprint over the last decades by 25 - 30 %
              Claiming otherwise makes you look like an idiot, but go ahead. You seem not to listen to any argument I send you :)

  • Don't worry, climate scientists will be well treated in France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
  • I know, I know, this is a tired meme, but is it a slow news day? I mean to say, what else would he say? There are very few "First World Countries" that have not bought into the Climate Change problem and urged action on climate change, most notably, of course, the United States of God Given Rights.... It would be more notable if he had said "fuck wind, hydro, and safe modern nuclear, let's build the biggest fucking open-pit coal mine the world has ever seen!"

    • fuck wind, hydro, and safe modern nuclear, let's build the biggest fucking open-pit coal mine the world has ever seen!

      Hey, that's Australia mate.

  • He's no centrist, but a royalist that panders to leftist causes.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The new French President, in 2017, is a royalist? You'd better explain what you mean.

  • From an American, to all American scientists working on climate change: PLEASE, go to France.

    In fact, I hope everyone deeply concerned about climate change goes immediately to France. I'm sure you'll all get a great deal of important work done...there.

  • and it will continue to grow.
    Yet, idiots are worried about a nation that emits less than 14%, and is dropping fast.
    • and it will continue to grow.

      I think it's time you update your prejudice. China is doing more to stem emissions than most of the west while still rising out of poverty and increasing its energy demand at the same time. Compared to the USA it's CO2 emissions per person are far lower. Investment in renewables dwarf the USA, as does production of renewable energy sources.

      Yet, idiots are worried about a nation that emits less than 14%, and is dropping fast.

      Nope, smart people are worrying about idiots who rest on their laurels while the rest of the world is investing in solving the problem. The idiots here are the USA, comf

      • and it will continue to grow.

        I think it's time you update your prejudice. China is doing more to stem emissions than most of the west while still rising out of poverty and increasing its energy demand at the same time. Compared to the USA it's CO2 emissions per person are far lower. Investment in renewables dwarf the USA, as does production of renewable energy sources.

        So much BS here.
        1) China's electrify is around 82-85% from coal. Because china is adding 30-50 GW of NEW COAL PLANTS each year, while at the same time, adding less than 30 GW of wind/solar/hydro/nukes each year, they will actually maintain OR increase their emissions from coal by 2030. In fact, right now, they are around 1.1 TW of coal-powered electricity. In 2030, they are projecting to be ~ 1.75 TW. IOW, China will add more coal plants in the next 13 years, than America and EU28 can cut because togethe

        • So much BS here.

          You got that right. Thank you for you link to data from 5 years ago. Update your prejudice you filthy American.

          • in POF, American emissions are down even further, while CHina's has actually gone up.
            And it is obvious that ppl like you do not really care about the environment or CO2, just want to be dicks.
    • by beckett ( 27524 )
      Good point. By the way, where was the device you used to post this comment made?
  • I have actually worked with the French research institute for Solar energy, in fact I am extending a project for them right now. It is a security and burocracy nightmare. Much worse than in Germany. There is also the language barrier, German is easier to learn for English speakers. Nice people though, and they have a lot of state money to blow.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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