French President Emmanuel Macron is zinging U.S. President Donald Trump again for pulling out of the Paris climate accord. Now he has launched a Make Our Planet Great Again website aimed at openly recruiting scientists and others to come to France to join the battle against climate change.
The effort is, again, in English, and tailor-made for environmental scientists and engineers in the U.S. who are “faced with the climatic skepticism of the new American government.” The site seems to be Step 2 in Macron’s apparently serious offer June 1 inviting environmentalists and “responsible citizens” to move from America to work in France.
The site begins with a message from Macron. “Our job: To help you come work with us on our common challenges. Our commitment is ancient: France has always been a leader in the advancement of human rights and has left its mark in our common history. Our new challenge? Climate change.”
He adds: “France is becoming an innovative hub of science, technology and progress. You may know our research hubs, such as La Sorbonne or Paris-Saclay. These are the places you have to come work in to develop new initiatives for our planet.”
The website is a “concrete tool to enable and facilitate the arrival of every committed citizen,” the message adds. Here “you can find all the answers to the questions you have about how to complete your project.”
The French welcome to immigrant scientists is a very different approach from the Trump administration’s strategy. Travel restrictions and immigration crackdowns have become so severe in the U.S. that corporate leaders, particularly in Silicon Valley, have warned that the brightest brains on the planet will be fleeing to other nations to the detriment of the U.S. economy.
“Internet companies in particular thrive in the U.S. because the best and the brightest are able to create innovative products and services right here in America,” said Michael Beckerman, president and CEO of Internet Association.
U.S. scientists are already responding favorably to the offer on Macron’s Twitter account.
The new French website is apparently a work in progress. Additions will likely involve information on visas and living in France, and possibly job information.
Macron has been dubbed by the BBC the “anti-Trump.” The well-spoken environmental champion managed to get the best of Trump as the two wrestled over the U.S. president’s power handshake when they met last month. And Macron deftly veered from Trump at a gathering in Europe to embrace German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a clear Trump snub. Macron’s coined phrase — “Make our planet great again” — is a clear dig at Trump’s “Make America great again” campaign slogan.