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France is welcoming climate researchers who want to make the planet great

While America is busy making itself great again, France is making some smart moves to poach American talent. And they’re specifically looking for Americans who are working on climate change solutions.

Although the United States leads the world in many areas of scientific research, the current political climate doesn’t bode well for Americans who work on research involving climate change.

Not only did America just pull out of the Paris climate agreement, the Energy Secretary doesn’t believe that humans are influencing climate change, AND the entire country is now being run by a man who explicitly believes that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party

And if you’re a researcher who depends on federal grants for your work, that’s probably not a good sign for your prospects over the next few years.

As much as some Americans love to make smug jokes about rescuing France whenever it’s in trouble, this time it’s France to the rescue. Because newly-elected French leader Emmanuel Macron is offering a way out to all those inconvenienced researchers.

Specifically, Macron has announced a program that will take in Americans working on climate change solutions, offering grants to researchers and students to continue their work with full funding, with each grant lasting four years. That’s a pretty great offer.

The program is open to students, researchers, teachers, businesses, entrepreneurs, and NGOs.

And the name of the grant program? The name of the program is – wait for it – “Make Our Planet Great Again.” That sure has a nice ring to it. I wonder where they got the idea from?

Macron’s message to researchers is simple:

This decision is unfortunate but it only reinforced our determination. Don’t let it weaken yours.
We are ONE planet and Together, we can make a difference.
France has always led fights for human rights. Today, more than ever, we are determined to lead (and win!) this battle on climate change.

This is a really bad sign for the future of the United States. After all, in spite of what some Americans might like to think about the innovative American spirit, a huge part of the country’s rise to dominance in research and development was in fact driven by a similar situation, when many of the top European scientists jumped ship in the 1930s and moved to the United States to avoid persecution.

When that situation starts to go in the other direction, you might just be in a bit of trouble.

Let’s hope that efforts like this one can save climate science from the huge setback represented by the Trump administration. Because whatever your politics might be, this is a real issue that we all need to deal with before it’s too late.

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