Philippe Verdier is a household name in France, and in the eyes of some he is THE weatherman of France. He recently was goaded into writing a book suggesting some aspects of Global Warming Alarmism were political in nature, and not based on a solid foundation of science. Apparently he was upset when the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, who is not trained as a meteorologist, strongly suggested weather forecasters should state a certain thing, without asking them if they agreed. A version of the story can be found in a Telegraph article here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11931645/Frances-top-weatherman-sparks-storm-over-book-questioning-climate-change.html
However the important section is here:
He (Philippe Verdiere) said he decided to write the book in June 2014 when Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, summoned the country’s main weather presenters and urged them to mention “climate chaos” in their forecasts.
“I was horrified by this discourse,” Mr Verdier told Les Inrockuptibles magazine. Eight days later, Mr Fabius appeared on the front cover of a magazine posing as a weatherman above the headline: “500 days to save the planet.”
Mr Verdier said: “If a minister decides he is Mr Weatherman, then Mr Weatherman can also express himself on the subject in a lucid manner.
“What’s shameful is this pressure placed on us to say that if we don’t hurry, it’ll be the apocalypse,” he added, saying that “climate diplomacy” means leaders are seeking to force changes to suit their own political timetables.
It should be noted that Mr Verdier himself has no degree in meteorology. His degree apparently is in something called, “Sustainable Development”, which likely includes some knowledge of biology, geology, ecology and, yes, meteorology. However it truly doesn’t matter what he learned before, once he entered the media and became a reporter of the weather, for reporters often find themselves entering situations they know little about. They are suppose to investigate and ask questions, and dig, and probe, and discover. Of course, many in the modern media are known for their complete failure to investigate, and are somewhat embarrassing, for they are but parrots in an echo chamber. They are told to repeat the propaganda they are paid to promote, and to stray from the dutiful bleating of the politically correct spin is dangerous. However Mr Verdier apparently was naive, and assumed he was suppose to continue his education, and to be a good reporter-of-the-weather.
What Mr Verdier then did was to write and (somehow) get published a book that stated the meteorological truth, as he saw it, and also the political truth about the pressure scientists were put under by non-scientists.
To a poet like myself the result should have been expected. In the words of the mother of the English Prime Minister Melbourne, “He who flies in the face of convention must expect to face the consequences.”
In my experience the result has been a rejection slip. (That is why it is slightly amazing to me that Mr Verdier even got his book published.) (Rejection occurs because, whilst an artist is expected to be eccentric, it must be in a politically correct manner. When a rich widow sponsors a poetry reading in her rose garden, a profitable poet should behave like a gigolo. If you want to be a starving poet, poke fun at rich widows and their rose gardens.)
It was little wonder to me that Mr Verdier promptly got fired, despite his honesty, despite his public popularity, and despite the fact his firing had nothing to do with the performance of his job and the accuracy of his forecasts.
It was also little surprise to me that Mr Verdier was surprised. When I was younger I was also surprised by the reception Truth received when spoken. It used to get me fired up, and I’d wail and beat my chest about what a martyr I was, but since then I’ve grown more accustomed to human weakness. Perhaps I’m a bit jaded, but when I do something politically incorrect like wear a striped shirt with a plaid jacket, I don’t give a fig about other’s outraged expressions. Life is too short to care about such meaningless drivel, but if some old men want to dress in the latest fashions of teenagers, and worry about stuff like that, that is their right and their loss.
In like manner, compared to Truth and Beauty, most political stances are meaningless drivel. The same politician who was most eloquently anti-alcohol in 1918 was eloquently anti-prohibition a decade later. Such flip-flopping may be blatant hypocrisy in terms of Truth, but it is a rare politician who cares so much for Truth he will lose an election for It.
Real Poets and real Scientists, on the other hand, are suppose to care for Truth so much that they will suffer for it. And now Mr Verdier is experiencing such suffering.
Of course, this is a new experience for him. He has been successful, enjoying the limelight and adulation, and to now be abruptly kicked off the airwaves and plunged into ignominy is not all that bad. For one thing, it is a vacation from the rat race, and for another, being a martyr for Truth can seem glamorous and even ego-inflating, at first. This may explain the pictures, verging on megalomania, on his website, of him as a martyr.
Old poet-losers like me, who took such stances against political correctness 40 years ago, known damn well that standing in a cold sea-breeze looking glamorous can get old, especially when no one is taking pictures and no one is preparing dinner. However I very much hope Mr Verdier doesn’t need to learn about loving Truth through working as a bottle washer, as America’s poets do. It would be a waste if his God-given gifts, which involve reporting the weather to the public.
After all, Mr Verdier is a media-oriented individual. Megalomania is a job requirement. However, despite this requirement, Mr Verdier has done a courageous thing, and stood up for something which all too many in the media utterly ignore: Truth.
Therefore he should forgo the requirement of poets, and skip the bother of either dying young or working his fingers raw in rough jobs for the next 40 years. He has suffered enough, in his own ivory tower. Just as Winston Churchill didn’t need to work as a dishwasher, (though he did serve in the trenches), and always had servants, (at times even in the trenches), Mr Verdier should not be reduced to dire poverty to prove he is a lover of the Truth.
Mr Verdier has already loved Truth. He has proved he loves Truth. Therefore all who also love Truth should support him, and should sternly scold politicians like France’s foreign minister Laurent Fabius, who has proven he loves politics more than Truth.
So far, the best way I have seen to support Mr Verdier is to sign a petition urging he be hired back. It can be found here.
Also I suppose one could buy his book.
Speaking for myself, I envy Mr Verdier, because I know damn well that when I, as a young man, stood for Truth, there was no one on earth urging others to sign a petition supporting me. For me, and I am sure thousands of other brave poets, the only reward for honesty was and is self respect. However I will not allow envy to lessen my support for Mr Verdier. So what if he is a novice? He is doing the right thing.
After I signed the petition, I expressed myself as follows:
I signed it, and I seldom sign petitions.
As far as I can see, Philippe Verdier is simply being honest. He was told to be dishonest, and simply wouldn’t stand for it. Therefore, because he didn’t do what he was told, he is to be punished.
The message the French government is attempting to send seems clear: If you do not tow the line, it doesn’t matter how established or popular you are, they will strip you of your job, your income and your dignity.
This sort of bullying is tyranny, and must be opposed. Some may be frightened and cowed, however those who own a shred of courage must take a stand. Rather than thinking they created a cowed public, the government must see they made a big mistake, and roused a sleeping giant.
Rather than cowing opposition on the eve of their wingding in Paris, the government must see that they have once again shot the foot they planted squarely in their own mouths.
Rather than seeming politically wise and adroit for being bullies, they must see they are clumsy buffoons.
Rather than the wingding in Paris being a propaganda extravaganza, suggesting Alarmists save the oppressed, it may well be turned right around, and suggest Alarmists oppress the saviors.
Therefore I urge all, and most especially those who love Truth in France, to object loudly and strenuously to the dastardly way Philippe Verdier has been treated.
No matter how small your voice may be, remember, as I do, that it takes only one pebble to start an avalanche.