Top French weatherman makes headlines by joining RT to cover climate summit
Verdier has thanked RT for the opportunity, saying that the Russian channel has enabled him to exercise his freedom of speech.
“Thanks to RT in Paris I can do my job of journalist and have the freedom of speech, and I can cover as I want, the COP21 [Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change],” Verdier told RT.
Verdier was the head the France 2 channel’s weather service before he published a book called “Climate Investigation” that voiced his own views on climate change. The controversial book was released in the beginning of October, and by the end of the same month the journalist had lost his job on national television.
“It [the book] got me banned from being on air,” he said.
The French journalist will now have his say on climate issues during the global, two-week Paris Climate Conference, as COP21 is alternatively known, while delivering daily reports on RT France.
Verdier’s new job has created some real hype in the French media – his first RT report was covered by major French news outlets. The headlines focused on both the journalist-critic’s comeback and the fact that he is now working for a Russian TV channel.
“The climate is a golden opportunity to end the year in style by avoiding talking too much on the topics that may angry the public... like the unemployment rates,” the journalist said in his first report from the climate summit.
Verdier explained that he is not a climate change skeptic – that is, someone who does not believe in a link between man and global warming – rather, he is skeptical of the way politicians and the UN have been dealing with the issue and presenting it to the public.
In his book, Verdier lashes out at the practice of having a group of “official” scientists who are accredited by the UN and only follow and publicly deliver the official line on the issue. At the same time, he says any alternative views or research are considered doubtful by default.
“I write that it [climate change and global warming] is important and we need to deal with it. But in the book there is harsh criticism of the United Nations, because for 20 years they tried to deal with this problem and this crisis, and they failed. So my book is really skeptical about the UN and French government,” Verdier said.
Verdier has claimed that scientists and politicians are using the issue of climate change to forward their own interests and making the world needlessly afraid.
“Every evening I tell 5 million French people about wind, clouds and the sun. However, there is also something very important that I couldn’t tell you, because there was no place and no time: we are taken hostage by the worldwide scandal of global warming – a tool of war to keep us afraid. At the heart of it, there are manipulated and politicized scientists; conflicts of interest, corruption, sex scandals. And politicians who are concerned only for their image and thirst for power,” the ex-top weatherman said in a video message.