French presidential hopeful offers asylum to ‘US scientists & researchers fighting obscurantism’
Macron, a former economy minister under President Francois Hollande, called upon those “who are afraid today” in the US to move to France.
Macron’s “solemn call,” however, was aimed not at everyone but only at “researchers, scientists and businesses in the United States fighting obscurantism.”
Those who want to research and work on global warming, pollution issues, develop renewable energies sources can find a “homeland” in France, and help make it a land of innovation, Macron said.
“You have and you will have a homeland by the end of this May: it will be France,” Macron told his cheering supporters during a rally in Lyon on Saturday.
While Macron did not refer to Donald Trump by name, the new US president’s controversial views on global warming and pollution, as well his old-school allegiance toward non-renewable energy are well known. Trump has repeatedly called global warming a “hoax” perpetuated by China and denied climate change.
Macron made another remark referring to the US president during the rally, comparing the desire to build walls to France's Maginot Line, which was designed to prevent Nazi intervention but ultimately failed in 1940.
“I don't want to build a wall. I can assure you there’s no wall in my program,” Marcon said. “Do you remember the Maginot Line?”
Macron’s call might find some response within the US, as President Trump has seemingly started to change federal policy toward science and the environment.
Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, although does not share the US president’s view that the climate change is a “hoax,” believes that the human impact on it needs more debate and research.
Besides that, shortly after his inauguration, Trump banned at least three federal agencies from talking to the media, issuing grants or publishing scientific research. Gag orders and freezes were imposed on the activities of the EPA, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).