Claude Allègre

Claude J. Allègre

 Credentials

  • Ph.D., Physics, University of Paris (1962). [1]

 Background

Claude Allègre, 75 years old, is a French geochemist and politician. He is a former minister of the French Socialist Party, [2] and does academic work at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) — Institute of Geophysics, Paris.

He founded the Laboratory of Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry (Laboratoire de Géochimie et Cosmochimie) at IPGP in 1967. [3]

Allègre has been described as France's “most outspoken global warming skeptic.” [4]

Stance on Climate Change

Twenty years ago, Allègre believed in man-made climate change, saying that “By burning fossil fuels, man increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which, for example, has raised the global mean temperature by half a degree in the last century.”

He was even one of among 1500 scientists who signed “World Scientists' Warning to Humanity” in 1992, a letter stressing that global warming's “potential risks are very great.”

According to Lawrence Solomon, who featured Allègre as part of his “Deniers” series in the National Post, Allègre has since stated that “The cause of this climate change is unknown,” and that “There is no basis for saying, as most do, that the 'science is settled'.” [1]

Key Quotes

“We do not deny climate change, but we consider that global warming is not the essential phenomenon. If the temperature increases by 1 or 2° C per century and the sea level rises 25 centimeters, this does not seem catastrophic. We think, for our part, that the essential phenomenon is the increased frequency of extreme events: heat waves or Russian winter, heavy rains with flooding and drought with lack of clean water, and frequent violent tornadoes. All with seemingly random geographic distributions.” [5]

“Following the month of August experienced by the northern half of France, the prophets of doom of global warming will have a lot on their plate in order to make our fellow countrymen swallow their certitudes.” [6]

Key Deeds

January 27, 2012

Claude Allègre is one of 16 scientists who appended their signatures to a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed titled “No Need to Panic About Global Warming.” [7]

The opinion piece argues that elected officials should avoid implementing climate change policy because it would “divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of 'incontrovertible' evidence.”

Other “scientists” whose signatures appear include J. Scott Armstrong, Jan Breslow, Roger Cohen, William Happer, William Kininmonth, Richard Lindzen, James McGrath, Rodney Nichols, Burt Rutan, Harrison H. Schmitt, Nir Shaviv, Edward David, Michael Kelly, Henk Tennekes, and Antonino Zichichi.

Media Transparency reported on the Op-Ed, concluding that most of the scientists have never published articles in peer-reviewed journals on the subject of climate change. They also contacted economist William Nordhaus who replied that the WSJ was guilty of a “Complete Mischaracterization Of My Work.” [8]

April, 2010

A group of over 400 French climate scientists wrote a petition to French science minister Valérie Pécresse to take a stand against “the country's most vocal climate skeptic,” Claude Allègre.

The letter denounced Allègre's latest book, L'imposture climatique (The Climate Fraud), and asked Pécresse to express confidence in the climate research community. The Letter said that Allègre and another climate change skeptic, Vincent Courtillot, had made “false accusations” and “have forgotten the basic principles of scientific ethics, breaking the moral pact that binds every scientist to society.”

Allègre's response was that “I couldn't care less,” and he called the letter a “useless and stupid petition.” He claims Climatologists “have wasted a lot of public money [studying climate change] and they're afraid of losing their funding, afraid of losing their jobs.” [9]

February, 2010

Allègre is the author of L'imposture climatique (The Climate Imposter), which was published by Plon in February, 2010.

The scientists at RealClimate examined the book, and concluded that “nearly every explanation, graphic, or citation in this book is misleading or just plain wrong.” They found this surprising given that Allègre is arguably one of the “most eminent figures in science communication in France.” [10]

The book received media attention and led Allègre to be featured on late-night talk shows. [11]

April 1, 2009

In 2009 it was suggested that Allègre might return to politics, and be offered a position in President Nicholas Sarkozy's government. [12]

Nicolas Hulot noted that, if this happened, “[It] would be a tragic signal, six months before the Copenhagen Conference, and something incomprehensible coming from France, which has been a leading country for years in the fight against climate change!” [13]

Climate Depot quoted climate change “skeptic” Benny Peiser, who said “In recent days, the French media have been reporting that Claude Allegre may replace environment minister Jean Luis Borloo. Allègre is France's most eminent climate skeptic. He has also been a CCNet subscriber for many years.” [4]

CCNet is a climate change skeptic email list moderated by Benny Peiser.

September, 2006

Allègre published an article titled “Snows of Mount Kilimanjaro” (Neiges du Kilimandjaro) in the French magazine L'Express. [14]

The article was picked up and republished by Senator James Inhofe's U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. [15]

According to the committee's press report, Allègre pointed to studies that indicated “Antarctic snowfall rate has been stable over the past 30 years and the continent is actually gaining ice,” and that “He also accused proponents of manmade catastrophic global warming of being motivated by money, noting that 'the ecology of helpless protesting has become a very lucrative business for some people!'” [16]

 Affiliations

  • Laboratory of Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry (Laboratoire de Géochimie et Cosmochimie) at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris — Founder (1967) [17]. Also listed as past “Director” of IPG. [18]

  • CCNet — Subscriber. [4]

 Publications

Allègre has been described as “an author of more than 100 scientific articles, most of them studies on the evolution of the Earth using isotopic evidence, and 11 books.”

None of his articles published in peer-reviewed journals appear to be related to climate change.

Books

  • Claude J. Allègre. Isotope Geology. Translated by Christopher Sutcliffe. Cambridge University Press, December, 2008.

 Resources

  1. Lawrence Solomon. “Allegre's second thoughts,” National Post, March 6, 2007.

  2. Allègre: 'L'accord signé par le PS est une félonie',” Le Figaro, November 24, 2011.

  3. Géochimie et cosmochimie,” IPGP. Accessed January, 2012.

  4. Marc Morano. “April Fool's Report? French Reversal on Climate Policy? Outspoken Skeptical Scientist May Be Tapped as Environmental Minister!”, Climate Depot, April 16, 2009.

  5. Claude Allègre répond aux chercheurs,” L'Express, October 5, 2006. Translated with Google Translate.

  6. Renowned Scientist Defects From Belief in Global Warming – Caps Year of Vindication for Skeptics,” U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, October 17, 2006.

  7. No Need to Panic About Global Warming,” The Wall Street Journal, January 27, 2012.

  8. The Journal Hires Dentists To Do Heart Surgery,” Media Transparency, January 30, 2012.

  9. Martin Enserink. “French Researchers Ask Science Minister to Disavow Climate Skeptic,” Science, April 2, 2010.

  10. Claude Allègre: The Climate Imposter,” RealClimate, April 28, 2010.

  11. Clash : Claude Allegre vs Valerie Masson-Delmotte climatologue,” Le Post TV. Archived March 12, 2010.

  12. Claude Allegres befürchtete Rückkehr in die Politik,” ScienceBlogs, January 4, 2009.

  13. Pour Nicolas Hulot, Claude Allègre au gouvernement 'serait un signal tragique',” LePoint.fr, May 23, 2009. Translated with Google Translate.

  14. Claude Allègre “Neiges du Kilimandjaro,” L'Express, September 21, 2006. Republished by Environnement et Développement, January 16, 2007.

  15. Claude Allegre. “The Snows of Mount Kilimanjaro,” L'Express. Republished and translated by the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works.

  16. Renowned Scientist Defects From Belief in Global Warming – Caps Year of Vindication for Skeptics,” U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, October 17, 2006.

  17. Géochimie et cosmochimie,” IPGP. Accessed January, 2012.

  18. À propos de la polémique de Soufrière 1976…”, F. Beauducel, August 2006 (Updated July, 2010). Retrieved January 31, 2012, from ipgp.fr.

  19. ExxonSecrets Facthseet: Claude Allegre.

  20. Steve Aquino. “Sarkozy's Climate Change Skeptic,” Mother Jones, May 27, 2009.

  21. Claude Allègre,” Wikipedia Entry,.

  22. Claude Allègre,” Wikipedia (Fr.) Entry

[x]

In a live interview on CNBC, William Happer, chairman of the Marshall Institute, stated that the “demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler.”

This is not the first time Happer has said this, and watching the interview it seems as though the CNBC host was keen to see Happer make the ugly analogy again. 

As Media Matters points out,...

read more