PARIS -- When U.S. President Donald Trump announced America's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change, newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron seized the opportunity to lecture Mr. Trump in English and implore him to "make the planet great again." Who is this guy? Some kind of planetary hypochondriac? Come on -- he's a former Rothschild investment banker and economy minister.
Climate change is to Europe what security threats have traditionally been to America: a convenient pretext for foreign intervention. Here in Europe, environmentalism is a much easier sell. Unlike in North America, natural resources are palpably scarce, with more people jammed into a smaller area. It's this prism through which Europeans view the world.
Climate change -- the threat that in past decades was referred to as both "global warming" and "global cooling" -- may not be consistent in its identity, but that's what makes it a good pretext. It's similar to the way the identity of the primary terrorist enemy keeps changing, from the Taliban to al-Qaida to the Islamic State. As long as the threat remains elusive, the collection plate can continue to be passed around in the hope that tossing wads of money at the problem will someday solve it.
Fear and doom is exactly what Mr. Macron served up in his climate change address to the world. His tone was solemn, like that of a president announcing military action.
"Climate change is one of the major issues of our time," Mr. Macron said. "It is already changing our daily lives, but it is global. Everyone is impacted. And if we do nothing, our children will know a world of migrations, of wars, of shortage: a dangerous world."
Mr. Macron's call to civilians to join the fight against climate change was not unlike that of a general imploring soldiers to serve in battle:
"To all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the president of the United States, I want to say that they will find in France a second homeland. I call on them: Come and work here with us. To work together on concrete solutions for our climate, our environment."
France's weekly news magazine L'Obs compared Mr. Macron's speech to the one General Charles de Gaulle made to the resistance at the onset of World War II. "The president of the Republic was obviously inspired by the founder of Free France to call for resistance against Mr. Trump's climate skepticism," the article said.
It's all pretty comical when you realize that European leaders have been able to sell citizens on the absolute need to prevent Earth's temperature from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius, which conveniently sidesteps the fact that it's not the weather causing Europe to become more dangerous.
The migrations that Mr. Macron referred to are being caused by leftist immigration policies that have resulted in a lack of integration and social cohesion. Mr. Macron also spoke of wars, but recent wars haven't been caused by climate change; they've been caused by interventions (such as America in Iraq, or France and Britain in Libya) that lack the follow-through to ensure local security and stability.
There has been ample opportunity in the wake of such interventions to launch initiatives to combat resource shortages with the help of industry. Instead, short-term planning has only led to more war, often before the intervening countries can secure a significant return on investment. And this is where climate change can serve as an intervention strategy.
While Mr. Trump is commander in chief of the most advanced military force in the world, Mr. Macron has just seized the mantle of commander in chief of another kind of power: Western soft power, which is cloaked in benevolence. A glance at the projects funded through the Green Climate Fund -- the United Nations' climate change cash source -- shows that most are located in Africa and Asia, that loans represent almost as much of the funding as grants, and that private interests are just as involved as public interests. In other words, this is business as usual, subsidized by taxpayers in much the same way that military interventions are.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development provides major support for "green" projects around the world. Apparently, Europe doesn't need bombs, guns and regime change to create new markets when they can be created under the guise of humanitarianism.
One goal of war is eradicating threats, but another goal of war is profit. If countries can make the transition from bombs to business, then climate change as a foreign intervention strategy doesn't seem so dumb. Those who perpetuate the myth of man-made climate change for their own financial benefit aren't nearly as naive as the leftists whose idealism is greasing the wheels of big business.
Rachel Marsden is a columnist, political strategist and former Fox News host based in Paris. She is the host of the syndicated talk show "UNREDACTED with Rachel Marsden" Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Eastern: http://www.unredactedshow.com. Her website can be found at www.rachelmarsden.com.