French intellectuals are, on the whole, a rather annoying group of people, notorious for confusing obscurity and verbosity with profundity, and for whom the regular use of words ending in “-isation” is a substitute for rather than an aid to clear thinking.
Nevertheless, when French intellectuals change their minds about something of significance, it signifies. Whether this is because they actually influence any persons other than other French people, and mostly only each other, or whether it is that they influence nobody but do have a highly developed sense of which way the intellectual winds of the world are blowing and when they are shifting in direction, and hence how to sale with them, I do not know. But, one way or another, these people do count for something.
So the fact that one of this tribe, Pascal Bruckner (a “celebrated French philosopher from the centre left”), has decided that environmentalism has now become a load of despotic hooey is, I believe, quite significant.
I remember when these people turned en masse against Soviet Communism, either because it had “betrayed” Communism (bad) or because it was Communism (bad), in the late nineteen seventies. That meant something then.
And this (“Scorning the propaganda of fear”) means something now.