(1937) A French politician, scientist, and very high-profile AGW proponent who walked across the floor and became a skeptic.
His main research area is geochemistry, where his work won him the Crafoord Prize for geology in 1986, the Wollaston Medal of the Geological Society of London, and the Golden Medal of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. In addition, he is a member of the French and American Academies of Science.
Basically, Allegre is a very accomplished scientist who thinks that the causes of the current climate change are as yet unknown. Click here to read a L'Express article entitled The Snows of Mount Kilimanjaro which concisely presents his views.
Here's an extract: "So, the question that arises is whether there is climate warming or not? The argument that builds upon the retreating white cap of Kilimanjaro seems implacable. The retreating white cap is observable, tangible.
Indeed, but things are not as straightforward as they seem. The gradual retreat of the snows of Kilimanjaro is often imputed to local phenomena, the main one of these being desertification in East Africa.
In a recent issue of Science magazine, French researchers have shown that this desertification was in a large measure due to tectonic activities responsible for the gradual uplift of the African continent, thereby inducing a reorganization of atmospheric circulation. Greenhouse effect plays no significant role in these processes."
Allegre en Francais
1. In 2010 he published the book The climate imposture in which he came out and called the AGW thesis a scam. Somebody had to say something, so Real Climate weighed it. Click here to read their detailed critique of the book.
It's a very thorough critique, but — to critique the critique — starting off with a detailed complaint about spelling mistakes and typos is a rhetorical error because it makes the whole article sound like mean-spirited nit-picking rather than a thoughtful counter in a grand battle of ideas.
2. Here's Senator Inhofe's announcement of Allegre's defection to the skeptics. It's reminiscent of a Cold War announcement of Soviet of spies defecting to the West.