We’re on a trajectory of change in climate that we really have no experience with. This is not the new normal. Wait and five years from now, we’ll wish we had the 2019 climate. Professor James Clark has just moved to France to tackle one of the biggest challenges of our time. He’s joining a climate research project that has rallied scientists from all over the world around a long-term vision for the future. The program is called: Make Our Planet Great Again, or MOPGA. It was launched by France in 2017 in response to America’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. To all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the president of the United States, I call on them. Come and work here with us. But the program is about much more than politics. For participants like Professor Clark, it’s a chance to think long-term about the planet’s future with a level of support that they have not felt in the US. You have very smart people all over the country who have almost no research budgets. This is a trend that’s been going on for decades. In the US, we used to put a lot of value on this, and felt it was important to be at the forefront of science and technology. And this is not the case anymore. What is attractive about this program is that I can work on one project for five years. It was kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. MOPGA has drawn dozens of top scientists from the US and around the world to French and German labs. The scientists are expected to all settle in their new labs by the end of 2019. But some have already hit the ground running with their European colleagues. A program of bringing scientists from other countries to work on climate change is just something I can’t think of any precedent for. Climate, being the problem that it is, is one that requires the input of all nations, and this is a mechanism that facilitates that, and to kind of bridge the international barriers that exist with regards to scientific communication. MOPGA is relatively small in scale with its 43 laureates conducting three-to-five-year-long projects. But it’s meant to become something big, says program administrator Stéphane Blanc. As MOPGA gets underway, France continues to feel the impact of climate change. Professor Clark arrived in the Alps in the midst of a historic heat wave. It’s never been this hot in Grenoble, so it’s appropriate for the project. I’m very enthusiastic about it. It’d be nice to see other countries get involved in programs like this. It’s really an opportunity to rethink how we want our societies to be structured. Why shouldn’t we take climate change as some kind of like, going to the moon, you know?