On global warming, Vaclav Klaus takes no prisoners

Stewart W. writes:

Here is the transcript of the interview with Vaclav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic, concerning the international climate panel of the United Nations (IPCC) report on global warming. He gives a full, robust attack on the leftist nature of the global warming “crisis,” and doesn’t back down in the face of increasingly hysterical questions on the part of his interviewer. Right from the beginning, he refuses to let the interviewer frame the discussion in liberal terms. He clearly identifies the fact that the global warming industry is political, and that “environmentalism is a new incarnation of modern leftism.” I particularly like the fact that, as the interviewer increasingly tries to force the interview into the liberal paradigm, Mr. Klaus remains steadfast, and even resorts to a level of ridicule that I find refreshing in this context. I’ve included the transcript below, from the Drudge report. (English translation from Harvard Professor Lubos Motl).

That global warming is so obviously a typical leftist propaganda campaign, though bigger and more aggressive than usual, and that Klaus stands against it so uncompromisingly, is the reason I’ve reproduced the entire interview here.

Czech president Vaclav Klaus has criticized the UN panel on global warming, claiming that it was a political authority without any scientific basis.

In an interview with “Hospodárské noviny,” a Czech economics daily, Klaus answered a few questions:

Q: IPCC has released its report and you say that the global warming is a false myth. How did you get this idea, Mr President?

A: It’s not my idea. Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so. It is not fair to refer to the U.N. panel. IPCC is not a scientific institution: it’s a political body, a sort of non-government organization of green flavor. It’s neither a forum of neutral scientists nor a balanced group of scientists. These people are politicized scientists who arrive there with a one-sided opinion and a one-sided assignment. Also, it’s an undignified slapstick that people don’t wait for the full report in May 2007 but instead respond, in such a serious way, to the summary for policymakers where all the “but’s” are scratched, removed, and replaced by oversimplified theses. This is clearly such an incredible failure of so many people, from journalists to politicians. If the European Commission is instantly going to buy such a trick, we have another very good reason to think that the countries themselves, not the Commission, should be deciding about similar issues.

Q: How do you explain that there is no other comparably senior statesman in Europe who would advocate this viewpoint? No one else has such strong opinions …

A: My opinions about this issue simply are strong. Other top-level politicians do not express their global warming doubts because a whip of political correctness strangles their voice.

Q: But you’re not a climate scientist. Do you have a sufficient knowledge and enough information?

A: Environmentalism as a metaphysical ideology and as a worldview has absolutely nothing to do with natural sciences or with the climate. Sadly, it has nothing to do with social sciences either. Still, it is becoming fashionable and this fact scares me. The second part of the sentence should be: we also have lots of reports, studies, and books of climatologists whose conclusions are diametrally opposite. Indeed, I never measure the thickness of ice in Antarctica. I really don’t know how to do it and don’t plan to learn it. However, as a scientifically oriented person, I know how to read science reports about these questions, for example about ice in Antarctica. I don’t have to be a climate scientist myself to read them. And inside the papers I have read, the conclusions we may see in the media simply don’t appear….

Q: How do you explain that conservative media are skeptical while the left-wing media view the global warming as a done deal?

A: It is not quite exactly divided to the left-wingers and right-wingers. Nevertheless it’s obvious that environmentalism is a new incarnation of modern leftism.

Q: If you look at all these things, even if you were right …

A: … I am right …

Q: Isn’t there enough empirical evidence and facts we can see with our eyes that imply that Man is demolishing the planet and himself?

A: It’s such a nonsense that I have probably not heard a bigger nonsense yet.

Q: Don’t you believe that we’re ruining our planet?

A: I will pretend that I haven’t heard you. Perhaps only Mr Al Gore may be saying something along these lines: a sane person can’t. I don’t see any ruining of the planet, I have never seen it, and I don’t think that a reasonable and serious person could say such a thing. Look: you represent the economic media so I expect a certain economical erudition from you. My book will answer these questions. For example, we know that there exists a huge correlation between the care we give to the environment on one side and the wealth and technological prowess on the other side. It’s clear that the poorer the society is, the more brutally it behaves with respect to Nature, and vice versa. It’s also true that there exist social systems that are damaging Nature—by eliminating private ownership and similar things—much more than the freer societies. These tendencies become important in the long run. They unambiguously imply that today, on February 8th, 2007, Nature is protected uncomparably more than on February 8th ten years ago or fifty years ago or one hundred years ago. That’s why I ask: how can you pronounce the sentence you said? Perhaps if you’re unconscious? Or did you mean it as a provocation only? And maybe I am just too naive and I allowed you to provoke me to give you all these answers, am I not? It is more likely that you actually believe what you say.

- end of initial entry -

An Indian living in the West writes:

I’m up to my eyeballs in this. Here in Europe, it is impossible to escape this—you get bombarded by the media non-stop on “climate change.” The EU put in place a scheme to control carbon emissions in 1990!!! This was about a decade and a half before even the most frivolous climate prediction models became available. I cannot even escape this at work—because “carbon trading” has now become big business. Its an industry unto itself. And we get no end of drivel from self-appointed moralists lecturing us on the evils of “carbon footprints.”

I am really glad you posted something on this. You should post more on this. Starting with something on the question of: “Why does almost every media organisation distort the science on “climate change” so thoroughly. How is it that not one media organisation speaks the truth on this—which is that there is absolutely no consensus among scientists on humans being responsible for climate change? I really am at wit’s end trying to understand why the lies are spoken so freely on this. I mean I can understand why the media would distort the news on race and crime etc. But climate

But consider this irony: Europe faces all kinds of problems, in fact an absolutely terrifying prospect of being overrun by Moslems in half a century; but you cannot even talk about it polite company or even utter a word about it or you’ll be arrested. So what are you allowed to talk about? Phantom problems like climate change! What a truly absurd time we live in.

By the way, here’s a FACT:

A ten percent increase in human carbon dioxide emissions does not equal a ten percent or even a one percent increase in atmospheric CO2. This is because of a variety of reasons, but principally all plants grow a lot faster when they are in an environment with a higher percentage of CO2, which is considered the best “aerial fertilizer” on planet earth. In fact, if you want to make a section of the desert bloom, construct structures that trap CO2 and with adequate water, plants can start growing in the most arid of climates. There is a reason why plants are bred in greenhouses. The result of this is that if there’s a 10 percent increase in human CO2 emissions, the excess CO2 gets swallowed by forests, grasslands and crops which grow a lot faster in a higher CO2 environment. This works like a “carbon sink” which automatically prevents the CO2 percentage in the air from increasing at a dramatic rate. In fact, between the 1950s and the year 2000, available studies indicate that human CO2 emissions obviously increased several fold but atmospheric CO2 actually remained almost the same. In fact, despite the massive increase in human CO2 emissions, temperatures actually fell between 1940 and 1975. How is this possible if human activity simply causes an increase in atmospheric CO2?

I believe in a couple of decades the whole global warming thing will become junk science. But by then no one will remember all this. By then the vain moralists will have invented some new bogey to worry about and which they (who else?) will fix by their benevolence and love for this world. Environmentalism isn’t about the environment mostly, it’s about the environmentalists’ love of themselves and their craving to be recognised as do-gooders by a grateful world.

LA replies:

As for “why?”, there’s no mystery to it. It’s the primal tribal experience of the left, raised to a new pitch because of the supposedly global nature of the threat. The left unites in moral fury against a monstrous, earth-threatening crime being committed by greedy white businessmen. So there is the solidarity of “us,” the oppressed ubermenshen, against “them,” the oppressive untermenschen.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 18, 2007 08:44 PM | Send

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