Global warming dogma the "new communism", says Czech President Vaclav Klaus
Modern environmentalism and its “global warming dogma” has replaced communism as the costliest, anti-democratic mistake of our time. That was the major theme of Czech President Vaclav Klaus’s keynote address to the inaugural meeting of the UK-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) in London, October 19.
Sitting on a panel with GWPF founder, former Thatcher economist, Lord Nigel Lawson and GWPF director Benny Peiser, Klaus warned a packed audience, “We are subject to a heavily biased and carefully organized propaganda” to which the GWPF was a welcome “qualified forum, on this side of the Atlantic, that would stand for rationality, objectivity and fairness in public policy discussion.”
Klaus was speaking to a packed and cosmopolitan audience that included economists, sociologists, lawyers, politicians, journalists, Daily Telegraph columnist and leading media “dissenter” Chris Booker, even diplomats from China, India and Russia. Klaus is the most prominent of world leader still in office to speak out against prevailing climate alarmist theory.
Quoting Nobel Prize winning physics laureate Robert Laughlin, Klaus said he wasn’t focusing on the science per se, because “there are respectable but highly conflicting scientific hypotheses” that explains all warming and cooling fluctuations. Climate change was “something that the Earth routinely does on its own without asking permission”. Neither, in this fundamentally new area of science research is there “any such thing as climate experts”. “That’s like claiming”, said Klaus, “someone is an ‘expert’ on how to live in society. It’s absurd.”
Klaus insisted the climate debate is no longer about “scientific discourse” – the hypothesis for which “is weak” – but has become a “public policy debate about man and society”. For Klaus, “it is always wrong to pick a simple, attractive, perhaps appealing scientific hypothesis, especially when it is not sufficiently tested…and to base ambitious, radical and far-reaching policies on it.”
“The global mean climate does change,” said Klaus, “no one disputes that. In spite of that we have to add that over the last ten thousand years (the Holocene era), the climate has been much the same as at present and the average surface temperature did not vary significantly.” He added, “If there has been any long term trend there has been an overall gentle cooling trend.” He pointed out, “Over the past 150 years, which is a medium time scale in climatology, the average global temperature has shown warming-cooling rhythms superimposed on a small upward warming trend.” Looked at from that perspective, “If there has been any long term trend there has been an overall gentle cooling trend.”
Environmentalists today have discovered a “new noble cause”, but in doing so are seeking to “limit human freedom in the name of something that is more important and more ‘noble’ than our down-to-earth lives. For someone who has spent much of his life in the ‘noble’ era of communism this is impossible to accept.”
Summing up the “new doctrine” Klaus explained, “There is no need to dispute the facts.” Klaus accepts that over two centuries we have witnessed a rise in “mostly anthropogenic enhanced amount of CO2 in the atmosphere” and a slight rise in temperature over a similar period. But he states that, scientifically, that is no reason to cite them as “proof of a causal relationship between these phenomena”.
Klaus also notes the increasingly “anti-human ideology” that the new environmentalism promotes. The “new doctrine” he said, “has existed under various headings and in various forms and manifestations for centuries, always based on the idea that the starting point of our thinking should be the Earth, the Planet, or Nature, not Mankind or Man.” Adherents of the climate doctrine consider “the people, a foreign element. They want to save the Planet, not mankind.” Poking fun, Klaus said, “It doesn’t make sense to speak about the world without people because there would be no one to speak.”
Vaclav Klaus addressing the Global Warming Policy Foundation in London, October 19
But Klaus also holds out “some degree of optimism” that the lately exposed “poor science” used by the IPCC may have slightly changed the nature of the debate. He has four reasons for believing so:
- The global temperature ceased rising over a decade ago.
- New alternative hypotheses for climate fluctuations have been formulated.
- The “scientific standing” and reputation of leading AGW proponents have been tainted, exemplified by the scandalous ‘hockey stick’ affair.
- The Copenhagen Conference in December 2009 revealed the wholesale cross-section of opinion and contradiction of interests involved in formulating public policy.
Klaus said he was speaking as someone who himself had worked for years with computer modelling programmes, the chief element that convinces many we face impending doom. Klaus notes, in his experience, computer models simply cannot achieve any serious contribution “computer models just don’t work that way”.
Klaus also notes what he sees as the deeply anti-intellectual nature of those who “want to save the Planet” by gaining power over all our lives. “For these people,” said Klaus, “the sophisticated economic reasoning we offer is irrelevant.” He is amazed at how it has proved possible “that so many politicians, their huge bureaucracies, important groups in the scientific establishment, an important segment of business people and almost all journalists” have bought into climate alarmist theory.
But Klaus went on to present a “reasonable explanation”. “Without having paid much attention to the arguments” far too many now have a vested interest in AGW theory. If prevailing global warming doctrine were overturned, for some “their political and professional pride would suffer. Others are earning a lot of money on it and are afraid of losing that source of income. Business people hope they will make a fortune out of it and are not ready to write it off. They all have a very tangible interest in it. We should say loudly: this coalition of powerful interests is endangering us all.”
In the more important interest of a “democratic and prosperous society” we should “be prepared to adapt to all kinds of future climate changes (including cooling) but we should never accept losing our freedom.”
For the full text (and its appendix): go here.
Peter Glover was invited to hear the first Global Warming Policy Foundation annual lecture “The Climate Change Doctrine” given by Czech President Vaclav Klaus in London, October 19, 2010.