Monday, January 05, 2009
On this day:

Vaclav Klaus

This month, the Czech Republic assumed the EU Presidency, and the new prominence that has afforded Czech President Vaclav Klaus has caused quite a stir. In addition to being a staunch opponent of the push by European elites to vest the EU with vastly expanded powers, Klaus is also a vocal skeptic of the climate change hysteria that has gripped the West. In 2007, he wrote in the Financial Times:

As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning.

The environmentalists ask for immediate political action because they do not believe in the long-term positive impact of economic growth and ignore both the technological progress that future generations will undoubtedly enjoy, and the proven fact that the higher the wealth of society, the higher is the quality of the environment. They are Malthusian pessimists.

The scientists should help us and take into consideration the political effects of their scientific opinions. They have an obligation to declare their political and value assumptions and how much they have affected their selection and interpretation of scientific evidence.

Of former Vice President Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize, Klaus remarked that "The relationship between his activities and world peace is unclear and indistinct. It rather seems that Gore's doubting of basic cornerstones of the current civilization does not contribute to peace."

It should be an interesting six months.