In an interview with FoxNews.com, Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus argued that man’s natural ingenuity will lead to new technologies that will lessen any impact mankind has had on the planet’s environment. Credit: Fox News
As the Copenhagen climate conference drew to a close Friday, Czech President Vaclav Klaus, long a global warming skeptic, had a message for the world: do not dictate to humanity how to live based on an “irrational ideology,” which he sees as the product of political correctness.
Global warming is a “new religion,” not a science, he said in an interview with FoxNews.com.
“I’m convinced that after years of studying the phenomenon, global warming is not the real issue of temperature,” said Klaus, an economist by training. “That is the issue of a new ideology or a new religion. A religion of climate change or a religion of global warming. This is a religion which tells us that the people are responsible for the current, very small increase in temperatures. And they should be punished.”
Klaus, the second president of the Czech Republic since the fall of communism, is often called the Margaret Thatcher of Central Europe. In the interview, he sounded more like Winston Churchill, vowing to defend liberty and freedom from those who would restrain global economic growth.
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The saddest fact of climate change—and the chief reason we should be concerned about finding a proper response—is that the countries it will hit hardest are already among the poorest and most long-suffering.
In the run-up to this month’s global climate summit in Copenhagen, the Copenhagen Consensus Center dispatched researchers to the world’s most likely global-warming hot spots. Their assignment: to ask locals to tell us their views about the problems they face. Over the past seven weeks, I recounted in these pages what they told us concerned them the most. In nearly every case, it wasn’t global warming.
Everywhere we went we found people who spoke powerfully of the need to focus more attention on more immediate problems. In the Bauleni slum compound in Lusaka, Zambia, 27-year-old Samson Banda asked, “If I die from malaria tomorrow, why should I care about global warming?” In a camp for stateless Biharis in Bangladesh, 45-year-old Momota Begum said, “When my kids haven’t got enough to eat, I don’t think global warming will be an issue I will be thinking about.” On the southeast slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, 45-year-old widow and HIV/AIDS sufferer Mary Thomas said she had noticed changes in the mountain’s glaciers, but declared: “There is no need for ice on the mountain if there is no people around because of HIV/AIDS.”
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‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” Is it not obvious that the vision of apocalypse as it was revealed to Saint John of Patmos was, in fact, global warming?
Here’s a partial rundown of some of the ills seriously attributed to climate change: prostitution in the Philippines (along with greater rates of HIV infection); higher suicide rates in Italy; the 1993 “Black Hawk Down” battle in Somalia; an increase in strokes and heart disease in China; wars in the Middle East; a larger pool of potential recruits to terrorism; harm to indigenous peoples and “biocultural diversity.”
All this, of course, on top of the Maldives sinking under the waves, millions of climate refugees, a half-dozen Katrina-type events every year and so on and on—a long parade of horrors animating the policy ambitions of the politicians, scientists, climate mandarins and entrepreneurs now gathered at a U.N. summit in Copenhagen. Never mind that none of these scenarios has any basis in some kind of observable reality (sea levels around the Maldives have been stable for decades), or that the chain of causation linking climate change to sundry disasters is usually of a meaningless six-degrees-of-separation variety.
Still, the really interesting question is less about the facts than it is about the psychology. Last week, I suggested that funding flows had much to do with climate alarmism. But deeper things are at work as well.
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