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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 9th, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

The Featured Story Telling Event of The Week – in New York City:
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic and of the European Union, declared: “Environmentalism and the global warming alarmism is challenging our freedom. I’m afraid that the current crisis will be misused for radically constraining the functioning of the markets and market economy all around the world.” Now, don’t forget that this statement was made before people who gathered to analyze an ongoing World Economic Crisis – some of whom, like George Soros, were saying that we have not seen the tip of the iceberg yet. The Klaus show is coming this week to New York!

Last year, at the Heartland Institute New York City Event, the oil companies had their free run and actually it was quite an entertaining event. Paleontology was well rehearsed, but also seemingly honest naive people spoke out their thoughts. Some thoughts were provocative indeed, and caused real scientists a work-out in finding reasonable answers – and let us face it – science does not have yet answers for everything, and if it had, it would be no science. It is only religion that has answers for everything, and our website suggested in the past that the oil-use religion is causing humanity’s assured self-destruction. Darwin, another of the Heartland’s targets, made it clear that it takes eons to effect evolution, and life as we know it evolved within the context of a carbon/oxygen chemistry within a given composition of the mixture of gases we call air. A serious deviation from this composition might indeed end life on earth as it evolved – a very frightening idea that no sophist should dare to disregard. But well ….

We reporrted then:

Vaclav Klaus, President of The Czech Republic, Sets The Timing For The Heartland Institute’s New York Climate Change Conference, He May Yet Become, Personaly, A Serious Impediment On The Road To Copenhagen.

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 9th, 2008

by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

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This year, on March 9, 2009 – At Columbia University, March 9, 2009, 3-4 pm, Rotunda, Low Memorial Library., World Leaders Program, Victoria de Grazia, Moore College Professor of History will moderate.

President Václav Klaus of the Czech Republicnda, Low Memorial Library

This World Leaders Forum program features a keynote address by

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The big event:

welcome

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The world’s largest-ever gathering of global warming skeptics will assemble Sunday in New York City to confront the issue, “Global warming: Was it ever really a crisis?”

The complete program for the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change, including cosponsor information and brief biographies of all speakers, can be downloaded in Adobe’s PDF format here.

About 800 scientists, economists, legislators, policy activists, and media representatives are expected to register at the second International Conference on Climate Change, opening Sunday, March 8 and concluding Tuesday, March 10 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel.

Produced by The Heartland Institute and 57 co-sponsoring organizations, the conference is devoted to answering questions overlooked by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. That panel concluded global temperatures may already have reached crisis proportions, and that human activity was a key driver in raising temperatures, primarily because of the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

But the 80 experts scheduled to speak at the Heartland conference say they will present a substantially different viewpoint.

“The number of people registered for this event is nearly twice as many as attended the 2008 conference,” noted Heartland President Joseph Bast. “And the presenters at this year’s conference are the elite in the world among climate scientists. We will be delighted to demonstrate once again the breadth and high quality of support that the skeptical perspective on climate change enjoys.”

Headliners among the 70-plus presenters will be:

  • Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic and of the European Union. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he declared, “Environmentalism and the global warming alarmism is challenging our freedom. I’m afraid that the current crisis will be misused for radically constraining the functioning of the markets and market economy all around the world.”
  • American astronaut Dr. Jack Schmitt–the last living man to walk on the moon–a geologist Ph.D. who has contended he has seen “too many of [my] colleagues lose grant funding when they haven’t gone along with the so-called political consensus that we’re in a human-caused global warming.”
  • William Gray, Colorado State University, who claims global warming alarmists have hijacked the American Meteorological Society.
  • Richard Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the world’s leading experts in dynamic meteorology, especially planetary waves.
  • Stephen McIntyre, primary author of Climate Audit, a blog devoted to the analysis and discussion of climate data. He is a devastating critic of the temperature record of the past 1,000 years, particularly the work of Michael E. Mann, creator of the infamous “hockey stick” graph. That graph–thoroughly discredited in scientific circles–supposedly proved that mankind is responsible for a sharp increase in greenhouse gases.
  • Arthur Robinson, curator of a global warming petition signed by more than 32,000 American scientists, including more than 10,000 with doctorate degrees, rejecting the alarmist assertion that global warming has put the Earth in crisis and is caused primarily by mankind.
  • Willie Soon, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
  • Roy Spencer, University of Alabama at Huntsville, principal research scientist and team leader on NASA’s Aqua satellite.
  • Don Easterbrook, professor of geology at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, who will present new data showing “the most recent global warming that began in 1977 is over, and the Earth has entered a new phase of global cooling.”

The Heartland Institute, a 25-year-old national nonpartisan think-tank based in Chicago, said all of the event’s expenses will be covered by admission fees and individual and foundation donors to Heartland. No corporate dollars or sponsorships earmarked for the event were solicited or accepted.

Co-sponsors do not pay any fee or donation to Heartland to be a co-sponsor. Heartland hasn’t received funding from either the Koch or Scaife foundations in at least a decade.

Click here for the full proceedings of the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change — including audio and video for more than 100 speakers.

program

last updated: March 5, 2009

Where and When

The 2009 International Conference on Climate Change will take place in New York City on March 8-10, 2009 (Sunday – Tuesday), at the Marriott New York Marquis Times Square Hotel, 1535 Broadway, New York, NY.

There will be four tracks of panel discussions:

1. Paleoclimatology
2. Climatology
3. Impact of Climate Change
4. Economics and Politics

The complete program, including cosponsor information and brief biographies of all speakers, can be downloaded in Adobe’s PDF format here.

The tentative schedule appears below.

Sunday, March 8
3:00 – 8:00 pm
Registration
3:00 – 7:00 pm
Exhibit hall open
5:00 – 6:30 pm
Registration and reception
6:30 – 9:30 pm
Opening dinner with keynote speakers
Hon. Vaclav Klaus – No Progress in the Climate Change Debate
Richard Lindzen – Climate Alarm: What We Are Up Against, and What to Do
9:30 – 10:30 pm
Networking and reception
Monday, March 9
7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Exhibit hall open
7:30 – 8:30 am
Breakfast with keynote speakers
Hon. Tom McClintock – Inconvenient Questions
Lawrence Solomon – Our Green Friends
8:30 – 8:45 am
Break
8:45 – 10:15 am
Session I
Track 1: Paleoclimatology
Tom Segalstad – Carbon Isotope Mass Balance Modeling of Atmospheric vs. Oceanic CO2
Syun Akasofu – Natural Causes of 20th Century Warming: Recovery from the Little Ice Age and Oscillatory Change
David Evans – Carbon Dioxide Not Responsible for 20th Century Warming
Track 2: Climatology – Serious Problems with IPCC Forecasting Procedures
J. Scott Armstrong – A Forecaster’s View of Climate Change: Methodology Also Counts
Kesten Green – Validity of Climate Change Forecasting for Public Policy Decision Making
Terry Dunleavy- ‘Consensus’ in Climate Science: An Unsubstantiated Urban Myth
Track 3: Climate Change Impacts
Alexandre Aguiar – Dubious Connections between Global Warming and Extreme Weather Events
Craig Idso – Carbon Dioxide, Global Warming, and Coral Reefs: Prospects for the Future
David Legates – Climate Change and Extreme Events: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
Track 4: Economics and Politics – The Economics of Energy Rationing
Marlo Lewis – Economic Train Wreck: Regulation CO2 Emissions Under the Clean Air Act
Ross McKitrick – Calling the Cap-and-Trade Bluff
David Kreutzer – Modeling Results on the Effects of Cap and Trade
10:15 – 10:30 am
Break
10:30 – 11:00 am
Book-signing in the Exhibit Hall: Robert L. Bradley, Jr.
10:30 am – 12:00 noon
Session II
Track 1: Paleoclimatology
Fred Goldberg – Do the Planets and the Sun Control Our Climate and the CO2 in the Atmosphere?
Craig Loehle – 1,500-Year Climate Cycles, Broken Hockey Sticks, and Ocean Cooling
Tim Patterson – Gleissberg Cycle: Pacemaker for the Pacific Decadal Oscillation?
Track 2: Climatology
William Kininmonth – A Natural Limit to Anthropogenic Global Warming
Brian Valentine – Proposed Experimental Methods to Measure the Downward Directed Component of Radiation from CO2 in the Night Sky
Jan Veizer – Climate, Water, Carbon Dioxide, and the Sun
Track 3: Climate Change Impacts – Exposing the Myths Regarding Global Warming and Human Health
John Dale Dunn – Human Health Effects of Warming and Cooling
Joel Schwartz – Climate Chnage and Human Health: A California Perspective
Howard Maccabee
Track 4: Economics and Politics – The Political Outlook for Energy-Rationing Policies
Marc Morano – Prospects for Cap-and-Trade Legislation in the New Congress
Chris Horner – Re-Writing the Rules for Kyoto II: Turning a Treaty into a Congressional-Executive Agreement
Myron Ebell – Prospects for Energy Rationing: It’s Not as Grim as it Looks
12:00 noon – 2:00 pm
Lunch and keynote speakers
Hon. Harrison Schmitt – Climate Facts that Really Are Facts
Art Robinson – Nobel Prize for Death
2:00 – 2:15 pm
Break
2:15 – 2:45 pm
Book-signing in the Exhibit Hall: Christopher C. Horner
2:15 – 2:45 pm
Book-signing in the Exhibit Hall: Iain Murray
2:15 – 3:45 pm
Session III
Track 1: Paleoclimatology
Dennis Avery – Predicting 21st Century Global Warming with the 1,500-year Climate Cycle
Joe D’Aleo – Data Integrity Issues, Natural Variability, and Climate Change
Track 2: Climatology
Patrick Michaels – EPA’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
William Cotton – Weather and Climate Engineering
Anthony Lupo – Inter-annual Temperature Variations
Track 3: Climate Change Impacts
Indur Goklany – Climate Change Impacts
Paul Reiter – The EDEN Project: Emerging Diseases in a Changing European Environment
Stanley Goldenberg – Is There a Link between Global Warming and Hurricane Activity?
Track 4: Economics and Politics – The Morality of Energy Rationing
Barun Mitra -The Three E’s of Energy: Ethics, Economics, and Efficiency
Cal Beisner – Remember the Poor: A Christian Perspective on Energy Rationing
Roy Innis – Congress of Racial Equality
3:45 – 4:00 pm
Break
4:00 – 4:30 pm
Book-signing in the Exhibit Hall: Patrick J. Michaels
4:00 – 5:30 pm
Session IV
Track 1: Climatology
Richard Keen – Volcanoes and Climate Change Since 1980: A View from the Moon
David Douglass – The Models Still Do Not Agree with the Observations
Nir Shaviv – New Solar-Climate Link and Implications for Our Understanding of Climate Change
Track 2: Climatology
Anthony Watts – Weather Station Siting Issues within the USHCN Surface Station Network
Steve McIntyre – Do We Know that the 1990s Were the Warmest Decade of the Millennium?
James J. O’Brien – The Truth about Climate Change in the Southeast United States
Track 3: Economics and Politics – The Kyoto Zone
Roger Helmer – The EU Parliament
Benny Peiser – The Crisis of EU Climate Policy
Gabriel Calzada – Spain’s New Economy: Boom and Bust of the Spanish Renewable Miracle
Track 4: Economics and Politics
Kenneth P. Green – A Green Economy, or a Tide of Red Ink?
Bob Ferguson – State Climate Policies: Arkansas as Profile
Tom Tanton – Are California’s Global Warming Policies a Model for the Nation?
5:30 pm
Dinner on your own
8:00 – 11:00 pm
Dessert reception
8:30 – 9:00 pm
Book-signing in the Exhibit Hall: Richard A. Keen
Tuesday, March 10
7:00 am – 3:00 pm
Exhibit hall open
7:00 – 8:30 am
Breakfast with keynote speakers
John Sununu – The Politics of Science: It Ain’t Pretty
Willie Soon – Disconnects in Sun-Climate Studies: Removing Politics from the Science
8:30 – 8:45 am
Break
8:45 – 10:15 am
Session V
Track 1: Climatology
S. Fred Singer: No Evidence for AGW: A Personal Odyssey
Christopher Essex – Climate Change and the Laughter of the Gods
Piers Corbyn – What Does and Does Not Cause Climate Change
Track 2: Climatology
George Taylor – The Pacific Decadal Oscillation: A Dominant Mode of Climate Variability
Roy Spencer – Satellite Evidence for Global Warming Being Driven by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation
William Gray – Climate Change Is Primarily Driven by Salinity-Induced Deep Ocean Circulation Changes
Track 3: Climate Change Impacts
Laurence Gould – Global Warming Alarmism: Checking the Claims, Exposing the Methods
Howard Hayden – Debunking Global Warming Propaganda
Keith Lockitch – Green Energy: How to Undermine Industrial Civilization and Become More Vulnerable to Nature
Track 4: Economics and Politics – Intellectual Roots of Alarmism
Christopher Booker – From BSE to Global Warming: Why Scares Are Costing Us the Earth
Iain Murray – Tracing Alarmism’s Methods Back to Their Roots
Yaron Brook – Environmentalism: A Philosophy of Sacrifice
10:15 – 10:30 am
Break
10:30 – 11:00 am
Book-signing in the Exhibit Hall: Christopher Booker
10:30 am – 12:00 noon
Session VI
Track 1: Climatology
Don Easterbrook – ‘Global Warming’ Is Over: Geologic, Oceanographic, and Solar Evidence for Global Cooling in the Coming Decades
Mike Jungbauer – Global Warming Science and Policymakers
Track 2: Climatology – Findings of the Non-Governmental International Panel on Climate Change
Fred Singer
Richard Lindzen
Christopher Monckton
David Douglass
Christopher Essex
Track 3: Economics and Politics
Michelle Foss – Climate Science and Economics: Understanding and Balacing the Debate
Francisco Capella – Climate Change and the Ethics of Freedom
Jay Lehr – Green Energy Job Losses
Track 4: Economics and Politics – The Alarmists Revealed
Rob Bradley – The Malthusian Virus in the Scientific Debate
Joanne Nova – The Great Global Fawning: How Science Journalists Pay Homage to Non-Science and Un-Reason
John Coleman – Dead Wrong about Global Warming: How Al Gore Got that Way
12:00 noon – 3:00 pm
Lunch and keynote speakers
Bob Carter – The Problem is NATURAL Climate Change, Stupid!
John Theon – Is Climate Change Driven by Mankind: My Personal Journey
Christopher Monckton – Magna est veritas, et praevalet (Great Is Truth, and Mighty Above All Things)

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registration


<PetitionSigners.jpg>
SPECIAL OFFER for signers of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine’s Global Warming Petition! If you have signed the Global Warming Petition, you qualify for a 20 percent discount off the registration fees described below. To apply, call Events Manager Nikki Comerford at 312/377-4000. Please note we will confirm with OISM that you have legitimately signed the petition, and we reserve the right to reject discounted registrations from persons who have not signed.


The complete program for the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change, including cosponsor information and brief biographies of all speakers, can be downloaded in Adobe’s PDF format here.


Online registration: Pay in U.S. dollars

Online registration: Pay in Euros

To register by phone, have a credit card ready and call Ms. McElrath at 312/377-4000. To register by mail, download the form and mail it with check or credit card information to: 2009 ICCC, The Heartland Institute, 19 South LaSalle Street #903, Chicago, Illinois 60603, USA.

Full Delegate
US $720
490 Euro
Students
US $360
245 Euro
Panels Only (no meals)
US $360
245 Euro

Full delegates, media, and students receive:

  • program updates by email prior to the event
  • tickets for five meals (plenary sessions)
  • admission to all panels
  • conference proceedings manual
  • all session refreshments

Panels Only registrants receive all the benefits above except the five meals.

Elected officials: Free admission and travel and hotel scholarships are available to elected officials. Please direct inquiries to Brian Costin, assistant government relations director, at bcostin@heartland.org.

Journalists: Free admission is available to qualified journalists. Please direct inquiries to Tammy Nash, media relations manager, at tnash@heartland.org.

Online registrants will receive immediate confirmation via email. If registering by written form, confirmation will be emailed (if address provided) within 72 hours of receipt. Registrations cancelled prior to 5:00 pm (CST) on February 16, 2009 are subject to a $100 cancellation fee. Registrations are non-refundable after 5:00 pm (CST) on February 16, 2009.


For more information, contact Nikki Comerford, events director at The Heartland Institute, at ncomerford@
 
heartland.org, or call 312/377-4000.

=================———————————–

Vaclav Klaus, President of The Czech Republic, Sets The Timing For The Heartland Institute’s New York Climate Change Conference, He May Yet Become, Personaly, A Serious Impediment On The Road To Copenhagen.

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 9th, 2008

by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

We were surprised to learn that the current President of The Czech Republic, Mr. Vaclav Klaus, will be the 7 a.m. speaker at the final Breakfast meeting of the Heartland Institute’s Climate Change Skeptics’ meeting, in New York City, Tuesday, March 4, 2008.We knew that in September 2007, at the Climate Change meeting called by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Czech President was the only Head of State to criticize the UN for its approach on climate change.

Now this is something that should worry us. The Czech Republic will hold onto the EU Presidency for the January 1. 2009 to the June 30, 2009 period. And this is right in between the 2008 COP 14 of the UNFCCC in Poznan and the COP 15 of the UNFCCC in Copenhagen. We already expressed our worries last week after the release of information about Czech opposition to some of the most important climate change fighting measures envisioned by the EU.

www.sustainabilitank.info/2008/03

Now, further, as after the present Slovenian EU Presidency, there comes the French Presidency, that ends on December 31, 2008 and covers thus the December Poznan meeting, that was supposed to prepare the material that will then move to the the December 2009 Copenhagen meeting.

We already wrote about the fact that the US Presidential elections occur in November 2008, so by December 2008 there will be a totally lame US Administration that will just tread time until the President-in-Waiting, or the President-Elect takes over. As Poznan is supposed to bring in to the negotiation circle the US – this simply is impossible because the President elect will not be able to have any meaningful role in these negotiations.

We suggested thus earlier that a solution could be the postponement of the Poznan meeting until March, at least. This because what we learned from the experience with the change of government in Australia – where the new Prime Minister came to Bali and managed real change, and speeded-up the process there.

But now we stand corrected – a Czech Presidency of the EU in March 2008 is now a guarantee for a non-performing EU.

So, we stand now corrected about the idea of postponing Poznan, while still being right about a projected non-performing Poznan. Obviously, except if President Bush does experience indeed a true change of heart on matters of oil, the National and Global Interest, and climate change.

After the Czechs, the EU Presidency passes to Sweden – which will be at the head of the EU delegation in Copenhagen – but having limped along till June 30, 2008, can the EU, the motor on climate change activities at the UN, be able to pull out in five months the agreed text that is needed in order to have a post-2012 roadmap on global activities to reduce CO2 emissions?

Let us hear what the Czech President said on the subject of climate change in previous fora:

7.9.2007 – At the Ambrosetti Forum,Villa d’Este, Italy. “Global Warming Hysteria or Freedom and Prosperity?”

One can tell – with a high degree of confidence – what topics are expected to be raised here, this morning when it comes to discussing the key challenges of today’s world. The selection of the moderator and my fellow-panelists only confirms it. I guess it is either international terrorism or poverty in Africa. Talking about both of these topics is necessary because they are real dangers but it is relatively easy to talk about them because it is politically correct. I do see those dangers and do not in any way underestimate them. I do, however, see another major threat which deserves our attention – and I am afraid it does not get sufficient attention because to discuss it is politically incorrect these days.

The threat I have in mind is the irrationality with which the world has accepted the climate change (or global warming) as a real danger to the future of mankind and the irrationality of suggested and partly already implemented measures because they will fatally endanger our freedom and prosperity, the two goals we consider – I do believe – our priorities.

We have to face many prejudices and misunderstandings in this respect. The climate change debate is basically not about science; it is about ideology. It is not about global temperature; it is about the concept of human society. It is not about nature or scientific ecology; it is about environmentalism, about one – recently born – dirigistic and collectivistic ideology, which goes against freedom and free markets.

I spent most of my life in a communist society which makes me particularly sensitive to the dangers, traps and pitfalls connected with it. Several points have to be clarified to make the discussion easier:

1. Contrary to the currently prevailing views promoted by global warming alarmists, Al Gore’s preaching, the IPCC, or the Stern Report, the increase in global temperatures in the last years, decades and centuries has been very small and because of its size practically negligible in its actual impact upon human beings and their activities. (The difference of temperatures between Prague where I was yesterday and Cernobbio where I am now is larger than the expected increase in global temperatures in the next century.)

2. As I said, the empirical evidence is not alarming. The arguments of global warming alarmists rely exclusively upon forecasts, not upon past experience. Their forecasts originate in experimental simulations of very complicated forecasting models that have not been found very reliable when explaining past developments.

3. It is, of course, not only about ideology. The problem has its important scientific aspect but it should be stressed that the scientific dispute about the causes of recent climate changes continues. The attempt to proclaim a scientific consensus on this issue is a tragic mistake, because there is none.

4. We are rational and responsible people and have to act when necessary. But we know that a rational response to any danger depends on the size and probability of the eventual risk and on the magnitude of the costs of its avoidance. As a responsible politician, as an academic economist, as an author of a book about the economics of climate change, I feel obliged to say that – based on our current knowledge – the risk is too small and the costs of eliminating it too high. The application of the so called “precautionary principle,” advocated by the environmentalists, is – conceptually – a wrong strategy.

5. The deindustrialization and similar restrictive policies will be of no help. Instead of blocking economic growth, the increase of wealth all over the world and fast technical progress – all connected with freedom and free markets – we should leave them to proceed unhampered. They represent the solution to any eventual climate changes, not their cause. We should promote adaptation, modernization, technical progress. We should trust in the rationality of free people.

6. It has a very important North-South and West-East dimension. The developed countries do not have the right to impose any additional burden on the less developed countries. Imposing overambitious and – for such countries – economically disastrous environmental standards on them is unfair.

No radical measures are necessary. We need something “quite normal.” We have to get rid of the one-sided monopoly, both in the field of climatology and in the public debate. We have to listen to arguments. We have to forget fashionable political correctness. We should provide the same or comparable financial backing to those scientists who do not accept the global warming alarmism.

I really do see environmentalism as a threat to our freedom and prosperity. I see it as “the world key current challenge.”

Václav Klaus, Ambrosetti Forum,Villa d’Este, Italy.

24.9.2007 – Notes for the speech of the President of the Czech Republic at the UN Climate Change Conference called for by the UNSG Ban Ki-moon ahead of the UNGA General Debate That Started The Following Day.

Distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Responsible politicians know that they have to act when it is necessary. They know that their duty is to initiate public policy responses to issues that could pose a threat to the people of their countries. And they know that they have to form partnerships with colleagues from other countries when a problem cannot be confined to national boundaries. To help doing it is one of the main reasons for the existence of institutions such as the United Nations.

However, the politicians have to ensure that the costs of public policies organized by them will not be bigger than the benefits achieved. They have to carefully consider and seriously analyze their projects and initiatives. They have to do it, even if it may be unpopular and if it means blowing against the wind of fashion and political correctness. I congratulate Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on organizing this conference and thank him for giving us an opportunity to address the important, but one-sidedly debated issue of climate changes. The consequences of acknowledging them as a real, big, imminent and man-made threat would be so enormous that we are obliged to think twice before making decisions. I am afraid it is not the case now.

Let me raise several points to bring the issue into its proper context:

1. Contrary to the artificially and unjustifiably created world-wide perception, the increase in global temperatures has been – in the last years, decades and centuries – very small in historical comparisons and practically negligible in its actual impact upon human beings and their activities.

2. The hypothetical threat connected with future global warming depends exclusively upon very speculative forecasts, not upon undeniable past experience and its eventual trends and tendencies. These forecasts are based on relatively short time series of relevant variables and on forecasting models that have not been proved very reliable when attempting to explain past developments.

3. Contrary to many self-assured and self-serving proclamations, there is no scientific consensus about the causes of recent climate changes. An impartial observer must accept the fact that both sides of the dispute – the believers in man’s dominant role in recent climate changes, as well as the supporters of the hypothesis about their mostly natural origin – offer arguments strong enough to be listened to carefully by the non-scientific community. To prematurely proclaim the victory of one group over another would be a tragic mistake and I am afraid we are making it.

4. As a result of this scientific dispute, there are those who call for an imminent action and those who warn against it. Rational behavior depends – as always – on the size and probability of the risk and on the magnitude of the costs of its avoidance. As a responsible politician, as an economist, as an author of a book about the economics of climate change, with all available data and arguments in mind, I have to conclude that the risk is too small, the costs of eliminating it too high and the application of a fundamentalistically interpreted “precautionary principle” a wrong strategy.

5. The politicians – and I am not among them – who believe in the existence of a significant global warming and especially those who believe in its anthropogenic origin remain divided: some of them are in favor of mitigation, which means of controlling global climate changes (and are ready to put enormous amounts of resources into it), while others rely on adaptation to it, on modernization and technical progress, and especially on favorable impact of the future increase in wealth and welfare (and prefer spending public money there). The second option is less ambitious and promises much more than the first one.

6. The whole problem does not only have its time dimension, but a more than important spatial (or regional) aspect as well. This is highly relevant especially here, in the UN. Different levels of development, income and wealth in different places of the world make world-wide, overall, universal solutions costly, unfair and to a great extent discriminatory. The already developed countries do not have the right to impose any additional burden on the less developed countries. Dictating ambitious and for them entirely inappropriate environmental standards is wrong and should be excluded from the menu of recommended policy measures.

My recommendations are as follows:

1. The UN should organize two parallel IPCCs and publish two competing reports. To get rid of the one-sided monopoly is a sine qua non for an efficient and rational debate. Providing the same or comparable financial backing to both groups of scientists is a necessary starting point.

2. The countries should listen to one another, learn from mistakes and successes of others, but any country should be left alone to prepare its own plan to tackle this problem and decide what priority to assign to it among its other competing goals.

We should trust in the rationality of man and in the outcome of spontaneous evolution of human society, not in the virtues of political activism. Therefore, let’s vote for adaptation, not for the attempts to mastermind the global climate.

Václav Klaus, Climate Change Conference, United Nations, New York, September 24th, 2007

26.9.2007 – Statement by H.E. Mr. Václav KLAUS President of the Czech Republic at the General Debate of the 62nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Mr. Chairman,

Allow me to congratulate you on your election as President of the 62nd Session of the General Assembly. I also welcome the highly respected Secretary General at his first opening session of this Assembly.

I would like to start with saying that my country is proud to be one of the founding fathers of the United Nations in its current form. The Czech Republic, a successor state of Czechoslovakia, has been actively participating in all kinds of UN activities in the past and it will continue to do so in the future.

We take part not only in the work of the United Nations itself, but also of its specialized organizations and agencies such as UNESCO, UNDP, FAO, WHO, International Atomic Energy Agency, and many others. We have always supported any meaningful initiative, which leads to the increase of stability and prosperity of the world.

I am proud to confirm that the Czech Republic has the ambition to be elected to the Security Council as a non-permanent member in the period 2008-2009. I believe that we can be trusted by the majority of Member States and that we do deserve their votes.

We are convinced we have already demonstrated our devotion to freedom, democracy, international cooperation, economic development and respect for sovereignty of countries belonging to this community of nations. My country served in the Security Council in 1994 and 1995 when I was Prime Minister. We tried to do our best. We were predictable and committed to hard work. Now, as President of the Czech Republic I can assure you that we will do even a better job.

We have always recognized the principal responsibility of the UN Security Council for maintaining international peace and security. Since the 1990’s, the Czech Republic has contributed to more than 20 UN peace-keeping missions and UN mandated operations in the Balkans, Asia and Africa. We deeply believe in the prevention and non-violent resolution of disputes and conflicts. This can be proved by our own behavior – by the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1992. Over the last years, we have multiplied our official development assistance.

In the last 18 years, the Czech Republic has been undergoing a radical and dynamic development which was made possible by the fall of communism and by our rapid departure from that oppressive, inhuman and inefficient political, social and economic system. Our profound transformation strategy – based on the acceptance of political pluralism, parliamentary democracy and market economy – was successful.

A further important impetus to our development was our approaching the European Union and the entry into it three years ago. Today, the Czech Republic is a full-fledged member of the Union and will hold the EU Presidency in the first half of 2009. It might be of interest to this forum that the slogan of the Czech Presidency is “Europe without barriers”. This means both internal and external barriers of the Union. I fully support this concept as I strongly believe in the need of removing barriers that hinder economic progress, especially of developing countries.

Mr. Chairman, we consider the United Nations to be an extremely important and in fact irreplaceable platform. There is no substitute for it in the current world. It is a platform for meetings and consultations, for dialogue and – eventually – for reaching agreements on treaties among nations sharing the same or similar values and political stances.

This unique platform is based on the plurality of views of 192 Member States and on our mutual respect towards their, sometimes differing positions. The ambition of the UN is not, and should never be, searching for one obligatory, unitary view imposed by some of us on those who disagree.

I did not use the term platform by chance and without any purpose. By saying that, I implicitly object to the alternative concept, to the concept of global governance which is based on the indefensible idea that the world can be “globally governed”, masterminded, controlled, managed and/or even planned. To aspire to do that is something we can never accept. It is an ambition based on the “abuse of reason” and on the “pretence of knowledge”. Democracy is something else.

There are some among us who prefer the operational efficiency (or the ability to act) of this organization to the recognition of the existence of different views. They want to make decisions in an easier and faster way. Our communist past tells us that we should not do that. We also want the UN to be reasonably operational. But we categorically oppose that it happens at the expense of individual Member States. And we have to respect views of individual countries regardless of their size. It is crucial that every Member State has equal status and that its voice is not ignored.

We have to go forward. The UN needs changes. We do support the UN reform because this organization should reflect the current situation in the world more than the situation of the era when the UN was founded. Some changes are inevitable and we should discuss them seriously.

To our great regret, we are – in the current world – witnessing many cases of the lack of freedom and democracy. Our task for the future is to minimize them. I do not see and hear the terms freedom and democracy here and elsewhere as much or as often as they deserve. We hear other words more frequently – aid, government initiatives and interventions, social justice, positive rights, environment, resources, climate, solving of problems, facing the threats, global challenges, etc.

Here we have to be very careful. We should support meaningful activities, not programs which in effect put constrains on local development. We should use natural resources efficiently and protect the environment but not in a way that restricts human activity and harms economic development. We would help global development more by reducing barriers than by providing more conditional aid. Reduction of protectionism and lowering of export subsidies is a far more efficient way for helping developing countries than anything else. We should not allow that developing countries are prevented from their own economic growth by additional burdens imposed upon them they will not be able to bear.

At the Conference on Climate Change the day before yesterday, I resolutely warned against the unjustified alarmism of global warming activists and their fellow-travelers in some governments and international organizations, but even this potential problem, as well as any other, can never be solved without relying on freedom, free markets, free trade and other attributes of free society.

To preserve environment is very important but we have to be more modest in our attempting to control the complexities of the world.

Mr. Chairman, distinguished colleagues, let’s use the potential of this organization as much as possible. Let’s cooperate, let’s listen to each other, let’s negotiate to the last possible moment, let’s try to understand the others. The Czech Republic tries to follow those rules.

Václav Klaus, UN, New York, September 26, 2007

28.9.2007 – at the Council for National Policy Conference, Salt Lake City.
“What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?”

Thank you very much for the invitation to this important gathering. Thank you for giving me a chance to address this very distinguished audience.

I have to start on a personal note. This is not my first visit of Salt Lake City. I spent here two hours in one beautiful spring morning in May, 1969. After studying during the spring term at Cornell University I boarded a Greyhound bus and spent 20 days traveling across the United States. I was here in jeans and with long hair. I had breakfast here somewhere, walked around, visited the temple and boarded the bus again with the next stop Reno.

I did not expect to come here again and especially in the position I hold now. It was in the dark communist days. It was at the end of the short but promising era of the Czechoslovak Prague Spring and it was my first and at the same time last visit to your beautiful country for the next 20 years. The collapse of communism in November 1989 changed everything. Freedom and democracy which followed as a result of our radical systemic change made us a totally different country, free and prosperous, member of the European Union and NATO, and a good friend and close ally of the United States of America.

I used the term “communism collapsed” not without purpose. I know that there are – both here and elsewhere – many people who claim that they defeated communism. As an integral part and active player of that process, I would dare to argue that communism melted down and would add that the meltdown was accelerated by the strong stances of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher who refused to compromise with the Soviet Union. What helped us was their policies, not the soft, so called peace-policy of our West European neighbors.

I have had tens, if not hundreds of speeches in your country after that. At the beginning, my topics were communism and how to get rid of its legacy. The transition from communism to a free society is over, and not only in my country. One may have reservations about developments in some of the former communist countries but I strongly disagree with attempts to look at those countries with a misleading optics of fighting communism there now. To trivialize the multifaceted and multidimensional post-communist transition in such a way is a serious fallacy.

My second topic, if not obsession, used to be (and still is) Europe and the European Union, something not sufficiently understood here. After almost half a century of communism the Czech Republic wanted to be again a normal European country, which means – these days – to be a member of the European Union.

This is what we accepted and both our gradual approaching the EU during the first fifteen years after the fall of communism and our entry into it three years ago represented an integral part of our radical political, social and economic transformation. Nevertheless, our communist experience made us sensitive to all kinds, forms, manifestations and aspects of the suppression of freedom and democracy in the name of allegedly “higher” goals and due to it we find that the EU unification project itself – an almost holy and sacred goal which explains, justifies and excuses everything – not only a blessing. The currently politically correct approach, I call Europeism, does not see it and tries to create a brave new world without nations, without borders, without politics, without a “demos” (which means without authentic citizens) and – as a result of it – without democracy. I see it as a big problem.

Today, I intend to discuss another “high and holy” issue. I want to speak about supposed devastating climate changes, about consequences of global warming and about our responses and reactions to them. Some people try – consciously or subconsciously – caricature people like me and accuse those of us, who dare to speak about it differently than is now politically correct, of talking about things we do not understand and are not experts on. They are wrong. People like me do not try to enter the field of climatology, do not try to better measure global temperature, and do not try to suggest alternative scenarios of the future global climate fluctuations (based on different, but equally speculative and unreliable forecasting models). In my argumentation I don’t talk about climatology but about environmentalism, about an ideology which puts nature and environment and their supposed protection and preservation before and above freedom.

It may sound surprisingly but I have the feeling that I have not changed the subject of my talks in the last 18 years. Talking about communism, talking about Europeism and talking about environmentalism is more or less, structurally, similar if not identical. The issue is always freedom and its enemies. Those of us who feel very strongly about it can never accept

– the irrationality with which the current world has embraced the climate change (or global warming) as the main threat to the future of mankind, as well as

– the irrationality of proposed and partly already implemented public initiatives because they will fatally endanger our freedom and prosperity, the two goals we consider – I do believe – our priorities.

After spending the whole day at the UN Climate Change Conference on Monday and two following days at the General Assembly I know what I am talking about.

The problem is that we are confronted with many prejudices, misunderstandings and now already also vested interests. As I said, the climate change debate is basically not about science; it is about ideology. It is not about global temperature; it is about the concept of human society. It is not about scientific ecology; it is about environmentalism.

I would summarize my position on these issues in the following way:

1. Contrary to the currently prevailing views – promoted by global warming alarmists, Al Gore’s preaching, the IPCC, or the Stern Report – the increase in global temperatures in the last years, decades and centuries has been very small and because of its size practically negligible in its actual impact upon human beings and their activities. (The today’s difference of temperature between Prague and Salt Lake City is almost 30 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much more than even Al Gore promises as regards the whole next century temperature increase.)

2. The available empirical evidence is not alarming. The arguments of global warming alarmists rely exclusively upon very speculative forecasts, not upon past experience. Their forecasts are based on experimental simulations of very large forecasting models that have not been found very reliable when explaining past developments.

3. The whole debate is, of course, not only about ideology. The problem has its important scientific aspect but it should be stressed that the scientific dispute about the causes of recent climate changes continues. The attempt to proclaim a scientific consensus on this issue is a tragic mistake, because there is none.

4. We are rational and responsible people and know that we have to act when necessary. But we should know that a rational response to any danger depends on the size and probability of the eventual risk and on the magnitude of the costs of its avoidance. As a responsible politician, as an academic economist, as an author of a book about the economics of climate change, I feel obliged to say that – based on our current knowledge – the risk is too small and the costs of eliminating it too high. The application of the so called “precautionary principle,” advocated by the environmentalists, is – conceptually – a wrong strategy.

5. The deindustrialization and similar restrictive policies will be of no help. Instead of blocking economic growth, the increase of wealth all over the world and fast technical progress – all connected with freedom and free markets – we should leave them to proceed unhampered. Economic growth, increase of wealth and technical progress represent the solution to the consequences of eventual climate changes, not their cause. We should promote adaptation, modernization, technical progress. We should trust in the rationality of free people.

6. This issue has a very important North-South and West-East dimension. The developed countries do not have the right to impose any additional burden on the less developed countries. Imposing overambitious and – for such countries – economically disastrous environmental standards on them is unfair and discriminatory.

No radical measures are necessary. Famous Czech writer of the early 20th century Jaroslav Ha?ek, whose book “The Good Soldier Schweik” is known world-wide, made a good point saying: “To chce klid”. The Americans would probably say “Take it easy” or “Let’s be cool” or “Calm down!”. What the world needs now is to remain “quite normal”. It requires, however, to get rid of the one-sided monopoly, both in the field of climatology and in the public debate. We have to listen to arguments. We have to forget the destructive, but currently so fashionable dictate (if not tyrany) of political correctness. We should provide the same or comparable financial backing to those scientists who do not accept the global warming alarmism.

When I spoke at the UN conference on climate change on Monday morning, I concluded my speech by saying: “We should trust in the rationality of man and in the outcome of spontaneous evolution of human society, not in the virtues of political activism. Therefore, let’s vote for adaptation, not for attempts to mastermind the global climate.” There is nothing to add to it. Especially to this audience.

Václav Klaus, Council for National Policy Conference, Salt Lake City, September 28, 2007

7.11.2007 – At the Chatham House, London . “The Other Side of Global Warming Alarmism.”

Thank you for the invitation and the opportunity to address this distinguished audience. I would like to start by stressing how glad I am to be for the first time in the well-known Chatham House which has been the place of so many important talks and discussions in the whole 87 years of its existence.

My speeches here in London have been in the past years connected with two topics. The first one was the end of communism and our way of getting rid of its legacy. The second one was the European integration.

The transition from communism to a free society is over, and not only in my country. We may have reservations about developments in some of the former communist countries but I disagree with the attempts to look at those countries with a misleading optics of fighting communism there even now. It is a mistake and I am afraid a slightly snobbish position as well.

My second topic here used to be Europe and the European Union. Whereas the first issue is more or less closed because communism is over, the second issue is here with us. It has not faded away. On the contrary, with treaty after treaty, with summit after summit, the danger of creating a brave new world of a post-democratic European supranationalist entity is getting more and more acute.

After almost half a century of communism the Czech Republic had a strong desire to be a normal European country again. We understood and accepted that it requires – these days – to become a member of the European Union. Nevertheless, due to our experience with the suppression of freedom and democracy in the name of allegedly “higher” goals, we consider the current European unification project itself – again an almost holy and sacred goal which explains, justifies and excuses everything – not only a blessing.

The recent embracement of the so-called Reform Treaty, which is in all important aspects identical with the old Constitutional Treaty, is a defeat for all true European democrats and should be interpreted as such. The down-playing of its true essence is intellectually unacceptable and morally inexcusable.

Nevertheless, there is another threat on the horizon. I see this threat in environmentalism which is becoming a new dominant ideology, if not a religion. Its main weapon is raising the alarm and predicting the human life endangering climate change based on man-made global warming. The recent awarding of Nobel Prize to the main apostle of this hypothesis was the last straw because by this these ideas were elevated to the pedestal of “holy and sacred” uncriticisable truths.

It became politically correct to caricature us, who dare to speak about it, as those who are talking about things they do not understand and are not experts on. This criticism is inappropriate. People like me do not have ambitions to enter the field of climatology. They do not try to better measure global temperature or to present alternative scenarios of the future global climate fluctuations.

They need not do it because the climate change debate is basically not about science; it is about ideology. It is not about global temperature; it is about the concept of human society. It is not about scientific ecology; it is about environmentalism, which is a new anti-individualistic, pseudo-collectivistic ideology based on putting nature and environment and their supposed protection and preservation before and above freedom. That’s one of the reasons why my recently published book on this topic has a subtitle: “What is Endangered, Climate or Freedom?”.

When we look at it in a proper historical perspective, the issue is – once again – freedom and its enemies. Those of us who feel very strongly about it can never accept

– the irrationality with which the current world has embraced the climate change (or global warming) as a real danger to the future of mankind, as well as

– the irrationality of proposed and partly already implemented etatist and dirigistic measures because they will fatally endanger our freedom and prosperity, the two goals we consider – I do believe – our priorities.

My position can be summarized in the following way:

1. Contrary to the currently prevailing views – promoted by global warming alarmists, by Al Gore’s preaching, by the IPCC, or by the Stern Report – the increase in global temperatures in the last years, decades and centuries has been very small and because of its size practically negligible in its actual impact upon human beings and their activities. For most of the Earth’s history (95% of it), the globe has been warmer than it has been for the last 200 years. In addition to it, using history again, it has been proved that the consequences of modest warming have been mostly positive, not negative.

2. The arguments of global warming alarmists rely exclusively upon very speculative forecasts, not upon serious analysis and extrapolation of past trends or upon undeniable conclusions of natural sciences. The available empirical evidence is not alarming. The highly publicized forecasts made by some leading environmentalists are based on experimental simulations of very complicated forecasting models that have not been found very reliable when explaining past developments. They were mostly done by software engineers, not by scientists themselves.

3. The debate has its important scientific side connected with the dispute whether the current mild warming is man-made or natural. Let’s listen to the scientists but one thing is and becomes evident more and more: the scientific dispute about the causes of recent climate changes continues. The attempts to proclaim a scientific consensus are self-debilitating. There is none. More and more scientists, on the contrary, dare to speak out about it.

4. The issue has an important economic aspect which requires the application of a standard cost-benefit analysis. A rational response to any danger depends on the size and probability of the eventual risk and on the magnitude of the costs of its avoidance. I feel obliged to say that – based on my knowledge – I find the risk too small and the costs of eliminating it too high. The application of the so-called “precautionary principle,” advocated by the environmentalists, is – conceptually – a wrong strategy, because human civilization cannot exist in a regime of the precautionary principle.

5. The deindustrialization and similar restrictive policies will be of no help. Instead of blocking economic growth, the increase of wealth all over the world and fast technical progress – all connected with freedom and free markets – we should leave them to proceed unhampered. They represent the solution to any eventual climate changes, not their cause. We should trust in the rationality of men. We should never forget that the government failure is always much bigger than the market failure. We should not believe more in Al Gore than in the omnipotence of the Soviet or Czechoslovak central planners. Fifty- or hundred-year plans of the current environmentalists will not be any better than the five-year plans which liquidated the economic freedom (and the economic efficiency connected with it) in the centrally planned economies of the past.

6. The global warming issue has a very important North-South and West-East aspect as well. Environmental quality is a luxury good and demand for it increases with income and wealth. The developed countries had to go along the path of the environmental Kuznets curve in the past and do not have any right to prematurely impose their current overambitious environmental standards upon less developed countries, because that would lead to an economic disaster there.

The only conclusion is that no radical measures are necessary. Famous Czech writer of the early 20th century Jaroslav Ha?ek, whose book “The Good Soldier Schweik” is known world-wide, made a point with saying: “To chce klid”. The Englishmen would probably say “Take it easy”.

I lived most of my life in an oppressive and very unproductive political, economic and social system called communism. It was impossible to “take it easy”. Now I live in a system based on the ideology of Europeism which prefers supranational institutions with their post-democracy to the good old democratic institutions in a well-defined constitutional sovereign state. It is difficult to “take it easy” again. And we are moving – very rapidly – to the era of environmentalism in which environment (or perhaps the irrational claims of environmentalists) is placed ahead of men and their freedom. We can take the global climate changes easy, but the climate propaganda and new wave of dangerous indoctrination of the whole world not.

Václav Klaus, Chatham House, London, 7 November 2007

4.3.2008 – Notes for the speech at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change, New York, March 4, 2008 – that is the Heartland Institute’s New York event – the subject, the speech, and the timing that got us involved.

“From Climate Alarmism to Climate Realism.”

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen,

I would like first of all to thank the organizers of this important conference for making it possible and also for inviting one politically incorrect politician from Central Europe to come and speak here. This meeting will undoubtedly make a significant contribution to the moving away from the irrational climate alarmism to the much needed climate realism.

I know it is difficult to say anything interesting after two days of speeches and discussions here. If I am not wrong, I am the only speaker from a former communist country and I have to use this as a comparative – paradoxically – advantage.

Each one of us has his or her experiences, prejudices and preferences. The ones that I have are – quite inevitably – connected with the fact that I have spent most of my life under the communist regime. A week ago, I gave a speech at an official gathering at the Prague Castle commemorating the 60th anniversary of the 1948 communist putsch in the former Czechoslovakia. One of the arguments of my speech there, quoted in all the leading newspapers in the country the next morning, went as follows: “Future dangers will not come from the same source. The ideology will be different. Its essence will, nevertheless, be identical – the attractive, pathetic, at first sight noble idea that transcends the individual in the name of the common good, and the enormous self-confidence on the side of its proponents about their right to sacrifice the man and his freedom in order to make this idea reality.” What I had in mind was, of course, environmentalism and its currently strongest version, climate alarmism.

This fear of mine is the driving force behind my active involvement in the Climate Change Debate and behind my being the only head of state who in September 2007 at the UN Climate Change Conference, only a few blocks away from here, openly and explicitly challenged the current global warming hysteria. My central argument was – in a condensed form – formulated in the subtitle of my recently published book devoted to this topic which asks: “What is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?” My answer is clear and resolute: “it is our freedom.” I may also add “and our prosperity.”

What frustrates me is the feeling that everything has already been said and published, that all rational arguments have been used, yet it still does not help. Global warming alarmism is marching on. We have to therefore concentrate (here and elsewhere) not only on adding new arguments to the already existing ones, but also on the winning of additional supporters of our views. The insurmountable problem as I see it lies in the political populism of its exponents and in their unwillingness to listen to arguments. They – in spite of their public roles – maximize their own private utility function where utility is not any public good but their own private good – power, prestige, carrier, income, etc. It is difficult to motivate them differently. The only way out is to make the domain of their power over our lives much more limited. But this will be a different discussion.

We have to repeatedly deal with the simple questions that have been many times discussed here and elsewhere:

1) Is there a statistically significant global warming?

2) If so, is it man-made?

3) If we decide to stop it, is there anything a man can do about it?

4) Should an eventual moderate temperature increase bother us?

We have our answers to these questions and are fortunate to have many well-known and respected experts here who have made important contributions in answering them. Yet, I am not sure this is enough. People tend to blindly believe in the IPCC’s conclusions (especially in the easier to understand formulations presented in the “Summaries for Policymakers”) despite the fact that from the very beginning, the IPCC has been a political rather than a scientific undertaking.

Many politicians, media commentators, public intellectuals, bureaucrats in more and more influential international organizations not only accept them but use them without qualifications which exist even in the IPCC documents. There are sometimes unexpected and for me unexplainable believers in these views. Few days ago, I have come across a lecture given by a very respected German economist (H. W. Sinn, “Global Warming: The Neglected Supply Side, in: The EEAG Report, CESifo, Munich, 2008) who is in his other writings very critical of the German interventionist economic policies and etatist institutions. His acceptance of the “conventional IPCC wisdom” (perhaps unwisdom) is striking. His words:

– “the scientific evidence is overwhelming”;

– “the facts are undeniable”;

– “the temperature is extremely sensitive to even small variations in greenhouse gas concentration”;

– “if greenhouse gases were absent from the atmosphere, average temperature of the Earth’s surface would be -6 °C. With the greenhouse gases, the present average temperature is +15 °C. Therefore, the impact of CO2 is enormous”;

– he was even surprised that “in spite of all the measures taken, emissions have accelerated in recent years. This poses a puzzle for economic theory!” he said.

To make it less of a puzzle, let me make two brief comments.

As an economist, I have to start by stressing the obvious. Carbon dioxide emissions do not fall from heaven. Their volume (ECO2) is a function of GDP per capita (which means of the size of economic activity, SEA), of the number of people (POP) and of the emissions intensity (EI), which is the amount of CO2 emissions per dollar of GDP. This is usually expressed in a simple relationship which is, of course, a tautological identity:

ECO2= EI x SEA x POP

but with some assumption about causality it can be turned into a structural equation. What this relationship tells is simple: If we really want to decrease ECO2 (which most of us assembled here today probably do not consider necessary), we have to either stop the economic growth and thus block further rise in the standard of living, or stop the population growth, or make miracles with the emissions intensity.

I am afraid there are people who want to stop the economic growth, the rise in the standard of living (though not their own) and the ability of man to use the expanding wealth, science and technology for solving the actual pressing problems of mankind, especially of the developing countries. This ambition goes very much against the past human experience which has always been connected with a strong motivation to go ahead and to better human conditions. There is no reason to make the, from above orchestrated, change just now – especially with arguments based on such an incomplete and faulty science as is demonstrated by the IPCC. Human wants are unlimited and should stay so. Asceticism is a respectable individual attitude but should not be forcefully imposed upon the rest of us.

I am also afraid that the same people, imprisoned in the Malthusian tenets and in their own megalomaniac ambitions, want to regulate and constrain the demographic development, which is something only the totalitarian regimes have until now dared to think about or experiment with. Without resisting it we would find ourselves on the slippery “road to serfdom.” The freedom to have children without regulation and control is one of the undisputable human rights and we have to say very loudly that we do respect it and will do so in the future as well.

There are people among the global warming alarmists who would protest against being included in any of these categories, but who do call for a radical decrease in carbon dioxide emissions. It can be achieved only by means of a radical decline in the emissions intensity. This is surprising because we probably believe in technical progress more than our opponents. We know, however, that such revolutions in economic efficiency (and emissions intensity is part of it) have never been realized in the past and will not happen in the future either. To expect anything like that is a non-serious speculation.

I recently looked at the European CO2 emissions data covering the period 1990-2005, which means the Kyoto Protocol era. My conclusion is that in spite of many opposite statements the very robust relationship between CO2 emissions and the rate of economic growth can’t be disputed, at least in a relevant and meaningful time horizon. You don’t need huge computer models to very easily distinguish three different types of countries in Europe:

– the EU less developed countries – Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain – which during this very period tried to catch up with the economic performance of the more developed EU countries. Their rapid economic growth led to the increase of their CO2 emissions in 15 years (in which they signed Kyoto) by 53%;

– the European post-communist countries which after the fall of communism went through a fundamental, voluntarily unorganizable transformation shake-out and an inevitable radical economic restructuring with the heavy industry disappearing (not stagnating or retreating) practically over night. Their GDP drastically declined. These countries decreased their CO2 emissions in the same period by 32%;

– the “normal” EU, slow-growing if not stagnating countries (excluding Germany where it’s difficult to eliminate the impact of the fact that the East German economy almost ceased to exist in that period) increased their CO2 emissions by 4%.

The huge differences in these three figures – +53%, -32% and +4% – are almost fascinating.

And yet, there is a dream among European politicians to reduce CO2 emissions for the entire EU by 30 per cent in the next 13 years (compared to the 1990 level). What does it mean? Do they assume that all countries would undergo a similar economic shock as was experienced by the Central and Eastern European countries after the fall of communism? Now in the whole of Europe? Do they assume that European economically weaker countries would stop their catching-up process? Or do they intend to organize a decrease in the number of people living in Europe? Or do they expect a miracle in the development of the emissions/GDP ratio, which would require a technological revolution of unheard-of proportions? With the help of a – from Brussels organized – scientific and technological revolution?

What I see in Europe (and in the U.S. and other countries as well) is a powerful combination of irresponsibility, of wishful thinking, of implicit believing in some form of Malthusianism, of cynical approach of those who themselves are sufficiently well-off, together with the strong belief in the possibility of changing the economic nature of things through a radical political project.

This brings me to politics. As a politician who personally experienced communist central planning of all kinds of human activities, I feel obliged to bring back the already almost forgotten arguments used in the famous plan-versus-market debate in the 1930s in economic theory (between Mises and Hayek on the one side and Lange and Lerner on the other), the arguments we had been using for decades – till the moment of the fall of communism. Then they were quickly forgotten. The innocence with which climate alarmists and their fellow-travelers in politics and media now present and justify their ambitions to mastermind human society belongs to the same “fatal conceit.” To my great despair, this is not sufficiently challenged neither in the field of social sciences, nor in the field of climatology. Especially the social sciences are suspiciously silent.

The climate alarmists believe in their own omnipotency, in knowing better than millions of rationally behaving men and women what is right or wrong, in their own ability to assembly all relevant data into their Central Climate Change Regulatory Office (CCCRO) equipped with huge supercomputers, in the possibility to give adequate instructions to hundreds of millions of individuals and institutions and in the non-existence of an incentive problem (and the resulting compliance or non-compliance of those who are supposed to follow these instructions).

We have to restart the discussion about the very nature of government and about the relationship between the individual and society. Now it concerns the whole mankind, not just the citizens of one particular country. To discuss this means to look at the canonically structured theoretical discussion about socialism (or communism) and to learn the uncompromising lesson from the inevitable collapse of communism 18 years ago. It is not about climatology. It is about freedom. This should be the main message of our conference.

Václav Klaus, Notes for the speech at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change, New York, March 4, 2008

www.klaus.cz

I went to the very early Heartland breakfast, and to a follow up interview with President Klaus, out of plain curiosity – will I understand the way the mind of this person, trained in economics, works. He came now to New York, and I was told that the timing of the conference was set in effect according to his schedule and not according to the present political season in the US. I also noted that he spoke in Salt Lake City – one of the hubs of the right wing movement that feeds the Heartland Institute – so I knew already that President Klaus is close to the American right.

The President said that the chairman of the Czech Green Party criticized him for his statement at the UN. It sounded like he was proud of having stuck it to his Greens. So be it. But then he reminded me of those Jews in the Spain of the Inquisition who switched to Christianity and became among the most cruel Inquisitors.

It seems that having lived under the communist system he learned values of liberty, capitalism, and free enterprise, to the point that he demands for the industry the liberty to pollute and for the industry the freedom to go on unregulated.

He is thus a perfect fit to much of the US right, and a hero to the audience at Heartland. Having also started my life behind the Iron curtain, I wonder thus where Mr. Klaus lost his humanity when crossing abruptly from the communist world to the free world. Those that did it at lower pace probably had more time to adjust.

Saying that economic growth is “uber alles”strikes me rather as a communist/fascist idea and trying to work for a cleaner world is rather the real liberating and liberated way of the west. Now, what kind of an argument is it to look at the unregulated Europe and find its warts – the whole idea of the proponents of developing alternatives to the polluting economy is that this will allow for future growth, while sticking to the old ways will inhibit this growth.

Going clean is not only good for you, but actually makes you profit from this – he is an economist – why does he not take a class with the likes of Al Gore or Jim Hanson, Bob Watson or Amory Lovins. What did he come back with from his trip to Chatham House – did he just lecture there like at the UN, or he staid for the discussion too? At Heartland I took a photo of him picking up literature from co-minded folks – does he also listen to those that disagree with him, and are capable to discuss with him point-by-point?

Dr. Klaus thinks all the opponents are political populists – looking for power, prestige and income. He does not want “their power over our life!”

He hates the fact that people believe in the IPCC conclusions.

So – the impact of CO2 is enormous because it impacts the development of the developing countries.

He finds that the people that follow Malthusian tenets want to restrict us also demographically. To him the freedom to have children is an indisputable human right. No further thoughts are needed by him to look into population numbers.

On an industrial revolution he thinks of Brejnev – that is where his credo left him. irresponsibility, wishful thinking when believing in the ability of changing the nature of things – from personal experience he draws ideas from the market debates of the 1930’s. He wants to see more social sciences involved in these matters.

Those he calls “they” – believe in Central Regulatory Emissions’ Institutions with compliance and non-compliance – and you have to obey these institutions. We see the wheels in his mind turn faster and faster – one must escape this control.

So – listen you nincompoops – it is not about climatology – it is about freedom – this is here the main issue for those that lived in communist countries.

Others from communist countries who were mentioned among the Heartland speakers were Russians Yuri Israel and Andrei Illarionov – both known opponents of the concept of man induced climate change. We know both of them from years ago. Yuri Israel is a very good hydrologist who was head of the Soviet water institute, and later headed the Russian academician’s Moscow event to evaluate the idea if climate change is human caused. He Is a member of the IPCC; and Illarionov who was the economics holdout who advised Putin not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, was eventually overruled, and came nevertheless to lecture at the Washington Press Club saying that the KP is not good for Russia. We remember that meting as one of the strangest Russian shows we ever saw.

We managed to interview Dr. Klaus. His answers were as per above script, but when I asked him about the EU Presidency in 2009. He said that policy comes from the EU Parliament (did he mean the commission?), so it is not for him or for the Czech Republic to decide; also, in the Czech Republic decissions are taken by Parliament. What I liked here was that he did not remember who comes after the Czechs (that is Sweden) – so I can say that the EU Presidency is not yet on his front-burner. If that is the case, can we assume that the whole issue of climate change is really only sort of an ego-trip to the west? All what we can do is thus wait to see next year, but worry about Czechs.

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