Czech President Questions Global Warming Yet Again As He Attacks Al Gore’s Climate Campaign

  • Published on February 2nd, 2009

Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who is also the current President of the European Union, has once again voiced his skepticism about global warming.

(UPDATE: For a recent take on this issue, check out “Cool It” Documentary Re-examines the Inconvenient Truth of Global Warming)

At an event at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, the Czech President said he doubts that global warming is actually occurring and that many scientists fail to consider alternative theories regarding the issue. He also attacked former US Vice President and environmental activist, Al Gore, of failing to look at the complete picture in regard to the global phenomenon.

>>Watch video of EU President Vaclav Klaus at Davos

The Czech President didn’t mince his words in questioning the legitimacy of the scientific community’s concerns regarding global warning.

I don’t think that there is any global warming, I don’t see the statistical data for that. I’m very sorry that some people like Al Gore are not ready to listen to the competing theories. I do listen to them.

Mr. Klaus would also be giving a keynote speech at a meeting of ‘global warming skeptics’ in New York. As the Czech President gets ready to take over the post of EU President it would be interesting to see if the European Union faces any hurdles in passing important policies regarding emissions control and use of renewable energy. The timing of his Presidency become even more crucial as EU prepares the agenda for the Copenhagen talks to discuss the fine print of the next climate treaty.

Given that the EU recently unveiled a new plan to curb greenhouse gas levels by 30% below 1990 levels by 2020 and provide billions of dollars in aid to developing countries, Klaus hardly seems like the man to lead the EU – even if it is only a largely ceremonial position. Brokering the compromises with countries like China and India that will be needed to ensure the success of the upcoming Copenhagen climate talks could be made needlessly more difficult.

It is highly unfortunate that instead of taking strong actions the world leaders are still debating if we really have a crisis at our hands. It is very important the world leaders join hands and act decisively to improve the state of the environment, control carbon emissions, ensure energy security and increase use of renewable energy.

"I Recycle" from SnorgTees
("I Recycle" from SnorgTees)

It is time for action rather than questions. Mr. Klaus said that he is more concerned about the consequences of the actions that are being taken to reduce the global carbon emissions rather than the consequences of not acting to mitigate the adverse effects of the changing climate. According to a recent report the world would require only a percent of its GDP to reduce the carbon emissions.

World leaders, and skeptics especially, must understand that it’s not just about the rising temperatures or melting ice caps or record weather fluctuations around the globe. Investing in green technologies would not only create jobs and kick start the tanking economies but would also help countries to improve their air, water and land qualities – a recent study found that even the European countries do not meet the set air quality standards.

It’s an issue about energy security, one which Europe is very much aware of; it’s an issue of constant supply of food and water – many parts of the world are already suffering from severe water crisis add to that the numerous long-term drought warnings given by scientists some of which are already coming true and many experts believe that the recent food crisis was just a glimpse what the future holds for us.

Rising carbon emissions, which result in global warming, is only a part of the larger problem, the problem of over exploitation of nature and its resources. And now we have a chance to use an integrated approach through which we can tackle this problem. Investing in green technologies would

  • improve the air quality which would in turn increase the life expectancy.
  • help reduce our dependencies on imported fuel thus helping end the monopoly of few countries over vital resources.
  • help nature rejuvenate itself so that we can use it instead of abusing it and preserve it for our future generations.
  • help preserve the valuable biodiversity of our planet.
  • help us fighting natural disasters like floods, hurricanes.

The solutions to the problems we are facing today are simple but the most important thing is our will power to act and grab this opportunity to correct all the wrongs we have been committed through the over exploitation of the nature.

It is clearly evident that mankind it now testing the very limits of its environment’s carrying capacity. resources are being used at unprecedented pace which is not only generating tremendous amounts of waste but is also causing accelerated depletion of the natural resources. It is time that the world moves its basis of growth from fast depleting fossil fuels to the abundant and clean renewable resources.

More background:

(Image: Roberto Rizzarto at Flickr under Creative Commons License.)





About the Author

currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.
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  • chatty

    The so-called "global warming" phenomenon is not a "hoax", it is an attempt to popularize the geology of the planet. I could explain it. Formerly, in the time period known as the "Ice Age" huge glaciers (sheets of ice) covered the northern hemisphere. As they receded, the cold air started to warm up!

    • Personally I do not believe in man-made global warming. I did at one point, in my teens right up to 25, when I started looking at the evidence. The climate is indeed changing, and it is an issue that demands our attention, but proposed taxes on carbon dioxide do nothing but attach a price tag to every human for the crime of existing in a world that offers only so many alternatives.
      The technology exists to satisfy our energy needs without trashing the planet, but the corporations which hold the patents on them do not release them. I’m looking at you GE. There is no profit in free energy, so they pretend it doesn’t exist, and we the people let them get away with it. How many times have we been promised the electric car, only to have auto companies pull the rug out. There is finally a hybrid, which still needs some fossil fuels.

      I don’t need belief in an apocalyptic global warming future to see the need for recycling. That fear-based advertising campaign no longer works on me. It’s common sense that drives my need to “go green”.

      If you really want to make a greener planet, perhaps we could talk about the military industrial complex, and how wars across the globe for profit pollute vastly more so than any family of 3 in a mini-van. We can’t even track the spending of our taxes now, so how is another tax going to help the planet? Anti-War is inherently pro-green.
      Or perhaps we could talk of the 24/7 global shipping vessels which run continuously, the combined polluting output in one week being greater than all humans driving in a year?
      Speaking of shipping vessels, they transport the goods from country to country, so that we can have inexpensive merchandise from a country where labor is cheaper.
      Oh yeah, is anything made in America anymore? Not much, because jobs were shipped overseas, to maximize profit. NAFTA caused that debacle to explode, leading us to the pitfalls in economics and jobs that we see today. NAFTA was pushed to the forefront by none other than climate fear-monger Al Gore himself. (Irony, I voted for him in 2000.) His work with NAFTA actually caused more pollution than before.
      Maybe he’s trying to make amends now, but I personally doubt it. Causing a panic and raking in money afterward is the action of a mafia boss, which most politicians are beginning to look like.

      I’m not green because of any of the reasons I am told to “believe” in. I’m green because evolved animals do not destroy that which keeps them alive. Do your own research. Don’t blindly follow self-appointed millionaire messiahs, the tendency these days is to be led off a cliff. Nobody is going to save you but yourself.

      Peace

  • Eve

    Consider this comment by Susan Solomon, NOAA senior scientist, “I think you have to think about this stuff (CO2) as more like nuclear waste than acid rain: The more we add, the worse off we’ll be,” An alarmist, outrageous and completely unsupportable comment, but not surprising from the co-chair of Working Group I of the IPCC 2007 report.

    The reality is if CO2 is reduced we are worse off as the plants suffer. Something must be done to protect the plants from fanaticism.

    There is no evidence CO2 is causing global warming or climate change but that is the basis for the slur and the proposed actions. As usual little thought is given to the direct and collateral damage such as the economic impacts from increased taxes and cost of doing business. No thought is given to the damage to nature. So you have the paradox of environmentalists screaming to reduce CO2 to save the planet, while putting all life in jeopardy by killing the plants. It is blind faith. But this is not surprising because the great problem of environmentalism as a religion is the failure to do full and proper cost/benefit analyses. For example, all you ever hear about are the down sides to warming when there are actually more up sides. One major downside rarely mentioned is the impact on plants of reduced CO2 levels.

    Extreme environmentalists consider plants and animals more important than humans. Ron Arnold, Executive Vice-President of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, said, “Environmentalism intends to transform government, economy, and society in order to liberate nature from human exploitation”
    David Graber, a research biologist with the National Park Service said, “Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important as a wild and healthy planet.” “Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.”

    Getting rid of everyone permanently solves the problem – David Foreman former chief lobbyist for the Wilderness Society says the optimum number is zero. Ingrid Newkirk of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said, “Mankind is a cancer; we?re the biggest blight on the face of the earth.” “If you haven’t given voluntary human extinction much thought before, the idea of a world with no people in it may seem strange. But, if you give it a chance, I think you might agree that the extinction of Homo Sapiens would mean survival for millions if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species, Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental.”

    In a dramatic twist the virus Graber awaits and the reduction to zero may be the campaign of environmentalists, both moderate and extreme, to reduce CO2. It is a fascinating and perverse unintended consequence. All climate policy is designed to reduce atmospheric CO2, but that is not what the plants would vote for. Plant producers have added CO2 to enclosed growing environments for 100 years to enhance growth. Extensive research shows the beneficial effects including a significant increase in biomass including roots, size of the plant and yields. Another benefit is a reduction in the amount of water used. As CO2 levels increase the stomata (pores on the leaf) partially close thus moisture loss (transpiration) is reduced.

    The current atmospheric CO2 level is reportedly 380 ppm. Plant growth slows at 220 ppm and stops at 150 ppm. Most plants grow 2 to 3 times faster in 1200 to 1500 ppm, but the optimum range is 800 to 1000 ppm. This means plants are malnourished under current conditions. Environmentalists and governments have abandoned the plants in the false belief a reduction of CO2 would stop global warming. It is time to defend the plants from these misguided people. The obvious solution is to seek power of attorney for the plants to vote on their behalf against any attempts to reduce atmospheric CO2. This way we can satisfy another old proverb and stop them being killed by kindness.

  • Eve

    Mridul Chadha, the science you are quoting is bewildering and it is hard to know where to start.

    Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is a life gas exhaled by all animal life and inhaled by all plant life, who then exhale oxygen which all animal life inhales and so on. The planet's levels of C02 have been 20 times as high in the past. At present our atmosphere is C02 deprived. The more c02, the more plant growth which is why this planet was once a virtual eden. Carbon dioxide levels increase after temperature increases not before. At present the planet is in a cooling cycle and we will start to see Co2 levels come down as the oceans cool and absorb more C02.

    Simply reducing CO2 levels does nothing to reduce real pollution. It does nothing to clean up our streams and rivers from dangerous mercury contamination. It does nothing to prevent sewage from polluting our drinking supplies. It doesn’t fix holes in the ozone layer, nor does it stop landfill chemicals from leaching into ground water. Even if CO2 levels plummeted in the next 20 years, we’d still have pollution problems.

    The next issue is does warm air or cold air carry more moisture. We all know that, warm air carries more moisture so when it is warm there is more rain and when it is cold there is less. We can see that because we had more rain when it was warming. This current cold cycle is expected to cause more drought.

    Please save us from reporters who do not have a clue as well as presidents who don't have a clue. The environmental lobby does know and has a reason for their actions. Its called money.

  • Parma John

    Mr. Chadha,

    Thank you for your reply. I understand your zeal in defending your position, and I respect your passion for standing up for what you see as a just cause.

    I will try to present some more thoughts on why I will just as passionately defend my skeptical position. I just as zealously believe that your negative evaluation of the human situation is incorrect.

    The arguments in your main article, and reiterated in your response, are a mix of Malthusian fears that have been touted for just about as long as man could think. The arguments have been proven false for just as long. For example, paraphrasing Malthus, mankind was producing just enough food to feed the overcrowded planet back in 1800. At that time there were 1 billion humans alive, and we were using up all of the available agricultural resources just to scrape by. The end of civilization was near.

    The same argument is voiced today by a loud crowd of concerned people (mostly comfortably fed ones), since we are still producing just enough food to feed the 6.7 billion people on the planet. There is a reason for this constant theme: we will always produce “just enough” to get by, since it would be downright silly to produce any more. In reality we do indeed produce much more than necessary if we look at the waste that our modern food supply system dispenses.

    Even considering the levels of starvation in our world’s population, in these times due more often to local political cruelty than to any limitations on carrying capacity, we humans have done an unbelievable (to Malthus et al.) job at generating new resources whenever our population has needed them. We have always achieved these great advances through our creative conversion of the earth’s cornucopia of resources.

    The chicken little argument always sees the end of resources just around the corner. Human intelligence, creativity and survival instincts on the other hand just keep furnishing new resources. That has always been true across the board.

    I don’t buy the finite resources fear argument. For much of our past we humans used a finite resource, wood, for a good many of our necessities. Our English forebears tore down every trunk in sight in order to heat their homes, cook their food, build their houses and build their armada. They passed on to their future generations (you and me!) a terrain that was stripped of this precious resource, leaving us in peril of freezing, starving or dying at the hands of foreign invaders. Pretty cruel of the old folks, leaving us to fend for ourselves.

    Now, are the English dying from these blights today? No, somebody along the road of progress simply discovered a replacement for the trees in our basket of needs. In fact, somebody discovered a miraculous burning rock that heated hearths and homes for centuries. Coal is only one example of humans adapting to their environment. We may use up every last ton of coal in our quest for progress and comfort; future generations will only read about how we used to burn rocks to stay warm!

    I welcome an explanation for the reasoning that we should not deplete the earth’s resources on the basis that they will no longer be available for future generations. The evidence shows that we will be surprised at the solutions that our clever children will invent as a replacement for our exhausted fuels.

    You may argue that coal pollutes, kills people and creates misery through all that junk it spews into the air. But once again, we humans have shown our creative side in this regard: as we grow soft and content we also get downright pretentious in our expectations for comforts and for the quality of our lives. As a result, since our populations grew sick and tired of dark mid-days in places like Pittsburgh and Manchester they worked to clean up the environment. Our progress in life expectancies results from our environmentalism as much as from our modern medicines.

    We as a race have never had it so good. We have never been so well off as a population. We are pretty clever when it comes to adapting to new challenges. Oh, and nobody has yet demonstrated in any convincing way that we are heating up the planet.

    Are there problems in our human race? You bet! So let’s spend our time and effort resolving the real problems instead of wasting precious resources on false prophesies.

  • Mridul Chadha

    Thanks Parma John, i appreciate you coming back and stating your views.

    You have presented great points in your comment. My views in the article seemed negative because I argued for action to be taken right now instead of waiting for few more decades. The changes I talked about are inevitable, sooner or later we would have switch over to renewable and clean energy sources.

    We all know that fossils fuels are not inexhaustible and the IEA has predicted that oil production would peak within the next ten years. There are many reasons why we had food crisis and can see a repeat of the same at a bigger scale in future. Decade long droughts, changing weather systems like El Nino and shortage of water.

    I disagree with Mr. Klaus' fear that actions to bring to about a change in the systems we use today would bring catastrophic consequences. If coal and other fossils fuels kill then just replace it or mitigate its ill effects (as you said), but the long-term solution would be to move on to the cleaner energy systems, which are inexhaustible and sustainable.

    I presented the point about economic growth as a result of investments in green technologies because this economic recession has given us an opportunity to revamp our economic systems and build new ones around cleaner and sustainable energy systems. This is inevitable and by not taking action now we are just delaying it.

  • Mridul Chadha

    @ What?

    1. I mentioned Australia's heat wave because some readers talked about Britain cold wave, my point was that if you are considering weather systems in one part of the world you must look at the other parts as well. Now, climate is a bigger thing compared to weather and I didn't give those examples in support of global warming. Global warming cannot be proved (or disapproved) on the basis of weather conditions.

    2. Now i want everyone to read this. I DID NOT WRITE THIS ARTICLE TO DEFEND GLOBAL WARMING. I'M NOT HERE TO SAY YES WE HAVE GLOBAL WARMING AND SKEPTICS SHOULD LEAVE THEIR BELIEFS AND START BELIEVING IN IT. My point is that even if some of us don't believe in the phenomenon we can still work together to improve our environment, to use clean fuels.

    3. You talked about food crisis and high oil prices, why not kick oil and other fossil fuels out of the picture. It is absolutely fine that you and many others (like Mr. Klaus) do not believe in global warming but I think we should agree that at some point we have to replace fossils fuels with renewable energy sources – i believe that time is now, you can think otherwise.

    4. The purpose of my article is that we don't need to agree if global warming is true, what we need is urgent action to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The world leaders who don't believe in global warming should not tie their skepticism to inaction in investing in green technologies. As I mentioned above there are many other highly significant advantages of investing in green technologies.

  • What, thinking Americans are as furious as thinking Europeans about the global warming scam. More than 31,000 American scientists have signed onto a petition that states, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate…” http://www.petitionproject.org/index.html

  • Mridul Chadha

    Thank you all for the comments.

    Firstly, What is happening in Britain is a weather phenomenon and is unprecedented in nature as is the on going drought and severe heat wave in Australia which led to scores of deaths. These are massive weather fluctuations which haven’t been seen in the recent past. But unprecedented weather fluctuations have become bit common in last few years. Additionally, according to a recent study all seasons are now arriving 2 days earlier as compared to the last century.

    The purpose of this article is not to debate if global warming is true or not, maybe it isn’t. But we cannot deny the fact that we are over exploiting the nature. We are testing the limits of our environment’s carrying capacity. The way we are using the natural resources is not a sustainable one. Last year we had a food crisis and many developed countries (like Australia and Spain) are facing scarcity of water.

    Yes oil and other fossil fuels are cheap but not abundant plus they give strategic leverage to few countries (i know this has nothing to do with global warming but this is an extremely significant issue and is a strong driver for the issue of energy security). Taking the example of Nicaragua, a poor country. Few decades ago Nicaragua produced 70% of its total energy from renewable sources which is now down to 34% thanks to an oil deal with Venezuela.

    Even if you believe that global warming is hoax we still have plenty of other problems which require us to invest into green technologies. And this is what i tried to present in this article. We must invest in green technology so that our negative impact on the environment is reduced which is in a critical state right now.

    Fossil fuels are not beneficial for the environment and us in the long term even if they seem to make perfect economic sense right now. Replacing them with abundant renewable energy sources which would a) make environment clean b) help create jobs and boost economy c) help nations become energy independent makes perfect sense in the long term. And that is the reason the world leaders must unite in the effort to ensure that we take a path of sustainable growth.

  • What?

    Mr. Chadha-

    You must be joking with the last post, those were some of the most ridiculous arguments I've heard supporting global warming.

    First off, now snow and extreme cold are evidence of global warming? There are more extremes present now? I would love to see where you sited that evidence from. Global warming advocates are really trying their best to turn this into an argument they can't lose with logic like "Every time there is an extreme its global warming" and "If its hot its global warming, if its cold, its global warming". But lets just say you're right, there are more extremes now… what is your time frame? I'm guessing the last 100 years, since thats the only time that "extremes" have been monitored. Is that even relevant in the cycles of the earth? Of course not.

    And I love how you somehow turned food shortages last year into a global warming argument, probably one of the funniest spins I have ever seen, especially in a time frame that everybody will remember. The actual reason there were food shortages last year was the high price of oil, which caused the US to turn a larger percentage of its corn, which is a large part of world food supply, into ethanol as fuel. This of course was lauded by global warming advocates as a great step in the right direction, and they just wanted you to forget all of the starving people. A year later, this same instance is now evidence of "global warming". Absolutely ridiculous.

    Those starving people though, are exhibit A in why this is such a stupid and dangerous theory. Americans will be fine either way, its the third world that will pay the price in starvation, increased disease, and decreased comfort. I guess its worth it though, for a bunch of people in America to feel like their "saving the world".

  • Parma John

    "What I truly don’t understand is why they so fiercely defend the continued use of fossil fuels."

    Perhaps it has something to do with protecting our livelihoods from needless attack. Civilization has always progressed on the harnessing of useable energy at a reasonable cost. If this were not true then nobody would be worried about finding green energy solutions as a replacement for fossil fuels. You will notice that nobody is proposing (too openly, anyway) that we turn out the lights.

    It really comes down to this basic fact: the global warming belief leads to policies that will impoverish to some degree the human race—especially the have-nots. Throwing away our precious, enriching resources because of an undemonstrated and misunderstood theory is reckless behavior. Condemning our poorest neighbors to further poverty in order to prop up our own consciences is dangerous. Rent-seeking and profiteering from these same policies is criminal behavior.

    So before you ask all of us to take drastic action that will demonstrably impoverish generations of human beings please make sure your facts are at least demonstrated to a high degree of confidence.

    I consider myself to be an environmentalist. NOx, SOx, soot, fly ash, particulates, and much, much more are pollutants when released into our air. Let’s keep them out as much as possible, even using legislation.

    CO2 is a fertilizer, and is a necessity for life as we know it. Leave it alone.

    Lastly, please do not mix your well-founded concerns about war and terrorism with the global warming debate. The pacifist argument does not make the world grow any warmer, and it does not validate your climate theory. It may be a valid reason for seeking out alternatives to Middle East oil, but it has nothing to do with CO2 in the atmosphere.

  • Ben

    "Anyway, get a grip, breathe the air, look at the landfill the planet has become and tell me that nothing needs to change."

    There's no doubt that it will benefit everybody to clean up the environment. I'm for it and I try and practice it in my life. However, that doesn't excuse the lies about "global warming" from the media and some politicians.

  • Nothing like a bit of snow to bring out the climate change deniers. What I truly don't understand is why they so fiercely defend the continued use of fossil fuels. Is it that they love to import tankers full of oil to pay people who they will later claim to be terrorist so that they can buy more missiles to blow up the people who sold them the oil to keep their cars running? Nice sentence! Anyway, get a grip, breathe the air, look at the landfill the planet has become and tell me that nothing needs to change.

  • Ben

    Glad to hear somebody making some sense. This whole global warming thing is probably the biggest scam during my lifetime. The media and some politicians will have you believe that that every scientist believes that there is man-induced global warming. That's just not the case at all. The truth is that there is a bigger social agenda behind the whole global warming lie. I just read that now they are using "global warming" to try to control population. Check this article out: http://www.modernconservative.com/blog.php?id=288

  • huwat

    Its funny how all of a sudden global warming is a hoax. Noone friggin cared when they were teaching us how real it was all throughout middle school, high school & even college. Crazy hardcore politicial whores…

  • BAGELIZER

    I don't know that it's a deliberate hoax or conspiracy, but I do know that circumstances like the record snowfall in Britain at least make me raise an eyebrow.
    http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/Europe/2009/f

  • At last there are courageous leaders like Václav Klaus who dare contradict the brainwashed lemmings desperate to believe any communist hoax, including the ridiculous global warming hoax.

    Man-made global warming is a hoax that threatens our future and the future of our children. Václav Klaus, president of the European Union, is right when he states that “environmentalism is the new communism and climate change is a myth.”

    In agreement with Klaus, more than 650 international scientists dissent over the man-made global warming claims. They are more than 12 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers. http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction

    Additionally, more than 31,000 American scientists have signed onto a petition that states, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate…” http://www.petitionproject.org/index.html

    “Progressive” (communist) politicians like Obama seem determined to force us to swallow the man-made global warming scam. We need to defend ourselves from the UN and these politicians, who threaten our future and the future of our children. Based on a lie, they have already wasted millions and plan to increase taxes, limit development, and enslave us.

    If not stopped, the global warming scam will enrich the scammers (Gore and Obama’ Wall Street friends), increase the power of the U.N. and communists like Obama, and multiply poverty and servitude for the rest of us.