Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The U.N.'s First Climate Summit

You would think, with all the media hype about global warming, that the U.N.'s first climate summit of world leaders would have been of great importance to the public and to the news media. To my knowledge, none of the TV news networks even mentioned the two-day summit last week or an important speech there. The speaker was not only a president of a nation but the recipient of nearly 50 honorary doctorates and the author of 20 books on political, social and economic subjects—including a book on the economic effects of global warming. Why the media silence? The answer is simple: the message of his speech did not fit the hype of the networks' position on global warming.

Vaclav Klaus is president of the Czech Republic, a post he has held since 2003. As late as fall 2005, he was still a university professor teaching a full course in economics in addition to being president. In an article entitled “Freedom, not climate, is at risk” in the Financial Times June 13, 2007, he wrote: “As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning.” The last line of this article is: “Let us not scare ourselves with catastrophic forecasts, or use them to defend and promote irrational interventions in human lives.”

In an earlier speech at the Cato Institute March 9, 2007 Klaus said, “We succeeded in getting rid of communism, but...we erroneously assumed that attempts to suppress freedom, and to centrally organize, mastermind, regulate, and control society and the economy, were matters of the past....Unfortunately, those centralizing urges are still with us....

“The reason for my concern is the emergence of new, very popular and fashionable “isms” that again put various issues, visions, plans, and projects ahead of individual freedom and liberty. There is social democratism, which is nothing more than a milder and softer form of communism...Environmentalism only pretends to deal with environmental protection. Behind their people and nature friendly terminology, the adherents of environmentalism make ambitious attempts to radically reorganize the world, human society, our behavior, and our values.”

In his speech at the U.N. climate summit, Klaus stated: “Contrary to artificially-created worldwide perception, the increase in global temperatures has been – in the last years, decades and centuries – very small by historical comparison, and practically negligible in its actual impact upon human beings and their activities.

“The hypothetical threat connected with future global warming depends exclusively upon forecasts, not upon past experience. These speculative forecasts are, however, based on relatively short time series of relevant variables and on forecasting models that have not been found reliable when attempting to explain past developments.”

With such views, it is no wonder the media chose not to report on his speech at the climate summit.