Vaclav Klaus Blasts Al Gore’s Climate Alarmism

Czech Republic President Václav Klaus (formerly Professor of Finance at the University of Economics, Prague), who is also the new President of the European Union, has recently blasted former Vice President Al Gore for unsubstantiated climate fear-mongering. As reported by AFP, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Klaus stated 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.

“Environmentalism and the global warming alarmism is challenging our freedom. Al Gore is an important person in this movement.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, he said that he was more worried about the reaction to the perceived dangers than the consequences.

“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,” he said.

“I’m more afraid of the consequences of the crisis than the crisis itself.”

Just last month, Gore claimed that the polar ice cap would disappear in five years:

Meanwhile, average surface temperatures have apparently leveled off for the past ten years and may be tilting downward now (see here, here, here, and here).

Klaus has been an outspoken critic of climate alarmism, as is evident in this presentation by him before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (September 24, 2007):

In a January 12th article in the Daily Princetonian, renowned Princeton University physicist William Happer (former Director of the Office of Energy Research in the U.S. Department of Energy) agrees with Klaus’s skepticism of climate alarmism:

Happer said he is dismayed by the politicization of the issue and believes the community of climate change scientists has become a veritable “religious cult,” noting that nobody understands or questions any of the science.

He noted in an interview that in the past decade, despite what he called “alarmist” claims, there has not only not been warming, there has in fact been global cooling. He added that climate change scientists are unable to use models to either predict the future or accurately model past events.

“There was a baseball sage who said prediction is hard, especially of the future, but the implication was that you could look at the past and at least second-guess the past,” Happer explained. “They can’t even do that.”

Happer cited an ice age at the time of the American Revolution, when Londoners skated on the Thames, and warm periods during the Middle Ages, when settlers were able to farm southern portions of Greenland, as evidence of naturally occurring fluctuations that undermine the case for anthropogenic influence.

“[Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration] was exactly the same then. It didn’t change at all,” he explained. “So there was something that was making the earth warm and cool that modelers still don’t really understand.”

The problem does not in fact exist, he said, and society should not sacrifice for nothing.

“[Climate change theory has] been extremely bad for science. It’s going to give science a really bad name in the future,” he said. “I think science is one of the great triumphs of humankind, and I hate to see it dragged through the mud in an episode like this.”

David J. Theroux is Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Institute.
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