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President Vaclav Klaus - Climate change & freedom

0 (0 Likes / 0 Dislikes) - Climate Change policy. It's not about climatology, it's about Freedom! Dr. Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic People can't too blindly believe in the IPCC's conclusions despite the fact that from the very begining the IPCC has been a political rather than a scientific undertaking. A few days ago I've come across a lecture given by a very respected German economist, who is in his other writings very critical of the German interventionist economic policies and etatist institutions. Nevertheless his acceptance of the conventional IPCC wisdom, perhaps unwisdom, is striking. His words, I quote:"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 surface would be -6 degrees Celsius. If the greenhouse gases are present, average temperature is +15 degrees. Therefore the impact of CO2 is enormous. It's a very sophisticated leading German economic professor. And 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. (Haha!) He says. To make it less of a puzzle, let me make two brief comments. (Laughter) Is an economist - I have to start by stressing the obvious - carbon dioxide emissions do not fall from heaven. Their volume is a function of GDP per capita, which means of the size of the economic activity of the number of people. And of the emmissions intensity, which is the amount of CO2 emissions per Dollar of GDP. If we really want to decrease the emissions, we have to either stop the economic growth, and thus block further rise in the standards of living, or to stop the population growth, or make miracles to reduce the emissions intensity. Nothing else. I am afraid there are people who really 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 of science and technology for solving the actual pressing problems of mankind, especially of the developing countries. This... Defending human rights 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. Comparing European Emissions during the Kyoto Protocol period The EU less developed countries: Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. Their rapid economic growth led to the increase of their CO2 emissions in 15 years by 53%. Second group. The European post-communist countries, like the Czech Republic, which after the fall of communism - simply heavy industry disappearing practicaly over night, their GDP drastically declined. And so these countries decreased their CO2 emissions in the same period by 32%. The slow-growing EU countries increased their CO2 emissons in the same period by 4%. And yet there is a dream among European politicians to reduce CO2 emissions for the entire EU by 30% in the next 13 years. 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? Do they assume, that European economically weaker countries would stop their catching up process? Or do they intend to organise 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 proportions with the help from Brussels' organised scientific and technological revolution? You know, you are laughing, but for us, who have lived in a communist era, the term scientific and technological revolution has a very special meaning. It was the idea of Mr. Leonid Breznev at the beginning of the 1970s, when he and others discovered that the catching up process with the developed west is impossible, and instead of changing the regime, changing the system, he came with the idea of scientific and technological revolution. So for me it has a very special substance, this term. What I see in Europe and in the US and other countries as well is that 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. The climate alarmist belief in their own omnipotency. They believe in knowing better than millions of rationally behaving men and women, what is right or wrong. They believe in their own ability to assembly all relevant data into their central climate change regulatory office, equipped with huge super-computers. And they believe in the possibility to give adequate instructions to hundreds of millions of individuals and institutions and they believe in the non-existence of an incentive problem and the resulting compliance or non-compliance of those, who are supposed to follow these instructions. I am afraid we have to restart the dicussion of 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 only cannonically structured theoretical discussion about socialism or communism and to learn the uncompromising lesson from the inevitable collapse of communism 18 years ago. To sum up, it is not about climatology, it's about freedom. This should be the main message of our conference. Thank You very much. Recorded at the international conference on climate change New York March 2008 transcribed at

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 18 seconds
Country: Czech Republic
Language: English
Views: 1,351
Posted by: on Oct 12, 2009

Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus gave a speech at the Climate Change conference in NY receiving a standing Ovation - here are some highlights

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