The recent op-ed piece in Canada’s Financial Post by Czech President Václav Klaus is more than a little infuriating. Klaus, an economist by trade with no background in climate science, has become a favourite skeptic for hire at the Heritage Foundation and other right-wing libertarian think tanks.
Klaus is a vocal skeptic on the topic of global warming. His 2007 book argues that global warming is akin to a new religion or ideology that threatens to undermine freedom and the world’s economic and social order. At a 2007 speech at the Cato Institute, he argued that, “Environmentalism should belong in the social sciences” along with other “isms” such as communism, feminism, and liberalism. He went on to argue that, “environmentalism is a religion” and a “modern counterpart of communism” that seeks to change people’s habits and economic systems.
At his 2009 keynote address at the International Conference of Climate Change (a.k.a. Denial-a-Palooza), he maintained that environmental activists don’t necessarily care about temperature, or carbon dioxide, rather they care about rent seeking and political profit. In an increasingly familiar trope, he argued that the climate change movement has become popularized because it gives politicians an excuse to exert more control over society.
Klaus delivered a keynote speech at last week’s Global Warming Policy Foundation Inaugural Annual Lecture in London. According to his address, “Global warming in the last 150 years was modest and future warming and its consequences will not be dangerous or catastrophic. It doesn’t look like a threat we should respond to,” he said.