Vaclav Klaus

Vaclav Klaus

 Credentials

Vaclav Klaus majored in Foreign Trade Economics at the University of Economics in Prague. He was awarded a PhD in Economics at the Institute of Economics of the Czech Academy of Sciences in 1968. [1]

 Background

Vaclav Klaus was the second President of the Czech Republic (2003-2013) and a former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic (1992–1997).

He is an economist and is co-founder of the Civic Democratic Party, the major Czech right-wing party. He is also an outspoken climate change skeptic who has spoken at a number of International Conferences on Climate Change (ICCCs) hosted by the Heartland Institute.

In 2006 Klaus received the Foundation for Economic Education's Adam Smith Award for Excellence in Free-Market Education.

Klaus started his political career in December 1989 when he became Federal Minister of Finance. In October 1991 he was appointed vice chairman of the government of the Czechoslovak Federal Republic.

At the end of 1990 he became the chairman of the Civic Forum. Following its demise in April 1991 he co-founded the Civic Democratic Party, of which he was chairman from its inception until December 2002. He won a parliamentary election with this party in June 1992 and became Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. He was elected president on February 28, 2003.

Stance on Climate Change

  • “Contrary to the artificially and unjustifiably created worldwide perception, the increase in global temperatures has been – in the last years, decades and centuries – very small in historical comparisons and practically negligible in its actual impact upon human beings and their activities… . Contrary to many self-assured and self-serving proclamations, there is no scientific consensus about the causes of recent climate changes… . I have to conclude that the risk is too small, the costs of eliminating it too high and the application of a fundamentalistically interpreted 'precautionary principle' a wrong strategy.” [2]
  • “I'm absolutely convinced that the very small global warming we are experiencing is the result of natural causes,” Klaus told FoxNews.com. “It's a cyclical phenomenon in the history of the Earth. The role of man is very small, almost negligible.” [16]

Key Quotes

“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.” [3]

“And finally, there is another danger: the emergence of nonideological but very aggressive 'isms,' which are really quite new. Let me at least name them:

  • We all care about human rights, but I am afraid of 'human rightism.'
  • We all want to have a healthy environment, but I see the danger in environmentalism.
  • To put it politically correctly, I admire the second gender, but I fear feminism.
  • We all are enriched by other cultures, but not by multiculturalism.
  • I am aware of the importance of voluntary associations, but I fear NGOism.” [4]

“… the climate change debate is basically not about science; it is about ideology. It is not about global temperature; it is about the concept of human society. It is not about scientific ecology; it is about environmentalism, which is a new anti-individualistic, pseudo-collectivistic ideology based on putting nature and environment and their supposed protection and preservation before and above freedom.”

“Nevertheless, there is another threat on the horizon. I see this threat in environmentalism which is becoming a new dominant ideology, if not a religion. Its main weapon is raising the alarm and predicting the human life endangering climate change based on man-made global warming… . It became politically correct to caricature us, who dare to speak about it, as those who are talking about things they do not understand and are not experts on. This criticism is inappropriate. People like me do not have ambitions to enter the field of climatology. They do not try to better measure global temperature or to present alternative scenarios of the future global climate fluctuations.” [14]

“To reduce the interpretation of the causality of all kinds of climate changes and of global warming to one variable, CO2, or to a small proportion of one variable — human-induced CO2 — is impossible to accept. Elementary rationality and my decades-long experience with econometric modelling and statistical testing of scientific hypotheses tell me that it is impossible to make strong conclusions based on mere correlation of two (or more) time series.” [15]

“I'm convinced that after years of studying the phenomenon, global warming is not the real issue of temperature. That is the issue of a new ideology or a new religion. A religion of climate change or a religion of global warming. This is a religion which tells us that the people are responsible for the current, very small increase in temperatures. And they should be punished.” [16]

Key Deeds

May, 2012

Klaus was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7). Although he criticized Heartland's controversial billboard campaign that stated “the most prominent advocates of global warming aren't scientists; they are murderers, tyrants and madmen,” he said that he would still be speaking at the conference.

Klaus's spokesperson talked to The Guardian: [13]

“President Klaus is principally against non-serious, aggressive and provocative billboard campaigns of the kind the Heartland Institute used recently… . Mr president will attend this conference.”

DeSmogBlog researched the co-sponsors behind Heartland's ICCC7 and found that they had collectively received over $67 million from ExxonMobil, the Koch Brothers and the conservative Scaife family foundations.

July, 2011

Vaclav Klaus spoke at a National Press Club Address on “The mass delusion of climate change” where he called global warming “a communist conspiracy.” [5]

September, 2009

Klaus voiced his disapproval of the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference:

“It's a propagandistic exercise where 13-year-old girls from some far-away country perform a pre-rehearsed poem,” he said. “It's simply not dignified.” [6]

President Barack Obama was among the top speakers at the conference.

March 8 - 10, 2009

Klaus spoke at the Heartland Institute's Second International Conference on Climate Change. Co-sponsors of the conference, which contends that global warming is not a crisis, had collectively received over $47 million in funding from energy companies and right-wing foundations.

According to James M. Taylor, Klaus would offer “His insight into the negative correlation between heavy-handed greenhouse gas restrictions and basic human freedoms…” [7]

September, 2008

Klaus published a book titled Modrá, nikoli zelená planeta (literally translated “Blue planet – not green”). The title in English, which is not a direct translation, is “Blue Planet in Green Shackles”. 

The book claims that “The theory of global warming and the hypothesis on its causes, which has spread around massively nowadays, may be a bad theory, it may also be a valueless theory, but in any case it is a very dangerous theory.”

November 12, 2007

Klaus appeared on BBC World's HARDTalk to discuss why he believes that environmental concerns have been over hyped. He also accuses Al Gore of being an “apostle of arrogance.” [8]

September, 2007

At a United Nations Climate Change Conference, Klaus called for a second IPCC to be set up to produce competing reports because “to get rid of the one-sided monopoly is a sine qua non for an efficient and rational debate.”

He also suggested that “any country should be left alone to prepare its own plan to tackle this problem and decide what priority to assign to it among its other competing goals.” [2]

June 13, 2007

Vaclav Klaus argued in the Financial Times that environmentalism is the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity.

Mr Klaus wrote hat “global warming hysteria has become a prime example of the truth versus propaganda problem” and the issue “is more about social than natural sciences and more about man and his freedom than about tenths of a degree Celsius changes in average global temperature.” [9], [10]

February, 2007

Klaus has criticized the IPCC, claiming that the panel does not include neutral scientists.

“These are politicized scientists who arrive there with one-sided opinion and assignment,” he said. [11]

 Affiliations

 Publications

According to his CV, Klaus has published over 20 books on general social, political and economic themes. He published Planeta azul (no verde), (“Blue Planet in Green Shackles”) in September, 2008.

 Resources

  1. Curriculum Vitae of Vaclav Klaus”. Office of the President of the Republic. March 5 2003. Retrieved March 2, 2012.

  2. Václav Klaus. “Notes for the speech of the President of the Czech Republic at the UN Climate Change Conference” (PDF). United Nations, September 24, 2007. Retrieved May 2, 2012.

  3. Vaclav Klaus. “Freedom, not climate, is at risk,” Financial Times, June 13, 2007.

  4. Dr. Václav Klaus. “The Threats to Liberty in the 21st Century,” Foundation for Economic Education. Archived June 27, 2008.

  5. President Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic | National Press Club Address in full,” YouTube Video. Uploaded by Twitter & Youtube user “wakeup2thelies,” July 25, 2011.

  6. U.N. climate meeting was propaganda: Czech president,” Reuters, September 22, 2009.

  7. Dan Miller. “Vaclav Klaus Joins Skeptics' Conference” (Press Release), The Heartland Institute. Retrieved May 2, 2012.

  8. Vaclav Klaus,” BBC News, November 12, 2007.

  9. Vaclav Klaus. “Freedom, not climate, is at risk,” Financial Times, June 13, 2007.

  10. Global warming: truth or propaganda?”, Financial Times, June 21, 2007.

  11. Czech president derogates UN global-warming panel,” Monsters and Critics, Feb 9, 2007.

  12. “Inventory of the General Meeting Files (1947-1998)” (PDF), Liberaal Archief. Accessed March, 2012.

  13. Leo Hickman. “Czech president condemns 'aggressive' Heartland Institute adverts,” The Guardian, May 10, 2012.

  14. The Other Side of Global Warming Alarmism,” Václav Klaus, Chatham House, London, 7 November 2007. Retrieved from klaus.cz.

  15. Vaclav Klaus. “Vaclav Klaus: An anti-human ideology,” Financial Post (comment), October 20, 2010.

  16. Gene J. Koprowski. “Czech President Klaus: Global Warming Not Science, but a 'New Religion',” FoxNews.com, December 18, 2009.

  17. Leo Hickman. “Why I will welcome Klaus's clangers,” The Guardian, January 6, 2009.

  18. Vaclav Klaus's website.

  19. Václav Klaus,” Wikipedia.

  20. Vaclav Klaus,” SourceWatch.

  21. “Speakers,” 7th Internatinoal Conference on  Climate Change. Archived May 2, 2012.

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