Czech President Says Global Warming Activists Aim to Stop Global Economic Development

By Matt Cover | March 9, 2009 | 7:27 PM EDT

Vaclav Klaus, left, president of the Czech Republic, listens as he is introduced by Lee Bollinger, president of Columbia University, in New York, Monday March 9, 2009. Klaus delivered a keynote address titled "Europe, Global Warming and the Current Economic Crisis: As Seen from Prague," at the Columbia University World Leaders Forum.( AP photo)

( – Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, told the International Conference on Climate Change that the true aim of environmentalists is to stop global development, not save the planet.
Klaus, an economist by trade and a skeptic of the theory of man-made global warming, delivered the keynote speech to an audience of more than 600, including 75 scientists, economists, and environmental policy experts, as the conference got underway in New York City on Sunday.
“Their true plans and ambitions: to stop economic development and return mankind centuries back,” he declared. “It is evident that the environmentalists don’t want to change the climate. They want to change our behavior. Their ambition is to control and manipulate us.”
Klaus, who also serves a president of the European Union, said that no modern economy could survive on “green power” alone because such methods are too expensive and unreliable.
“There is no known and economically feasible method or technology by which industrial economies can survive on expensive, unreliable, clean, green, renewable energy,” Klaus explained.
Klaus also criticized environmentalists who care more about an ambiguous future than they do about people living now. Klaus said we shouldn’t be less concerned with the people living in undeveloped countries today than we are with future generations.
“The questions which need to be answered are serious and non-trivial. Should we make radical decisions now? Should we tax today’s generations to benefit future generations? Should we be generously altruistic? Should we give preference to future generations and not to the people living in undeveloped countries today? My answer is no.”
Massachusetts Institute of Technology meteorology professor Richard Lindzen, who also addressed the conference on Sunday, said that many of his colleagues simply accepted the man-made global warming theory because it made their professional lives easier.
“Most of the atmospheric scientists who I respect do endorse global warming,” he said. “The important point, however, is that the science that they do that I respect is not about global warming. Endorsing global warming just makes their lives easier.”
Lindzen also said that the intrusion of politics into science has corrupted the science, forcing scientists to adopt the “proper” political viewpoints in order to secure research funding.
“The process of co-opting science on behalf of a political movement has had an extraordinarily corrupting influence on science -- especially since the issue has been a major motivation for funding,” Lindzen explained.
“Most funding for climate would not be there without this issue,” Lindzen said, “and, it should be added, most science funded under the rubric of climate does not actually deal with climate, but rather with the alleged impact of arbitrarily assumed ‘climate change.’ ”
Anthony Watts, a retired meteorologist who currently studies how temperature is measured and presented his research results on Monday, said that while greenhouse gases can cause warming, the theory of man-made global warming has serious flaws.
“I believe that there is an effect from CO2 (carbon dioxide), no doubt about it,” Watts told “CO2 has made a change to our atmosphere and that change has resulted in some warming.
“But there are two components to the global warming theory that are in question right now. Many people believe that CO2--by itself--cannot explain all of the warming we have seen.
“The other problem has to do with the positive feedback mechanism. The positive feedback mechanism assumes--in the models and in the theory--that the warmer it gets on the Earth’s surface the more water vapor goes into the atmosphere; the more water vapor that goes into the atmosphere causes then more warming and therefore it builds on itself.”
This theory has problems, Watts explained, because it doesn’t account for how the atmosphere responds to an increase in water vapor--it rains.
“The alternate to that theory is that we have a negative feedback mechanism in our atmosphere and that once we reach certain points the natural systems will kick in and automatically reduce the amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere through precipitation.”
There’s much science doesn’t understand about the climate, Watts said, and anyone who thinks they completely understand it is delusional and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
“Anyone who claims that we fully understand our atmosphere in this day and age and can predict with accuracy any more than about a week or so out is deluding themselves because the atmosphere and our Earth’s systems are far more complex than we can model or we can predict given our current state of understanding.”
Scientists at the conference came from universities around the globe, including Harvard, Ohio State, University of Alabama, the London School of Economics, France’s Institute Pasteur, Canada’s Carleton University, Australia’s Monash and Central Queensland universities, Norway’s University of Oslo, the University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.
The two-and-a-half day conference is sponsored by the Heartland Institute.