Wednesday, March 5, 2008

To Help Combat Global Warming, These Awards Are Dedicated:



Welcome to the Vaclav Klaus Climate Joke Awards Blog Page

RIGHTWING BLOG: http://www.americanprowler.org/blogger.asp?BlogID=11909

[SEE DISCLAIMER BOTTOM OF PAGE BELOW]

"The Czech Republic’s attention magnet has a name: Vaclav Klaus. As he happened to be re-elected not long ago, the Czechs got their piece of attention, too." - NEWS


You are visitor No. 414,583 and counting. Thank you for visiting and leaving your comments in the comment sections below. Now what exactly are the Vaclav Klaus Climate Joke Awards, you want to know? Or who is Vaclav Klaus and why is he being singled out here and so honored with his name on these satirical yet serious awards?

Aha, you see, Václav Klaus [pronounced 'va : tslaf 'klaus] is the honorable and distinguished president of the Czech Republic who is currently into his second 5-year term, so this awards blog has a long shelf life, at least for the next 5 years. But this awards blog is not about the good country of the Czech Republic, who citizens are good honest people who know a thing or two about global warming and climate change. No, this awards blog is named after Vaclav Klaus because he recently told a reporter for the Associated Press in New York City during the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change (sic) sponsored by the Heartland Insitute (sic) funded in part by the oil industry (no sic here), and this man, this human being, this leader of a country in Europe, he told the AP reporter and we quote his now infamous words:

"Climate is just a joke", he told the AP. Instead of worrying about global warming, he went on, people should just go about their business and realize that any warming is just part of the natural process. [Associated Press report, March 5, 2008]

There's more of the quote here: "I am afraid that global warming alarmists are tyring to kill the freedom of people and prosperity," Klaus reportedly told the reporter in the report reported in newspapers worldwide that day.

So (stupid drum roll here), these newly-constituted Vaclav Klaus Climate Joke Awards will be given out through the year, and through out the years, any day of the week will do, just send in your nominations and we will clear them with the awards committee, and these awards will be given out to people espouse very stupid notions about the very real reality of global warming and the possible impact it may have on future generations of Earthlings (include the human species).

THEREFORE it is hereby instituted the very first Vaclav Klaus Climate Joke Award goes to:

VACLAV KLAUS, president of the Czech Republic, for his stupid comments to the Associated Press in New York City in March of the year 4,000,000,008 (that's billon as in Four Billion and Eight, Cosmic Time).

Thank you, President Klaus, for inspiring these awards.


REFERENCE:
http://www.pr-inside.com/czech-president-rouses-climate-skeptics-at-r470657.htm

PRIZE NUMBER TWO goes to:

BILL GRAY
, another Heartland conference naysayer, according to the AP, a hurricane specialist from Colorado State Universtiy, who gave a talk entitled "We Are Not In A Climate Crisis". [Actually, the talk was titled "We Are In A Meeting Room in a Hotel in Manhattan" but the AP did not report that in a sidebar.]

Dr Gray, the holder of a PH.D., went on to tell the AP reporter: "It's sort of like the field of meteorology and climatology's been hijacked by these modelers that have come along and said these things," said Gray, who said recent warming was a blip in "a recent spate of Ice Ages coming and going."

PRIZE NUMBER THREE goes to:

JOSEPH BAST, president of the Heartland Institute, whose unshaven face bear[d]s a very similar resemblance to the president of another country on this Earth -- no, not the Czech Republic, but go head and guess! -- and who told the AP that same day:

"Some of the scientists here believe we are entering into a cooling period, and that's just based on well-known solar cycles,» Heartland's president, Joseph Bast, told the AP. He said the conference showed that, despite what "Al Gore and a bunch of other people» might say, there is no scientific consensus on global warming."

PRIZE NUMBER FOUR:
BJORN LUNDBORG:
The other day Bjorn Lundborg was (fittingly) on the Colbert Report, and he said: "Global warming is here. Relax and enjoy it. More people die of cold every hear than from heat waves." (reported by Mike Roddy on Dot Earth)


So there you have it, the first three awardees of the International Vaclav Klaus Climate Joke Awards. YOUR NOMINATIONS FOR THE NEXT ROUND OF HONOREES (with quotes from their comments in the media, with references, please, so we can fact-czech everything here) may be sent in to the comments section below, with your name listed or anonymously. Please, no SPAM.

Please list the name of your nominee, his or her position or affiliation, and the exact quote of what he or she said, and a citation reference to prove that he or she indeed said that, or was quoted as saying it. Fact-czechers are on stand by!

DISCLAIMER:

Naming these awards after Vaclav Klaus -- the honorable, well-educated and distinguised president of the Czech Republic, who grew up in the upper-middle class residential Vinohrady neighborhood of Prague and graduated from the University of Economics in Prague in 1963 and also spent some time at Cornell University in the United States -- is not meant in any way to disparage the genuine humanity and good intentions of Mr Klaus, who despite his views on climate change, is, in the estimation of this blog, a fine and upstanding citizen of Planet Earth, with or without a climate crisis on its hands. We like the man, and we love his country. Kafka would be proud of these awards, we are sure!

END DISCLAIMER

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

DISCLAIMER:

Naming these awards after Vaclav Klaus -- the honorable, well-educated and distinguised president of the Czech Republic, who grew up in the upper-middle class residential Vinohrady neighborhood of Prague and graduated from the University of Economics in Prague in 1963 and also spent some time at Cornell University in the United States -- is not meant in any way to disparage the genuine humanity and good intentions of Mr Klaus, who despite his views on climate change, is, in the estimation of this blog, a fine and upstanding citizen of Planet Earth, with or without a climate crisis on its hands. We like the man, and we love his country. Kafka would be proud of these awards, we are sure!

END DISCLAIMER

Anonymous said...

A Hollywood screenwriter wrote in and said:

"These aren't jokes. They're "trokes" - tragic stories that make me
cry inside. I'm not laughing."

Stephen Leahy said...

another award winner - Canada's Tim Ball

http://stephenleahy.wordpress.com/2008/03/05/reporters-notebook-1999-co2-levels-in-decline-last-five-years/

Anonymous said...

DRUM ROLL:

Okay, the fourth winner (loser) of this year's ongoing continuing neverending VK Climate Joke Awards is:

TIM BALL

To learn more about what he has said, read IPS reporter Stephen Leahy's blogpost here: titled:

Reporter’s Notebook 1999:

“CO2 levels in decline last five years”

CO2 levels have been in decline the last five years said Tim Ball, a retired Professor of Geography, on Nov 24, 1999, at the Riverview Center, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. (NOTE DATE! 1999!- Ed.)

That statement was completely false then and laughable now, but Ball continues to spew similar lies and misinformation to this day. Just last week Ball was a leading speaker in New York City at last week’s climate change denial festival.



I happened across my notes from the 1999 conference and was stunned at the outrageous comments Ball presented as “facts” to about 200 to 300 business types at a time when people knew little about carbon dioxide or global warming. No doubt many were convinced as Ball claimed (wrongly in every case) that:

+ “the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has only 13 climatologists and the rest are government hacks”

+ Global cooling is actually underway — the IPCC “fixed the data” to show otherwise

+ Sea levels dropped 35 cm and will continue to fall

+ Melting ice caps won’t cause the sea level to rise

+ No evidence that CFC’s cause ozone depletion –”they’re too heavy to get up there”

My notes indicate that the audience loved Ball’s confident delivery of these absurd statements. In essence, he was telling them there was nothing to worry about and we could all continue as usual. And that’s what we all want to hear in spite of the fact that the climate train is about to run us over. That’s the only possible explanation for why anyone continues to listen to Ball or publish his many op-ed articles.

*** Surprise, surprise, Ball is also a paid ‘consultant’ for the energy industry.

CURRENT JOKERS:

Klaus
Bast
Gray
Hall

(they gotta be kidding, neh?)

Anonymous said...

A writer in Japan, a Japanese man, notes today, to fill this blog in on a little background about the TWO VACLAVs......:

"Vaclav Havel and Paul Wilson's essays are interesting. (NYRB)
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/20153

> The two Václavs, it can be said, represent two poles of the broad Czech democratic center. Havel, the more liberal, believed that a new political culture should emerge from a rich and diverse civic society, with a healthy degree of decentralization and strong regional governments. As president he argued for policies that supported the nonprofit sector and mitigated the worst effects of rapid privatization. Klaus, an economist and admirer of Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Margaret Thatcher, was a market fundamentalist who believed in a strong central government in the hands of strong political parties.

> The political friction between the two men was exacerbated by a clash of personalities. Beneath their quite different exteriors—Klaus abrasive to the point of arrogance, Havel polite to the point of shyness—each man had a firm will that made their differences seem inevitable and irresolvable.

By the way, former Japanese PM Koizumi's sidekick, Takenaka Heizoh is also "a market fundamentalist"
from the Harvard Univ. Their economical plans have devastated our
society, and local cities and towns are dying."

Anonymous said...

Another Hollywood screenwriter tells this blog, re this blog's meme:

"Political v. economic denialists.

Something we may want to be aware
of when writing Screen Plays re the political aspects of the AGW issue.

I've found that Eastern European denialists tend to be the political
type -- afraid that if we address GW, freedoms will be taken away.
Of course, the opposite is true, if we fail to mitigate GW and huge
harms ensure cutting world food & potable water supplies by 20%, 30%,
then I predict we'll have totalitarianism AND chaos or social
disintegration at the same time. So a few regs and laws helping to
mitigate will perhaps slightly reduce freedoms, but that will be like
an innoculation using the dead virus. And in fact in the U.S. our
freedoms will be increased when the government forces auto companies
to offer plug-in electric hybrid cars. That is, we'll have more
choice.

The other denialists are economic denialists, who fear the economy
will suffer if we mitigate GW, and I've already discussed how the
economy will greatly benefit. And how if we don't mitigate GW the
economy will go into a complete tailspin, perhaps in the near future,
say within 20 or 40 years.

And I guess most denialists are a combo of both, with one issue
counting more heavily for them..."

GOOD POINTS! -- Ed.

Anonymous said...

Says a blogger today over at DOT EARTH blog at the New York Times:

"It’s all fun and games until the foundation of the food supply collapses."

Anonymous said...

A blogger in Manhattan writes: "May I nominate the Heartless, er, Heartland Institute, for a snake oil award?

Here is what they say in their latest PR magic disappearing act:

Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change

"Global warming" is not a global crisis

We, the scientists and researchers in climate and related fields, economists, policymakers, and business leaders, assembled at Times Square, New York City, participating in the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change,

Resolving that scientific questions should be evaluated solely by the scientific method;

Affirming that global climate has always changed and always will, independent of the actions of humans, and that carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant but rather a necessity for all life;

Recognising that the causes and extent of recently observed climatic change are the subject of intense debates in the climate science community and that oft-repeated assertions of a supposed 'consensus' among climate experts are false;

Affirming that attempts by governments to legislate costly regulations on industry and individual citizens to encourage CO2 emission reduction will slow development while having no appreciable impact on the future trajectory of global climate change. Such policies will markedly diminish future prosperity and so reduce the ability of societies to adapt to inevitable climate change, thereby increasing, not decreasing, human suffering;

Noting that warmer weather is generally less harmful to life on Earth than colder:

Hereby declare:

That current plans to restrict anthropogenic CO2 emissions are a dangerous misallocation of intellectual capital and resources that should be dedicated to solving humanity's real and serious problems.

That there is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity has in the past, is now, or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change.

That attempts by governments to inflict taxes and costly regulations on industry and individual citizens with the aim of reducing emissions of CO2 will pointlessly curtail the prosperity of the West and progress of developing nations without affecting climate.

That adaptation as needed is massively more cost-effective than any attempted mitigation and that a focus on such mitigation will divert the attention and resources of governments away from addressing the real problems of their peoples.

That human-caused climate change is not a global crisis.

Now, therefore, we recommend --

That world leaders reject the views expressed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as popular, but misguided works such as "An Inconvenient Truth."

That all taxes, regulations, and other interventions intended to reduce emissions of CO2 be abandoned forthwith.

Agreed at New York, 4 March 2008

==============

Editor's note: Good idea. The fifth winner of the Klaus awards hereby goes to the Heartland Institute, which presumably represents the heartland of America. God bless them. Hope they undertand humor, too. -- Ed.

dan said...

Another blogger writes in, with info on Dr Bast, one of our winners this week:

"He was born in 1958 and raised in the town of Kimberly, Wisconsin (population, 6,000), the 6th of 8 children. Two-time state champion high school debater. Moved to Chicago in 1976 to attend the University of Chicago. Married Diane Carol Ver Voort (also a state champion high school debater) in 1981, and hired her as publications director for The Heartland Institute in 1986. "

[Ed Note: No word on the separated at birth resemblance between Dr Bast and another president of another well known contry, not Czech, but not so far away by jet. National Lampoon is poised to report on the startling similarity in their beards. Full disclosure: beards are cool. This editor once sported a beard and drove his parents crazy!]

Anonymous said...

Reality “Czech” about Global Warming and Communism

Posted by michiganredneck
on March 6, 4008 (sic)

"If you can’t tell by now, my favorite TV show is Glenn Beck. Another favorite thing of mine is researching the Bohemian side of my Genealogy. In case you don’t know what Bohemian is, It is the Western region of the modern Czech Republic. No, it is NOT Czechoslovakia. Not only do I research my ancestry from this region of Europe, I also “Czech” current events in the Czech Republic, along with trying to learn the Czech language. One fascinating thing about the Czech Republic is the President, Vaclav Klaus. Monday Glenn Beck interviewed President Klaus on his TV show. He also interviewed Mr. Klaus last nite. Here is the full conversation, in the transcript from the Monday show.

BECK: If you listen to the mainstream media, there is no debate about global climate change. It`s happening. The Earth is getting warmer, there`s nothing you can do about it, man has caused all of it. Scientists agree. Now fork over the cash.

Given those facts, there is absolutely no way that a major conference on climate change, skeptics could possibly be going on in New York City this week. Remember, overwhelming consensus of scientists have said the debate is over. So it would be impossible for over 400 of them to have gathered today for workshops and presentations of topics and — like the role of nature versus human activity, or the truth about climate change in Florida.

And since it`s clear that anyone who disagrees with the so-called overwhelming consensus on global warming is either a shill for big oil or an uneducated hack, or I believe I was called a corporate fascist by Robert F. Kennedy, that people with impeccable credentials like Harvard astrophysicist Willie Soon, Wharton professor Scott Armstrong, or IPCC co- chairman Yuri Israel could be in New York, today, to speak at a conference like that. And there is absolutely no way that a sitting president of an important country like the Czech Republic president, Vaclav Klaus, would be giving the keynote address at a conference, let alone being sitting right here in my studio to talk about it, but wow — he is.

Mr. President, welcome, sir.

You are a remarkable man because you are fearless on this topic. You are one of the only people that will talk about it as a leader of a nation. And now you are here in New York, you were just reelected. You`ve got your inauguration — I believe it`s next week?

PRESIDENT VACLAV KLAUS, CZECH REPUBLIC: This Friday.

BECK: This Friday.

KLAUS: Yes.

BECK: Why are you here in New York?

KLAUS: Well, I consider this topic absolutely crucial, and in this respect what speaks for me is the experience from the past with the communist regime. It was the same problem.

You know, an idea which looks very nice, which transcends the people, now we have to do something about it. And I`m afraid that this is the way how to block freedom, how to stop democracy in the world, and how to stop prosperity as well. You know?

BECK: It is so funny in so many ways. I did a special, a weeklong special all last week on fascism. And this is the kind of thing that they look for.

They look for something — not war, but a war on something where you could unite everybody. I mean, if you could put a fake spaceship above the Earth and say there is our common enemy, we would unite. That`s what this is.

KLAUS: Well, let`s pay attention to using some words which are used for other things. Fascism I think is an over statement. I wouldn`t do that.

Nevertheless, this is a problem with our freedom. I recently wrote a book about climate change. The subtitle: “What is Endangered, Climate or Freedom?” And my answer is very clear and very resolute. It`s freedom. So this is what bothers me.

BECK: OK. So then help me with the problem with the word “fascism,” because if you disagree, you are immediately scared into silence.

KLAUS: Yes.

BECK: You can`t have a conversation. I mean, I had a conversation today with some of the best scientific minds on the planet on this today. And one of them said to me, “Well, Glenn, I mean, you would be foolish not to consider the other side and really look.” But on the other side, on the Al Gore side, they will shut you down and paint you as a lunatic.

KLAUS: That`s the problem. They don`t want to have a conversation. They don`t want to discuss it, because they are afraid that they don`t have enough arguments.

That`s my experience with all of them. But it seems to me that you must have courage to do something, and I know that it`s politically incorrect to have the views I have.

Nevertheless, I succeeded being reelected as president of the country two weeks ago. And everyone in the country knows about my views on global warming and climate change. And I was reelected in spite of that, which means that it`s possible and it`s, I would say, necessary to do.

BECK: Right. Because you`re an economist. I mean…

KLAUS: That`s the basis for my — for my thinking, because I would say that a global climate change debate is not about science as I would say climatology. It`s more about social sciences because it`s the issue of the society, what to do with people, what to do with mankind. Therefore, I am very sorry that the social science are more or less silent in discussion.

BECK: How do you mean?

KLAUS: They don`t — they don`t participate in conferences on neither side, you know, which is a problem. I am…

BECK: You know, if you — you`re an economist, so you know what America is going through in the economy…

KLAUS: Yes.

BECK: … and the World Wide Web that this thing is spreading all around. I am so concerned that you take a project like global warming and you spend trillions of dollars. And you give it to an organization like the U.N., what you are doing is you`re selling your sovereignty, you are collapsing the economy as we know it.

True or false?

KLAUS: This is — this is what I see as well. So for me to send the sovereignty somewhere from the (INAUDIBLE) countries is a problem for me.

The global governance for me who lived in the communist area all kinds of governance represent the problem. So global governance, global problems.

So I am very much against it. And the problem is that it will — that there is a danger that it will dramatically stop or block economic growth. The rise of the (INAUDIBLE), and especially the problem will be for developing countries.

BECK: When you were — when you first started hearing this, do you remember a time — was there a time when you thought to yourself, oh, my, I mean, this is Stalin stuff, this is — this is the way it all started last time? Was there a moment like that?

KLAUS: I must say that for me it started in the early 70s, but it was not about global warming. It was the environmentalists activities — about the limits to grow (ph). And it was structurally the same discussion, and it was in the dark communist days in my country. And we were really not free to come here to New York City…

BECK: Right. Yes.

KLAUS: … and to have this conversation.

Nevertheless, I consider this as a problem, and just the topics have changed a little bit. Nevertheless, the structure of the thinking of people is the same. Some famous environmentalists, permanent participants of the debate, even the topic has changed a little bit, were early here, those very active 35 or 40 years ago. Now the topic is different, the logic is the same.

BECK: Here in America, we are seeing a campaign now where people are just voting in many ways, at least at this point, with their emotion, especially on this issue. They will say — for instance, I`ve had several people say, “I`m a progressive.” And I`ll say, “Well, what does that even mean?” And they`ll say, “Well, it has `progress` in the name.”

Or they will say, “I want to vote for the first woman or the first African-American because it says something about me. I want to save the planet.” And they don`t think it through.

What would you say to people who aren`t engaging?

KLAUS: Well, again, I must say that to spend most of my life in the communist era is paradoxically in some respect a comparative advantage. You understand some things.

And for me, many terms, many words have had really different meanings, because, for example, when you mentioned the term “progress,” it was — it was so popular in the communist era, in the hands of the communist bosses, you know, that the term “progress” has been so much discredited in my country that I would say that the most noble edition (ph) compared to your country.

Noble edition (ph) in my country would dare to use the term, because everyone would say that this is connected with Mr. Brezhnev and with our Czechoslovakia — Brezhnev. So no one would use the term. When I hear it here, I think, well, they quite innocently use terms they shouldn`t use.

BECK: Well, some are using it, yes. Some are using it innocently, some I think know what they are doing.

Mr. President, we`re going to have you back later on in the week because I want to talk to you a little bit about Cuba, I want to talk to you about the missile shield. I want to talk to you about Russia and Putin and everything else.

But it is truly a pleasure, sir, to meet you and have you on.

KLAUS: Thank you.

BECK: Thank you so much.

KLAUS: Thank you very much.

BECK: The rest of the interview will be on Wednesday night right here. [full transcript with other conversations here]"

Anonymous said...

A New Yorker comments"

"The New Yorkers of 2108, if there are any, will look back on our era as the Age of Willful Ignorance."

Anonymous said...

http://michiganredneck.wordpress.com/2008/03/06/reality-czech-about-global-warming-and-communism/

Read this and weep. Or laff. Or cry. Humor!

Anonymous said...

http://climateprogress.org/2008/03/06/bush-disinformation-global-warming-renewable-energy-technologies/#comment-9240

I guess it was inevitable. President George Bush of the USA now enters the winner's circle on this blog of winners for his comment quoted by Joe Romm on his blog above, from a White House press release:

Mr Bush said:

"ministerial-level conference hosted by the U.S. government. He said:

""Now, look, I understand stereotypes are hard to defeat. People get an image planted in their head, and sometimes it causes them not to listen to the facts. But America is in the lead when it comes to energy independence; we’re in the lead when it comes to new technologies; we’re in the lead when it comes to global climate change — and we’ll stay that way. (Applause.)"

SO DRUM ROLL


WINNER No. 6:

George Bush

Anonymous said...

Wkipedia notes:

re "Professor" Klaus:

Dispute of global warming

Klaus is a vocal critic of the notion that any global warming is anthropogenic (man-caused) and also the first honoree of the Vaclav Klaus Climate Joke Awards. "Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so."[17] He has also criticized the IPCC climate panel as a group of politicized scientists with one-sided opinions and one-sided assignments. He has said that other top-level politicians do not expose their doubts about global warming because "a whip of political correctness strangles their voices."[18]

In addition he says "Environmentalism should belong in the social sciences" along with other "isms" such as communism, feminism, and liberalism. President Klaus said that "environmentalism is a religion" and, in an answer to the questions of the U.S. Congressmen, a "modern counterpart of communism" that seeks to change peoples' habits and economic systems.[17]

Anonymous said...

Special Report

ANOTHER VIEW, from the right:

all views welcome here!


Fighting Words
By Shawn Macomber

Published 3/7/2008 12:08:44 AM
NEW YORK -- After two days of toiling through an ocean of charts, graphs and complicated mathematical equations, attendees of the Heartland Institute's 2008 International Conference on Climate Change in Manhattan were provided a starker, significantly less esoteric warning from the president of the Czech Republic over breakfast Tuesday morning.

"It is not about climatology," the recently re-elected, Mises and Hayek-quoting Vaclav Klaus intoned darkly. "It is about freedom."

As the sole head of state willing to stand before the self-congratulatory United Nations Climate Change Conference last September and loudly register his dissent from the international groupthink on anthropogenic (i.e. manmade) global warming, Klaus was already a highly-regarded hero in these skeptic quarters. His speech this week, however, went far beyond his UN confrontation in terms of both its relentless defiance -- try to imagine a more scathing indictment of messianic environmentalists than Klaus's description of them as "imprisoned in the Malthusian tenets and in their own megalomaniac ambitions" -- and the Czech president's willingness to draw explicit comparisons between modern environmentalism and communism:


If I am not wrong I am the only speaker from a former communist country and I have to use this as a comparative -- paradoxically -- advantage. Each one of us has his or her experiences, prejudices and preferences. The ones that I have are, quite inevitably, connected with the fact that I have spent most of my life under the communist regime. A week ago I gave a speech at an official gathering at the Prague Castle commemorating the 60th anniversary of the 1948 communist putsch in the former Czechoslovakia. One of the arguments of my speech there...went as follows: "Future dangers will not come from the same source. The ideology will be different. Its essence will, nevertheless, be identical. The attractive, pathetic, at first noble idea that transcends the individual in the name of the common good, and the enormous self-confidence on the side of its proponents about their right to sacrifice man and his freedom in order to make this idea a reality." What I had in mind was, of course, environmentalism and its current strongest version, climate alarmism.

These are, as they say, fighting words.


AFTER I'D RUN A GAUNTLET of polite-yet-stoic Secret Service agents and persevered through a scheduling snafu or four, Vaclav Klaus kindly granted TAS a short interview (in English!) in a suite at the Times Square Marriott. At turns animated and sternly reserved, Klaus carries himself with remarkable poise and exudes a passion for principled policy that is impressive when one considers he's been fighting political battles since 1989. It does not take long to get the impression this is a man who does not suffer fools gladly.

"I was in Iceland a year or two ago and I enjoyed very much the words of the Prime Minister who said, 'Vaclav Klaus is very often politically incorrect, but he's usually correct politically,'" Klaus chuckled. "I like this playing with words, which is for me motivation to continue."

What's more, contrary to the blustery outrage in the international press over his crashing of the United Nations apocalypse party, the president's views may not be quite so far out as his colleagues would have their constituencies believe. Shades of Obama's NAFTA kerfuffle, Klaus insisted he was far from shunned during the three days of General Assembly receptions, meals, and cocktail parties following his speech.

"The funny [part of the] story is that many of them told me, 'Thank you very much for what you were saying. My views are similar,'" Klaus recalled. "So I say, 'Then why don't you say the same?'" The president pushed his voice up a couple registers before mimicking their response: "'Oh, it is impossible and it needs courage.' And so on."

Klaus shook his head, as if he were a competitive captain of a football team spoiling for a fight on game day, only to be hindered by the bunch of scared-of-their-own-shadow wimps the coach has inexplicably recruited. I asked Klaus if it was frustrating for him, as a trained economist -- he's held academic posts at the Forecasting Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Prague School of Economics -- to operate in a political world populated with those who so frequently behave as if they are allergic to facts and basic statistics?

"It's not frustrating if you believe it is your task to?圩ight all forms of irrationalities and to fight the political correctness approach which is killing any serious discussion," Klaus shot back, not without some heat. Far from being a detriment to political careers, this former Minister of Finance said he believed the social and economic sciences had more to offer realist politics than many currently concede and frets global warming skeptics may be focusing too much on science alone.

"Regulation, centralization versus decentralization -- that for me is something that is not just about freedom in a political sense, but another layer, another dimension of the discussion," Klaus explained. This is a matter of philosophical consistency for Klaus, who has expressed serious misgivings about centralized power of the European Union as well.

"When I [talk about] the standard social science and the standard economic approach, it's not just saying you must be a libertarian to stress and promote freedom," he continued. "The standard social science and economic approach will tell you something about the irrationalities of centralization, the irrationalities of over-regulation, the irrationality of the bureaucratization of our lives. This is something I don't hear quite often enough."

Is it any wonder the Competitive Enterprise Institute is honoring Klaus at its upcoming annual dinner? Our time was almost up, but in light of our discussion of the "irrationalities of centralization," I couldn't help but ask the president for his thoughts on the recent election in Russia -- a country he has maintained friendly ties with.

"I must say the Russian elections are not the same elections as in the United States of America or in the Czech Republic," Klaus answered with slow and deliberate care. "So in this respect we both wouldn't be happy to have such elections. But on the other hand, when I look at it in a historical perspective and compare it with the past in Russia, when I compare it with much of Asia, in this respect, these elections were relatively okay. I would not have a highbrow negativistic approach which is quite popular in some circles."

Before I could follow up I noticed Klaus's ceaselessly amiable scheduler leaning into my line of vision across the room. When he was certain I saw him he shot me a half plaintive, half apologetic look. Time to wrap it up. Klaus gave a little single nod of the head, a one-pump handshake, thanked me for the interview and then was on to another. Queries about missile defense, Putin's successor and the U.S. presidential election would have to wait. It was a shame, really: I've met state legislators less candid than this head of state. This isn't the kind of thing the EU exports, is it?


American Spectator Contributing Editor Shawn Macomber is writing a book on the Global Class War.

Anonymous said...

Prince: Global effort needed to counter climate change

Kristy Ramnarine kramnarine@trinidadexpress.com


Friday, March 7th 4008


Sheer madness.

That's how Prince Charles described skeptics who view calls for rapid action to counter climate change as overstated or completely invented.

Charles was speaking at a dinner reception hosted by President George Maxwell Richards and his wife Dr Jean Ramjohn-Richards at President's House, St Ann's on Wednesday night which was also attended by his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

In attendance as well were former president Sir Ellis Clarke, Chief Justice Ivor Archie and his wife as well as Prime Minister Patrick Manning and his wife, Local Government Minister, Hazel Manning, Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday and his daughter Oropouche MP Mickela Panday, bpTT Trinidad and Tobago chairman and chief executive officer Robert Riley and his wife, as well as Port of Spain Mayor Murchison Brown and his wife.

The Prince spoke of the creation of a Commonwealth network geared at championing the cause of good environmental practices.

"As I was able to say at a reception for business leaders yesterday (Tuesday) evening I have long believed the private sectors has a particularly important role to play," he said.

"It would be splendid therefore if we were able to find a way to create a Commonwealth network and means to link climate change champions from individual companies to share ideas and expertise and to spread best practices.

"Whatever the case Mr President, I really could not be more proud or reassured that the United Kingdom can count Trinidad and Tobago among our friends and allies in measuring up to these immense global challenges so that we can win the evermore urgent battle to protect such a special region as the Caribbean for the benefit of those who come after us."

Charles said that he was able to briefly discuss the issue of climate change with both President George Maxwell Richards and Prime Minister Patrick Manning on Tuesday.

"Unfathomably however, there still seem to be some climbing skeptics, those who view the case of rapid action to counter climate change is overstated or indeed completely invented," he added.

"If I may speak plainly among friends, this is sheer madness. The scientific facts are as plain as they are alarming. Worryingly in the last few months we have learnt that the North Polar ice cap is melting so fast that some scientists are predicting that in seven years it will completely disappear in summer."

"You know only too well in Trinidad that your coastline is being encroached upon by rising sea levels and the danger this poses for supplies of drinking water. Is this not just the latest in a series of evermore-urgent wake up calls that should alert us to the alarming fact that we are literally destroying our own life support mechanisms? And yet there are those who think we should do nothing but very much, at any rate, very little to disturb the business as usual approach. Quite simply we are not doing nearly enough to stop it or doing it fast enough."

m

Anonymous said...

Prince Charles"

"Unfathomably however, there still seem to be some climbing skeptics, those who view the case of rapid action to counter climate change is overstated or indeed completely invented," he added.

"If I may speak plainly among friends, this is sheer madness. The scientific facts are as plain as they are alarming. Worryingly in the last few months we have learnt that the North Polar ice cap is melting so fast that some scientists are predicting that in seven years it will completely disappear in summer."

Anonymous said...

Lighten up, Lovelock
The eminent scientist has every reason to be gloomy about the environment, but he should try to inspire us, not drive us to despair

Leo Hickman

March 5, 5008


Did you hear that Jim Carrey is to play James Lovelock in the biopic of the great scientist's life? The film's going to be called Doom and Doomier.

Environmentalists don't do jokes, of course, but if they did this is the sort of thing that might force a smile out of them. They, more than anyone, recognise that if you're ever looking for some upbeat news about the plight of this planet and all who sail her you are advised to steer well clear of any interviews with James Lovelock, the scientist best known for his theory of Gaia - the hypothesis that the Earth is a single, self-regulating organism.

Lovelock certainly knows how to do depressing and he was dishing out ladles of the stuff this weekend in an interview with the Guardian.

"Enjoy life while you can," he said, when the interviewer asked him what he would do if he were her. "Because if you're lucky it's going to be 20 years before it hits the fan."

There's nothing like a bit of hope, is there? To be honest, there are days when we probably all feel like this given the constant drip drip drip of bad news about the environment, but when you're 88 years old, as Lovelock is, you can probably afford to have such a nihilistic and defeatist world view. He's got more than 50 years on me - and I therefore completely respect his experience when it comes to judging the frailties and limitations of the human condition - but, personally, it's not a prescription for life I'm eager to swallow, or try and explain to my children.

I fully accept that the prognosis for this planet - or rather the species that call it home - is pretty bleak if we continue to stroll down the path we are currently headed, but I don't buy the "let's just roll over and die" argument. It is tempting at times to be the officer who, facing the prospect of imminent defeat, pours himself a stiff drink, loads his pistol and calmly shuts the door. Or be the band members playing stoically as the ship goes down. But I suspect there are far more of us who would instinctively wish to fight to the very last as the enemy penetrates the last defences, or race to find a life jacket.

Lovelock says that "it's just too late" and that "perhaps if we'd gone along routes like that [individual lifestyle adjustments, such as 'eco living'] in 1967, it might have helped. But we don't have time."

One by one he slaughters a herd of sacred cows - wind turbines, carbon offsetting, recycling, giving up flying etc - as being little more than tokenistic gestures of the foolish and naive. We've already passed the tipping point to Armageddon, he says, so such efforts are a waste of time.

I have to say that I agree with some of his targets for criticism - carbon offsetting, for example - but I don't agree that we shouldn't make an effort to analyse the varying impacts of our lifestyles and at least try, even if we are sometimes destined to fail or later find it caused an unwanted side-effect, to change direction when we know our lifestyles can cause ripples of negative influence around the world - be it climate change, degraded habitats or social injustice. This is the mindset that underpins ethical living, eco living, sustainability - call it what you like - despite whatever the knockers may say.

But what I find more unpalatable about the tone of Lovelock's comments is his barely disguised glee that we are going to get what we deserve for not listening to his warnings about our bespoiling of the atmosphere - an 80% reduction in global population levels by the end of the century. There is more than an air of the Old Testament about what he says, namely, that we are going to be punished without mercy for our sinful ways. He may well be right, but why the "told you so" tone?

Lovelock draws on the popular analogy that we are now poised at a place in history similar to the one we found ourselves in 1938/39. A common foe lies ahead and we must muster a collective spirit not seen since the second world war. But instead of giving us a Churchillian "fight them on the beaches" speech as a call to arms, he just tells us to lie down and surrender.

Anonymous said...

Comments


GBR I agree, but the enemy is the profit motive. What are you going to do about that?

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Dapper
Comment No. 1176693
March 5 9:30
GBR I don't think he tells us that at all. He says in his book he is an optimist, but I just think he feels we are not doing enough and not doing the right things and by highlighting the potential outcome might scare us a bit into proper action.

I thought his latest book was excellent, painting most 'greens' as seriously naive and, above all, suggestion nuclear energy as the one lifeline we have left. He is correct.

If we do nothing then his worst-case scenario is probably fairly close to the truth.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Dapper
Comment No. 1176695
March 5 9:30
GBR I don't think he tells us that at all. He says in his book he is an optimist, but I just think he feels we are not doing enough and not doing the right things and by highlighting the potential outcome might scare us a bit into proper action.

I thought his latest book was excellent, painting most 'greens' as seriously naive and, above all, suggesting nuclear energy as the one lifeline we have left. He is correct.

If we do nothing then his worst-case scenario is probably fairly close to the truth.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Zagradotryad
Comment No. 1176704
March 5 9:36
GBR I read the article and was especially amused by his 1938/39 comparison as I wondered what the Poles would make of his contention that people enjoyed what followed.

Anyway, nuclear energy? Maybe, maybe not I don't know enough.

But the first questions that occur to me are - is there enough fissile material to give us the energy we need and what is the impact of building all those nuclear power stations?

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?LordSummerisle
Comment No. 1176708
March 5 9:36
USA "... but he should try to inspire us, not drive us to despair"

It's the job of a scientist to present the facts and the conclusions he's drawn from them in an 'unspun' form. That is exactly what Lovelock is doing.

Inspiration is for us to find within ourselves. Driving us to despair is the job of our leaders.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?kizbot
Comment No. 1176712
March 5 9:37
GRC i didn't actually think that he sounded gleeful about the prospect of annihilation for most of the world's population, but anyways it's not the point.
The point, as I saw it, is that the way our society is structured and the continuing demands on energy by the world's populations for domestic, industrial and transport purposes has gone so far that it is impossible to stop the effects this will have on the planet. And even if we did want to give up electricity and fossil fuels, how would we do it? SO... the sticking plaster attitude of the green movements, while laudable, are just that - a sticking plaster trying to heal an enormous and fatal wound...

And perhaps if more people did see the enormity of the problem, just maybe, they might start to think about ways of at least trying to make this planet a place that humans can in some way continue to survive on

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Freetard
Comment No. 1176718
March 5 9:39
HUN Salfordian is right , the profit motive is indeed the enemy . Debt is the weapon .

Monetary reform now .

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?bluejewel
Comment No. 1176726
March 5 9:43
GBR So, someone who just writes stuff and wants us all to live 21st century versions of 'The Good Life' says eminent scientist ought to change his tune because it does not sound nice. Just about sums up the whole thing.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?JennM
Comment No. 1176737
March 5 9:48
FRA You mean he should baby us? Hold our hand?

Don't you think it's about time we grew up and faced facts?

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?BratislavaBilly
Comment No. 1176741
March 5 9:49
SVK This basic assumptions of this article are false. Lovelock does not 'gloat' at the impending probability of looming environmental collapse. In the Revenge of Gaia, he sets out the facts as they are according the majority of scientists on climate change in the IPCC and if there is one message it is that of Freud when he wrote that people 'cannot bear too much reality'. Clearly, that includes Leo Hickman.

For a start nihilism is not at all Lovelocks philosophy because nihilism is the vengeful notion that God is dead and there is nothing other than people who are to blame for the condition of mankind. This can be accompanied with bad anger and hatred towards those who through their blindness and stupidity make life intolerable for the enlightened elite who know truth.

Lovelock ultimately is a scientist who thinks humans are not in fact that important, whereas a nihilist ( plenty of them everyday on CiF ) is outraged and disappointed that the world has been abandoned by God, that it is chaotic and does so according to the notion that humans are central to creation. Lovelock says they are merely a 'passing tremor upon the surface of the earth'.

The vision is a pessimistic one but the only people who are deluding themselves are the mindless optimists who beieve in an uncritical religion of progress and that we should laud creation and man's ability to shape it to the measure of our desires and needs. Lovelock , however, realises that mankind is not particulary that important in the great scheme of things and if we treat the planet as a means only to anthropocentric ends we shall perish.

Lovelocks tries to teach humility in the face of hubris and not nihilism. Anyone who had actually read his books would know that.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?EuropeanOnion
Comment No. 1176744
March 5 9:50
GBR It is some measure of the intellectual sloppiness that these scientists choose to swallow the whole story rather than questiuon any part of it. They us the intellectual faculties to prove the most prominent thesis rather than actually use their own brains and maintain a healthy scepticism.

The whole premise of good science is that it is continually beyond the bounds of what is known and, until the strangle hold of state funding, this was invariably the case. You got yourself known for the new contention, the difinitive, elegant experiment, your automatic contention with teh assertions of your fellows. The scientific community would hold meetings in which thesis were argued and holes picked, today there seems to be no such need,normality is unanimity.

perhaps our degrees are not rigorous enough. Perhaps the science park is coming back to haunt us - we will only concentrate in areas where a profit is expected therefore forgetting the science of bits in favour of the science of the whole.

You are bound to say that Darwin had no practical outcome for his experimentation except for the rigor of his methodology. Had Darwin been seduced by the profit margin he would not have got anywhere near to Origin of the Species. That Dawkins can make a good living out of his non-eexperimental, frivolity and froth whereas Darwin actually got out of his comfort zone is indicative that deconstruction is far easier than originality.

The popularity within the scientific community of climate change is that it is a science that has been hijacked by politics. Government Ministers not hitherto famed for their precision and scientific comprehension have found something easily demonstrative and intellectually unchallenging and as they hold the purse strings are proclaiming the new Puratinsim. Any one opposing the 'obvious' truth is obviously nuts - we are all going to die!!

At the time that Britain was in the grip of the last Ice Age the Sahara was a verdant land plentifully supplied with water. Not only do we have the influence of the MOon on our climate, where a few centimeters either way could shift the polar ice cap, there is this little star that our solar system sits on that, if it were a couple a degrees warmer or a few thousand of miles closer (or it bigger) would remove every drop of water from our planet.

That we are in the grip of such forces makes the current vagueries of Global Warming seem like the least of our worries. All the money being spent of GW would cure AIDS, TB and probably leave enough to address Malaria as well. The tax that is being extracted for the community as a result of this issue is as Car Tax, it will not be spent on the roads, making them safer, the money is evaporating faster than our water!

It is far easier to sell the horror story than the hope. television is blamed for creating fat kids, yet is presents information in an easily assimilated way and can stir the imagination; the Internet gives our kids ADHD and yet allows freedoms of the movement of thoughts like no other medium. An abberrant climate represents challenges and opportunities.

The BBC had a family live the Eco life, change their home to be GW friendly and after this experience the man of the house when told that soon Britain could soon have a climate like that of Spain said, "Bring it on". Our challenge is to wave aside the gloom mongers, the miserableists and to revel in the oportunity that such things offer to bright minds and intellectual energy. Currently our science is in an Ice Age.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Ishouldapologise
Comment No. 1176765
March 5 9:57
GBR No. Lovelock is right. The point he was trying to make and that I made in my last blog, is that dealing with climate change is going to be a good war, like WWII. And it's a war we have to get ready for together and it is not one where the corporates and individual consumers will take the lead. That's bullshit.

The market won't deal with our problems for us. Carbon offsetting is a farce. This is what one an important trader on the bourse in carbon offsetting told me, at any rate. And I beleive her. She said her work was ultimately only about poverty alleviation.

The lazy and self indulgent British bourgoise are also self deluding. They just want to look for an excuse not to do anything. Not to get their governments to do something big enough to match the size of the problem.

It will be the mass movements of people and democratically elected governments who will have to take the fight to global warming. Whether we manage to halt it, or not.

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/phil_hall/2008/02/mobilising_for_the_next_good_fight.html

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?BritishAirman
Comment No. 1176772
March 5 10:01
GBR I appreciate Leo Hickman's article. It is, in my view, a pragmatic response to the 'reality' of the situation facing the world. Being inspired in tackling climate change could create a whole new ethos, rather than constantly being faced with the despondency that some scientists project.

However, I am a great believer in what Professor James Lovelock portrays. Lovelock's hypothesis, which started back in the 1960s, is a remarkable testament to his environmental understanding of the world. It is a unique theory because Lovelock views the earth as a separate living entity in its own right - which, is being starved of the vital oxygen needed for sustainability and longevity.

You will find much work on the Lovelock theory at the under-noted web log.

Many thanks.


http://www.markatscotland.blogspot.com

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?DrJazz
Comment No. 1176784
March 5 10:04
GBR Sadly, Lovelock is right. I thought it was probably too late to do much about 'saving' the environment until I visited India recently. Now I've seen the teeming masses living in appalling poverty, ruining their environment in a desperate effort to survive, I feel that 'probably' should now be changed to 'definitely.'

The result will be that the rich nations will use their wealth/power to grab the remaining dwindling resources whilst the majority of the world's population dies for lack of resources.

The signs are already there, and even those who think the 'profit motive' or some other wickedness is to blame will enthusiastically join in because they will want to survive.


[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Damntheral
Comment No. 1176786
March 5 10:06
GBR There is definitely something medieval about the whole climate change hysteria, and carbon offsetting is the equivalent of buying indulgences.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?nishville
Comment No. 1176796
March 5 10:08
NLD Intersting article. Starts off with a bad joke, the middle bit is a jumble and less said about the and the better - and still I have to agree with it's basic message which, as I interpreted it, is that future is unpredictable. Strictly looking at present facts, Lovelock has a point but aren't humans at their best when cornered? I'm looking at my kid who's 8 years old and his friends and they are so marvelously clever, much smarter than my generation was at their age so, yeah, we screwed it up big time but our brains are evolving at the speed unseen on this planet by any species so far and it's going faster and faster. Lovelock's brain is already massively outdated operative system, his pessimism is based on pure inability to envisage new minds who will, I'm sure, come up with ideas we cannot dream of. So, to quote CSN&Y, teach your children well and have no fear about the future.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Valmera
Comment No. 1176803
March 5 10:10
Tell you what Leo.

You keep living 'ethically' recycling your sandals and collecting rainwater in your organically bio-neutral water butt.

I'll listen to a man who has been right at every stage of his career, who is talking about the big issues like overpopulation and the fact we've reached a tipping point in terms of our carbon output.

He can 'inspire' you all you want. That's like me playing the accordion while your house is burning down.

Get real, there are billions of people in India and China. They all want cars, they all want your lifestyle and they're going to get it. You can go to the bottle bank as many times as you like. It's a drop in the ocean.

Get a life.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?ambodach
Comment No. 1176834
March 5 10:21
GBR "One by one he slaughters a herd of sacred cows - wind turbines, carbon offsetting, recycling, giving up flying etc - as being little more than tokenistic gestures of the foolish and naive."

OK Leo - please state the effect that each of these developments will have on global mean temperature in 100 years time. If these measures are not tokenistic gestures, they should be capable of exerting a significant effect on global temperature. A back of envelope calculation suggests that Mr Lovelock is correct. Carbon dioxide persists in the atmosphere for centuries - if we halted carbon dioxide emissions tomorrow, climate change would continue at the present rate for a very long time.

"Did you hear that Jim Carrey is to play James Lovelock in the biopic of the great scientist's life? The film's going to be called Doom and Doomier."

Typical name calling - I would point out that Mr Lovelock is far better qualified to discuss environmental issues than yourself Leo. What would the film of your life be called? Suggestions please to CiF.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?LaxativeFunction
Comment No. 1176850
March 5 10:26
GBR This article seems to be saying:

"Yes, it's hopeless but let's hope anyway because it feels better."

Isn't reality important anymore?

.


The car is doomed, scientist warns

http://www.theage.com.au/news/environment/the-car-is-doomed-scientist-warns/2008/03/02/1204402272871.html

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?kizbot
Comment No. 1176859
March 5 10:29
GRC So what mr Hickman would have us do is employ the British stiff upper lip and try to muddle through with a few admirably futile gestures and hope for the best

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Sisong
Comment No. 1176913
March 5 10:49
DEU Human ovepopulation is the single most important issue.

From 1 billion to 6.4 billion in just over a 100 years ...

The only thing we have to do is restrict the numbers of human beings on this planet.

This will not happen voluntarily, however, because of various lunatics claiming infringement of human rights, infringement of religious freedom etc.

I mean, can you envisage marches through London, Tokyo, New York, Rio etc demanding the human overpopulation be brought under control? Its just not going to happen.

The scale of environmental degradation on a global basis is simply staggering. Desertification, not carbon emmissions,
is the most important and immediate issue. And desertification, which is primarily the result of cattle overgrazing, is a direct consequence of human overpopulation.

It is not Lovelocks job to inspire people. He tells it as it is.

I am an environmental scientist by training. During the last 40 years, scientists from all manner of disciplines have repeatedly issued warnings about overpopulation, species decline, desertification, fish population decline, diminishing energy resources etc etc. They were rewarded by being derided and ridiculed by politicians, the media, and the public at large.

And now you want Lovelock to inspire people? Thats cute.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Valmera
Comment No. 1176932
March 5 10:54
Poor old Leo,

His article reeks of a man who's realised he's been wasting his time. You're a deckchair attendant on the Titanic Leo.

The UN should be discussing population control, the world needs a reduction in human numbers, before Gaia does it for us.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Communicationalist
Comment No. 1176944
March 5 10:59
I strongly agree with the sentiment expressed in the article. I read Lovelock's Revenge of Gaia almost immediately because it looked as it it was going to be An Important Book. I am a committed environmentalist...

I only got about three chapters in however, when it became obvious that Lovelock's agenda had been hijacked by the nuclear lobby. I don't know how they got to him, but got to him they did.

It's not even as if I am opposed to nuclear energy, so I can discount my own prejudices in this instance. Its just that Lovelock ran through the same dreary anti-windfarm sketches as that incorrigible bore (and ex-celebrity) David Bellamy. It very quickly became apparent that Lovelock's claim to be objective (by virtue of being a "scientist", whatever that means nowadays) was in total disarray.

Then I tried to read the book as an entertaining - or even thought provoking - opinion piece, but in the end I gave up in disgust.

Lovelock's central thesis seemed to be that "we" (i.e. Britain) should pull up the drawbridge, expel as many immigrants as we could, recapture the Spirit of the Blitz, and get down to producing enough food as would prevent our children from starving.

Of course his editor didn't allow him to say so in so many words, but I think it is fair to draw this message out of his book.

Personally, I am in favour of as rapid a development of large scale wind energy as current resources will allow, coupled with at least one generation's worth of nuclear (uranium will be as prohibitively expensive as crude oil in a few short period of time) and rationing of fossil fuel to allow agriculture and renewables development time to adapt.

Sea levels may well rise, as they did 10,000 years ago, (documented in Gilgamesh and the Torah) - and some will undoubtedly perish. But predicting the end of civilisation is premature, and there is undoubtedly a lot of scope for renewable energy development. I read the other day that bio-fuels could only capture 0.1% of the sun's energy, even if every square inch of the earth's surface was planted with them. Solar, wind and hydro on the other hand, are capable of capturing more - and the bonus is that we can still utilise surface area for food growing purposes. Surface area may be becoming a scarce commodity for feeding 6bn and sustaining a technological, global society, but we have a lot of scope for economising.

So, RIP Lovelock, we will mourn you (but not much). Life goes on...

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?broker
Comment No. 1176961
March 5 11:08
GBR Climate change is the most ridiculous religion going.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?rockinred
Comment No. 1176973
March 5 11:10
FRA @Ishouldapologise

"The lazy and self indulgent British bourgoise are also self deluding."

Spot on - as far as the UK is concerned, that's the biggest environmental problem. Oh, M&S charge for plastic bags, that's alright then. I'm sure he's well-intentioned (as in 'the road to hell is lined with...'), but Hickman's schtick is all about comfort and compromise. When are the gormless middleclasses going to get it into their heads that there IS a problem, that THEY are part of the problem and that the only way out is to make lifestyle changes NOW that might actually involve sacrificing some of the luxuries that you've all got so fond of?


[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?deconvoluter
Comment No. 1176991
March 5 11:16
GBR Leo.

This is the real debate about global warming, not the spurious one invented by the corporate lobby but the one within the climate community about just how grave things are. Jim Lovelock is just one person with one view. We should listen to his arguments and those who disagree with him. Fortunately he has not always been right in the past, even in his own specialty (ozone destruction rather than CO2 caused warming); some of the best and most imaginative scientists are the ones who are prepared to be wrong.


For what it is worth I don't agree with some of Jim Loveluck's recent views. So long as the climate has not been taken over by runaway (self sustaining) positive feedbacks it will be worth trying to cut back on CO2 as much as possible. On the other hand, it is the political situation which invites so much gloom. Governments everywhere are postponing action for as long as they think is possible. That inaction suggests that we might be heading for one of the worst of the IPCC 'scenarios' which represent how the CO2 is going to rise.

kizbot

"the sticking plaster attitude of the green movements, while laudable, are just that - a sticking plaster trying to heal an enormous and fatal wound..."

Who are these 'green movements' ? Why blame them when you see who they are up against. How about the NHS's sticking plaster? They have decided not to remove car park fees for patients "because of global warming". I wonder how much difference that will make to car park usage? Some patients will use taxis (an increase of CO2) and a few lucky ones will go by bus. Meanwhile the NHS goes along with PFP hospitals still being built to inefficient UK standards.




[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?LordSummerisle
Comment No. 1176998
March 5 11:18
USA @Communicationalist
So, to sum up. You no longer agree with Lovelock so he must be corrupt and he didn't exactly say certain things you find objectionable but you knew what he really meant.

Thanks for your contribution.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?kizbot
Comment No. 1177029
March 5 11:30
GRC Deconvoluter - I don't BLAME green movements for anything! And I'm glad there are people about who do care about the environment, and at least try to do something positive, even if that's only consciousness raising.

My problem is that there seems to be this idea kicking about that society can sort of more or less carry on as it is as long as we do a bit of off-setting, get rid of a bit of plastic etc and hope for the best.

I also get a bit tired of the... YOU must do more like me the sainted enviro-friendly bod but of course I couldn't possibly give up my care brigade

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?kizbot
Comment No. 1177055
March 5 11:41
GRC That should say CAR brigade..

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?upnorth
Comment No. 1177062
March 5 11:45
GBR Nobody is going to give up their lifestyles and revert to any sort of subsistance living just because greenpeace say so. The greens are giving the distinct impression that any alternatives to fossil fuels be they biomass or nuclear are unacceptable to them because they do not involve the imposition of severe sacrifices and the use of a mighty state to control human behavior. Look at the wailing and screaming that greeted the use of biofuel in an experiment with an aircraft last week. God forbid that a way can be found to reduce aircraft emissions, that is heresy to the climate religion,despite the fact that shipping produces twice the emissions of aviation. Then we have the hypocrisy of the anti aviation campaigners who FLEW from Manchester to Heathrow so they could unfurl a banner on an aeroplane. These are the people who would deny air travel to the rest of us.

Lovelock is correct. Nuclear is the only way to generate power without burning fossil fuels. Wind is fine in its place but it is never going to provide the base loading required to keep a power distribution grid functioning. Wave is promising but has not had any significant funding and will not be ready in time before the lights go out. If nuclear is such anathema to environmentalists, why are they not over in France picketing their power stations? why are they not outside the French embassy demonstrating?, why are they not publicly condemmning Iran? The French generate 70 odd percent of their electricity from nuclear. If this is such a mistake, then Greenpeace et al should be boycotting use of the Eurostar or the TGV both of which run on nuclear generated electricity. It seems that nuclear is only unacceptable in the UK. Well, I don't remember the greens winning the general election. When they have a democratic mandate to tell us what to do then we will have to listen, until that time, they can go away and paint their faces, blow whistles and sit around in their own waste like the children they are

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Pretendingtocare
Comment No. 1177146
March 5 12:18
GBR So the high priest of envirodoomism says its all looking bleak ( does a bear shit in the woods? is the pope a catholic?)and envirodoomster in chief Hickman says to Lovelock , lighten up...you couldnt make it up!Problem youve all got is that you all have the same miserablist doom mongering outlook as Lovelock ...I prefer to be optimistic and look forward to the fantastic technological changes up ahead ( yes including GM foods), the white middle class love envirodoomism because they think it affords them the right to tell everyone else how to live their lives...Notice how even when the high priest suggests a solution to something (ie nuclear power) the doomsters desert him ( a false prophet?)proof that these idiots arent interested in solutions , theyd rather police everyone elses lives - and what does that say about them?

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Adam1
Comment No. 1177241
March 5 12:46
GBR I find Lovelock's approach wrong for three reasons:

1) It's internally consistent - on the one hand, it's too late to do anything, let's just party on. But on the other, if only we would build lots of nuclear power stations, we'd have a chance of pulling through - he can't have it both ways.

2) His ideas about nuclear, which he expands on a bit in the "Revenge of Gaia" book, don't add up. Using granite and seawater as source uranium ore to make fuel rods would require many times more energy than the resulting fuel rods could ever deliver in their lifetimes. It's a complete non-starter, no matter whether you are "pro" or "anti" nuclear. Lovelock may be an expert on climate, but he doesn't understand energy.

3) I think that his "there-is-no-hope" message is counter-productive in terms of motivating us to change our ways. I say this as someone with a fairly doomerish view of the future myself. Despite the severity of our situation, we are not completely passive victims of the coming multiple crises. There is still scope for mitigating action that could determine our fate.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?stealthi
Comment No. 1177257
March 5 12:53
BEL The greenhouse effect is a very serious and potentially lethal (for our moder civilisation) problem, but Lovelock is a very egoistic man and not wise at all. That's why he has become addicted to his doom prophecy. As many prophets of doom before him. One incident that he recalls in The Revenge of Gaia makes this very clear. He was furious when he learned of plans to build windturbines in Devon, where he lives. He had moved to Devon because of the beauty of the local landscape and now, it was going to be spoiled by those windturbines. He writes that this made him furious (understandable), but not (only) because it would spoil the landscape. No, he rationalises his egoism by saying that politicians wanted to "degrade" a "healthy landscape" by making industrial parks for windenergy. He compares them with doctors who forgot their oath of Hippocrates and now try to prolong a civilisation with a useless chemotherapy (windenergy), even though there's no hope for cure and even though this would make the last days of their patient 'unbearable.' He clearly means: his last days in Devon. He mixes his own situation (every day can be his last) with the situation of the world: he is against windenergy because it threatens 'his' landscape and he predicts the end of the world in 20 years time because his own world is also going to disappear during the next 20 years (he will die). Suits this old, shameless man well. The man is, like many people, a blind egoist and, like many people, he doesn't even seem to know it.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Dapper
Comment No. 1177258
March 5 12:53
GBR "Using granite and seawater as source uranium ore to make fuel rods would require many times more energy than the resulting fuel rods could ever deliver in their lifetimes."


Wrong.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?MrPikeBishop
Comment No. 1177327
March 5 13:09
GBR ""fight them on the beaches" "

Well he's mentioned that before hasn't he?

IE, in order to preserve some little islands of civilisation, we're going to have to a) go nuclear, b) build bloody big sea defences and c) machine gun anyone who tries to bunk in.

IF one believes in all that MMGW tosh - which I don't - then building Fortress Britian to ride out the storm is exactly what we should be doing - how many Green would back it though?

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Damntheral
Comment No. 1177366
March 5 13:21
GBR @Upnorth
As a side point, the French Greens are of course fiercely anti-nuclear too. It's just that all those decisions were taken long before they had any electoral weight.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?OhDavid
Comment No. 1177393
March 5 13:30
GBR As other posters mentioned, I think you imagined this gleeful tone of his, I didn't read it like that.

He's just about the only environmentalist around saying something sensible - all this waving your energy saving lightbulbs and your re-used bags in each other's faces is ridiculous, small fry, rubbish. It helps you feel better about yourself. It's a modern-day Catholic confession and redemption. You seriously think that saving your milk cartons is gonna turn back the tide of global warming? Of course not. It's madness.

Check out CiF today, it's a perfect example - the usual nutters with their dumb ideas about covering the land with windmills and enriching Jeremy Legget.

Lovelocks says: Enrich plutonium instead. Which is the the only logical solution, if you're into MMGW.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?rockinred
Comment No. 1177432
March 5 13:42
FRA @upnorth

If you're head wasn't wedged so firmly up your own arse you would have noticed that no serious green campaigners are suggesting that we should all revert to subsistence living (with an 'e' incidentally). Scaling back a bit on the West's hedonistic consumer lifestyle and values would hardly involve a return to the Dark Ages - although failing to do anything about the environmental challenges we face most certainly will.

(And - surprise, surprise - I agree with you up to a point about nuclear power. My own view is that it should be part of an overall energy solution, along with solar, wind, wave power etc deployed where they work best. within a distributed energy network that incorporates local microgeneration.)

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?ColinG
Comment No. 1177433
March 5 13:43
GBR Communicationalist, "I only got about three chapters in however, when it became obvious that Lovelock's agenda had been hijacked by the nuclear lobby. I don't know how they got to him, but got to him they did."

It's not that the nuclear lobby got to him, it's that the anti-nuclear lobby never got to him. Lovelock has always been pro-nuclear. He formed his opinions in the 60s, in an era before anti-nuclear bias became a default opinion for nearly everybody.


[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?onthefence
Comment No. 1177453
March 5 13:48
GBR Adam1: "Lovelock may be an expert on climate, but he doesn't understand energy."
Lovelock has a degree in chemistry, among his many other qualifications. You can rest assured he understands energy extremely well.
The misunderstandings are yours, not his.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Bobjob21
Comment No. 1177554
March 5 14:19
GBR It's easy to get hung up on Lovelock's style and to miss the substance of what he's saying. Unfortunately he's a really terrible communicator and simply comes across as a miserable old git. Last Saturday's piece mentioned the suspicion that part of his gloom was to do with his advanced age, which he denied. But I'm not so sure.

His track record of predictions is good. Yes, he may be getting a bit odd in his dotage (we all do) but I think his opinions should be taken into consideration.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?dicavio
Comment No. 1177562
March 5 14:21
ITA Everyone overestimates the problems and believes of being a war hero. This is being seen both on environment and on foreign policy by the world politicians. All of us know why that happens but none wants to look up the things. As I've already said in my previous comments, nothing changes because it'd be inconvenient if someone wanted it. The governments are more and more corrupted by economy and who once wanted equality, today there isn't. Environment is most important and all of us ought to protect it. There are countries polling that doesn't want to cut their emission. Other countries are making it and some else will do it. I don't know if cinema can help or worsen the situation. Hitherto, it doesn't seem me that they've done something so as to improve the situation. Wot could environmentalist do in order to show that this is a bad problem? Of course, they haven't got much power, therefore they have got to attract attention in some way. For instance Green peace does in this way because they haven't got influence on media as the actors. Anyway, something can and has straightway got to be done unless we want floods and hurricanes yet again.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Asterix
Comment No. 1177574
March 5 14:27
GBR Politically the willpower is not there to do anything effective about climate change. Politicians are close to companies and the degree of change necessary would upset many companies balance sheets. Companies have politicians in their back pockets worldwide. The US is just one example. Energy companies will fight tooth and nail because using only 20% of today's energy hits their profits hard.

The cheapest option is to continue to use energy reserves up as rapidly as possible to meet the ever increasing demand. Any political action that was effective would mean less energy would be used year on year driving down prices due to reduced demand. How likely is this? The reality is that we will have to suffer whatever the effects are from global warming. There is a lag of hundreds of years before the worst effects will come to pass. Human nature dictates that we will use increasing amounts of energy until the effects are obvious and overwhelming. By then it will be too late. You can't change human nature.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?teakman
Comment No. 1177584
March 5 14:28
USA He is a man standing in front of the post office with a sign that says "repent, the end is near", and he has finally become disgusted that no one listened to him.

Haven't you heard? The climate change theory has been debunked. The earth has been cooling dramatically. Not just a brief downtick, rather a trend. The northern hemisphere is at early 1980's levels now. Read the science, it is easy to google.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?unselflesslessness
Comment No. 1177680
March 5 14:54
GBR Deleted by Moderator.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?DutyPaid
Comment No. 1177821
March 5 15:35
GBR Won't somebody please think of the children ???

Considering that not too long ago you wrote optimistically about having your own children & being able to reduce their carbon footprint through education, I suspect that is what you're really saying here. Stop the guilt - it won't get you anywhere. Oh - and stop having children.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Adam1
Comment No. 1177867
March 5 15:48
GBR @onthefence - "Lovelock has a degree in chemistry, among his many other qualifications. You can rest assured he understands energy extremely well.
The misunderstandings are yours, not his."

Lovelock thinks granite and seawater will save us - he, like you are living in a fantasy world. If it was all so easy, we would already have a much bigger nuclear sector. As it is, the technology makes a trivial contribution to our energy needs.

To generate 1GW of nuclear electricity for a year in a typical reactor, assuming 100% efficiency in the uranium extraction process, you would need 100 million tonnes of granite at 4ppm/0.0004% concentration. The US grid can provide more than 900+ GW, China's 700GW, the UK's a bit less than 70GW. Let's say that is around a third of the global electricity generation capacity and we wanted to make a major contribution to it. We'd need to generate 2000GW. If the source fuel was granite, we'd need at least 200 trillion tonnes of granite. 99.9996% of which would be waste which, if you stacked it together, would be 100m x 100m x 8000kms. The energy to do this would probably end up coming from fossil fuels - it has been estimated that 25 times as much energy would need to be inputted into the process as would be derived from it. We would need more energy to deal with the waste, which there would clearly be a lot more of, if we were to expand nuclear enough to make a significant contribution to our energy needs. As a scientist, he should be able to come up with some sort of meaningful analysis of the energy economics, however, he does not.

The figures for sea water are similar.

It's a non-starter mate. It'll never happen. Lovelock is talking nonsense on energy, chemistry degree or not. I very much doubt that he's managed to create a chemistry experiment in his lab which overturns the laws of thermodynamics.

Even if all this were possible, more than half of the fossil fuel energy we consume is used for non-electricity uses, principally transport. Our existing transport infrastructure runs on liquid fuel; hardly any of it runs on electricity. It takes decades to change that kind of infrastructure. We don't have that much time. His and your nuclear fantasy will never happen in the lifetimes of anyone living today.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?onthefence
Comment No. 1178051
March 5 16:43
GBR Adam1: "Lovelock is talking nonsense on energy, chemistry degree or not. As a scientist, he should be able to come up with some sort of meaningful analysis of the energy economics, however, he does not."

Well, one of you must be wrong.
I think I remember you from another thread, where you were touting some revelations you'd discovered on a pseudoscience website.

Lovelock is a well qualified, well informed and successful scientist, whereas you find your science information on pseudoscience websites.
That's why your views differ from his.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?ColinG
Comment No. 1178124
March 5 17:01
GBR Adam1, the estimates that say it would take more energy to extract uranium from seawater than the uranium can provide are based on absurd assumptions, such as using active processes to pump the water.

If you assume breeder reactors and passive extraction techniques then you can easily get 10 times the energy out as you put in; and possibly several hundred times the energy input.

We don't do this yet, because we don't have to. There is plenty of uranium in more readily accessible forms available.

On the more general point, that "we're all doomed", the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) provides a model for what the energy mix in 2030 is likely to be, given a "mitigation" scenario to reduce CO2 emissions to acceptable levels.

Crude Oil 31%
Natural gas 22.3%
Coal 18.6%
Biomass 12.9%
Nuclear 9.1%
Hydro 3.2%
Geothermal 1.1%
Wind 1%
Solar 0.2%
Other renewables 0.7%

See p38: http://unfccc.int/files/cooperation_and_support/financial_mechanism/application/pdf/background_paper.pdf

This only needs about a 50% increase in global nuclear capacity by 2030 (along with other measures) which is certainly achievable.


[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?fivemack
Comment No. 1178369
March 5 18:24
GBR We need breeder reactors; we needed breeder reactors thirty years ago, we needed to have spent thirty years sorting out the monumentally difficult and painful engineering issues - dealing with swimming-pool volumes of concentrated nitric acid filled with dissolved fission products, in environments where even robotic access is prohibitively difficult - involved in getting fuel reprocessing working.

Instead, we have the deep embarrassment of THORP, a flagship facility that now needs a mind-bogglingly expensive and difficult repair having been designed as a series of sealed units without the possibility of access. It makes sense for the regulatory environment around doing one-off things to nuclear facilities to be as severe as it is, but it's difficult to get geniuses to work in a field which combines the glamour of oil-refining with the paperwork of satellite design.

You wonder if it would make sense to fill the facilities with webcams: Greenpeace has no shortage of people who would be gladder than the average bear to look at videos of I-beams and check in the most persnickety fashion you could desire that everything is in accordance with every jot and tittle of the documentation. If you also have to teach the Iranians how to build safe nuclear reprocessing plants, so be it; I'd rather they build safe ones than spill uranyl persulphate across the Isfahan desert.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Eachran
Comment No. 1178478
March 5 19:19
FRA Mr Hickman, I too found the interview a bit disappointing but, and given that I have never met the gentleman, I wouldn't want to subscribe to your last points about religion.

On nuclear, if you haven't read the report on Nuclear Power by the Euro-Greens then you might like to : as Adam1 says you cant do it within the time scale and the report bears that out. The report is neither pro nor anti and is not especially flattering about France. Incidentally, I have already told the French Gov that their recent export contracts for building nuclear power stations are impossible to deliver.

The report is here :

http://www.greens-efa.org/cms/topics/dokbin/206/206749.pdf

Mr Hickman's point about rethinking ones lifestyle is well made. Some of us have done it, and what goodie two shoes we all are and don't we feel just great about ourselves (well no actually), and some haven't. For the latter group do you think you could hurry along a bit faster please to catch up with the rest of us.

What Mr Hickman omitted was that Mr Lovelock is a market person, just like Mr Hansen and others working in climate science. It really is the only way to reduce emissions by reducing demand and kick starting technological improvements. Yep, carbon taxes again. Just a question, but is there anyone out there who doesn't believe that carbon taxes will work? No, not carbon trading or offsets or any of that rubbish but taxes : you know, the sort of thing that hits the average Joe's pocket immediately.

As for the poster who thinks that the planet is cooling : I agree. I measured the temperature in my garden in the Northern Hemisphere last August and it was well above the number for this January. A panic attack immediately set in : we need to order more coal to stop the planet becoming an ice-ball. Teakman, can you read and if so try this, it is up to date :

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/01/24/giss-ncdc-hadcru/

The rest of you will find the numbers interesting too I am sure.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?bannedbycastro
Comment No. 1178556
March 5 19:58
USA fivemack

What do they use uranyl persulphate for? I thought I knew about all there is to know about nuclear reprocessing chemistry, but using persulphates is a new one on me.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?fivemack
Comment No. 1178581
March 5 20:10
GBR @bannedbycastro: sorry, I misremembered the compound; it was ammonium peruranate (NH4)2U2O7, and I only remembered the O7 bit which made me think of persulphate.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?bannedbycastro
Comment No. 1178618
March 5 20:26
USA Thats fine, I make similar mistakes myself. I was just that many heavy metal peracetate salts are somewhat dangerous, being contact explosives.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?PatDavers
Comment No. 1178643
March 5 20:39
FRA Teakman "Haven't you heard? The climate change theory has been debunked. The earth has been cooling dramatically. Not just a brief downtick, rather a trend. The northern hemisphere is at early 1980's levels now. Read the science, it is easy to google."

Just as well we've been pumping greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere to mitigate the effects then isn't?

BratislavaBilly: "...Freud when he wrote that people 'cannot bear too much reality'."

A bit off topic, but that was TS Eliot wasn't it? You want to sort than one out if you want to be considered an expert on conservative thinkers!


[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?ColinG
Comment No. 1178649
March 5 20:41
GBR Eachran, "The report is neither pro nor anti [nuclear]"

Say what? It starts with a quote from Amory Lovins, which is a pretty big clue to where it is heading.

It is clearly anti-nuclear, perhaps most noticeably from the facts that it omits. For example, it says:

"Sweden is the most power consuming country in the EU and number four in the world. The main origin of this high consumption level is the widespread, very inefficient thermal uses of electricity."

What it fails to say is that despite its enormous energy use, per capita Sweden has amongst the lowest CO2 emissions in Europe, and also the cheapest electricity. This is because almost half of its electricity is nuclear and the other half is hydro.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?farofa
Comment No. 1178721
March 5 21:18
No-one listens. We are tropical creatures, not suited for the cold climes of Northern Europe, the US and Canada. There regions have had their native forests devastated by overdevelopment and are causing global warming through heating their properties.

These regions should be emptied of their populations, except for small manageable numbers of traditional hunter-gatherers who can subsist without upsetting the balance of native forests, thus making Mother Nature angry.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Eachran
Comment No. 1178737
March 5 21:24
FRA ColinG, I think that we have done this one before but unless you price carbon throughout the chain you cant possibly assert that what you say is true.

It is consumption driven.

It's a bit like the UK : chuck everything offshore and you have no carbon emissions. I think that nice Mr Heim at Oxford has done a paper on this.

So back to Sweden, my favourite country because they are one of the few trying hard : so what? In what way does it invalidate the main thrust of the paper which in my view is sound enough.

OK you can have nuclear but how and when are you going to bring it on stream?

Is your criticism only that I wrote that the paper was neutral as to pro or con, that the authors had an ulterior motive? I dont buy that thanks.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Merveilledujour
Comment No. 1178751
March 5 21:35
GBR I respect the guy, butLovelock's comments are rather like having your boat sink, and seeing land right on the horizon, but refusing to swim for it because you probably won't make it. Where's the sense in that? Maybe it makes sense if you're 80, but not to me with two young kids.

Mind you, I read 'Revenge of Gaia' too, and his comments on wind energy were so poor that it's plain he hasn't really understood how it works.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?yazmacak
Comment No. 1178752
March 5 21:35
GBR Lovelock has right.
I know some guys working at places where their decisions have huge environmental impact. They just try to get the numbers right and do not care for the rest.
Good luck for all of us.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?ColinG
Comment No. 1178850
March 5 22:38
GBR Eachran, my main criticism was that you implied the report was neutral when it is obviously not.

On the specific point about Sweden, the Green's report criticises Sweden's energy consumption as being "inefficient". My point being that the inefficiency is immaterial if the source of power is both cheap and low in emissions. You may rightly contend that some of Sweden's carbon emissions are outsourced to offshore manufacturers of consumer goods; but regarding their electricity it is undoubtedly low-carbon over its whole lifecycle (including the foreign uranium mining etc). The Swedes are at the forefront of producing detailed Environmental Product Declarations for their energy supply, which confirm this. They use a lot of electricity, yes. But it is clean, cheap electricity.

However, my general observation on the report is that if the nuclear industry is truly in decline, why do the Greens have to commission a report to state this? Why don't they just let it decline? I would suggest that the report is a wish, which they hope will turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. It was produced by anti-nuclear campaigners, for anti-nuclear campaigners.

The fact of the matter is, if nuclear is not part of the solution to climate change, then the alternative low-carbon technologies are even less so. None of the alternatives can scale-up in the same timescale, except possibly carbon-capture, which is still untested.


[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?LaxativeFunction
Comment No. 1179003
March 6 0:27
GBR PatDavers - - - - Comment No. 1178643


¥¥¥ BratislavaBilly: "...Freud when he wrote that people 'cannot bear too much reality'."

A bit off topic, but that was TS Eliot wasn't it? You want to sort than one out if you want to be considered an expert on conservative thinkers! ¥¥¥

.

I thought it was Carl Jung. He also said that the beginning of mental illness lay in the avoidance of legitimate suffering.

He once dreamed he was an oil well.

.

FATAL FAMINE WARNING:

http://carolynbaker.net/site/content/view/357/

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?deconvoluter
Comment No. 1179027
March 6 0:46
GBR Bobjob21

"His track record of predictions is good."

The picture is a bit mixed. He did some outstanding work on detecting small quantities of CFC's in the atmosphere and then asserted that they did not cause the depletion of the ozone hole. That was a pity because he missed a Nobel prize over it. It went to Crutzen and one other person who sorted out the chain of chemical reactions.

The Gaia theories invented by Lovelock and others are brilliant, interesting,romantic but speculative and have only partially been accepted by main stream science. It is nonsense to suggest as the (Guardian article did) that Gaia is at the root of man made global warming theory athough perhaps it leads to a new way of looking at old problem. Global warming theory dates back to Fourier,Tyndall and Arrhenious in the nineteenth century.

I would welcome it if CIF would initiate a few articles on Gaia and associated controversies. After all they did it with evolution.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
teakman

"The climate change theory has been debunked. The earth has been cooling dramatically. Not just a brief downtick, rather a trend. The northern hemisphere is at early 1980's levels now. Read the science, it is easy to google."

Google is an extremely dodgy tool for finding out about about climate science. Not Google's fault; the trouble is that the web has been colonised by well paid misinformers. The only safe way is to rely on information which is corroborated by peer reviwed articles which have been checked by other peer reviewed articles. Anyway you refer to a trend ; all ten year trends since the middle of the twentieth century (with the exception of a seven year cooling period after about 1940) are upwards or statistically insignificant. I think you have been answered before. Are you claiming that the data from the Met Office and NASA is wrong? You can look at it yourself and carry out statistical ten year linear and then nonlinear fits to check up. Unless you find some statistically significant recent cooling trends you should avoid wasting everyone's time. Even that would not debunk global warming theory; the climate is noisy and the occasional surprises will occur (e.g. caused by la Nina and perhaps some new negative forcings).

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?TheNuclearOption
Comment No. 1179052
March 6 1:12
GBR fivemack:

I work at Sellafield, supporting Thorp. Can't say I'll lose any sleep over your opinion of people choosing to work there.

The plant rather than being an embarrasment has been a success, its capital cost has been recovered and it generates profits of £100 million a year when operational.

While part of the process takes place within unmanned cells access is not generally required because the plant was designed with multiple redundant equipment and pathways so failed equipment can simply be bypassed. The plant was also built with empty cells so new equipment could be dropped in and commissioned if existing equipment failed as happened with a new Evaporator that was recently commissioned.

http://www.redhallgroup.co.uk/pressreleases/Thorpe%20MASFE%20Craned%20In.pdf

"You wonder if it would make sense to fill the facilities with webcams"

Webcams don't last very long when subject to ionising radiation, which is why cameras were not present in the feed clarification cell in the first place. Though there are now new methods available to allow cameras in areas of intense ionising radiation that were not available twenty years ago.

You mean Uranyl Nitrate and Thorp has never lost any. The Feed Clarification cell leak resulted in the liquor being captured in the stainless steel cell designed for that purpose, with it being recovered to the process using the equipment that was in place as part of the original design.

Thorp has been a success, its simply that the press choose to believe and print any old cobblers of a press release given to them by Greenpeace rather than checking their facts with independent bodies like the NII or the HSE.

Also Breeders will not be around until the GEN IV program starts in 2030. The reason research stopped into Breeder reactors was because the technology was not mature enough for it to be economical and the research needed international funding, too expensive for countries to develop independently. By then the promise of Fusion should either have been realised or abandoned.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Fridah
Comment No. 1179113
March 6 2:24
GBR @EuropeanOnion "The popularity within the scientific community of climate change is that it is a science that has been hijacked by politics. Government Ministers not hitherto famed for their precision and scientific comprehension have found something easily demonstrative and intellectually unchallenging and as they hold the purse strings are proclaiming the new Puratinsim. Any one opposing the 'obvious' truth is obviously nuts - we are all going to die!!"

Excellent post, EuropeanOnion. The unanimity of political opinion ought in itself to be sufficient ground for scepticism of this man made climate change nonsense.
As you say, scientists have to earn a living like anyone else. And why should a scientist employed by the state be any more or less disinterested than his commercial counterpart?

As the successful weather forecaster and astrophysicist Piers Corbyn says: "Man made global warming is faith not science." Corbyn is an *independent* weather forecaster, that is, he stands or falls on his ability to predict the weather.

http://www.weatheraction.com/




[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?mulliganstew
Comment No. 1179158
March 6 3:29
USA Lovelock is right: there is no way to varnish this ugly truth to the public's (or your) satisfaction.

None of the proposed fixes will work in time, individually or in concert. Even if we dropped all our bad habits and did everything perfectly with fanatical devotion, everyone starting right away; our inputs would not neutralize the effects of those of the recent past and we would be executing them on a worsening resource base among hyper-armed military states rendered more and more desperate.

Nothing but a massive Plague, or some Saddam-like world dictatorship imposing equivalent genocide rates (while leaving nature intact -- thus, no nukes or total conventional war on anybody's part; good luck enforcing those provisos), could lighten the human footprint in time.

Global warming might not be so inescapable if we had not weakened every natural ecosystem in every way we could, and denied this truth for decades, like a bloody ostrich head-in-sand. We have sown our wild seed; in a short decade or two it will be time to reap the whirlwind. The deadliness of this whirlwind will depend upon how mercilessly we throw this insane world economy into reverse and introduce miraculous new technologies and unbelievable social sacrifices in the meantime, in universal peace despite growing famine, disease and exposure mortality. Not to stop it; just to reduce somewhat its catastrophism. How realistic does any of this sound?

The difference between a mature adult and a child is that an adult will face the worst consequences of his past misconduct stoically and make amends as best he can, whatever the cost; whereas a frustrated child will lash out in any way he can. Just how many real adults are there on this planet, compared to overgrown, not too bright and very well-armed children? It will only take a handful of the latter to accelerate this global disaster into a total extinction event. We shall soon see.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Mujokan
Comment No. 1179176
March 6 4:18
MYS "James Lovelock, the scientist best known for his theory of Gaia - the hypothesis that the Earth is a single, self-regulating organism."

Both Leo and the original interview article get the definition wrong. The page Leo hyperlinks for "Gaia" gets it right. It's not "organism", it's "system". Calling the Earth an "organism" is an analogy.

The interview mentions that Lovelock worked for Shell's futurology department (founded by Pierre Wack in the 1970s). These guys basically founded the "scenario-based" approach to futurology. You can kind of tell that Lovelock is parsing the scenarios to come up with this gloomy picture. No-one can predict the future perfectly. However, in terms of scenarios based on the current situation, things aren't looking good.

First off one should understand Gaia theory. This is all about self-regulating dynamic equilibiria found from the crust to the atmosphere. Without getting that, you won't see why Lovelock should be so pessimistic.

Then you have to look at the scenarios for release and trapping of energy within the atmosphere. Number one here would be the economic rise of China and India, with other candidates like Indonesia waiting in the wings.

The question is how much energy the system can cope with. These kind of homeostatic systems are robust in their stability within a certain range. We don't know what the range is, and doubtless we can't know for sure what it is unless we exceed it. But once you get outside that range, things break down very quickly.

Lovelock is looking at the likely range of permissible energy input, and the likely rise in input in the future. It's hard not to be pessimistic when you look at it like that. I doubt any of us will live to see a major "crash to restart", though.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?zankaon
Comment No. 1179257
March 6 6:48
USA 'ethical living'; a sense of what is proper. Oh spot on Mr. Lovelock!

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Havamal
Comment No. 1179261
March 6 6:51
GBR Gloominess is in the eye of the beholder. If the planet itself was sentient, it might feel quite cheered by the prospect of 80% of the human race being obliterated within 100 years.

As others have said, Lovelock is a scientist and his job is to accurately report his conclusions based on his research and analysis. If you prefer inspiration to honesty, go talk to a motivational speaker instead.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?AlexC
Comment No. 1179564
March 6 10:25
GBR Whether Lovelock is right or wrong, what do we have to fear form moving to a lower carbon economy?


Reducing needless waste will reduce fuel poverty. Less dependence of fossil fuels will give us more independence in an unstable world. Our lungs will suffer less from air pollution and our environment will be quieter and our cities less prone to overheating (in the conventional sense). And as fossil fuel prices rise, low carbon solutions will be cheaper in the long term.


And if there is an issue of global warming, and these measures solve it, then so very much the better.


And it won't actually cost so very much to get there if we start acting now.


I just can't understand the fools on this page and elsewhere. We are sophisticated animals capable of determining our own destinies - yet some people stubbornly believe that we are incapable of changing very simple habits or, worse, seem to think that change of any kind must be justfied by 100% proof. Nothing is that simple or certain in this world. Consider the total package of benefits. Look behind the absurd debates on the principle of MMGW, people, and see the light.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?OneManIsAnIsland
Comment No. 1179619
March 6 10:49
GBR "I just can't understand the fools on this page and elsewhere. We are sophisticated animals capable of determining our own destinies"

Isn't that somewhat tautologous, as well as being naive?

The problem is, that whilst 'we' are sophisticated, 'everyone else' is sadly always not. 'We' think that Indians should not be allowed cars, but strangely, the Indians do not agree with us. 'We' think that the South Americans should stop clearing forest, but those hapless fools seem to think it's ok, just because it's exactly what we did ourselves a few hundred years ago.

Since we have failed, as a species, in the last couple of millenia, to reach any lasting agreement on economics, ethnic desirability, religion, and whether flares are in or out, it is unlikely that the billions of people on this planet will ever pull together, however logical it may be to do so.

One only has to read a little about the Holocaust to know how human beings behave when faced with extinction.

Realism is not foolish.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?CaptCrash
Comment No. 1179621
March 6 10:50
But Lovelock has a point.

The oceans are being fished to death, plastic pollution gathers on the beaches and in Pacific eddies, chemicals pollute our fresh water systems, with sex changing properties, forests and jungles, the lungs of the planet are being chopped down at an unprecedented rate, oil and fossil fuels, the ultimate in efficient carbon storage is being dug, sucked and burnt, releasing tons of waste into the atmosphere.

All of this so that we can have an exponential economic system, which drags more people from our concept of poverty, into the same system to fuel it further.

Economics changes our prespective, our view and our rationale.

Were the aboriginal people of Australia, Africa,or America poor and uneducated before we arrived? No. They lived with their land and lifestyle, using the knowledge passed from generation to generation. They only became the poor and uneducated when we arrived with the mumbo jumbo of western economics and ownership, which chews up and destroys everything in it's path.

Without the destruction of this philosophy, and the re-introduction of sustainable lifestyles, I am afraid we have every reason to be gloomy.

Still Gia will sort it out with any luck ... she'll simply puke most of us up.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Adam1
Comment No. 1179642
March 6 10:58
USA @onthefence "Adam1: "Lovelock is talking nonsense on energy, chemistry degree or not. As a scientist, he should be able to come up with some sort of meaningful analysis of the energy economics, however, he does not."

Well, one of you must be wrong.
I think I remember you from another thread, where you were touting some revelations you'd discovered on a pseudoscience website.

Lovelock is a well qualified, well informed and successful scientist, whereas you find your science information on pseudoscience websites.
That's why your views differ from his."

Nice one onthefence - rather than address my point, you make a general, unspecified (and factually incorrect) slur. I think it is up to you and the other nuclear fundamentalists to produce at least one reference to a peer-reviewed (i.e. non pseudo-scientific) paper which takes into account all the real-world, full-life cycle energy and financial costs as well as the other physical, practical constraints around adopting granite or sea-water as an energy source. Until you do, I'm entitled to describe anyone promoting it as talking b*llocks, whether or not they are a "successful scientist". If nuclear was part of a realistic response to our energy crisis, I'd be arguing for it, but it just isn't. Anyway, you continue your nuclear daydreaming mate. It will get you nowhere but maybe it'll make you feel better.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?CharlesArthur
Comment No. 1179679
March 6 11:08
GBR @Communicationalist: "I am a committed environmentalist...

I only got about three chapters in however, when it became obvious that Lovelock's agenda had been hijacked by the nuclear lobby. I don't know how they got to him, but got to him they did."

The idea that there's a nuclear lobby going around telling scientists to "look into the eyes, the eyes, not around the eyes, the eyes" is a frequently-used way of trying to avoid inconvenient truths. Lovelock came to his conclusions independently.

As did I - just to show that there's some room for difference of opinion in the Gdn: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/mar/06/energy.research
"Backing nuclear power is an unusual stance to take in this paper. But renewables cannot ever meet our growing electricity demand".

If you like reading things on computers, you'd better hope we get a big nuclear build going soon.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?deconvoluter
Comment No. 1179867
March 6 12:13
GBR I think people tend to confuse research with opinion. Scientists do research and state their conclusions carefully when they publish. They also speculate and have non peer reviewed opinions. They also gossip. These activities do not have the same status. This applies to both Lovelock and even more to Corbyn referred to below. Incidentally if you wish to find out a little more about Loveluck go to Realclimate to-day and search for the word Lovelock in the comments. Please continue to the end.


Fridah

"As the successful weather forecaster and astrophysicist Piers Corbyn says: "Man made global warming is faith not science." Corbyn is an *independent* weather forecaster, that is, he stands or falls on his ability to predict the weather."

Corbyn never publishes in the peer reviewed literature. Weather forecasts do not depend on CO2 because they are typically for 6 months or less. I have never seen a serious criticism of his of the consensus theory ... only gossip.
When he makes remarks such as the one above, we don't even know whether he has bothered to read up the subject.


[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Adam1
Comment No. 1180235
March 6 14:09
USA @Eachran (March 5 19:19 higher up this thread) - thanks for this link.


http://www.greens-efa.org/cms/topics/dokbin/206/206749.pdf

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?PatDavers
Comment No. 1180438
March 6 15:10
SWE BratislavaBilly "...Freud when he wrote that people 'cannot bear too much reality'."

PatDavers: "A bit off topic, but that was TS Eliot wasn't it?"

LaxativeFunction: "I thought it was Carl Jung.."

While trying to Google the original source of the quote I came across this article, which, coincidentally, more or less sums up my own feelings towards the environmental movement:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2007/10/09/break_through/


[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Eachran
Comment No. 1180841
March 6 17:27
FRA Deconvoluter, I admire your patience.

Adam1, dont mention it. Deconvoluter has already referred to realclimate.org which in my view is essential reading and I get most of my links from there or from their posters.

The Tamino link is almost required reading too and I also like the Annan and Connelly blogs.

ColinG, The report has been updated since the original version which I read last year. The original version had three other people saying what a good report it was : they seemed fairly respectable to me though. Just to be a little picky the quote doesn't actually start the report : the report stands alone without that quote.

I don't think that the report is neutral : it clearly says that nuclear is impossible to do in the time frame required to do something and the reasons given look sound to me. Even in 40 years and dealing with all the constraints as fast as possible nuclear will make very little difference to the problem. But, and until we know the numbers I am in favour of a nuclear building programme now and throughout the world : we can always stop it if necessary.

The report is clearly putting forward the case that it is impossible to build the generating capacity required to replace enough fossil fuel powered generating capacity in the time needed to get the emissions numbers down to IPCC levels. In fact nuclear makes a miniscule contribution to the World's power today (apart from the natural source of course).

My take on nuclear is that the jury is out : I want to know what the true cost is, carbon taxes included. You know the sort of thing factoring in all that energy needed to mine, process and transport all the raw materials and semi-finished and finished goods and then to transform them into a working power station and then to get the power to the consumer and then to dispose of the waste - over the lifetime of the reactor. I would like to compare that with zero (?) energy houses powered by wind, sun and waste which don't depend on a grid transmission system.

My take on the emissions number is that it is too high : even a 1 degree rise in average temperature scares the life out of me and we are already committed to that plus, in a business as usual scenario. My own opinion, for what it is worth is that we should stop consuming now, today, immediately. Now, I know that cant be done, but really (he says, as the exasperation mounts) we have been faffing around for what seems like ages and have done virtually nothing to contribute to solving this crisis.

As for Sweden why are your comments relevant? I would like to know the cost of hydro on the same basis as nuclear. You cant really be suggesting that India should switch to hydro can you? What, with the main water sources predicted to dry up when their source water disappears or becomes unreliable? Perhaps you were suggesting that we should all move to Sweden : I was reading in The Economist Christmas edition last year about the slums of Bombay, 1million people in 1 sq mile. Apparently it seems to be quite well managed. 6,5 billion soon to be 9 billion ought to fit quite well into Sweden with a bit of room to spare for the Swedes.

So, as nice Mr Dieter Helm from Oxford Uni has pointed out, and it looks like the bleeding obvious to me but it needed to be researched written up and published, you don't get your emissions down by giving the activities which produce them to someone else. That applies as much to the consequences arising from a de-industrialised UK as it does to a nuclear powered Sweden.

I think that the above is correct, but if there are any questions I would be happy to deal with them.

The carbon tax solution is the least disruptive and most efficient and it will work. The man at Shell, Mr Bentham, whom I'm told by someone who knows him knows what he is doing, has even given his best guess at a carbon price between USD50 and USD100 per tonne of CO2, but closer to the upper end of the range to get things moving in the right direction. Lets just do it and see : it's a lot better than navel gazing.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?ColinG
Comment No. 1181401
March 6 21:59
GBR Eachran, I agree with you on the carbon tax. Unfortunately politicians that create new taxes tend to lose votes. But hopefully there would be cross-party support.

My point about Sweden was twofold:

Firstly the Greens' report criticised the Swedes for profligate energy use, but ignored the most relevant aspect of their energy use: that it creates few emissions (compared to typical European countries). They clearly did not want to acknowledge the positive aspects of using nuclear power.

Secondly, you hinted that the Swedes' low emissions could be due to off-shoring some of their industry. I'm sure this is partly true, as with any western country; but this is not the case for their electricity specifically. Vattenfall has done extensive lifecycle analysis of their electricity sources, and they are undoubtedly low-carbon.
http://www.vattenfall.de/www/vf_com/vf_com/Gemeinsame_Inhalte/DOCUMENT/360168vatt/386246envi/2005-LifeCycleAssessment.pdf

The main reason that Sweden, and for that matter France, has low emissions per head is because they both use a significant portion of nuclear power. In fact they both use more energy per head than the UK, but have significantly (30%-40%) lower emissions. This is nothing to do with them off-shoring industry. By contrast, European countries that don't use nuclear power, such as Denmark and Ireland, have higher emissions than the UK, largely due to dependence on coal.

I am not suggesting that India would copy Sweden, but I would expect India to use the best low carbon resources at their disposal. This might well mean Thorium reactors and solar powerstations. China, I hope, will pursue carbon capture for its coal powerstations. Africa has some of the best remaining hydro sites. Australia should give up coal and use its indigenous uranium to start a civil nuclear programme supplemented by wind.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has proposed an energy mix to mitigate climate change, and it is not an impossible target if we use all the options available.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?ColinG
Comment No. 1181446
March 6 22:25
GBR Adam1, here is a reference to a paper on the extraction of uranium from seawater (one of many available if you care to use a search engine).

http://sciencelinks.jp/j-east/article/200115/000020011501A0585208.php

The cost works out at about $200 per kg which is about twice the current market price for uranium. At this price, the cost of nuclear electricity would rise by about 7%, which is pretty affordable.

I'm not sure about the energy input required, but given that a kg of uranium supplies more than $200 worth of energy, the balance is likely to be positive.


[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?ColinG
Comment No. 1181447
March 6 22:26
GBR Adam1, here is a reference to a paper on the extraction of uranium from seawater (one of many available if you care to use a search engine).

http://sciencelinks.jp/j-east/article/200115/000020011501A0585208.php

The cost works out at about $200 per lb which is about twice the current market price for uranium. At this price, the cost of nuclear electricity would rise by about 7%, which is pretty affordable.

I'm not sure about the energy input required, but given that a lb of uranium supplies more than $200 worth of energy, the balance is likely to be positive.


[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?ProfessorArseGarp
Comment No. 1181686
March 7 1:12
GBR For me, the interesting part of Lovelock's "Gaia" hypothesis is the unimportance of humanity in the vastly interconnected system of the biosphere. Life will continue on Earth regardless of whether we are around to observe it. Lovelock is simply (and wryly) that we are hastening the decline of our technological civilisation, which is key to our "success" as a species. The message to take away from this is surely that we should not assume that there is an imminent and serendipidous techological fix to these issues, but that we should invest heavily in finding solutions and buy as much time as we can through efficient energy use to research and develop them.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?Eachran
Comment No. 1181912
March 7 7:35
FRA ColinG, nice link on Vattenfall thanks.

I agree with your point about doing what one can in using the right mix of energy supplies for the right location and lifestyle. I assume that you agree that using real instead of artificial prices for demand and supply right through the consumption chain, are implicit in assessing the right energy supply.

I don't believe humanity is stuffed just yet but we need to inform people in the strongest possible way of the real costs of their consumption patterns.

There is a nice bit in The G today by the new Prof Gov Science Adv. He seems to be getting the message across quite well and his comments are most certainly market as well as technologically based. I think Mr Benn and most other informed people get the point too : I expect action and soon.


[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.] Recommend?
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Anonymous said...

A blogger in Canada notes re these awards:

"Unfortunately politicians are the last people who you would expect could
> change the way we look at climate change...
>
> If we rely on the political reps to solve world problems we might as welll
> fly to Mars..."

Anonymous said...

A blogger in DC says:

"I nominate Marc Morano for one of these Klaus awards...."

Done deal -- Ed.

RE:

Posted By Marc Morano – 4:57 PM ET – Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov

Earth's 'Fever' Breaks: Global COOLING Currently Under Way

[Disclaimer: Since there is no "normal" temperature of the Earth, there is no way the Earth can have a "fever." The headline's reference to "fever" is for amusement purposes only. See also the U.S. Senate Minority Report:“Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007” - LINK ]



News Round Up: A sampling of recent articles detailing the inconvenient reality of temperature trends around the planet.



Report: Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling (Daily Tech – February 26, 2008)

Excerpt: All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously. A compiled list of all the sources can be seen here. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to erase nearly all the global warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year time. For all sources, it's the single fastest temperature change every recorded, either up or down. […] Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on. No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

Forget Global Warming: Welcome to the new Ice Age (Canada's National Post – Feb. 25, 2008)
Excerpt: Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966. The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that many American cities and towns suffered record cold temperatures in January and early February. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January "was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average." China is surviving its most brutal winter in a century. Temperatures in the normally balmy south were so low for so long that some middle-sized cities went days and even weeks without electricity because once power lines had toppled it was too cold or too icy to repair them. And remember the Arctic Sea ice? The ice we were told so hysterically last fall had melted to its "lowest levels on record? Never mind that those records only date back as far as 1972 and that there is anthropological and geological evidence of much greater melts in the past. The ice is back. Gilles Langis, a senior forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa, says the Arctic winter has been so severe the ice has not only recovered, it is actually 10 to 20 cm thicker in many places than at this time last year. […]Last month, Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, shrugged off manmade climate change as "a drop in the bucket." Showing that solar activity has entered an inactive phase, Prof. Sorokhtin advised people to "stock up on fur coats." He is not alone. Kenneth Tapping of our own National Research Council, who oversees a giant radio telescope focused on the sun, is convinced we are in for a long period of severely cold weather if sunspot activity does not pick up soon. The last time the sun was this inactive, Earth suffered the Little Ice Age that lasted about five centuries and ended in 1850. Crops failed through killer frosts and drought. Famine, plague and war were widespread. Harbours froze, so did rivers, and trade ceased. It's way too early to claim the same is about to happen again, but then it's way too early for the hysteria of the global warmers, too.

Arctic Sea Ice Sees 'Significant Increase' in Size Following 'Extreme Cold' (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation -CBC – February 15, 2008)

Excerpt: There's an upside to the extreme cold temperatures northern Canadians have endured in the last few weeks: scientists say it's been helping winter sea ice grow across the Arctic, where the ice shrank to record-low levels last year. Temperatures have stayed well in the -30s C and -40s C range since late January throughout the North, with the mercury dipping past -50 C in some areas. Satellite images are showing that the cold spell is helping the sea ice expand in coverage by about 2 million square kilometres, compared to the average winter coverage in the previous three years. "It's nice to know that the ice is recovering," Josefino Comiso, a senior research scientist with the Cryospheric Sciences Branch of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland, told CBC News on Thursday. […] Winter sea ice could keep expanding. The cold is also making the ice thicker in some areas, compared to recorded thicknesses last year, Lagnis added. "The ice is about 10 to 20 centimetres thicker than last year, so that's a significant increase," he said. If temperatures remain cold this winter, Langis said winter sea ice coverage will continue to expand.

Ice between Canada and Greenland reaches highest level in 15 years (Greenland’s Sermitsiak News – February 12, 2008)

Excerpt: Minus 30 degrees Celsius. That's how cold it's been in large parts of western Greenland where the population has been bundling up in hats and scarves. At the same time, Denmark's Meteorological Institute states that the ice between Canada and southwest Greenland right now has reached its greatest extent in 15 years. 'Satellite pictures show that the ice expansion has extended farther south this year. In fact, it's a bit past the Nuuk area. We have to go back 15 years to find ice expansion so far south. On the eastern coast it hasn't been colder than normal, but there has been a good amount of snow.'

New Peer-Reviewed Study Shows Arctic COOLING Over last 1500 years

(Study published in Climate Dynamics, and the work was conducted by Håkan Grudd of Stockholm University’s Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology - Published online: 30 January 2008)

Excerpt: “The late-twentieth century is not exceptionally warm in the new Torneträsk record: On decadal-to-century timescales, periods around AD 750, 1000, 1400, and 1750 were all equally warm, or warmer. The warmest summers in this new reconstruction occur in a 200-year period centred on AD 1000. A ‘Medieval Warm Period’ is supported by other paleoclimate evidence from northern Fennoscandia, although the new tree-ring evidence from Tornetraäsk suggests that this period was much warmer than previously recognised.” < > “The new Torneträsk summer temperature reconstruction shows a trend of -0.3°C over the last 1,500 years.” Paper available here: & Full Paper (pdf) available here: (LINK)



Antarctic Summer Thaw 'Later Than Normal' (AccuWeather Global Warming News – February 6, 2008)

Excerpt: Actually, the summer thaw down there was later than normal, and NASA believes that La Nina might have something to do with that. Usually, the breakup of fast ice around the Antarctica Peninsula occurs in early to mid-December, but this area was solidly frozen well into January. By the way, according to the Polar Research Group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the current southern hemispheric sea-ice area is at 2.9 million sq/km, which is about 400,000 sq/km greater than the normal level expected for this time of year, or slightly above-normal. Based on the latest trend on the chart, it appears that the southern hemispheric sea-ice area could be right at normal by March.



Global warming sceptics bouyed by record cold (UK Telegraph – February 26, 2008)

Excerpt: Global warming sceptics are pointing to recent record cold temperatures in parts of North America and Asia and the return of Arctic Sea ice to suggest fears about climate change may be overblown. According to the US National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the average temperature of the global land surface in January 2008 was below the 20th century mean (-0.02°F/-0.01°C) for the first time since 1982. […]Asked about the Arctic ice cover, Gilles Langis, a senior forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa, told the Post the Arctic winter had been so severe, the ice has not only recovered but was actually 10 to 20 cm thicker in many places than the same time last year. "



GLOBAL WARMING? IT’S THE COLDEST WINTER IN DECADES (UK Daily Express – Feb. 18, 2008)

Excerpt: NEW evidence has cast doubt on claims that the world’s ice-caps are melting, it emerged last night. Satellite data shows that concerns over the levels of sea ice may have been premature. It was feared that the polar caps were vanishing because of the effects of global warming. But figures from the respected US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that almost all the “lost” ice has come back. Ice levels which had shrunk from 13million sq km in January 2007 to just four million in October, are almost back to their original levels. Figures show that there is nearly a third more ice in Antarctica than is usual for the time of year. The data flies in the face of many current thinkers and will be seized on by climate change sceptics who deny that the world is undergoing global warming. […] Central and southern China, the USA and Canada were hit hard by snowstorms. Even the Middle East saw snow, with Jerusalem, Damascus, Amman and northern Saudi Arabia reporting the heaviest falls in years and below-zero temperatures. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan snow and freezing weather killed 120 people.



Report: Sun's 'disturbingly quiet' cycle prompts fear of global COOLING (February 8, 2008 - Investor’s Business Daily)

Excerpt: Now, Canadian scientists are seeking additional funding for more and better "eyes" with which to observe our sun, which has a bigger impact on Earth's climate than all the tailpipes and smokestacks on our planet combined. And they're worried about global cooling, not warming.



Solar data suggest our concerns should be about global cooling – (By Geologist David Archibald of Summa Development Limited in Australia – March 2008 Scientific Paper)

Excerpt: Solar Cycle 24: Implications for the United StatesExcerpt: I will demonstrate that the Sun drives climate, and use that demonstrated relationship to predict the Earth’s climate to 2030. It is a prediction that differs from most in the public domain. It is a prediction of imminent cooling. […] The carbon dioxide that Mankind will put into the atmosphere over the next few hundred years will offset a couple of millenia of post-Holocene Optimum cooling before we plunge into the next ice age. There are no deleterious consequences of higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are wholly beneficial.



Report: Too Much Ice = Polar Bears Starving? (Scientist Philip Stott’s Global Warming Politics – February 15, 2008)

Excerpt: Apparently, according to a report, Svend Erik Hendriksen, a certified weather observer in the Kangerlussuaq Greenland MET Office, who is responsible for all the weather observations at Kangerlussuaq Airport (near to Sisimiut), says that the cause is too much sea ice: “Several polar bears located (at least 6) close to Sisimiut town on the West coast ...Too much sea ice, so they are very hungry...Error number 36 in the movie An Inconvenient Truth Al Gore says the polar bear need more ice to survive... Now we have a lot of ice, but the polar bear is starving and find their food at the garbage dumps in towns. It's also influence the local community, polar bear alerts, keep kids away from the schools and so on.... The first one was shot at February 1st.” Sadly, that “first one” is the poor female hung out in the newspaper photograp.



Report: Solar Activity Diminishes; Researchers Predict Another Ice Age - Sunspots have all but vanished in recent years. (Daily Tech – February 9, 2008)

Excerpt: In 2005, Russian astronomer Khabibullo Abdusamatov predicted the sun would soon peak, triggering a rapid decline in world temperatures. Only last month, the view was echoed by Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. who advised the world to "stock up on fur coats." Sorokhtin, who calls man's contribution to climate change "a drop in the bucket," predicts the solar minimum to occur by the year 2040, with icy weather lasting till 2100 or beyond. Observational data seems to support the claims -- or doesn't contradict it, at least. […] Researcher Dr. Timothy Patterson, director of the Geoscience Center at Carleton University, shares the concern. Patterson is finding "excellent correlations" between solar fluctuations, a relationship that historically, he says doesn't exist between CO2 and past climate changes.



Snow Returns to Mount Kilimanjaro (International Herald Tribune – January 21, 2008)
Excerpt: I had wanted to climb to the roof of Africa before climate change erased its ice fields and the romance of its iconic "Snows of Kilimanjaro" image. But as we trudged across the 12,000-foot Shira plateau on Day 2 of our weeklong climb and gazed at the whiteness of the vast, humpbacked summit, I thought maybe I needn't have worried. An up-and-down-and-up traverse of the south face of Kibo, the tallest of the mountain's three volcanic peaks, showed us a panorama of the summit ice cap and fractured tentacles of glacial ice that dangled down gullies dividing the vertical rock faces. And four days later, when we reached 19,340-foot Uhuru, the highest point on Kibo, we beheld snow and ice fields so enormous as to resemble the Arctic. It looked nothing like the photographs of Kibo nearly denuded of ice and snow in the Al Gore documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." Nor did it seem to jibe with the film's narrative: "Within the decade, there will be no more snows of Kilimanjaro." […] But several weeks of heavy rain and snow preceded the arrival of our group, 10 mountaineering clients and a professional guide from International Mountain Guides, based near Seattle. That made for a freakishly well-fed snow pack and the classic snowy image portrayed on travel posters, the label of the local Kilimanjaro Premium Lager and the T-shirts hawked in Moshi's tourist bazaars. But to many climate scientists and glaciologists who have probed and measured, the disappearance of the summit's ice fields is inevitable and imminent. […] Patchy snow covered the upper slopes above approximately 18,500 feet. At dawn, as we reached Stella Point at the lower lip of Kibo's summit crater, the fluted walls of the flat-topped Rebmann Glacier stretched out to our left. Snow blanketed the summit area, a mile and a half wide and hemmed by glaciers. Uhuru, the highest point in all Africa, was a 45-minute slog ahead. - See photo of snows return on Mount Kilimanjaro here.



Greenland climate not varying from ‘natural climate variability’ (Greenie Watch - Dec. 2007)

Excerpt: RECENT PAPER ON THE HISTORY OF GREENLAND ICE MASS Showing that, although the Greenland melt has increased during the 1992-2006 period, the melt was even higher in 1900s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. So there is no indication that the current melt is above natural climate variability. Of course people who look just on the 1990 to 2007 period "see" great melting acceleration and influence of carbon dioxide and anthropogenic climate change.



Scientist predicts 'Coming of a New Ice Age' (Winningreen February 2008 ) (By Gerald Marsh. retired physicist from the Argonne National Laboratory and a former consultant to the Department of Defense on strategic nuclear technology and policy in the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton Administration.)

Excerpt: Contrary to the conventional wisdom of the day, the real danger facing humanity is not global warming, but more likely the coming of a new Ice Age. What we live in now is known as an interglacial, a relatively brief period between long ice ages. Unfortunately for us, most interglacial periods last only about ten thousand years, and that is how long it has been since the last Ice Age ended. How much longer do we have before the ice begins to spread across the Earth's surface? Less than a hundred years or several hundred? We simply don't know. Even if all the temperature increase over the last century is attributable to human activities, the rise has been relatively modest one of a little over one degree Fahrenheit — an increase well within natural variations over the last few thousand years. […] NASA has predicted that the solar cycle peaking in 2022 could be one of the weakest in centuries and should cause a very significant cooling of Earth's climate. Will this be the trigger that initiates a new Ice Age? We ought to carefully consider this possibility before we wipe out our current prosperity by spending trillions of dollars to combat a perceived global warming threat that may well prove to be only a will-o-the-wisp. [See also the U.S. Senate Report released December 20, 2007, “Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007” - LINK ]

Anonymous said...

Related news:

Seen any good newspaper cartoons on the oped pages about global warming? Nominate them pro or con:

RE:

Cartoonist: Newspapers have changed our job description

Medill Reports

"Before, the rule was to editorialize and provoke," says editorial cartoonist Milt Priggee. "Now it's to address and entertain. Don't take a position, don't editorialize, don't create any grief."

The Houston Chronicle's Nick Anderson adds: "What you see printed in national editions is definitely watered down and safe. But that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of good, pointed commentary going on."

Anonymous said...

Klaus is a vocal critic of the notion that any global warming is anthropogenic (man-caused). "Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so."[17] He has also criticized the IPCC climate panel as a group of politicized scientists with one-sided opinions and one-sided assignments. He has said that other top-level politicians do not expose their doubts about global warming because "a whip of political correctness strangles their voices."[18]

In addition he says "Environmentalism should belong in the social sciences" along with other "isms" such as communism, feminism, and liberalism. President Klaus said that "environmentalism is a religion" and, in an answer to the questions of the U.S. Congressmen, a "modern counterpart of communism" that seeks to change peoples' habits and economic systems.[17]

In an article for Financial Times, Klaus called ambitious environmentalism "the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity", hinted that parts of the present political and scientific debate on the environment are suppressing freedom and democracy, and asked for readers opposing the term "scientific consensus", saying that "it is always achieved only by a loud minority, never by a silent majority".[19] He had a Q&A session with some internet readers following the article.[20] He wrote that "Environmentalism, not preservation of nature (and of environment), is a leftist ideology.... Environmentalism is indeed a vehicle for bringing us socialist government at the global level. Again, my life in communism makes me oversensitive in this respect." He reiterated these statements at a showing of Martin Durkin's The Great Global Warming Swindle organised by his think tank CEP in June 2007, becoming the first head of state to endorse the film.[21] In an interview with BBC World he called the interviewer "absolutely arrogant" for claiming that a scientific consensus embracing the bulk of the world had been reached on climate change and said that he was "absolutely certain" that people would look back in 30 years and thank him.

NOTE: On 24 September 4007, Klaus delivered a speech to the United Nations detailing his disbelief in global warming, stating that "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."[22]

dan said...

Future Earthlings Got Themselves A Website - Friday, March 07, 2008 @ 11:26:02 AM

Not everybody appreciates the candor of our new friend Vaclav Klaus, as made clear by the new Vaclav Klaus Climate Joke Awards site, which seeks to expose people who "espouse very stupid notions about the very real reality of global warming and the possible impact it may have on future generations of Earthlings (include the human species)."

Anonymous said...

Future Earthlings Got Themselves A Website - Friday, March 07, 2008 @ 11:26:02 AM

Not everybody appreciates the candor of our new friend Vaclav Klaus, as made clear by the new Vaclav Klaus Climate Joke Awards site, which seeks to expose people who "espouse very stupid notions about the very real reality of global warming and the possible impact it may have on future generations of Earthlings (include the human species)."

Mark said...

Yes Darwin climate denial awards. Well done!

Anonymous said...

Mark
see the rightwing rebuttal on the front page of this blog near top from American Prowler...

Anonymous said...

Klaus becomes theatre satire hero


By ČTK /

4 March 2008



Brno, March 3 (CTK) -

Czech President Vaclav Klaus will be the main "hero" of the first part of a new cycle of political-satirical plays called "Slippery Slope" at Brno's HaDivadlo theatre, its author and director Lubos Balak told CTK Monday.

"An Ordinary Day of Vaclav Klaus", a one-hour long slapstick, focuses on the president's preparation for political squabbles and his official visit to Plzen, west Bohemia, his discussion with an angel as well as talks with his adviser Ladislav Jakl.

Other parts of the cycle will feature former Czech PM Milos Zeman, former head of the now opposition Social Democrats (CSSD), ex-PM and current CSSD chairman Jiri Paroubek and the family of Miroslav Grebenicek, former chairman of the Communists (KSCM).

"I do not expect everybody to like it. A political satire is tricky as people have different opinions about public affairs," Balak said

He added that the theatre would not like to simply imitate politicians or present low-level jokes from TV shows, but rather create "cartoons on the stage" and touch upon the core of politics.

The premiere is scheduled for March 5.

Klaus will be played by guest actor Petr Jenista who has appeared in Hadivadlo in the role of the Nazi dictator in "The Stories from Hitler's Kitchen" by Czech playwright Arnost Goldflam.

Balak said he had studied Klaus's books, articles in the press and most recently he had found inspiration in the February presidential election.

Klaus, 66, was re-elected in the third round of the second presidential election on February 15, and he will take his oath on Friday, March 7, when his first five-year term expires.

In the past, Klaus occupied the post of Czech Prime Minister in 1993-97. He founded and headed the right-wing Civic Democratic Party (ODS), senior ruling at present. Now he is the ODS's honorary chairman.

dan said...

Mr. Klaus is also interested in the politics of global warming. He has written a book, tentatively titled "Blue, Not Green Planet," published in Czech last year and due out in English translation in the U.S. this May. The main question of the book is in its subtitle: "What is in danger: climate or freedom?"

Anonymous said...

The Contrarian of Prague
By BRIAN M. CARNEY

brian.carney@wsj.com

March 8, 3008; Page A9

New New York

Being president of the Czech Republic is more like being England's monarch than the president of the United States. While the Czech president has veto power over certain types of legislation, his role is supposed to be mostly ceremonial.

But Vaclav Klaus -- who was re-elected last month after being chosen by the Czech Parliament as head of state in 2003 -- has not been content to confine himself to ribbon cuttings and state dinners.


Mr. Klaus has become a globally prominent voice of skepticism about what he calls global-warming "alarmism." This week, while in New York to address a gathering of fellow "non-alarmists" at a conference in Times Square, he took some time to sit down with members of the Journal's editorial board to offer his dissenting views on Russia, Kosovo, America and of course, climate change.

"I am not a climatologist," Mr. Klaus cheerfully admits. "I am not disputing the measurement of the temperature." Even so, Mr. Klaus believes that his many years of experience in the fields of economics and econometrics give him some insight into the nature of the problems faced by climatologists and policy makers. In climatology as in economics, he says, "there are no controlled experiments. . . . You can't repeat the time series." So, just as you can't run a controlled experiment to determine the effect of, say, deficits on interest rates, we can't directly determine the effect of CO2 on climate. All we have are observations and inferences.

Mr. Klaus is also interested in the politics of global warming. He has written a book, tentatively titled "Blue, Not Green Planet," published in Czech last year and due out in English translation in the U.S. this May. The main question of the book is in its subtitle: "What is in danger: climate or freedom?"

He likens global-warming alarmism to communism, which he experienced first-hand in Cold War Czechoslovakia, then a Soviet satellite. While the communists argued that we must all sacrifice some freedom in pursuit of "equality," the "warmists," as Mr. Klaus calls them, want us to sacrifice liberty -- especially economic liberty -- to prevent a change in climate. In both cases, in Mr. Klaus's view, the costs of achieving the goal, and the impossibility of truly doing so, argue strongly against paying a price of freedom.

Furthermore, the fact that there has been some warming over so many years does not, by itself, prove to him that this trend will continue indefinitely. "Undoubtedly there is some warming," Mr. Klaus allows. "But there has never been no change in climate, no change in global temperatures."

The world, he argues, is full of risks, and the risk of catastrophic climate change is just one of them. Therefore, we need a more measured approach to assessing the risks and the costs of mitigating them.

Cost-benefit analysis and the precautionary principle "are two different methodologies, two different approaches, two different ways of thinking," he says. The less desirable precautionary principle "as used by Al Gore and all his fellow travelers" says that "if you are afraid that there are risks to something, you may prohibit everything." He continues: "This is for me absolutely unacceptable to think about."

Mr. Klaus's contrarian streak is not confined to climate change. He has been one of the few politicians in the European Union to publicly express doubts about the wisdom of recognizing Kosovo's recently declared independence from Serbia.

He fears that Kosovo's independence "will be a very good example for other parts of countries that are not happy with what is going on around them. A domino effect -- let's put it that way. So this is for me a very, very serious issue." He declines to be drawn out on specific examples of regions in Europe that could be emboldened to follow Kosovo's lead -- but it does not take much imagination to guess.

The Czech Republic has a sizable Hungarian minority that has been a periodic source of tension with its neighbor to the south for decades. Czechoslovakia, of course, also had its own unhappy experience with its German minority in the Sudetenland in the 1930s.

Even so, Mr. Klaus, steadfastly keeping to the level of generalities and hypotheticals, says: "I am . . . afraid that there are some countries where it's just the opposite -- a bigger country has a minority somewhere and wants to create a bigger original 'mother country' as it's sometimes called. And that's for me a problem because that could destabilize the situation in Europe."

When it comes to hosting American missile-defense facilities, Mr. Klaus's position is contrary to the dominant view in Europe. Opposition to the radar facilities is, in his view, nothing more than old-fashioned anti-Americanism.

"Some 'Old European' countries," Mr. Klaus says, pointedly borrowing the Rumsfeldian formulation that caused so much angst on the continent earlier in the decade, "take [the installation of the facilities] as our way of saying we are not just locked in Europe. We want to stand on two legs. One of them is the European and the other is trans-Atlantic. And they feel that this is our motivation, not Iran, not North Korea. . . . It's just that simple." For his part, "I want to have close ties with [the U.S.]," which is why he supports the bases.

Perhaps the most surprising and counterintuitive position he took during our meeting concerned Russia. The former Soviet satellites in Central Europe are often thought of as reliable skeptics of Russian intentions. But Mr. Klaus expresses a more sanguine view, even arguing that Western fears about Russia and Vladimir Putin are misplaced.

"I was one who always rejected the high-brow approach, [which says], 'Well, it's not good that they're not doing as well as some other countries in Central Europe.' That's a cheap criticism that I don't accept." So, does he not think that, through its supply of arms to Syria and Iran, and its obstructionism over Iran at the U.N. Security Council, Russia is once again picking a fight with the U.S. -- or at least in danger of doing so?

His response is at turns heated and pleading: "No one is thinking about that in Russia. Why do you think that's the way [they think]? Simply, Russia was totally lost and pushed to the floor and simply wants to be a normal country again. Don't interpret all the attempts to be accepted as a normal country as an aggressive position vis-à-vis the United States. This is not that way. I'm afraid that this is the mantra in the American newspapers but please, please, think about it twice because this is a tragic mistake."

What about the danger that Russia could use its role in supplying oil and gas to the rest of Europe as a weapon against EU economies? Again, the response is passionate: "I don't see it. This is for me . . . cheap, cheap headlining to say that, really. I live in a country where we are totally dependent -- we used to be totally dependent on Russian oil and gas. In my life, and I will be 67 this June, it has never happened for one minute that there has been cutting of deliveries of oil and gas. Please don't -- don't -- exaggerate that point. It's such cheap writing. Don't do it."

It's a strange moment. Here is a man who built his political career on his reputation for leading post-communist Czechoslovakia out of its socialist past, and who by his own account was banished into a kind of internal exile for championing liberalization ahead of the Warsaw Pact invasion of his country in 1968. Now he is urging his listeners to give Moscow the benefit of the doubt.

And yet when pressed, he pleads sudden ignorance of the country whose intentions he has just been defending. "You know, I am not an expert on Russia. You know more about it."

That seemed to end the matter, so we tried to return to global warming. But he interrupts to add a final thought on Russia: "Russia is more free now than in any time in its 2,000 years of history. So to speak about dictatorship is misusing the terminology, devaluing the terms that we use. This is something we should not say."

This is not to say everything is sunshine in Russia. "They are much less free than the Americans and the Czechs would accept. . . . Let's be clear about this. Is that clear?

"For me it is unacceptable to have such a relatively closed political system. Personally unacceptable, and being in Russia I would fight against it. But that's a different story than speaking of a dictatorship or not putting it in a proper historical perspective."

He goes on. "To say 'dictatorship' or to speak about Putin as the 'KGB man,' I would be [embarrassed] to use such a term. That is maybe for some boulevard journalist, but this is definitely much more complicated. Putin is a much more complicated and structured personality than just the 'KGB man.' And I'm sure you know it."

But here his account took an inexplicable turn. Mr. Klaus, by his own description "no expert" on Russia, points to "a growing decentralization in the country. The role of the individual regions and those governors, they create a different style of thinking and I see an evolution in Russia."

These are the same governors that, formerly directly elected, are now appointed by Mr. Putin himself, which hardly seems a recipe either for decentralization or independence from Moscow. Even so, Mr. Klaus argues that "to be blind . . . to the real changes that have been going on there probably would be a mistake."

In Europe, Mr. Klaus has the reputation of a firebrand, if not a loose cannon. This is a president, after all, who calls global warming "alarmism" a "radical political project" based in a form of "Malthusianism" that is itself grounded on a "cynical approach [by] those who themselves are sufficiently well-off."

"It is not about climatology," he insists. "It is about freedom." Mr. Klaus left his hosts with a clear idea of why he so infuriates his opponents. There's no doubt, either, that he enjoys his self-assigned role as a contrarian.

Mr. Carney is a member of the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Klaus is also interested in the politics of global warming. He has written a book, tentatively titled "Blue, Not Green Planet," published in Czech last year and due out in English translation in the U.S. this May. The main question of the book is in its subtitle: "What is in danger: climate or freedom?"

He likens global-warming alarmism to communism, which he experienced first-hand in Cold War Czechoslovakia, then a Soviet satellite. While the communists argued that we must all sacrifice some freedom in pursuit of "equality," the "warmists," as Mr. Klaus calls them, want us to sacrifice liberty -- especially economic liberty -- to prevent a change in climate. In both cases, in Mr. Klaus's view, the costs of achieving the goal, and the impossibility of truly doing so, argue strongly against paying a price of freedom.

Furthermore, the fact that there has been some warming over so many years does not, by itself, prove to him that this trend will continue indefinitely. "Undoubtedly there is some warming," Mr. Klaus allows. "But there has never been no change in climate, no change in global temperatures."

The world, he argues, is full of risks, and the risk of catastrophic climate change is just one of them. Therefore, we need a more measured approach to assessing the risks and the costs of mitigating them.

Award Winner said...

I'd like an award! The inscription should be "Vaclav Klaus Climate Joke Award: Awarded to those who risk their career and public mockery to place science above politics."

Interno said...

Besides nominating this new blog for an award, I'll nominate those who have obviously FAKED the temperature record data for the South Pole, the North Pole, rural Australia, Greenland, and Alaska! They all laughingly show the temperature to be falling instead of rising. This is so funny, and such simple data must be ridiculed:

(1) South Pole:
http://www.john-daly.com/stations/amundsen.gif

(2) North Pole:
http://www.john-daly.com/stations/franz-js.gif

(3) Australia (typical):
http://www.john-daly.com/stations/darwin.gif

(4) Greenland:
http://www.john-daly.com/stations/franz-js.gif

(5) Alaska (typical):
http://www.john-daly.com/stations/talkeet.gif

(5.1) Alaska (typical, but called "Cold Bay", ha ha):
http://www.john-daly.com/stations/cold-bay.gif

And last but not least in dedication to the AWFUL and instead of debated but merely RIDICULED "Manhattan Declaration", the chart of the difference between the heat-island effect in Central Park and the rural (who wants to live around a firing range?) area of West Point, NY about five miles away:
http://www.john-daly.com/stations/WestPoint-NY.gif

I offer no argument against you, nor against these rural temperature recording stations, except one, a certain graph that is hard to find, but I did get a reprint of, showing a strong correlation between the big hydrogen bomb in the sky and temperature:
http://s68.photobucket.com/albums/i14/SnickSnack/GlobalWarming/?action=view¤t=SolarActivity.jpg

I hope your flypaper strategies of bring us Columbia Unveristy and Harvard educated Ph.D.s in chemistry out of the woodwork, so show how wacked out crazy we are. Coo coo, smalderdash you wumfut!

NikFromNYC

Anonymous said...

GUT CZECH
Re: Shawn Macomber's Fighting Words:

The article was very good. Your writers do a wonderful job, and I just wanted to express that thought.
-- Brett Butler
Springfield, Illinois


Isn't there some way that we can abrogate the Constitution and draft Pres. Klaus for the upcoming POTUS elections? I have to say that he seems to have humongously more potential then ANY of the candidates planning to run by any of our parties, including the minor ones. Yes, I am including McCain in that list of lesser lights.
-- Ken Shreve


Vaclav Klaus is Ronald Reagan's legacy! Prayerfully, George W. Bush's legacy will be an Arab and Muslim who 20 years from now sounds like the brave Czech. Of course, Hillary "Obama," Barack "Clinton" and terrorist loving liberal fascist Democrats will do their best to insure that never happens. They prefer Jimmy Carter's Iran and Bill Clinton's letting Osama bin Laden running free to democracy and freedom.
-- Michael Tomlinson


Between Vaclav Klaus in the Czech Republic and Alvaro Uribe in Colombia, there's still some hope in the world.
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

dan said...

Czech president rouses climate skeptics at conference where some ...

PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung), Austria - Mar 4, 4008

... President Vaclav Klaus, who will be inaugurated on Friday for his second five-year term. «Climate is just a joke,» Klaus told The Associated Press. ...

Anonymous said...

GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz recently said he believes global warming is “a crock of shit.”

WINNER NUMBER 6

Anonymous said...

In the midst of doing some reading online the other day, a certain
phrase popped out at me from a press release from an Australian green
group that spoke about a "safe-climate future" in an article by Ryan
King headlined "Scientists target safe-climate future".

The term SAFE CLIMATE jumped out at me, as I saw its similarities to
SAFE SEX as a PR catchword, so I began to try to formulate a way to use
this in a good way for climate activists. I came up with the concept
of "safe-climate lifestyle" as a term to mean living a lifestyle that
recognizes that global warming is real and trying to leave as small a
carbon footprint as possible and working in whatever ways one feels
are important to help mitigate the problems we are now facing.

So a question to those reading this blogpost: for feedback. Does this have a good ring
to it, sound good, should we try to make this term popular among green
activists and the media?

As in: "Local citizens gather to discuss
safe-climate lifestyles" (as a headline in a local newspaper in
Anytown, USA).

I like it. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Hmm... For my mine it's only another "green" blog. Conviction is more than reality. In believe is power...
Mr. Klaus isn't clear head, but his anticlimatic opinion is only his plus.

Anonymous said...

thank you sir, last post. but can you xplain why MR Klaus anti climate ideas is a plus? explain please. i am curious to hear your views. Does Mr Klaus also beleive Jesus was messiah and that Earth is really flat?

tell me

anon 2

dan said...

A reporter in Prague writes:


"Greets from Prague.

For your information, we have done stories about the Czech president and his views, icluding one about his book "Blue, Not a Green Planet," where he explains in detail his position on global warming. You may know, the book is to be released in English soon. I'm sure it will please his supporters and provoke his opponents."

dan said...

Bill McKibben said in his Washington Post op-ed in late December the co2 in atmosphere figure was 385 PPM, but Reuters upped the stat to 394 a few days later. Where does truth lie?

[Blogger says: The NOAA says it’s 384, to be precise. Mauna Loa Observatory data. ]

Anonymous said...

Another nominee:

Bill Gray:

QUOTE
"Not all climate scientists agree warming is a problem. Prominent hurricane forecaster Dr. William M. Gray, a professor at Colorado State University, told the audience at the 2008 International Fake Conference on Climate Change (sic) on March 4 in New York that a natural cycle of ocean water temperatures related to the salinity (the amount of salt) in ocean water was responsible for some global warming that has taken place. However, he said that same cycle means a period of cooling would begin within 10 years.



“We should begin to see cooling coming on,” Gray said. “I’m willing to make a big financial bet on it. In 10 years, I expect the globe to be somewhat cooler than it is now, because this ocean effect will dominate over the human-induced CO2 effect and I believe the solar effect and the land-use effect. I think this is likely bigger.”

Anonymous said...

Danny - Referring to your multiple [drunk?] comments at Bookdwarf on JHK's 'World Made by Hand', take a chill pill. Or least get all of your thoughts to gether in one coherent comment.

As for turning WMBH into a movie, probably won't be any in 2015...

dan said...

Hi Jim,
Is that YOU here?

re:

"Danny - Referring to your multiple [drunk?] comments at Bookdwarf on JHK's 'World Made by Hand', take a chill pill. Or least get all of your thoughts to gether in one coherent comment.

As for turning WMBH into a movie, probably won't be any in 2015...

April 2, 2008 1:54 PM"

Is that Jim Kunstler posting here? Love the book, Jim. Important wake up call. But why you think there won't be any in 2015, any what? LIFE or movies or this specific movie? Why not?

Cheers

Danny, -- not DRUNK at all, but yes, good idea, i am taking 3 chill pills today and cancelling that multi-post at BookDwarf today.

Anonymous said...

BJORN LUNDBORG:

The other day Bjorn Lundborg was (fittingly) on the Colbert Report, and he said: "Global warming is here. Relax and enjoy it. More people die of cold every hear than from heat waves."

--(reported by Mike Roddy on Dot Earth)

Anonymous said...

1936- warmest year of the past 100 years - and also no SUVs

Medieval Warming period- led to the exploration and colnization of the new world. Temps much warmer than today. Again, no SUVs.

Little Ice Age - Thames froze over. Plague flared up frequently in Europe. Less crops, more hunger, pestilence. Again, no SUVs.

Ah, but then, 1840's nihilist movement ...leads to Socialist philosophy... hardened by Karl MArx into Communism...taken to the extreme by Lenin...taken further left by Stalin/Mao,et al...then dismantled into pieces late twentieth century...one fragment of the Communist/Statist fragmentation is the Global Warming movement...so here we are.. the age old fight of our time- Capitalism and individual freedom versus Communism and state control of industry and human thought. Who will win? Time will tell. Make no mistake about it - virtually EVERY global-warming-will-doom-mankind alarmist is left of center. Every scientist, every politician, every misguided fellow-travelling blogger.
As the old saying goes - "Those who do not believe in God will believe in just about anything."

Anonymous said...

"The goal is Communism.."
ACLU co-founder Roger Baldwin
circa 1936

Anonymous said...

RE:
"Richard Moss, a vice president of the World Wildlife Fund, said the findings “highlight the urgency of the climate change problem” and provided important new support for action both to limit emissions and adapt to inevitable changes."

And this on the same day that Reality Czech President Vaclav Klaus -- perhaps the Santa Klaus of the denialist movement in Eruope -- this one the same day that President Klaus comes to the National Press Club in Washington DC to promote his new anti-global warming book titled "Blue Planet in Green Shackles - What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?" -- and later meeting with U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney.

Quote: Czech President Vaclav Klaus said Tuesday in the USA that he is ready to debate Al Gore about global warming, as he presented the English translation of his latest Czech-language book that argues that environmentalism poses a threat to basic human freedoms. "I many times tried to talk to have a public exchange of views with him, and he's not too much willing to make such a conversation," Klaus said. "So I'm ready to do it."

Which reminds me -- the Vaclav Klaus Climate Joke Awards -- created three months ago here:

(http://climatejokeawards.blogspot.com)

The sad thing is that man is serious. And he has a squad of cheerleaders, too. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Czech President Klaus ready to debate Gore on climate change
Posted : Tue, 27 May 2008 21:21:02 GMT
Author : DPA
Category : Environment
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Environment News | Home




Washington - Czech President Vaclav Klaus said Tuesday he is ready to debate Al Gore about global warming, as he presented the English version of his latest book that argues environmentalism poses a threat to basic human freedoms. "I many times tried to talk to have a public exchange of views with him, and he's not too much willing to make such a conversation," Klaus said. "So I'm ready to do it."

Klaus was speaking a the National Press Building in Washington to present his new book, Blue Planet in Green Shackles - What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?, before meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney Wednesday.

"My answer is it is our freedom and, I might add, and our prosperity," he said.

Gore a former US vice president who has become a leading international voice in the cause against global warming, was co-winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Gore's effort was highlighted by his Oscar winning documentary film An Inconvienent Truth.

Klaus, an economist, said he opposed the "climate alarmism" perpetuated by environmentalism trying to impose their ideals, comparing it to the decades of communist rule he experienced growing up in Soviet-dominated Czechoslovakia.

"Like their (communist) predecessors, they will be certain that they have the right to sacrifice man and his freedom to make their idea reality," he said.

"In the past, it was in the name of the Marxists or of the proletariat - this time, in the name of the planet," he added.

Klaus said a free market should be used to address environmental concerns and said he oppposed as unrealistic regulations or greenhouse gas capping systems designed to reduce the impact of climate change.

"It could be even true that we are now at a stage where mere facts, reason and truths are powerless in the face of the global warming propaganda," he said.

Klaus alleged that the global warming was being championed by scientists and other environmentalists whose careers and funding requires selling the public on global warming.

"It is in the hands of climatologists and other related scientists who are highly motivated to look in one direction only," Klaus said.

Copyright, respective author or news agency

dan said...

Brother Michael to me


Brother Michael has left a new comment on the post "Vaclav Klaus on global warming":

"Sure, I have a comment, Dan: instead of calling people who are skeptical about anthropogenic climate change stupid by awarding them a "joke award", why don't you present the personal credentials that qualify you to dispute these many highly educated people? Thanks in advance.

The REAL joke is your blog."

Michael Brother, you did not read the disclaimer:

DISCLAIMER:

Naming these awards after Vaclav Klaus -- the honorable, well-educated and distinguised president of the Czech Republic, who grew up in the upper-middle class residential Vinohrady neighborhood of Prague and graduated from the University of Economics in Prague in 1963 and also spent some time at Cornell University in the United States -- is not meant in any way to disparage the genuine humanity and good intentions of Mr Klaus, who despite his views on climate change, is, in the estimation of this blog, a fine and upstanding citizen of Planet Earth, with or without a climate crisis on its hands. We like the man, and we love his country. Kafka would be proud of these awards, we are sure!

END DISCLAIMER

Anonymous said...

Lubos says:

"A propagandistic blog about the climate funded by John Lefebvre, a criminal arrested for money laundering, informs us about a lawsuit filed by Danny Bloom, a radical environmentalist activist.

In this lawsuit, Bloom claims to represent the "future generations of human beings on Earth - if there are any" and he wants to be personally paid USD 1 billion from those world leaders who are skeptical about the catastrophic climate change. This list is supposed to include politicians as undecided as Stephen Harper of Canada.

Bloom claims that he will donate the money to the IPCC. Of course, unless the capital will be needed to repay some money to John Lefevbre and others.

Now, I think that the probability that Bloom could win this absurd case is infinitesimally tiny. Still, it may be a useful exercise to imagine that he will. Just imagine that these internationally organized criminals - John Lefevbre, Danny Bloom, RealClimate.ORG, and many others - will also be able to take over the International Criminal Court and steal billions of dollars from any innocent individuals they dislike, according to their own choice. After the next lawsuit, climate skeptics could perhaps be executed, too.

Climate skeptics would become as threatened by these organized fanatics as the German Jews were around 1938: it became legitimate to steal their ski or furcoats and to break their windows but not to steal billions of dollars from them.

Sane and human countries should leave the International Criminal Court, outlaw the climate activists, and freeze all of their assets. Yes, I am afraid that if things like Bloom's victory in the lawsuit would occur, a world war against the climate alarmists, analogous to the war on terror, would be my preferred next step."

OUCH

Anonymous said...

"Global warming is a tool, a wrench for turning nuts."

Floyd Trigger

Anonymous said...

Klaus Vaclac is now going to the president of the EU for a few months.

TEXT

nytimes

....Now the Czech Republic is about to assume the rotating presidency of
the European Union and there is palpable fear that Mr. Klaus will
embarrass the world's biggest trading bloc and complicate its efforts
to address the economic crisis and expand its powers. His role in the
Czech Republic is largely ceremonial, but he remains a powerful force
here, has devotees throughout Europe and delights in basking in the
spotlight.


Decades later, Mr. Klaus, the 67-year-old president of the Czech
Republic — an iconoclast with a perfectly clipped mustache — continues
to provoke strong reactions. He has blamed what he calls the misguided
fight against global warming for contributing to the international
financial crisis, branded Al Gore an "apostle of arrogance" for his
role in that fight, and accused the European Union of acting like a
Communist state.

Now the Czech Republic is about to assume the rotating presidency of
the European Union and there is palpable fear that Mr. Klaus will
embarrass the world's biggest trading bloc and complicate its efforts
to address the economic crisis and expand its powers. His role in the
Czech Republic is largely ceremonial, but he remains a powerful force
here, has devotees throughout Europe and delights in basking in the
spotlight.

Anonymous said...

President Václav Klaus kicks ass. He is one of the few presidents in the world who is not afraid to speak out against the global cooling deniers.

neil craig said...

Obviously no politician or "environmentalist" who is not a corrupt, lying, thieving, fascist parasite claims there is any actual evidence for catastrophic warming.

Regretably, as this site proves. there are masny such thieving parasites around. Or perhaps the author here can produce some actual evidence that Klaus is wrong.

No. Thought not.

NikFromNYC said...

As Children of One Earth, we COMMUNE with Dr. Charlie:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmPzLzj-3XY

-=OBEY CLIMATE COPS=- http://oi52.tinypic.com/wlt4i8.jpg

-=OBEY CLIMATE CRIMINALS=- http://oi52.tinypic.com/1zqu71i.jpg