Czech president targets environmentalists and politicians in latest book on climate change

The Czech president, Václav Klaus, is set to launch his latest book on Friday morning. In Modrá planeta v ohrožení, which translates as Blue Planet Under Threat, he again questions received wisdom on global warming, a subject that has exercised him greatly in recent years. In his second book on climate change, Mr Klaus hits out once more at environmental activists – and politicians.

Václav Klaus
In spring 2007 Václav Klaus published Blue Planet in Green Shackles, a book which helped earn him a reputation as one of the world’s best known “climate change deniers”. Mr Klaus says mankind is not responsible for global warming, a view which puts him at odds with the vast majority of scientists in the field.

The Czech president believes the green movement is superficially attractive – “quasi noble” – but in fact environmentalists are alarmists, ambitious and hysterical. Their real aim, he says, is to curb our freedoms, something which he finds particularly disturbing after spending much of his life under communism.

Blue Planet in Green Shackles came out in a number of languages. The translation of the Russian edition was financed by the powerful oil company Lukoil. The English version, meanwhile, was published by the rightwing American organisation Competitive Enterprise Institute, which reportedly used to be funded by another oil giant, Exxon.

In Blue Planet Under Threat (which may receive a different title in English) Mr Klaus again attacks environmentalists, saying they don’t want to change the climate but to control us. They say they want to protect the planet, but we should protect it – and ourselves – from them.

Politicians also come in for criticism, with Mr Klaus accusing them of taking advantage of the issue of global warming to interfere in people’s lives. He also complains that there is no real debate about climate change – those devoted to combating global warming are engaged in a monologue, not a dialogue, he says.

The Czech president has published over 30 books to date. An economist by profession, he wrote about the transformation process while he was finance minister in the early 1990s. In more recent years he has turned his attentions to Europe and the Lisbon treaty, to which he is vehemently opposed. And since becoming Czech president in 2003 Mr Klaus has brought out annual collections of his essays, articles and speeches.