President Klaus makes new comments about climate change, do they echo the views of Czechs?
Czech President Václav Klaus is notorious for his outspoken views on climate change. He calls evidence of global warming “bogus” and ambitious environmentalism "a threat to freedom and economic growth". But now Mr. Klaus is no longer just up against “ambitious environmentalists”. He is opposing the far-reaching measures that the EU has put in place to cut carbon dioxide emissions in the coming decade.
“Most Czechs think that global warming is a serious problem, and they don’t identify with their president on this issue at all. In fact, I think that many Czechs see Vaclav Klaus as having odd views on this particular subject, and I think they would prefer him to be a bit less outspoken on this issue.”
In need of more proof, I hit the streets, and asked some passers by whether they were worried about climate change, and what they thought of Mr Klaus’s views:
“I think it is a problem, and I think that it is a matter for experts to discuss, and not for our president.”
“Our president – I think he knows what he is talking about.”
“I think that when you are president, your view on global warming doesn’t matter that much. There are more important problems than global warming, so it’s a big problem, but not the main problem.”
It seems that a large number of Czechs don’t agree with Mr Klaus’s views on climate change. But it also seems that they are happy to overlook these views as long he performs well as president. Here’s Jiří Pehe again:
“He is an important politician, probably the most talented politician in this country, and has been for the last 20 years. People think ‘well, we don’t have anyone better to represent us’. This might be a misguided notion, but that is what many people think.”