President Klaus savages "dangerous" green lobby over global warming

Vaclav Klaus, photo: CTK

President Vaclav Klaus has launched another fierce attack on the green lobby, claiming that "ambitious environmentalism" poses a greater threat to society than communism. His comments came in written answers to a committee meeting being held on Wednesday in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Czech president said instead of trying to stop climate change, mankind should learn to live with it. Rob Cameron spoke to the head of the Czech branch of Greenpeace, Jiri Tutter, and asked him if he was surprised at Mr Klaus's comments.

Jiri Tutter
"I must admit that it's a long-term opinion of Vaclav Klaus, and it's something to do with his character because he doesn't change his opinions really frequently."

That could be something to be admired in a politician.

"In a way, yes. That's the positive side. On the other hand, ignoring the trends and developments of the environment globally in such a way as Mr Klaus does, we don't really find it politically wise."

Vaclav Klaus,  photo: CTK
But he is right in saying that there is really no concrete proof that what we're doing is making the planet hotter. There is no absolute proof of this, it's all theory.

"That's a theory supported by the findings of more than 2,000 scientists, if I'm not wrong. Very often the concrete, specific cause of a death of a person can be found only after their death, during an autopsy. Our question is whether we are entitled, whether we are right to wait for that moment. We presume it will be really too late."

Mr Klaus also argues that the effects of global warming do not necessarily all have to be negative. If I can quote from his answers that he sent to the U.S. House of Representatives hearing - 'While some deserts may get larger, and some ocean shores flooded, enormous parts of the earth, up until now empty because of their severe cold climate, may become fertile areas able to accommodate millions of people.' He's right isn't he?

"We would have to speak about each individual location around the globe. But take for example Siberian tundra, permafrost. Vast areas of permanently frozen soil will melt and huge amounts of methane gas will be released into the environment, again making the whole process of global warming even faster."

You do not accept his theory that there is a silver lining to the cloud of global warming.

"There might be some small pockets, some small areas, where it will have a positive impact. That's not what I'm saying. What we're talking about is the global situation. There's a much bigger risk that big areas will be affected in a way that will further deteriorate the global situation."