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.
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.
Now, comparing global warming alarm ism to totalitarian communist regimes is of course dangerously provocative. The legitimate point he is trying to make maybe lost in the comparison.
Much of my worldview related to global warming was formed after hearing John Rowe, CEO of Exelon, speak on the subject last year. He started the presentation by stating unequivocally that global warming was now a "settled matter". His evidence for this world view was cited in three studies that backed up this perspective. I was stunned that he could isolate three studies that supported global warming and thus wrap the issue up as "settled matter". Of course, once I heard the rest of the speech I understood his strategy. This was an immediately followed by a half hour of proposed mandates, regulations, other market interventions, that Rowe thought would fix the problem.
This is essentially the point that Klaus is trying to make. Global warming alarmists proclaim global warming to be a ticking time bomb and then use that assertion as an excuse to force eco- friendly solutions on the public. While mandates, regulations, and other forced fixes certainly is not the same as totalitarian communism, it is no doubt a milder form of the same philosophy. While this maybe so, making such a provocative comparison allows his opponents to marginalize him as the demagogue he accuses them of being.
Unfortunately, this very legitimate point may be lost in what will be a much too provocative comparison. I believe Klaus is dead on in his belief that global warming should not be used as an excuse to force mandates down the throats of free people. I just wish he hadn't used such a provocative method of verbalizing his point because I fear it will be lost on those he tries to reach.