The president of the Czech Republic, Vaklav Klaus, is once more at the centre of a heated debate. The opportunity, this time, was afforded by his latest book “Blue planet, not green”, which has now also been published in Italian and presented by Klaus himself at the venue of the Institute for International Political Studies.
The essay, which is entitled “What is in danger, the climate or freedom?”, is centred on a criticism of the most common environmental theories and positions.
In contrast with common opinion, the author begins with the idea that the environmental movements of the last few years and the resulting economic policies, are based on data and conclusions without any sound scientific proof.
According to Klaus, in fact, not only is it impossible to demonstrate that climate change is heading towards global warming – or in any other direction, e.g. micro and post glaciations, the ice-age, which have affected the recent history of the Earth – but also that it is even unscientific to state that such variations are caused by mankind.
Substantially, any damage to our climate from emissions caused by man’s activity is neither certain nor can be verified with our present day scientific knowledge. Thus the definition “metaphysical ideology” made by the Czech statesman on the greenhouse effect theory. He breaks down, one by one, the pillar stones of modern ecologist theories, including those, which until recently, were considered undisputable, such as the short-term exhaustion of oil resources or such theories defined as “ridiculous”, on alternative clean energy.
The effect, also in the intention of the author, is overwhelming and, in some ways, it introduces revolutionary and largely unpopular theories. Nevertheless, they are neither new nor isolated ideas. Others before Klaus (and cited in his book), have followed the same path, starting form a similar criticism of modern environmentalism. Among these, the intellectuals (four-thousand) and Nobel Prize winners (twenty-two), who have signed the Heidelberg appeal, the Danish scientist Biørn Lomborg, author of “Cool it, a guide by environmentalists sceptical of Global warming” and the Ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson. Although not cited by the author, we wish to add “The oil age” (Feltrinelli), an interesting book on the most important resource of our times, by Leonardo Maugeri, Strategies and Development manager at Eni.
The arguments expressed so far are quite agreeable, and are also shared by the writer of this article, but Klaus is above all a politician, rather than an economist and, the type of person who does not miss the chance to arouse a debate, both due to his natural spirit of provocation and intent to attract the attention of a world that is increasingly growing more indifferent towards minority positions (e.g. his remarks on Europe when he was interim president of the EU). Therefore, the essay becomes an occasion to evoke fears of a plot by “mysterious forces”, of strong powers, who by creating “artificially widespread panic”, wish to obstruct world economic development.
Environmentalism today, as with socialism in the past, is Klaus’s theorem, who attacks “scientific monopoly” by going back to Karl Popper, a political instrument of those who wish to prevent development and progress, above all in developing countries. The risk is, once more, that of shifting attention away from scientific and economic arguments to political ones: rejecting the theories of one faction in order to favour those of the counterpart, with factiousness lying in wait.
But, if the intention of the Czech president is to provoke a debate, he has certainly accomplished his task. It is sufficient to look at the emphasis given to the book by the international press. Just to mention a few, the acute review by D. Fertilio on the Corriere della Sera and the rather ironic review by the Financial Times.
By Luca Pandolfi