Saturday, August 04, 2007

Klaus on environmentalism

RFE/RL has an interview with Czech President Vaclav Klaus (a physicist, whose latest book is A Blue, Not A Green Planet), in which among other things he talks "not about global warming but about the opinions that are being imported, thanks to the false threat of global warming, by people like Al Gore and many others" [excerpt]:
RFE/RL: You write in your book that socialist ideology has been replaced by the threat of "ambitious environmentalism." Could you define what you mean exactly?

Klaus: Let's keep repeating until we're weary that one thing is ecology, scientific ecology, a descriptive, positive science that describes real things and phenomena in the world and tries to find connections between them and laws and so on. That's not the discipline we're discussing. A completely different thing is this "world view" wrapped up around it that exploits some theories from this or that discipline in order to carry out yet another in a never-ending line of attacks against human freedom and the market economy.

The main attack on the market in the last 150 years has been the softer or stronger versions of what -- now that communism has gone -- is known as the "social market economy," basically the official ideology of Germany and Austria and now the EU. In other words, the main attack on the market and on human freedom has been to add the "social" adjective [to the word "market"].

People know how I began my political career and if there's one expression of mine that's been quoted most, it's the early one from the beginning of the 1990s when I said, "a market without adjectives." In other words let's not spoil things with any adjectives. So the first attack is social, [either] in the softer version of today's European system, [or] in the harder version of communism. Now, more and more, [the words] "social and ecologically oriented" or something similar are added. So it's another attack, [meant to] destroy the market and human freedom and using a slogan -- social in the past and now ecological -- to do something completely different. And for me this is a fundamental attack on human freedom.

As someone who went through communism, I know what this is about and I think it's necessary to sound the alarm. I'm not comparing, like some caricatures have me, the threat of communism versus the threat of environmentalism. Communism was probably worse, though I think that with some of those extreme environmentalists we would live to see something similar. They would be cutting off heads, too, but I'm not comparing them.
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