Three days ago, Václav Klaus gave the "Magistral Lecture" at the International Seminar on Planetary Emergencies, organized by the World Federation of Scientists, Erice, Sicily, Italy:
Klaus in Sicily
He has implicitly chastised the proponents of the global warming doctrine for their human fanaticism, false pride, and lack of modesty. Among other things, he pointed out that a true revolution in the "CO2 efficiency" won't arrive anytime soon so the advocates of the global warming policies should honestly tell the people that what they're defending is an economic decline, a necessary condition for the global warming fearmongers' plan to become a reality. It's a good speech but I think that many similar speeches were discussed in detail here so I won't do it again.
The conference was attended by people from many "ideological camps" and Klaus believes he has convinced many participants that the global warming doctrine is a greater threat than climate change itself.
The federation that had organized the event is led by Antonino Zichichi, a prominent organizer in nuclear physics (and co-author of many supersymmetric, grand unified, and other papers himself).
The Czech official climatology has endorsed Klaus' opinion that the AGW-inspired policymaking is economically irrational.
Dr Radim Tolasz, a lukewarmer and the boss of the Climate Change Department of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, stated:
While I am not an endorser of everything that [President Klaus] said, I've been urging the economists to look economically at the issue of the climate change for years.These were the words by a top official Czech climatologist who finds his views "increasingly identified" with those of our president.
[About the 2006 Stern Report:]
So far the climate change is being presented as a tragedy for the present as well as the future and a certain kind of an imaginary struggle is being organized against it. Instead, we should think what we may afford and what we may not afford. And that's where Mr Professor is entirely correct – he doesn't like it and he criticizes it. What he criticizes isn't climatology per se or climate change per se.
The Prague Castle after Klaus
Prof Klaus has been working as the chief of the Prague Castle for almost 10 years. That's a limit so in February 2013, he will have to leave the job. His successor will be elected in the first direct presidential elections in the Czech history in January 2013. So far, it has always been the Parliament that chose the Czechoslovak and Czech presidents. It seems likely to me that Klaus' shoes will turn out to be too large for any successor but it still makes sense to ask which toes, if any, of the shoes will be occupied by the prospective successor.
It depends on who it is.
I realize that Czech politics is arguably the least attractive topic on this blog. Nevertheless, I believe that people interested in the climate debate may want to be interested in the Czech presidency because it has played a non-negligible role in this debate at the global scale, I believe.
So far it seems that it will be a competition between Mr Jan Fischer and Mr Miloš Zeman. I will return to these two men, especially Zeman, momentarily. But before I do so, let me say that there are many other people who found themselves to be excited about the prospect of moving into the Prague Castle. ;-) Their chances are low and I won't even sort them in any meaningful way but let me mention a few of them.
Mr Karl Johannes Nepomuk Joseph Norbert Friedrich Antonius Wratislaw Menas, 12th and 7th Prince Schwarzenberg, our current foreign minister, would return some aristocratic DNA to the headquarters of the Czech kings – a detail I otherwise don't care about but in the case of the presidency, I find it as a cool positive. He is 75 years (i.e. very) old, he often sleeps during press conferences (Alan Guth-style attitude during talks and speeches), he would probably promote an insanely fast integration of the European Union along the example of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire (the opposite attitude to Klaus' or mine), and he could be viewed as the closest and most authentic proxy for ex-president Havel. In many respects, the presidential beliefs would be reverted upside down. However, his relationships with Klaus have mostly obeyed the rules of the etiquette.
Mr Ladislav Jakl is a musician and the current aide to Klaus. He would continue to promote the same values (including the climate skepticism) but he is far less famous, far less outspoken, and his chances are very low.
Ms Jana Bobošíková has been a very active deputy of the European Parliament, defending UKIP-style politics, climate skepticism, and other values. Being a highly achieved TV host and TV news organizer, in 2000 or 2001, she was named the acting director of the Czech Public TV when the politically correct employees decided to strike against the Klaus-Zeman "opposition agreement" (a mild form of a grand coalition in which the civic democrats and social democrats agreed to support the foe's control over the goverment and the Parliament, respectively, after they failed to create legitimate majority governments without the foe) and the TV tolerance for it, or whatever these obnoxious folks didn't like. I was a great supporter or hers. Recently I was shown that she was already active in politics as a kid – look at this smiling pioneer giving flowers to the communist president Mr Gustáv Husák at the Old Town Square in 1985. ;-)
Holy crap, I still hate the verbal style of those old news. How much time they spent with repeating "general secretary of the central committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party and the president of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic Comrade Gustáv Husák" (instead of "Husák") and related things.
Of course, I do view her excessive activity during several kinds of regimes as a negative and her desire to be visible at all times is a mixed virtue. However, there are still many positive things about her (in my eyes) that could make the total verdict positive. At any rate, her chances are low.
Mr Jiří Dienstbier Jr (who was accidentally born in Washington DC in 1969 where his father had been a Czech radio correspondent) is likely to be the official social democratic candidate. His father (the same name) was a dissident, a maverick, and a funny guy nominally close to Havel and I sort of liked him. But this son is a typical left-wing apparatchik, a populist mediocre demagogue, and a spoiled frat. I would be ashamed if this individual became the Czech president because he combines all the PC vices of many Western politicians (including the mindless climate alarmism) with the "added value" of primitivism and working-class focus that is characteristic for certain Czech left-wing politicians.
Another left-wing politician is Dr Jan Švejnar, a dual American and Czech citizen. Having emmigrated with his parents as a child, he is a career academic economist who has studied at Cornell, Princeton, and works at Columbia. He has almost no idea about the genuine life in Czechia and the Czech people's values and beliefs. He's the ultimate face-less politically correct person who always adjusts to the prevailing politically correct winds so that it's good for him. I would be still ashamed of him if he were elected but at least, it wouldn't be as bad as with Mr Dienstbier Jr because in my opinion, Švejnar would be another politician shaped by the standardized criteria for politically correct Western politicians. You find lots of such folks in the current White House, for example.
Mr Jan Fischer used to be a prime minister for half a year or so in 2009 (during the Czech EU presidency), a Jewish Czech economist who has been a member of the communist party since 1980 (because of career reasons, like many others). He has no real personal opinions either and he likes his career. Currently he is the head of one of those big not-quite-commercial international banks. He is the frontrunner in almost all the polls right now. I wouldn't be too ashamed because I survived his job as a prime minister, too. But I don't have any other positive emotions about him, either. Even though he gets the highest poll numbers now, he may actually have some trouble to collect those 50,000 signatures.
(Fischer's answers about the global warming issue is as vague as his answers about anything. One can't decode what he really thinks because he doesn't seem to think about it much.)
Mr Vladimír Dlouhý is analogous to Jan Fischer. He is also heading one of the government-dependent international banks and he used to be a popular economy minister right after the Velvet Revolution in 1989 (and I had nothing much against him). Just like Fischer, he's been a member of the Communist Party (for career reasons). A marathon runner with various hobbies but no genuine beliefs isn't the moral authority I expect to be associated with the symbol of the Czech statehood.
Mr Tomio Okamura, a half-Japanese half-Moravian boss of a travel agency born in Tokyo, is an interesting character. His candidacy wasn't quite serious at all times, I think, and he has endorsed Mr Miloš Zeman as the greatest personality against the candidates.
We've already sent our signatures to Miloš Zeman. He has already collected 60,000 signatures, more than 50,000 that are needed – the only one who has surpassed the threshold so far. Recent polls estimate him as the #2 guy after Fischer and his chances may be higher because many people who support folks like Fischer are doing so because they like the "greyest possible" folks (because they like to say they're disgusted by any politics, so the more invisible you are, the better – there are many voters of this kind) and they may decide not to go to the polls at the end.
In the 1980s, he's been working at the "maverick" Forecasting Institute (not far from Klaus at some moments) and he was rather brave during communism, too. He had been a member of the Communist Party but it was only during a short time around 1968 when the membership often signalled the member's support for the freedom, and not for communism. He left the party after the 1968 occupation.
After the Velvet Revolution, he revived the old Czechoslovak Social Democratic Party by overtaking it and bringing it from the 5% territory to the 30% territory. He's been a prime minister at some time – somewhat Reaganomics-oriented policies, despite his nominally social democratic membership. He would be the standardized "political foe" against Klaus. The battles would be intense, interesting, and partly staged. For quite some time, these two men had some respect for each other.
In recent years, when Zeman found himself in a permanent conflict with the social democratic party that he had left at some moment (the violency of the conflict fluctuated with the new leaders of the party but it never went away), he often supported Klaus. Klaus endorsed Zeman as the presidential candidate, too.
Zeman likes to offer his witticisms and they're often very witty, indeed. So many of us know lots of jokes about Klaus, Zeman, and Schiffer in the Hell or a monkey and Zeman in a spaceship or Zeman manages to circumvent George Bush Jr's smoking ban in the White House as an honorary citizen of Texas (the other famous economist, Dr Valtr Komárek, adds that another person had already been smoking and blowing in that Oval Office before, namely Monika Lewinski) – from Zeman himself – and many other things.
People interested in the climate debate may want to know that Zeman has said that Klaus was probably right on global warming; the claims about a dangerous global warming are bogus, a hysteria ignited by the green lobbyists. I would still like to see a more extensive speech by him on the topic but in 2010, he told the Mediafax agency:
Global warming is occurring for the 1,001st time in the human history and for the 1,000,001st time in the history of the planet. In the same way, we are witnessing the 1,001st global cooling in the human history and the 1,000,001st global cooling in the Earth's history. I consider the global warming theory to be a proposition arising from the human pride, i.e. the assertion that the mankind is capable of causing dramatic oscillations of the temperature on the Earth by its greenhouse gas emissions.An enthusiastic lover of Becherovka, a strong herbal alcoholic beverage from the Carlsbad, this "pensioner of the Vysočina Hills" (his occupation for a decade) has often commented on the local issues of the Czech politics. However, in recent years, he also found a "global topic" he really cares about – the Israeli-Muslim tension. Already when he was a prime minister, he would have compared Yasir Arafat to Adolf Hitler (Left-wing Israeli Haaretz had even asked him: "Are you comparing Arafat to Hitler??" Zeman calmly answered: "Of course, everyone who supports terrorism is a terrorist in my eyes."). He promoted the Israel now-Czechoslovakia 1938 analogy (together with the Sudetenland-Palestine analogy) and I think that many Czechs share this sentiment.
Wind and solar power plants are being generously subsidized by the taxpayers for the companies to make profit out of renewable energy sources. But no one manages to realize that while people need energy at all times but the Sun is only shining and the wind is only blowing sometimes, we need a network of brown coal, nuclear, and hydro plants. Investments to renewable sources are wasteful: if the politicians hadn't approved bills to subsidize these sources, no one would be building them.
Over at Vysošina Hills, I own a 16th century renaissance fortress that was built in a warm period. It was followed by the Little Ice Age. It follows that these cycles are alternating fully independently of the human activities.
The Greenland, which really means the green land, was covered by pastures in the 13th century. I reject the opinion that the small groups of Eskimos and Vikings had produced enough CO2 and other greenhouse gases to cause warming over there. Those 14 parishes over there later starved to death because global warming brough ice over there and no rescue team managed to get there in time.
More recently, he declared that NATO (and perhaps the EU) should try to invite Israel to become a member (I guess that the Israeli wouldn't be too happy about joining the EU, for various reasons, however) and to strengthen its position in the struggle against the Vast Anticivilization that is extended from North Africa to Indonesia and that is partly funded by drugs and partly funded by oil. He sees this conflict of ideas to be the primary conflict to keep in mind when it comes to organizing military alliances these days.
At any rate, Zeman is the only genuine political veteran among the candidates who has some "brand" and who is connected with some of the important events in the post-communist Czechoslovakia and Czechia. That's another reason why I view him as the best candidate because, make no doubts about it, I am surely not an example of the folks who think that good politics may be or should be faceless or "ideology-free".
Sorry, this text won't be proofread too much because the number of readers will be lower than it is for other texts.