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A new book on Czech climate skeptics

Lisa, Hawking, and TIME: Lisa Randall wrote an obituary in the Time magazine. Hawking managed to have fun in sex, black holes, space travel, and he has even saved a seat for Lisa Randall. The main thing she worries about is that because of Hawking's heritage, people will think that to be a great physicist, you need to be handicapped and you can't be e.g. a hot babe from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Did I understand it well, Lisa? ;-)
In 2011, I went to a café with Petr Vidomus who described himself as a humanities student at the Charles University who was working on a project "How the Czech climate skeptics bring the global Armageddon closer". At least that's how I understood it – despite his intense efforts to preserve a "neutral image". In 2014, we had some additional online exchanges.

Because of a new Facebook post by Alexander Ač, an occasional TRF commenter who has only gotten into the book through a comment by your humble correspondent, I have learned about a newly published book.

Because by now, I think that the author is a fanatical climate alarmist, I don't expect to receive a copy of the book that was written to convert our relative fame and hard work to his profits. The only decent human behavior of a climate alarmist that I have experienced in my life was the same Alexander Ač's exercise as a fair moderator of a 2009 debate between your humble correspondent and an old climate alarmist in the Slovak capital.

So I don't know whether I will ever see the book. Here is the abstract:

New book: Petr Vidomus: It will get warmer and things will be better
Subtitle: the Czech climate skepticism in the times of global risks

Climate change isn't a problem that the society should be seriously concerned about, claim folks like Václav Klaus, Ivan Brezina, or Luboš Motl. They consider the issue to be an inflated bubble whose purpose is to bring fat subsidies to the scientists and environmental activists. Who are the Czech climate skeptics and what strategies do they exploit to advance their vision? The book "It will get warmer and things will be better" is the first sociological analytical study into the active Czech climate skepticism. Its main part is a qualitative research of the resistance towards environmentalism and the mainstream climate science. It boils down to numerous interviews with Czech climate skeptics, climatologists, as well as officials of NGOs which were made between 2011 and 2014. The main finding is the insight that between 2007 and 2014, the Czech climate skeptical landscape underwent periods of variable intensity and dynamics. It was strongest in 2007-2008 when their organizational platform was composed of think tanks promoting a free-market approach to the environment. Under the supervision of then president Václav Klaus, the most famous climate skeptics were giving talks in Prague. Approximately since 2011, the climate lost its influence over the agendas of the right-wing think tanks and the topic was spread among several smaller organizations, visible individuals, and to the virtual space. Are Czechs a nation of climate skeptics? Is the global warming a problem that the society should wrestle with? Is Al Gore, or Václav Klaus right? What are the strategies employed by the Czech climate skeptics?

330 copies, 393 pages, February 2018

Comments by LM:

Quite an abstract. This guy is clearly an alarmist ideologue. Days ago, he promoted the book at an event hosted by Bedřich Moldan, a former minister of the environment whom I used to consider somewhat wise decades ago but I completely changed my mind a few years ago when I debated him in Prague. Moldan is a nutty green fanatic who just wanted to abuse his membership in ODS, a center-right party, to spread his delusions and paranoia to new places. But what I find amazing is how much time he needed to write a book like that. You may compare the speed with the speed with which Václav Klaus published his new book on the climate one year ago: Klaus was at least 10 times faster than Vidomus! (I have spent one intense day by reading to provide Klaus with extensive feedback.) That last interviews were taking place whopping 4 years ago. It's very clear that the book is already incredibly outdated, isn't it? The hype about the topic dropped in the whole world. Klaus is no longer a president, the people aren't frequently seen in the public scene. On the other hand, Richard Lindzen gave a talk in Prague last spring. Donald Trump won the elections and began to deconstruct the climate hysteria in the U.S.

By the way, Klaus was giving a climate talk in... Guatemala a few days ago. He's still there. In a postcard, he probably wanted me to give him some feedback but with all my enthusiasm towards Central America, I wouldn't really think it's needed. It would be a great surprise if the level of their interest and knowledge were at least comparable to those in Czechia – and even in Czechia, neither the interest nor the knowledge of the public are terribly strong.

I haven't read the book – and maybe I never will – but based on the data I can see, it would look utterly unfortunate to me if someone could get a degree for a book like that. This kind of "sociology" isn't a real science (not even "social science") or a credible scholarly discipline in general. People shouldn't be considered scholars if they just interview a couple of people from a "community" of any type – if they interview some people who actually know something and do something – and if they publish or reformat or trivially ideologically interpret the interviews after a 4-year-long hiatus. This kind of "sociology" is just a very mundane kind of journalism. As a scholarship, it would be derivative and parasitic. Universities can't allow the quality and depth of the disciplines to drop arbitrarily.

Jingle Bells, a Czech political edition

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