By Vaclav Klaus, President, Czech Republic‘
Today, I intend to discuss another “high and holy” issue. I want to speak about supposed devastating climate changes, about consequences of global warming and about our responses and reactions to them. Some people try – consciously or subconsciously – caricature people like me and accuse those of us, who dare to speak about it differently than is now politically correct, of talking about things we do not understand and are not experts on. They are wrong. People like me do not try to enter the field of climatology, do not try to better measure global temperature, and do not try to suggest alternative scenarios of the future global climate fluctuations (based on different, but equally speculative and unreliable forecasting models). In my argumentation I don’t talk about climatology but about environmentalism, about an ideology which puts nature and environment and their supposed protection and preservation before and above freedom.
We are rational and responsible people and know that we have to act when necessary. But we should know that a rational response to any danger depends on the size and probability of the eventual risk and on the magnitude of the costs of its avoidance. As a responsible politician, as an academic economist, as an author of a book about the economics of climate change, I feel obliged to say that – based on our current knowledge – the risk is too small and the costs of eliminating it too high. The application of the so called “precautionary principle,” advocated by the environmentalists, is – conceptually – a wrong strategy. Read more of his courageous talk here.
The BP oil company ads on television are, or should be, enough to make you never buy another drop of British-Petroleum gasoline. The farmer-type guy who stands there and talks about how wonderful it would be if you could grow a crop, convert it into fuel and put it in your tractor to plant next year’s crops is disingenuous, deceptive and disgusting. So is the ad that shows a kid, holding what looks like a sugar beet, talking about making fuel out of the thing he’s holding and replanting it year after year. BP airs these ads to suggest that it is working toward converting to this new “natural” fuel.
What a joke. If every acre of productive land in America were converted to growing corn, sugar beets or other so-called renewable fuel, it would not come close to meeting the demand. Moreover, it would essentially destroy the environment, since these crops are heavy feeders of both water and soil nutrients. It would force the importation of food from other countries, and the fuel product would cost more per gallon and deliver less energy than petroleum products.
This is the future BP’s ads suggest, but the company is not alone in its deception. Guru-in-chief Al Gore’s relentless tent-revival evangelism calls environmental sinners to the global warming altar to confess their carbon dioxide emissions and to seek baptism in ethanol and salvation in a Toyota Prius. Danger to the current generation lies with the hundreds, if not thousands, of misguided policy makers who have fallen under the spell of Gore’s charismatic religion. The folks who hold positions in state legislatures and in Congress can inflict major damage on the economy and the lifestyle of America, all the while thinking they are doing something good.
Gore’s global warming religion is reminiscent of the eugenics phenomenon in the 20th century. The elite of the scientific community, and well-to-do of the social set, embraced eugenics as the enlightened way to the perfect society. Skeptics were ridiculed, denounced and pointed to as the kind of scum that would be eliminated if eugenics became the official policy of government.
Gore whines about what he calls the “big oil” industry spending $10 million per year advancing their anti-global warming views. But he fails to mention that government and foundations are spending several billion – billion with a “B” – each year to promote their global warming religion.
Like the eugenics fiasco, in the end the truth will prevail. Science will prevail, and the nonsense preached by guru-Gore will be rejected in the same way eugenics was rejected. Gore’s global warming gospel will prove to be just as empty as was the global cooling gospel of the 1970s.
Hitler – and his eugenics advocates – were absolutely convinced that they were doing something good.
Read more here.
By Ben Elgin, Busines Week
Auden Schendler learned about corporate environmentalism directly from the prophet of the movement. In the late 1990s, Schendler was working as a junior researcher at the Rocky Mountain Institute, a think tank in Aspen led by Amory Lovins, legendary author of the idea that by “going green,” companies can increase profits while saving the planet. As Lovins often told Schendler and others at the institute, boosting energy efficiency and reducing harmful emissions constitute not just a free lunch but “a lunch you’re paid to eat.”
Inspired by this marvelous promise, Schendler took a job in 1999 at Aspen Skiing Co., becoming one of the first of a new breed: the in-house “corporate sustainability” advocate. Eight years later, it takes him six hours crisscrossing the Aspen region by car and foot to show a visitor some of the ways he has helped the posh, 800-employee resort blunt its contribution to global warming.
But at the end of this arid late-summer afternoon, Schendler is feeling anything but triumphant. He pulls a company sedan to the side of a dirt road and turns off the motor. “Who are we kidding?” he says, finally. Despite all his exertions, the resort’s greenhouse-gas emissions continue to creep up year after year. More vacationers mean larger lodgings burning more power. Warmer winters require tons of additional artificial snow, another energy drain. “I’ve succeeded in doing a lot of sexy projects yet utterly failed in what I set out to do,” Schendler says. “How do you really green your company? It’s almost f------ impossible.”
Read more here.