Comment from Britain
For such a basic part of the economy and people’s lives, energy is a remarkably minor topic, politically speaking. The hacking scandal is interesting, but won't affect people's lives in a decade. Energy policy might.
Sadly, environmentalists have been given nearly a free rein in the field of energy policy, without much input from people concerned about the impact of anti-carbon regulations on the economy or poor people’s ability to pay. Note the constant lumping together of energy and climate change policy, as if these are just two sides of the same coin. This is a big mistake. As the “Rational Optimist” Matt Ridley argued in a superb piece for the Times last week (now on his blog, free for the world to read), the price of energy is fundamental to our economic wellbeing:
Cheap energy is the elixir of economic growth. It was Newcastle’s cheap coal that gave the industrial revolution its second wind — substituting energy for labour drove up productivity, creating jobs and enriching both producers and consumers. Conversely, a dear-energy policy destroys jobs. Not only does it drive energy-intensive business overseas; according to Charles Hendry, the Energy Minister, the average British medium-sized business will face an annual energy bill £247,000 higher by 2020 thanks to the carbon policy. That’s equivalent to almost ten jobs it must lose, or cannot create.
Let's accept that a low carbon economy is a desirable thing, but reject the apocalyptic hysteria that some push (without much scientific basis for doing so). That’s one desirable objective out of three or four others – including growing richer, making sure poor people can afford to heat their homes, and encouraging innovation in all sorts of fields. Is there a tension between the low carbon goal and the other ones? A bit, yes, but environmentalists are protesting a little too much when they emphasise carbon reduction over all other priorities.
A decent compromise already exists, and Britain is fortunate enough to have quite a lot of it: shale gas. Shale gas is cheap, efficient and low carbon compared to other fossil fuels. Conservative estimates say that there’s enough shale gas in the US to last at least fifty years. This video from Reason.tv explains some of the process by which shale gas is extracted from the ground – a process known as “fracking”. In this case we really can have our cake and eat it too: everybody should be happy.
But they’re not. Environmentalist groups have condemned fracking, on largely spurious grounds. Indeed, many were for it before they realised that it was an alternative to renewable energy, not a suppliment. Why? Because many in the environmentalist movement, particularly the more politically active ones, are more interested in controlling people's lives than in promoting a “clean” atmosphere. They are the new puritans, who want us to live "good" lives instead of rewarding ones. As a consequence, heavy-handed environmental regulations are making shale gas unviable in Britain. This needs to change so we aren't left behind.
Shale gas is a get-out clause for people who want cheap and clean energy, but it doesn't include the lifestyle changes that hardcore environmentalists want us to make. This is a point that’s been made plenty of times before. But the environmentalist movement's ludicrous opposition to shale gas exploitation underlines its true aims. Many of them don’t really care about the environment, they care about pushing people around. What a shame that, for political expediency, they’re being allowed to.
by Jeff Jacoby
DAVID AND VICTORIA BECKHAM were overjoyed by the birth last week of their fourth child, a baby girl they named Harper. "We all feel so blessed and the boys love their baby sister so much!!!" the former Spice Girl exulted to her vast following on Twitter. A few days later she posted a picture of her husband cradling his new daughter, with the tender comment: "Daddy's little girl!"
What heart wouldn't be warmed by the Beckhams' delight in their newborn?
The Observer's wouldn't. In a remarkably churlish article on Sunday, Britain's influential left-leaning newspaper (The Observer is The Guardian's sister Sunday paper) pronounced Harper's parents "environmentally irresponsible" for choosing to bring her into the world. Headlined "Beckhams a 'bad example' for families," the piece was a sour blast at parents who raise good-sized families. "One or two children are fine but three or four are just being selfish," Simon Ross, executive director of the Optimum Population Trust, told reporter Tracy McVeigh. "The Beckhams . . . are very bad role models with their large famil[y]."
McVeigh also quoted natural-history broadcaster David Attenborough, who recently "made a passionate speech about how the world's baby-making was damaging the planet." Fifty years ago there were 3 billion human beings, Attenborough had lamented. "Now there are almost 7 billion . . . and every one of them needing space. There cannot be more people on this Earth than can be fed."
Has there ever been a more persistent and popular superstition than the idea that having more kids is a bad thing, or that "overpopulation" causes hunger, misery, and hopelessness? In the 18th century, Thomas Malthus warned that human population growth must inevitably outstrip the food supply; to prevent mass starvation, he suggested, "we should sedulously encourage the other forms of destruction," such as encouraging the spread of disease among the poor. In the 20th century, Paul Ehrlich wrote bestsellers with titles like The Population Bomb, in which he described the surging number of people in the world as a "cancer" that would have to be excised through "many apparently brutal and heartless decisions." (His list included sterilization, abortion, and steep tax rates on families with children.)
Just last month, Thomas Friedman avowed in his New York Times column that "The Earth Is Full," and that "we are currently growing at a rate that is using up the Earth's resources far faster than they can be sustainably replenished."
Thomas Malthus got it wrong on population growth more than two centuries ago. His intellectual heirs continue to get it wrong today.
For more than 200 years the population alarmists have been predicting the worst, and for more than 200 years their predictions have failed to come true. As the number of men, women, and children in the world has skyrocketed -- from fewer than 1 billion when Malthus lived to nearly 7 billion today -- so has the average person's standard of living. Poverty, disease, and hunger have not been eradicated, of course, and there are many people in dire need of help. But by and large human beings are living longer, healthier, cleaner, richer, better-educated, more productive, and more comfortable lives than ever before.
The Malthusians are wrong. When human beings proliferate, the result isn't less of everything to go around. The planet doesn't run out of food and fuel, minerals and metals. On the contrary, most resources have grown cheaper and more abundant over the past couple centuries -- in tandem with rising population.
The explanation is no mystery. Yes, more babies mean more mouths and therefore more consumption. But more babies also mean more minds and arms and spines -- and therefore more new ideas, more energy, more ingenuity, more initiative, more enterprise. "Human beings do not just consume, they also produce," writes George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan in a new book. "The world economy is not like a party where everyone splits a birthday cake; it is more like a potluck where everyone brings a dish."
It is a beautiful and uplifting insight, but the population misanthropes never seem to grasp it: Human beings, on the whole and over time, usually create more than they destroy. With more people tend to come more progress and more prosperity. That's why the birth of virtually any baby is cause to rejoice, and why parents who decide to raise another child bestow a gift on all of us. To be fruitful and multiply, says Genesis, is to be blessed. The parents of Harper Beckham know that, even if The Observer doesn't.
Warmists Go Harold Camping On Us
As the entire country finds itself mired in the grip of heat patterns associated with a bizarre and unpredictable weather phenomenon known as "summer," the global warming crowd has launched yet another media offensive in its desperate attempt to keep its money-making, power-consolidating scam alive. These neo-Marxists of the so-called climate change movement, while careful to keep their "Green is the New Red" t-shirts hidden in the closet, are unabashedly employing the timeless strategy of all radical revolutionaries to never let a crisis go to waste.
Seizing upon every natural disaster that occurs as proof that their High Priest of Doom, Al Gore, is indeed the oracle that the media has declared him to be, these Warmers shamelessly exploit death and destruction like it's their spiritual gift.
Former Democrat Senator Tim Wirth, now heading up a lovely little left-wing operation started by Ted Turner called the UN Foundation, said, "The flooding and forest fires in the United States this year are evidence of 'the kind of dramatic climate impact' climate change models have predicted." Now, I suppose that would be pretty compelling if it weren't for the fact that those climate change models have been designed to predict any conceivable weather eventuality, thus producing a circular, self-validating illogic that only numbskulls and the petulantly dishonest would tout.
In other words, Tim, when your climate change models predict floods and droughts, aggressive hurricane outbreaks and no hurricanes, tornadic winds and breezeless calm, mild to hot summers and mild to cold winters, you have concocted a phony charade where you can claim you were right regardless of what occurs. That isn't science. It's snake oil. And it's one of the major reasons why the global warming movement has become such a joke.
Al Gore and his band of merry men, once championed as the clarions of contemporary science, now seem better-suited for a cartoonish YouTube video set to Katy Perry's anthem "Hot and Cold." And that reality doesn't seem to be sitting too well with them. Just weeks after avowed Warmer, and Sydney Morning Herald columnist, Richard Glover suggested that conservative climate realists who don't believe in destroying industrial economies simply to benefit Al Gore's retirement fund "have their opinions forcibly tattooed on their bodies," Wirth went a step further, calling for "an aggressive program to go after those who are among the deniers." Given their increasing hostility and choice to flood their language with Holocaust imagery, how long will it be until one of these eco-fascists proposes a "final solution" to the denier problem?
In their defense, I suppose branding or exterminating climate realists may be the last hope this flailing movement has of holding its membership. After all, their commitment to honest science certainly won't help that cause. It is becoming increasingly known that manipulating data to support a political end is a favorite pastime of the Warmers. The most recent example of this unseemly habit surfaced when the University of Colorado's Sea Level Research Group was caught adding 0.3 millimeters of height to its sea level calculations every year. When called on this flagrant abuse of the data, Steve Nerem (the group's director) explained that they pad the numbers because "land masses, still rebounding from the ice age, are rising and increasing the amount of water that oceans can hold."
But wait a minute...if land masses are rising, why does it matter if the oceans hold more water? Even if it increases their depth, it doesn't bring on the cataclysmic concerns of drowning coastlines, engulfed cities, and receding ocean fronts that the Goreian prophecies entail. That inconvenient truth was noticed by climate scientist John Christy, from the University of Alabama, who commented, "To me...sea level rise is what's measured against the actual coast. That's what tells us the impact of rising oceans."
Growing awareness of these types of manipulations, coupled with the outrageous hypocrisy of the global warming crowd's leading voices, have caused more and more rational minds to understand how little this movement has to do with the environment, and how much it has to do with controlling energy -- the key to achieving the Marxist goal of controlling people, businesses, economies, and therefore countries.
For the true eco-warriors (those named Skye or Storm, who live in grass huts, chain themselves to trees and drink only the dew that accumulates in leafy vegetation), the reality that their cause has been hijacked by a bunch of usurping globalists has to be disappointing. But while they can't count on liberals like Al Gore or the New York Times' resident Warmer Tom Friedman to practice what they preach, they can at least count on them coming up with fantastic forecasts of doom that scare the ignorant into submission.
It's oddly humorous that the same radical leftists who mock religious fundamentalists for their prophecies of an impending Armageddon rely on the same tactics to generate their own converts. After all, the line separating Harold Camping's prediction of Jesus' time-zone-compliant Second Coming in May, and Tom Friedman's hysterical hyperbole that "we never know when the next emitted carbon molecule will tip over some ecosystem and trigger a nonlinear climate event -- like melting the Siberian tundra and releasing all of its methane, or drying up the Amazon or melting all the sea ice in the North Pole in summer" is razor-thin.
If one's a nut, so is the other.
Green jobs again: Electric Car Maker Folds, town Loses $500,000
A Salinas car manufacturing company that was expected to build environmentally friendly electric cars and create new jobs folded before almost any vehicles could run off the assembly line.
The city of Salinas had invested more than half a million dollars in Green Vehicles, an electric car start-up company. All of that money is now gone, according to Green Vehicles President and Co-Founder Mike Ryan.
The start-up company set up shop in Salinas in the summer of 2009, after the city gave Ryan a $300,000 community development grant.
When the company still ran into financial trouble last year, the city of Salinas handed Ryan an additional $240,000. Green Vehicles also received $187,000 from the California Energy Commission.
Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue said he was "surprised and disappointed" by the news. City officials were equally irked that Ryan notified them through an email that his company had crashed and burned.
Salinas Economic Development Director Jeff Weir said Green Vehicles flopped because of a lack of investors. Donohue said he will work with the state to try to get at least $240,000 back from the now-defunct company.
Last year, Salinas city officials said they were excited about Green Vehicles moving from San Jose to Salinas because they wanted to turn Salinas into a hub for alternative energy production. City leaders wooed Green Vehicles to jump-start the sputtering local company and turn Salinas into an "electric valley." Donohue and Weir both voiced their high hopes for Green Vehicles.
The start-up company promised city leaders that it would create 70 new jobs and pay $700,000 in taxes a year to Salinas. Green Vehicles was supposed to be up and running by March 2010 inside their 80,000-square-foot space at Firestone Business Park off of Abbot Street.
Ryan had lofty goals, listing his company's mission as: "To make the best clean commuter vehicles in the world; To manufacture with a radical sense of responsibility; To engage in deep transparency as an inspiration for new ways of doing business."
Green Vehicles designed two vehicles, the TRIAC 2.0 and the MOOSE, which it planned to manufacture.
On July 12, Ryan wrote a blog post announcing that his company was closing. "The truth is that not realizing the vision for this company is a huge disappointment," Ryan wrote.
Ryan outlined three mistakes he made while steering his company into a brick wall. All three reasons boiled down failing to generate enough capital.
Vermont Yankee bid to stay open denied
Owner fights state over plant’s future
A federal judge said yesterday he would not order that Vermont’s only nuclear plant be allowed to remain open while a lawsuit to determine its long-term future plays out.
The state is moving to close the Vermont Yankee plant, with both the governor and the state Senate on record as wanting it to close when its initial 40-year license expires next March.
The plant’s owner, New Orleans-based Entergy Corp., got a 20-year license extension for Vermont Yankee from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission and filed a lawsuit arguing that the federal action preempts the state’s effort to close the plant.
Last month, Entergy went to court asking for a preliminary order allowing it to stay open while the underlying lawsuit works its way through the courts, possibly all the way to the US Supreme Court. In Monday’s order, Judge J. Garvan Murtha said there was no need for such an order because the main trial in the case is scheduled for mid-September, only eight weeks away.
“The motion is denied, because Entergy has failed to show that any irreparable harm it may incur between now and a decision on the merits’’ of its lawsuit, Murtha wrote.
During two days of hearings in late June, Entergy lawyers and witnesses told Murtha that they needed a decision on the preliminary injunction by July 23 so the company could order the specially fabricated nuclear fuel it needs to load into the reactor core during a refueling outage set for October.
Entergy lawyer Kathleen Sullivan told the judge the plant would be likely to close, rather than spend $60 million on fuel while facing an uncertain future.
After Murtha’s decision yesterday, the company would say only that it was disappointed and would be considering its options in the coming days.
GREENIE ROUNDUP FROM AUSTRALIA
Iemma predicts carbon calamity
FORMER NSW premier Morris Iemma has become the most senior Labor figure to oppose Julia Gillard's carbon tax. Mr Iemma says the carbon tax that forms federal Labor's platform for re-election in 2013 is environmentally marginal, economically costly and likely to lead Labor to a historic electoral train wreck. "One thing is sure -- it won't change the world, but it could change the government," Mr Iemma told The Australian.
Mr Iemma accused the Gillard government of betraying the Hawke-Keating legacy of economic reform, instead embracing the environmental policies of the Greens' agenda. "We embraced economic growth, and the benefits of economic growth, in the Hawke-Keating era, but we're fighting this battle on the Greens' turf, not our turf. Bob Brown wants to replace the Labor Party as a major party."
Mr Iemma accepted the science of climate change. "Yes, we should take action, but we should not get so far out in front that we injure ourselves," he said. He rejected the government's view that Australia's carbon tax was similar in scope to actions being taken by other countries. "Every day there are reports of growth and development in China, its growth in emissions will far outstrip our total emissions," Mr Iemma said. "The carbon tax at best reduces the rate of increase of emissions slightly."
Mr Iemma said the Greens had wielded excessive influence on the government's policies, pointing to the $10 billion Clean Energy Fund, which excludes carbon capture and storage. "We ought to be fighting the Greens on the Left with Labor environmental policies and Labor economic policies, not on the Greens' terms. We've adopted a policy which is part of the Greens' agenda. "And the Greens' agenda is anti-growth and anti-investment. Lower growth and lower investment lead to lower incomes and fewer jobs."
Mr Iemma said the sidelining of federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson was "quite disgraceful". "We should always be standing shoulder to shoulder with steelworkers and miners and factory workers before we stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Bob Brown and Christine Milne," he added. "One of the reasons previously rusted-on Labor voters are parking themselves somewhere else is that we've confused our identity."
Mr Iemma said that NSW would be particularly hurt by the carbon tax in smelting, steelworks and manufacturing in western Sydney. "Voter reaction ranges from unease and uncertainty to outright hostility. I went down a coalmine myself recently and all the guys I spoke to were uncertain of their futures."
Mr Iemma said the NSW Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme, instituted by his predecessor Bob Carr and extended while Mr Iemma was premier, offered federal Labor a far more effective, practical and reasonable template than the carbon tax.
The scheme has resulted in 80 million tonnes of carbon abatement at relatively little cost and without substantial economic dislocation. "The NSW government started with a policy to constrain emissions, not an ideological position to constrain growth."
Mr Iemma's comments reflect the growing dismay of many Labor politicians in private. It also demonstrates a particular bitterness in NSW that Ms Gillard's February announcement of a carbon tax -- breaking an election promise -- made NSW Labor's March election defeat much heavier than it would have been.
He is the most senior Labor figure to come out publicly against the carbon tax and his comments represent a devastating setback for the government.
Carbon price battle is lost, say experts
Political experts believe the battle to sell the carbon tax to the Australian public has been lost and the Prime Minister can do nothing to change voters' minds on the issue.
A poll by ReachTel has shown a week of public campaigning on the climate change reform by Julia Gillard has failed to sway voter opinion on the tax in the past seven days.
Despite the issue dominating the news cycle for the past week, support for the carbon tax (32.4 per cent) remained 28.6 points behind support against the reform (61 per cent) over the past seven days.
Reader in politics at the University of Queensland Ian Ward said the public had made their minds up on the issue and any effort to sell the tax was "a lost cause".
"This is an issue that voters have made their minds up on and even if a significant chunk of the electorate moved in favour there is still going to be substantial antagonism and opposition to the government and its policy," he said.
"So a government advertising campaign and some explanation in the media, it's really not likely to fundamentally change the government's position in the polls."
Dr Ward said the tax was being used as a fulcrum for wider resentment and anger towards the Labor government over failures to manage past problems such as the asylum seeker issue.
"It's not as if the carbon tax issue has damaged the government, the government was damaged when it took up this issue," he said. "This is an issue on which opinion is entrenched, it's an issue which is a touchstone for much wider resentment of the Labor government. "Some advertising about the carbon tax, some explanation that it is not as threatening as its opponents have made it out to be is not going to placate more than a small percentage of the electorate."
Political communication lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology Wayne Murphy said the prime minister had been most effective selling the tax in the past week by providing everyday examples of the tax's effect for audience members on Q&A.
He said if the government could put up another politician, such as former ACTU secretary Greg Combet, to simplify the issue for the public, they may be able to make inroads.
"Generally people don't want to think too much about complex issues, they'd rather try and boil things down into simple terms which is what Tony Abbott has been able to do with his 'great big new tax' line," he said. "This is an issue where if you do want to understand it, you do need to understand the sorts of detail that people just don't want to know."
The poll also revealed 58.3 per cent of people said they were less likely to vote for the government on the basis on the carbon tax announcement.
Mr Murphy said the government would likely be relying on the opposition to make costly mistakes in the lead-up to the next election to make up ground on the Coalition. "The best luck the ALP could have is Tony Abbott reverts back to his old form and implode at some stage by making a big gaffe or really contradicting himself," he said.
Dr Ward said the government's only option was to 'tough out' the opposition to the tax. "When it is passed as an issue I think some of the steam will come out of it and the government will move on to other things," he said.
Respect the science and don't call CO2 a pollutant
By Ziggy Switkowski (Ziggy Switkowski is chancellor of RMIT University)
WHY do we allow our political leaders and the commentariat to refer to carbon dioxide as a pollutant instead of a greenhouse gas? Some time ago, politicians or their advisers decided a clever way to frame the climate change debate was to label carbon dioxide as a pollutant: hence the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
Of course, in 2015 our government proposes to move to an emissions trading scheme, which has a better resonance than a pollution trading scheme, were they to be consistent. I believe in the science of climate change and the role of greenhouse gas emissions, particularly CO2, from household and industrial use of fossil fuels. But I am offended by the manipulation of the argument by deliberately coding CO2 as a pollutant, which it is not, and implying some environmental agenda where there is none.
When fossil fuels such as coal, gas and petrol are burned, there are a number of by-products.
Particulate matter that is not filtered from exhausts and escapes from smokestacks is polluting and contributes to smog and serious respiratory and other community health problems, such as widely experienced in China with its many coal-fired power stations and old technology. Paradoxically, particle emissions contribute to global cooling but are definitely pollution.
Gases such as nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide arising from the combustion of coal can cause acid rain; they also are pollution.
Water vapour, as seen billowing from the hyperboloid cooling towers much favoured by photo editors, is not pollution unless we include clouds and rain in that definition, which few do.
Carbon dioxide, which is produced in great quantities also, but is colourless and normally benign, is not a pollutant. It is a greenhouse gas which, as its concentration increases in the atmosphere, contributes to the warming of the planet. It is a greenhouse gas, not a pollutant, in the context of climate change.
CO2 is necessary to plant life and in regulating our temperature and climate. The level of CO2 prior to the industrial revolution in the 1700s was about 280 parts per million in the atmosphere and no one believes that level was excessive. Today that level is about 390ppm and CO2 has become a pollutant. At what level did this change of status occur and in which decade or generation?
Many cold regions in the northern hemisphere welcome global warming. Think of Scotland, parts of Scandinavia, Russia, Canada. To them, increasing CO2 is not a problem. Is it possible for CO2 to be a pollutant in the southern hemisphere but beneficial in large parts of the north? What previously unknown principle of chemistry is at work here, which changes the character of a molecule depending on location?
Here is another matter that unsettles me. Why are smelters where aluminium is refined labelled as dirty polluters? One doesn't see chimneys or stacks at a smelter. Few emissions arise from the industrial site and no atmospheric pollution.
The answer appears to be that smelting is a very high user of electricity: at present about 11 per cent of national electricity consumption. Aluminium is known as congealed electricity.
There is an argument that energy intensive industries helped supercharge our economy and standard of living through the decades. But they are now unfashionable because of the pollution label, and because of a political ideology that affordable energy will not be the basis of our modern economy. But is it right, fair or sensible that input electricity is demonised with the pollution brand?
Do we label pharmaceutical companies as drug dealers because some of their pain killers are made from heroin, a nasty product if abused?
Is my granddaughter an environmental vandal because she "contaminates" eight nappies a day destined for landfill. Who dares call babies polluters?
If your energy hungry plasma television is bigger than mine, are you a polluter?
Finally, our 2050 greenhouse gas reduction target smoothly and uncritically has shifted from -60 per cent to -80 per cent. I guess one fanciful goal is as good as another. But now we have the Greens talking about -100 per cent, that is, taking all carbon out of our system. With goodwill, I assume this is hypothetical, a conversation starter perhaps?
So why stop there? Let's aim for -150 per cent by 2050. That means taking out more greenhouse gas than we produce, perhaps remedying generations of excessive emissions by our reckless ancestors and righting a historic wrong. The techniques to do this are being developed. Early on we can dedicate more acreage to planting more trees and so on, perhaps reclaiming land from people and putting pressure on us to reduce our habitat and population. Eventually, technology will arrive to remove greenhouse gas from the atmosphere and oceans and, as a (temporarily) rich country we've the means to fund such efforts and do even more than our fair share.
Of course, if half of our planned greenhouse gas reduction arises from purchasing carbon credits offshore, then it's just a question of money. Why stop at half?
Here's my simple summary of our present energy strategy: no coal, no gas, no nuclear -- no clue.
Alarmism a danger to democracy: Vaclav Klaus
FALLS in European carbon emissions can be attributed to an economic slowdown rather than the EU's emissions trading scheme, Czech President Vaclav Klaus says.
Mr Klaus arrives in Australia today to talk on climate change in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in a tour organised by the Institute of Public Affairs.
"The relationship between economic activity and carbon emissions is very strong and very stable," the former economist told The Australian.
Mr Klaus believes some slowing down of carbon emissions trends in Europe was more influenced by the global financial crisis than the European ETS.
The President applies economic reasoning to put climate change in perspective. "Any rational economist must always stress the standard cost-benefit analysis instead of precautionary principle used by global warming alarmists. The costs of fighting the climate will be much higher than the costs of potential global warming -- if there will be any -- in the foreseeable future."
Mr Klaus, who entered public life in 1989 when he and colleagues volunteered their services to the leaders of Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution against the communist regime imposed in the aftermath of World War II, warns that climate change is being used as a political weapon by the Left. "I do not believe in the innocence of global warming alarmists," he said. "They do not care about the environment, they just misuse it in their crusade, which aims at limiting our freedom and prosperity.
"I don't want to make cheap comparisons of their ideology with communism, but I do see many similarities . . . It is a new variant for the activist political Left, and I spent all my life fighting such a political thinking because I lived in such a political system."
Mr Klaus fears the climate change debate is leading to the politicisation of science.
And he is amazed at the comment by activist Clive Hamilton that climate change may demand "the suspension of democratic processes". "We have heard many times in the past, especially in the tragic moments of the 20th century, words like 'suspension of democratic processes' in the name of 'higher values, goals, ideas'." Communism was a typical example, he said. "We have to insist there is no trade-off between democracy and concrete goals."
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