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February 7, 2009 / Mridul

Czech President Questions Global Warming, Attacks Al Gore’s Climate Campaign

Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who is also the current President of the European Union, has once again voiced his skepticism about global warming.

At an event at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, the Czech President said he doubts that global warming is actually occurring and that many scientists fail to consider alternative theories regarding the issue. He also attacked former US Vice President and environmental activist, Al Gore, of failing to look at the complete picture in regard to the global phenomenon.

The Czech President didn’t mince his words in questioning the legitimacy of the scientific community’s concerns regarding global warning.

I don’t think that there is any global warming, I don’t see the statistical data for that. I’m very sorry that some people like Al Gore are not ready to listen to the competing theories. I do listen to them.

Mr. Klaus would also be giving a keynote speech at a meeting of ‘global warming skeptics’ in New York. As the Czech President gets ready to take over the post of EU President it would be interesting to see if the European Union faces any hurdles in passing important policies regarding emissions control and use of renewable energy. The timing of his Presidency become even more crucial as EU prepares the agenda for the Copenhagen talks to discuss the fine print of the next climate treaty.

Given that the EU recently unveiled a new plan to curb greenhouse gas levels by 30% below 1990 levels by 2020 and provide billions of dollars in aid to developing countries, Klaus hardly seems like the man to lead the EU – even if it is only a largely ceremonial position. Brokering the compromises with countries like China and India that will be needed to ensure the success of the upcoming Copenhagen climate talks could be made needlessly more difficult.

It is highly unfortunate that instead of taking strong actions the world leaders are still debating if we really have a crisis at our hands. It is very important the world leaders join hands and act decisively to improve the state of the environment, control carbon emissions, ensure energy security and increase use of renewable energy.

It is time for action rather than questions. Mr. Klaus said that he is more concerned about the consequences of the actions that are being taken to reduce the global carbon emissions rather than the consequences of not acting to mitigate the adverse effects of the changing climate. According to a recent report the world would require only a percent of its GDP to reduce the carbon emissions.

World leaders, and skeptics especially, must understand that it’s not just about the rising temperatures or melting ice caps or record weather fluctuations around the globe. Investing in green technologies would not only create jobs and kick start the tanking economies but would also help countries to improve their air, water and land qualities – a recent study found that even the European countries do not meet the set air quality standards.

It’s an issue about energy security, one which Europe is very much aware of; it’s an issue of constant supply of food and water – many parts of the world are already suffering from severe water crisis add to that the numerous long-term drought warnings given by scientists some of which are already coming true and many experts believe that the recent food crisis was just a glimpse what the future holds for us.

Rising carbon emissions, which result in global warming, is only a part of the larger problem, the problem of over exploitation of nature and its resources. And now we have a chance to use an integrated approach through which we can tackle this problem. Investing in green technologies would

  • improve the air quality which would in turn increase the life expectancy.
  • help reduce our dependencies on imported fuel thus helping end the monopoly of few countries over vital resources.
  • help nature rejuvenate itself so that we can use it instead of abusing it and preserve it for our future generations.
  • help preserve the valuable biodiversity of our planet.
  • help us fighting natural disasters like floods, hurricanes.

The solutions to the problems we are facing today are simple but the most important thing is our will power to act and grab this opportunity to correct all the wrongs we have been committed through the over exploitation of the nature.

It is clearly evident that mankind it now testing the very limits of its environment’s carrying capacity. resources are being used at unprecedented pace which is not only generating tremendous amounts of waste but is also causing accelerated depletion of the natural resources. It is time that the world moves its basis of growth from fast depleting fossil fuels to the abundant and clean renewable resources.

This article was first posted on Red, Green and Blue (Green Options).

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