New York, NY, March 5, 2009 – Among the world’s heads of state, none is more outspoken and confrontational on the issue of climate change than the president of the Czech Republic and the man serving a rotating term as president of the European Union, Vaclav Klaus.
The 67-year-old economist has declared, “The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy, and prosperity at the end of the 20th and at the beginning of the 21st Century is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism.”
President Klaus will give the keynote address Sunday, March 8 in New York City at the opening of the second International Conference on Climate Change, the world’s largest-ever gathering of global warming skeptics.
He is expected to develop the attack introduced in his recent book, Blue Planet in Green Shackles, where he argues that the debate over global warming has “become a symbol and example of the clash between truth and propaganda.” He makes the case that policies being proposed to address global warming are not justified by current science and are, in fact, a dangerous threat to freedom and prosperity around the world.
During the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January, President Klaus warmed up to his topic, and said, “I’m more afraid of the consequences of the (global warming) crisis than the crisis itself.”
He cited former U.S. Vice President Al Gore in particular: “Environmentalism and the global warming alarmism are challenging our freedom. Al Gore is an important person in this movement,” which he said is “radically constraining the functioning of the markets and market economy all around the world.”
James M. Taylor, senior fellow at The Heartland Institute, the organizer of the conference, said, “President Klaus is a human rights warrior and a true champion of basic human freedoms. His insight into the negative correlation between heavy-handed greenhouse gas restrictions and basic human freedoms will provide a sensational addition to the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change.”
Heartland Executive Vice President Dan Miller said, “All conference expenses will be covered by admission fees and individual and foundation donors to Heartland. No corporate dollars for the event were solicited or accepted. Co-sponsors of the event, numbering more than 55, did not pay a fee or make a donation to co-sponsor. The 25-year-old Heartland Institute has not received any money from the Koch or Scaife foundations in at least a decade.”
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