Crisis, what crisis?

March 27th, 2007
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It’s gratifying to see that, despite the best efforts of some, there is still a debate about climate change going on. The U.S. Congress had a real point-counterpoint going on when they invited Al Gore AND Czech president Václav Klaus to testify before them.

Klaus, who proves half the axiom that all Czech politicians must have German names (and conversely, all Austrian politicians must have Slavic names), was reported even more favourably in the Czech press. Here’s a sample quote:

“Czech president Václav Klaus has said he thinks environmentalism is now a greater threat to freedom and democracy than communism. Responding to questions on the issue of climate change from members of the U.S. House of Representatives energy and commerce committee, Mr Klaus warned against the “threat of ambitious environmentalism”. He said it was an “ideology” based on “spreading fear and panic” which was attempting to introduce a global, centrally planned economy akin to Marxism. Mr Klaus had been asked to give his views on climate change ahead of a US congress hearing on the issue this Wednesday. The hearing should also include a contribution from former US Vice-President Al Gore among others.”

By contrast, as serious a magazine as Sports Illustrated weighed into the climate imbroglio a couple of weeks ago. Showing a baseball player in a stadium half filled with water – representing the prospective sea level rise expected with a warmer Earth – the mag is perhaps trolling for gravitas. Too bad they didn’t split the difference by having the swimsuit models up to their calves in rising seas.

But seriously, the debate rages on, sometimes literally. An impressive example of this was an actual debate of climate change luminaries hosted by NPR. The outcome – with the “climate change deniers” impressively swaying the crowd – shows why one side has consistently insisted the debate is over. They are afraid that, if a debate is even allowed, they will lose. And lose they did. Find and download the transcript here.

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