Friday, August 21, 2009

Review of the Day: Blue Planet in Green Shackles

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Václav Klaus is the President of the Czech Republic, a former Prime Minister of the country, and an economist by training and profession. Given his position and background, he brings an informed and interesting perspective to the issue of global warming, which he sees as a conflict between statism and freedom.

Klaus witnessed firsthand the devastation – human, economic, and environmental – caused by communism. Based on these observations, he believes that the best hope for dealing with climate change is to allow technology and innovation to thrive so that future generations can adapt to whatever changes may come. Klaus is not talking through his hat. He has researched and written about climate change and other catastrophic scenarios from an economic standpoint since at least the early 1990s. He is also well versed in the hard science aspects of the debate.

His recent book, Blue Planet in Green Shackles is a culmination of decades of analysis. In Blue Planet, Klaus argues that global warming is an issue deserving a full and honest debate. He wants to see debate on questions such as: What is the real level of global warming likely to be? Is there evidence for or against significant human contribution to current global warming? Would a warmer climate be better or worse than the present one? Can we do something about climate? He shares his own answers to these questions, solidly supported by scientific and economic evidence.

Klaus makes clear that he is not “anti-environment”; just anti-environmentalism, which he sees as the newest form of megalomaniacal central planning at the expense of human freedom. He supports scientific study of the environment, which he calls “scientific ecology,” but explains, “Even though environmentalism boasts about its scientific basis, it is, in fact, essentially a metaphysical ideology . . .”

While a few passages on economic theory get a little dry, most of this short book is pitched at an introductory level to appeal to a broad range of readers who have probably not given Klaus’s take on the subject much consideration. He is direct, concise, and pulls no punches. It is worth reading, even if just to view the issues from a different perspective.  

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NOTES

This was my "green" pick for the Colorful Reading Challenge. .


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