H. E. Václav Klaus, President of Czech Republic, Luncheon, 5/27
Wharton Club members & guests invited to
Luncheon, National Press Club:
Vaclav Klaus, president, Czech Republic, will focus on environment & new book
"Blue Planet in Green Shackles - What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?"
Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, will focus on the environment when he addresses the National Press Club at a Speaker Luncheon on Tuesday, May 27.
His NPC appearance coincides with the publication date of his new book, "Blue Planet in Green Shackles - What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?" Complimentary copies of the book will be available to luncheon attendees, following the program; the author will stay on to autograph the books.
In the book, Klaus writes: "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."
Klaus has been Czech president since 2003. Earlier, he served as finance minister and prime minister, presiding over the post-communist separation of the Czechoslovak Federation into the modern Czech and Slovak Republics. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Czech Academy of Sciences.
When: Tuesday, May 27, 2008, 12:00-2:00 p.m.
--Reception from 1200-1220
Lunch from 12:30-1:00 p.m.
--1:00 - 2:00 p.m.: The speaker's remarks and Q&A from the audience.
Please call Alan Schlaifer at 301-365-8999 if you'd to be able to attend the reception (if there is one) from 12-1230 pm with the speaker. (No guarantee, but early sign up helps).
Where: National Press Club, Ballroom, 13th Floor, 14th & F Streets, N.W., just two blocks from Metro Center
Metro, Parking: Metro Center; several private garages within a few blocks.
Attire: Business (dry, not wet, suit) or business leisure
More info (from Wikipedia.org):
Václav Klaus (pronounced [ˈvaːtslaf ˈklaʊ̯s]; born 19 June 1941) is the second President of the Czech Republic and a former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic (1992 – 1997). He is co-founder of the Civic Democratic Party, one of the Czech Republic's major political parties.
Klaus grew up in the Vinohrady neighborhood of Prague and graduated from the University of Economics, Prague in 1963; he also spent some time at universities in Italy (1966) and Cornell University in the United States (1969).
The Czech Presidential election of 2008 differed from past ones in that the voting was on the record, rather than by secret ballot. This was a precondition demanded by most of the Czech political parties, but long opposed by Klaus' Civic Democratic Party (ODS).
Klaus' main opponent was the pro-European, University of Michigan economics professor and naturalized United States citizen Jan Švejnar.Green Party, gaining the support of the leading opposition Czech Social Democratic Party, a smaller part of KDU-ČSL8 and 9 February 2008 resulted in no winner after three rounds. Klaus led in those rounds, but barely failed to achieve the requisite majority from the assembly as a whole. Švejnar won the lower chamber of the legislature, while Klaus had majority in the Senate. He was nominated by and most independent Senators. The first ballot on
The second ballot on Friday 15 February 2008 brought with it a new candidate — MEP Jana Bobošíková, nominated by the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia. However, she withdrew her candidacy before the election itself, because she didn't achieve any wider support. The first and second rounds of this new ballot ended with similar results to the previous weekend. However, Klaus consistently had 141 votes from the whole legislature throughout all three rounds. Thus in the third round, where the only goal is to achieve a majority of all legislators present from both houses, Klaus barely won. Švejnar received 111 votes, the Communists voting for neither.
Although the Presidency is not directly elected by the citizenry of the Czech Republic, several public opinion polls taken in the run-up to the final ballot suggested a level of ambiguity among the Czechs. Opinion seemed to sway from narrowly supporting Švejnar in January, to a dead heat, and finally to narrowly supporting the incumbent a day before the first ballot was held.
Klaus' re-election was partially the result of three Social Democrats breaking with their party, tipping the election towards Klaus. Supporters of both candidates accused the other side of using threats and significant financial inducements to influence the outcome. These allegations remain unproven.
Klaus' first term as President concluded on Friday 7 March 2008; he took oath for the second term on the same day so as not to create a president-less interregnum since the Parliament could not otherwise come to a joint session before the following Tuesday. Thus he lost the day of overlap and his second term will end on 6 March 2013.
Dispute of global warming
Klaus is a vocal critic of the notion that any global warming is man-made (anthropogenic). "Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so." He has also criticized the IPCC climate panel as a group of politicized scientists with one-sided opinions and one-sided assignments. He has said that other top-level politicians do not expose their doubts about global warming because "a whip of political correctness strangles their voices."
In addition he says "Environmentalism should belong in the social sciences" along with other "isms" such as communism, feminism, and liberalism. President Klaus said that "environmentalism is a religion" and, in an answer to the questions of the U.S. Congressmen, a "modern counterpart of communism" that seeks to change peoples' habits and economic systems.
In an article for Financial Times, Klaus called ambitious environmentalism "the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economyprosperity", hinted that parts of the present political and scientific debate on the environment are suppressing freedom and democracy, and asked for readers opposing the term "scientific consensus", saying that "it is always achieved only by a loud minority, never by a silent majority". He had a online Q&A session following the article. He wrote that "Environmentalism, not preservation of nature (and of environment), is a leftist ideology.... Environmentalism is indeed a vehicle for bringing us socialist government at the global level. Again, my life in communism makes me oversensitive in this respect." He reiterated these statements at a showing of Martin Durkin's The Great Global Warming Swindle organised by his think tank CEP in June 2007, becoming the first head of state to endorse the film. In an interview with BBC World he called the interviewer "absolutely arrogant" for claiming that a scientific consensus embracing the bulk of the world had been reached on climate change and said that he was "absolutely certain" that people would look back in 30 years and thank him. and
At a high-level event on climate change at the United Nations Klaus spoke of his disbelief in global warming, calling for a second IPCC to be set up to produce competing reports, and for countries to be left alone to set their priorities and prepare their own plans for the problem.