LONDON – Climate change is not a threat and the consequences of global warming will not be catastrophic, the President of the Czech Republic said on Tuesday.
Vaclav Klaus is a vocal sceptic on the topic of global warming. He published a book in 2007 in which he said global warming had turned into a new religion, an ideology that threatens to undermine freedom and the world's economic and social order.
"Global warming in the last 150 years was modest and future warming and its consequences will not be dangerous or catastrophic. It doesn't look like a threat we should respond to," he told a lecture in London on Tuesday.
"I don't see empirical evidence of human-caused global warming. I see so many mistakes in the methodology of science and modelling," he added.
Many analysts and scientists believe this year could be one of the warmest on record worldwide and the world's nations are trying to curb their greenhouse gas emissions based on scientific predictions of rising sea levels and temperatures.
In the first four months of 2010, land and ocean temperatures were 56 degrees Fahrenheit (13.3 C) and 1.24 F (0.69 C) above the 20th century average, the warmest on record in U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data.
However, public opinion has shown resistance to strong action to combat climate change, especially after a U.N. summit in Copenhagen last year failed to seal a global deal on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and scandals emerged surrounding climate science.
Klaus said the debate over the threat of climate change was biased, subject to propaganda and used by governments and lobbyists to earn more power for themselves.
Over the past 10,000 years, the world's climate has been much the same as at present, he argued.
"Average surface temperatures did not vary significantly. If there has been any long-term trend, it is an overall gentle cooling trend," the president said.
He denounced scientific institutions such as the UK's Royal Society which published a layman's guide to the science of climate change in September in the hope of clarifying confusion around the issue.
"I am not impressed by heavily biased British scientific institutions," he said.