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. Czech minister slams president over climate change

President Vaclav Klaus.
by Staff Writers
Prague (AFP) March 12, 2009
Czech Environment Minister Martin Bursik on Thursday slammed President Vaclav Klaus over his speech at last week's conference on climate change where he said the planet had been cooling for the past decade.

"I am sorry to say that in his public appearances Vaclav Klaus manifests a combination of activism and amateurism," said Green Party chairman Bursik, whose country holds the six-month European Union presidency.

Klaus, the author of a book on climate change called "Blue Planet, Green Shackles," frequently attends conferences on environmental issues worldwide, including last week's conference in California.

The ardent denier of global warming has accused environmentalists of endangering freedom, likening them to the communists who ruled his country for 40 years.

"It is clear to me that there is no way we can stop the president, but I consider it necessary to point out that he is a comic figure worldwide and is definitely damaging the Czech Republic and its international position," said Bursik.

"Unfortunately, Vaclav Klaus is often perceived as the representative of the Czech presidency," he added before leaving for Japan and the USA at the head of an EU delegation.

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Scientists must raise climate alarm: Lord Stern
Copenhagen (AFP) March 12, 2009
The economic impact of global warming has been grossly underestimated and scientists must warn that inaction will spell disaster, top economist and climate change expert Nicholas Stern said on Thursday.

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