Common Tragedies

Thoughts on Environmental Economics

A mustached fox enters the EU henhouse

Posted by Rich Sweeney on December 30, 2008

Secretary of the interior candidate* Czech President Vaclav Klaus is set to take over the EU’s rotating Presidency at midnight tomorrow night. Pan Klaus is most famous these days for being the head of state most openly skeptical of policies to mitigate anthropogenic global warming, which he often likens to communism. For a taste, check out his 2008 Heartland speech and subtly titled book, Blue Planet in Green Shackles. Klaus sees himself as the heir to Reagan, and seems to define totalitarianism just as subjectively as Dutch did. During his presidency he has invoked defense of liberty to rail against the Lisbon treaty, gay marriage, Kosovoan independence, and puppies (yes, puppies). But I digress…..

I could go on all day about Klaus**, but I mainly just wanted to call CT reader’s attention to this ironic turn of the tables. With PEBO on the way, the environmental community has heralded the start of a new chapter in international climate negotiations. But at the same time that America looks poised to stand up and finally show some leadership on this issue, the main leader of the past decade, the EU, looks certain to stand down, at least for the next 6 months. There is hope though: Sweden’s up next.

* Random side note: Czechs are bizarrely fascinated with “Amerikan” frontier culture generally, and cowboy culture in particular. This fascination was glorified in a Czech movie called Lemonade Joe in the 60’s and even spawned a whole movement, called tramping. Thus its not uncommon to walk into a bar in a small Czech town and find people dressed like cowboys, with country music on the radio (that and Queen. There’s always Queen on the radio in CR).

** Full disclosure, Kluas defeated former professors of mine in both of his presidential victories: Jan Sokol and Jan Svejnar (a Michigan economist).

One Response to “A mustached fox enters the EU henhouse”

  1. Carlos Ferreira said

    Happily, it will only be 6 months of screaming around. Note: the power in the EU is more in the Commission’s hands than in the presidency; the commission won’t allow a random politician to wreck the work of years. The only thing this Presidency might do is delay any measure and decision to be put forward. The Czech’s are relatively happy, I expect; they got 12% of the proceeds from the ETS.

    Let’s just hope I’m not wrong.

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