It makes you wonder if José Maria Aznar is on the same planet as the rest of us. On Wednesday, Spain's former prime minister (1996-2004) declared in front of an audience of politicians and journalists that he opposed the “flag-bearers of the global warming Apocalypse (…) who seek to restrict individual liberties in the name of a noble cause… As the Communists did!”
From that, it is a short step to labelling ecologists as Stalinists or saying Greenpeace is the KGB of our day.
Aznar made his statements while presenting Czech President Vaclav Klaus's book For a blue planet – not green, published by the Foundation for Analysis and Social Studies, which he heads. The book is an open attack on the “theory” of climate change, which sweeps aside every scientific study on the urgency of the situation.
Vaclav Klaus will succeed Nicolas Sarkozy at the head of the European Union on January 1st 2009.
Several former high-ups in Spain's Popular Party who were sitting in the front row at the presentation clapped. One of them was Ana Botella, José Maria Aznar's wife, who currently works at Madrid City Hall as… the delegate for the Environment.
Several of those present were left open-mouthed. The El Pais journalist at the ceremony said Aznar “rejected all questions from the press”. Perhaps he was embarrassed: in 1998, it was Jose Maria Aznar himself who signed the Kyoto Protocol against global warming in Spain's name.
And it was in Valencia, Spain's third-largest city, that 3,000 scientists met last year at the invitation of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. There, they declared that climate change is an “undeniable” phenomenon, which is 90% due to Man's activities on Earth.