"I feel threatened now, not by global warming -- I don't see any -- (but) by the global warming doctrine, which I consider a new dangerous attempt to control and mastermind my life and our lives, in the name of controlling the climate or temperature."
Klaus, 70, who has twice been elected as Czech President and is its former prime minister, is one of the most important figures in post-communist Europe. His experiences under totalitarian rule have made him exquisitely alert to the erosion of democratic freedoms.
He said environmentalists had been arguing for decades that we should reduce our consumption of fossil fuels, using various farcical ploys from the exhaustion of natural resources to the threat of "imminent mass poverty and starvation for billions".
Those same environmentalists shamelessly talk now about dangerous global warming.
"They don't care about resources or poverty or pollution.
"They hate us, the humans. They consider us dangerous and sinful creatures who must be controlled by them.
"I used to live in a similar world called communism. And I know it led to the worst environmental damage the world has ever experienced."
Global warming alarmists "want to change us, they want to change our behaviour, our way of life, our values and preferences. They want to restrict our freedom because they themselves believe they know what is good for us. They are not interested in climate. They misuse the climate in their goal to restrict our freedom.
Therefore ...what is in danger is freedom, not the climate".
He described the parallels he sees between the loss of freedom under communism and the new global warming doctrine.
Under communism, "politics dictated the economics and dictated life. Our main ambition during the dark communist days was to change that and create an autonomous society and autonomous economic system with only a marginal role played by politics ... I am sorry to discover now politics dictates the economics again. And the global warming debate is the same story (in which) politicians dictate the issue".
... Almost simultaneously, in a Hobart casino, Greens senator Christine Milne was unilaterally announcing, on ABC-TV's Q&A show, that the Government would be conducting an inquiry into the section of the Australian media that she finds "extreme(ly) bias(ed) against action on climate change".
Milne's every illiberal pronouncement was greeted with applause by an audience that seemed full of tree huggers, bearded public servants and other recipients of government largesse, about the only growth industry left in Tasmania.