Wolfgang Mueller of the European Institute For Climate And Energy (EIKE) conducted an interview with Prof. em. Dr. Horst Malburg at the Gegenwind [Counter Wind] Conference at the German North Sea island of Sylt. A translation of the entire interview follows the video below:
Mueller: We are here on the island of Sylt at the conference “Gegenwind” and I have with me Professor Dr. Malberg from Berlin. Professor Malberg, what do you say about wind power with regards to the climate discussion?
Prof. Malberg: Wind power plants cannot be justified by the climate issue. I examined in detail what drives the climate and I looked at all the available data, from Europe, from USA, from Japan – all data were evaluated, and naturally the global data. It clearly shows that the climate is dominated by the sun, and then on top of that by the oceans, and then a little bit by the CO2 effect. I would estimate it has a magnitude of 10%, for Co2, and not more. More than 80% of the climate change is driven by the sun. That means relative to natural climate change, the influence by CO2 is very small, and so it does not justify any action for climate protection, where wind parks are built in order to save CO2. Sure you can do it, but it won’t have any impact on our climate, at least no real impact.
Mueller (1:33): Germany is a leader in installing wind-parks, and so are the German efforts sensible?
Prof. Malberg: It’s naturally a political decision, that’s clear. But it is also an economic decision because we know it is very expensive. And when we have to transmit the power from wind parks at the coast and into the country all the way to south Germany. Then it is going to be a very expensive transmission. Here at the conference we have seen that it is much cheaper to transport coal or oil than it is to transport electricity. And I believe one day there’s going to be an ugly awakening when we realize how expensive electricity has become.
Mueller (2:25): One reason we should expand wind energy, as you mentioned, is climate change. How true is it that yes, there always has been climate change, but the increase over the last years is especially frightening?
Prof. Malberg: That is in no way based on anything. That is really a huge myth. During the last 13 years, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen more than at any time since the last Ice Age, especially since the start of the Industrial Revolution. But since the last 10 to 12 years, we have not had any more global warming. The temperature has reached a plateau and has even shown a slight declining trend. That means that while CO2 has increased strongly, the temperature has not reacted at all.
Mueller (3:24): And what do you say to politicians and media who tell us every day to be active for the climate?
Prof. Malberg: My conclusion is one that is completely different: I say it is a basic human right to have clean air, clean water, uncontaminated soil and an ecological system that is intact. That means the highest priority is environmental protection. But humans do not have “a right to a stable climate”. That just does not exist. It never has existed. What is natural about the climate system is that it is not constant, it always changes. When people speak so often about species dying, then one has to address environmental protection, and not assign everything to climate protection, and to blame it all on a phantom. The temperature increase we have had over the last 150 years of about 0.7°C has occurred multiple times since the last Ice Age, and nature repeatedly withstood it. Today there would be no polar bears if nature was unable to cope in balancing out the natural temperature fluctuations.
Mueller (4:50): What can you take home [from this conference] here in Sylt?
Prof. Malberg: We’ve had an interesting spectrum here. We discussed the climate behaviour. We’ve discussed the clearly measured non-acceleration of sea level. Of course there is a natural sea level rise, but it has not accelerated. We’ve discussed legal topics here at this conference. And finally we have learned from an energy expert that if we go ahead with wind and solar energy, then we have to understand that these two forms of energy depend on the weather. The wind doesn’t always blow, and very often the sun doesn’t shine here. And building solar plants in the desert would mean huge losses of energy because of the long transmission distances. That means we looked at a very broad spectrum of issues that absolutely belong in the public debate.
Mueller (6:00): Professor Mahlberg, thank you for the discussion.
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Professor Dr. Horst Malberg is the former director of the Meteorological Institute at the Free University of Berlin and a member of the EIKE Committee. Further Reading: Prof Malberg’s analysis