Yesterday I wrote here and here on how the junior partner (the FDP) of Angela Merkel’s coalition government has moved to block the re-appointment of Prof. Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber as the Chairman of the WBGU advisory council for another 4-year term.
WBGU advisory committee: Left to right: Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (Chairman), Inge Paulini (General Secretary), Claus Leggewie, Sabine Schlacke, Stefan Rahmstorf, Renate Schubert, Jürgen Schmid, Reinhold Leinfelder, Dirk Messner (Vice Chairman). Source: wbgu.de/beirat/.
The WBGU directly advises Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government on matters concerning environment and climate. It has ten members – all of them leading professors from various fields.
The FDP party, coalition partner of Merkel’s government, is growing increasingly dissatisfied with the direction and views of the influential WBGU advisory council, and apparently has decided that a major overhaul is long overdue. As Spiegel wrote yesterday, read here, the WBGU has become only a circle of Schellnhuber’s friends where debate on climate issues is unwelcome. The members of the WBGU are alarmists and are demanding that the government take drastic steps to curb CO2 – advice that the business friendly FDP classic liberal party finds inappropriate and increasingly off the wall. The FDP controls the Ministry of Economics, and it is that very Ministry that refuses to approve the re-appointment of the current board. The FDP party is seeking an overhaul, demanding fresh faces and ideas.
The approaching demise of the Schellnhuber and the current WBGU may have been in the works for a long time. The advisory council seemed to meander off from reality, and advocated naive plans that made no economic or scientific sense.
Over the years, Schellnhuber and his WBGU began showing a clear pattern of activism, dogmatism and a lost sense of reality.
In 2008 Professor Schellnhuber, who is also director of the climate-catastrophe-obsessed Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said in a video with somber tones that the Earth would explode if the world population reached 9 billion, read here. In 2009 he claimed that unless the world heeded his message, “the Earth’s population would be devastated“, adding that “the carrying capacity of the planet is below 1 billion people.”
In Schellhnhuber’s and the WBGU’s mind, the climate science was settled and CO2 was going to warm the planet some 6°C by 2100 unless their plan for drastic reductions was implemented. To curb CO2 emissions, Schellnhuber and the WBGU introduced in April 2011 its “Masterplan” for “The Great Transformation” of global society, read here, which called for a more authoritarian global government, watered-down democracy, and the marginalization of climate science dissidents and skeptics. Prof. Hans von Storch called this sort of arrangement where citizens and society have no say and are expected to just sit there and listen to clever scientists explain how the situation is, and what policy has to be implemented, as “almost a Medieval political understanding”, read here. He even went on to say that some of the PIK scientists seemed to have “taken on the role of prophets“.
Schellnhuber even once repeated in a video the preposterous claim that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035.
Frustrated by the slow progress Germany seemed to be making in leading the world to a carbon-free society, Spiegel wrote that Schellnhuber publicly criticised Angela Merkel, read here. Some may argue that this incident showed the growing rift between Merkel and her climate advisor.
In recent years, it became clear that Germany’s transition to renewable energy was causing severe energy inflation for consumers and hurting German industry. But rather than slowing down the pace to a green energy economy to alleviate the pain consumers were feeling, Schellnhuber and his WBGU insisted that the government defy the laws of economics and push the green agenda even harder – consumers be damned. The advisory council seemed to have lost its sense of reality.
Then, in what for many appeared as totally bizarre, the WBGU recently published a 140-page comic book (for the indoctrination of children) where Schellnhuber and his WBGU colleagues are portrayed as heroes rescuing the planet from greenhouse gases, read here. The comic book even portrayed carbon emitters as villains that had to be stopped.
The WBGU clearly had forgotten its original mission, and lost its reality bearings. The combination of their comic book, their denial of economic reality, and criticism of Merkel last year probably led to the events of the last weeks. Now it appears FDP party chief Philipp Rösler has no problems dealing with the WBGU and giving Schellnhuber the heave ho.
Criticism of Schellnhuber’s brand of science came to head early this year as Professor Hans von Storch published a stingingly critical book that aimed harsh criticism at activist science, particularly at Schellnhuber’s Potsdam Institute. The book carries the subtitle: “The dangerous proximity of politics and climate science“. Hans von Storch accuses them of having oversold the science.
Yesterday Spiegel named a number of former scientists who have also become highly critical of the WBGU, read here.
Reaction to the news of Schellnhuber’s blocked appointment was met by jubilation on the skeptic side, and outrage on the warmist side. Some called the block the move “outrageous“, with one former green minister describing it as a “mass mobbing“. But one Dutch scientist, a longtime critic of the IPCC and the PIK, sent me an e-mail and called the news “sensational”.
Whether Schellnhuber ends up staying or not, expect new faces to join the WBGU, and thus the end of the advisory board as we know it.