Spiegel Describes Schellnhuber’s WBGU As On The Verge Of A Major Shake-Up…Time “To Revtitalize The Debate”


It’s late, and so hopefully there won’t be too many misspellings. It seems the global warming regime is imploding in Germany.

A short time ago a report at the online Spiegel, authored by Axel Bojanowski, appeared concerning the blocked Schellnhuber-appointment as director of the WBGU. More details are surfacing. The once influential WBGU council appears to be in for a major overhaul. A major shake-up would spell the end.

The WBGU is the advisory council for the German government on environmental issues, and it is one of the oldest councils in Germany, existing since 1992.

Spiegel writes that “an ominous dispute has obstructed the start of the advisory council” and that “it has been reshuffled. The situation is curious“. The legislative period for the WBGU actually ended in late October last year, and it is now awaiting approval by the government in order to resume its work. However, the German Ministry of Economics, headed by FDP chief Philipp Rösler, refuses to give its stamp of approval.

Bojanowski writes:

According to information from SPIEGEL ONLINE, four of the council members are to be replaced; the nine WBGU-members are all considered to be environmentally oriented professors.”

It appears Merkel’s junior coalition partner the FDP is pushing to replace some members with others who have economic expertise – in order to create a council that is more balanced and to give it a completely new orientation. The four professors that are aimed to be replaced are: Ellen Matthies, environmental psychologist; Frauke Kraas, geographer; Uwe Schneidewind, economist; Peter Lemke, polar/ocean scientist.

Spiegel adds:

Especially in the Ministry of Economics there are reservations against Schellnhuber, the WBGU Chairman. He would be ‘retired professor in the middle of his term and by then will have been a member of the WBGU for a quarter of a century’ – this is the stated reason given to SPIEGEL ONLINE from circles within the Ministry. In order ‘to revitalise the debate’, they have proposed two economists as alternatives.”

The FDP part of the government is obviously fed up with the climate dogmatism that has blinded the WBGU and the general arrogance that has taken over.

Clearly Merkel, and especially the opposition Greens and environmental activists, want to keep a lid on the turmoil that has erupted. The last thing the environmentalists want is a public debate to erupt and to rage on for weeks. Now with Spiegel focusing on the issue, keeping the lid on will be increasingly difficult to do.

Spiegel writes that over the years the WBGU has become a circle of Schellnhuber’s friends.

‘The voice of economic reason’ is missing says a council member from the 1990s. The WBGU has become a sort of a circle of friends of the years-long Chairman, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber.”

Spiegel writes that the WBGU’s latest report drew harsh criticism. “The council renewed its demand for a ‘Great Transformation’ of civilization.” Critics even labelled the council an “eco-dictatorship”.

The ‘ideological pamphlet’ damaged the WBGU, former colleagues of Schellnhuber griped. It confirmed the fear that Schellnhuber lacked counterparts in the council. In the 1990s the WBGU was occupied completely by ‘neo-liberal economic scientists”, the old colleagues disparagingly call them today.

As Spiegel online describes it, the WBGU is due for a major overhaul. The target is to produce a council of debate, and not one filled with people who nod yes every time Pope Schellnhuber says something.

According to political scientist Susanne Cassel of the “Econwatch”, Spiegel writes, “councils like the WBGU always kept their discussions confidential in order to be able to present only their consensus.” Openness was only on the surface.

Near the end of its article Spiegel tells us that the WBGU’s influence was not that great after all.

Also former Saxony President Kurt Biedenkopf regards the impact of the assessment reports as very limited: ‘Ongoing councils are for the most part ineffective,’ he said. Sometimes the assessments gave the politicians a bad conscience. However, only very few proposals were ever implemented.”

It looks more and more like Germany’s FDP Party is about to knock down a major domino. This may be the tipping point we’ve been waiting for.


5 responses to “Spiegel Describes Schellnhuber’s WBGU As On The Verge Of A Major Shake-Up…Time “To Revtitalize The Debate””

  1. stephen richards

    environmental psychologist ?

    What the hell is that ? Pierre I love your blog. Balanced and cautiously optimistic. Just great.

    1. DirkH

      Environmental psychologists are concerned with the psychopathology of Global Wqarming skepticism, of course. Not a joke.

      There are also Environmental sociologists; they are concerned with engineering a society that is more concerned about the climate. Again, not a joke. Both groups are of course lavishly funded , in the EU as “climate related research initiatives” which gets I think 1/7th of the EU research funds.

      If I were them, I would try to put Global Warming skeptics into
      “a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood”

      Violating the rights of others to have a planet that doesn’t warm too much, you know.

      Of course there is already a mountain of drivel that goes into that direction. Just google
      “is climate denial a form of antisocial personality disorder”
      (without the rabbits ears) and you find many juicy texts. It’s all about psychiatrizing the opposition. That’s how they roll.

      “antisocial personality disorder” is a DSM category; so if they manage to put it in, we’re all legally insane.

      1. goldminor

        They are probably trying to design a pill to cure scepticism.

        Good comment to go with a good article. It has been educational looking back over the last 4 years and seeing how the rhetoric has changed on the warmist side of the debate. In the last 8 months approximately, there has been a concerted effort on their part to demonize all who think differently.

  2. ArndB

    It seems it is time that WBGU and Prof Schellnhuber get the time to study Greek mythology and J.W.v.Goethe’ view on climate, as outlined in a text from 1994 (extract):
    To the ancient Greeks, Mother Earth was Gaia. Once she and her fellow planets had found their place in orbit they lived as fire spitting rocks. Only Gaia had a son, who is still alive, Pontus, the oceans. Thales of Miletus (640-546 B.C.), the earliest philosopher and considered to be one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece, called water the fundamental element of all things. As this thesis was only preserved for several hundred years by oral tradition before being written down by Aristotle, Thales’ thoughts fit well into the picture of Gaia and Prontus. A mother born in the depths of the universe, aged, wrinkled but still alive, as shown by volcanic activities, and a son in his best years, strong, dominant and the source of life on earth.
    More than 2000 years later the poet Johann-Wolfgang v. Goethe (1749-1832) gave Thales a voice in his drama, Faust II:
    __Everything comes from water!!
    __Everything is maintained through water!
    __Ocean, give us your eternal power.
    Goethe, known for his interest in the young discipline of modern science, never lived by the sea. The Mediterranean was the only sea he ever saw. While 20,000 people from all over the world flew across the oceans to the Earth Summit in Rio, Goethe only crossed the sea from Neaples to Palermo in 1787. A bit seasick, he stayed in bed enjoying the unfamiliar environment as he felt relaxed and wrote in his diary “Italian Voyage”:
    __Until one has experienced the sea around one, one has no idea of world and its relation to the world.
    published 1994 in ‘L.O.S. Lieder’ of the Law of the Sea Institute, William S. Richardson School of Law; University of Hawaii.
    Full text:

    It is high time that Prof. H.J. Schellnhuber is released as Chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU)!

  3. DirkH

    Meanwhile Schellnhuber plans to turn Berlin into a “climate-neutral” city.

    In best communitarian tradition the article says “berlin wants to become climate neutral until 2050”; as if somebody had asked the population. Communitarians operate by pretending a consensus, which in fact exists only amongst the goons they use to populate committees – the current WBGU is a prime example. No difference to the EU commission in that regard.

    The problem for them is of course that by crowding out and ignoring differing opinions they will always, in each and every case, go into some crazy direction, amplifying their own bias to a degree that results in a complete disconnect from reality. Utter failure is guaranteed in each and every instance; for the EU commission as well as for the WBGU which already sounds like a clown show.

    Expect more crazy schemes as long as that man is in charge. And stay away from Berlin.

    Here BTW is the current state of the de-industrialization of Berlin

    where economic activity constantly declines while it stays constant in the rest of Germany. (fig 16)

    Berlin is already getting 4 bn EUR a year from the other lands in support; plus unemployment money. Crazy Schellnhuber wants to start the great transformation with the economic basketcase of Germany.

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