Spiegel science journalist Axel Bojanowski interviews Oliver Geden, climate expert at the Berlin-based German Institute for International and Security Affairs – SWP. He is also an advisor to the German government.
2°C target “an illusion”
In the interview Geden calls the 2°C limit target “an illusion that has been fed by politicians and scientists“.
Geden tells Spiegel that scientists and politicians have calculated how much CO2 is allowed to be added to the earth’s atmosphere before the temperature climbs 2°C, but that they have dithered and dallied so much that theoretically no more CO2 emssions will be allowed globally by the year 2044. Thus the 2°C target is already a grand pipe dream.
“Very dubious” CO2 accounting tricks
In the interview Geden believes Paris will fall far short of what is necessary to reach the theoretical 2°C target, and
As a result the climate negotiators will use many calculation tricks which I think are very dubious.”
He expects policymakers to use tricks like “negative” future emissions from CCS technology, or growing trees. However Geden, a warmist and promoter of ending fossil fuels, calls negative emissions in the interview “political science fiction“.
Geden tells Spiegel that 500 million hectares of forests would have to added to the globe, an area equivalent to one and half times India!
Many developing countries would go into resistance if we demanded they stop using the land for food and to grow trees for stroring CO2 instead.”
The negative emissions calculations being put forth are in fact now so out of touch that Geden sarcastically tells Spiegel:
Scientists might as well just assume in 2070 green martians will land on earth as rescuers and suck the CO2 out of the atmosphere.”
Climate science reputation damaged
Bojanowski then asks Geden if all the carbon accounting tricks are hurting the reputation of climate science. Geden confirms that it is, reminding us that:
Five or six years ago it was consensus that greenhouse gas reductions of three percent annually were not realistic. But then emissions rose like never before – and suddenly the IPCC claims that six percent is doable. Precisely in a phase when CO2 emissions are rising liker never before the optimism is suddenly growing that drastic savings are possible. All this just to keep the 2°C story alive.”
Geden adds that scientists are forced to play along with the nonsense because they see the risk of getting less research funding.
The tendency is that those who supply the policymakers with the desired studies and models are better off.”
Geden also points out that “many climate scientists are idealists who wish to rescue the planet;..”
He believes that many scientists are suffering from “hubris” and actually “believe that the earth’s system is controllable“. He slams Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber’s WBGU which in 2011 “proposed a Great Transformation of Global Society to combat global warming”.
It was the first work since the fall of communism that called for the restructuring of the entire world according to a plan.”
Science being “led around “by the nose”
Joachim Müller-Jung at Germany’s flagship Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) writes a commentary on the “political fever” that has swept through the science community as the Paris Conference approaches.
Müller-Jung writes that “science is allowing itself to be led around by the nose by politicians and economists.”
Müller-Jung describes the 2°C limit as “utopian”.