Climate and environmental scientists have been warning of climate catastrophe for half a century. But carbon dioxide levels, the main cause of the catastrophe, continue to go up.
When I produced the first television programs on this subject 30 years ago, greenhouse gas emissions globally were about 100 million tons a day; today they are about 180 million tons every day. Today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, next week, next year, and so on.
Can we still be saved?
Of course, these data have been known to politicians for a long time. But why has far too little been done so far?
The lobbyists of the old energy industry have used all their financial power to defame climate and environmental protection. In Germany, for example, the former RWE manager Fritz Vahrenholt wrote the book about the “cold sun” with false and scientifically untenable theses about climate change. The big oil companies such as BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Total have spent 200 million dollars every year for decades on lobbying against climate protection, the renowned climate and ocean researcher Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has calculated for the “SPIEGEL”.
The large energy companies were massively supported by states such as Russia, Saudi Arabia and Australia, which live from the export of fossil fuels. Saudi Arabia still successfully weakened the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2022. To this day, Putin downplays global warming. And Germany transfers $200 million a day for fossil raw materials into his war chest. This is the only reason why he can finance wars like the one in Ukraine and commit mass murder. Through our dependence, we are indirectly his accomplices.
The economically weak Russia could not finance its wars of aggression without this fossil money from Germany and other industrialized countries. With our economic sanctions against Russia we have not really hit the central energy sector yet.
Can birds and wind turbines coexist?
As recently as 2017, Putin claimed volcanoes release more CO2 than human activity. And in 2018, he attributed global warming to “cosmic activities.” This is complete scientific nonsense. Today, one of his “arguments” is “wind turbines kill birds,” which is, after all, often used as an “argument” in Germany. As if birds don’t need a good climate and therefore also wind turbines!
Putin and Trump were in the last years globally the most extreme opponents of the change to renewable energies. In Germany this also included Gerhard Schröder and other friends of the gas pipelines from Russia in almost all parties.
Also many journalists have drummed for the Russian gas pipelines and published nonsensical claims against climate change and against renewable energies – also in the “SPIEGEL”. This concentrated lobbying is the main reason why the energy turnaround has been slowed down for decades and why we are now facing a climate catastrophe and a gruesome future for our children and grandchildren.
In addition again Stefan Rahmstorf: “A small group of very wealthy humans was permitted to affect politics and public opinion in their sense. For this, the world is already paying a high price today in the form of heat, flood, drought, fire and hurricane damage, and in the form of dependence on fossil fuel suppliers in autocratic states.”
UN Secretary General Guterres puts it similarly to the Dalai Lama: “The biggest polluters have set fire to our only home.” Global warming is progressing even faster than science has predicted.
And Germany? We’re the only industrialized country in the world that can’t even manage a speed limit. Our climate policy so far is embarrassing, presumptuous and absolutely irrational.
Franz Alt 2022 / Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)