So we lose the fight against global warming

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The EU has long fought for stricter CO2 rules for cars and again only a diaper soft compromise. The hope is to get the global warming in the handle, continues to shrink.


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A comment by Markus Becker

Jeannette Corbeau

Markus Becker

Born in 1973, hails from the Ruhr area. Studies of English, history and German literature in Bochum and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, master’s degree in 1999. In addition to studying freelance work for Newspapers and broadcasting, internship at the “West German General newspaper”, and the journalist school Ruhr. As of August 2002, the politics editor at SPIEGEL ONLINE, since September 2003 head of Department science. Since July 2015, correspondent in the editorial office of representation in Brussels.

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Wednesday, 10.10.2018
At 19:09

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What happens when scientists warn on Monday before the devastating consequences of global warming, and on Tuesdays, the EU consults on future greenhouse gas emissions from cars? Right: nothing.

At the meeting of the EU Minister for the environment, it was as if there had been the recent Report of the UN intergovernmental panel on Climate change IPCC never. Sure, the representatives of some States have used the report to argue for more stringent limits. Sweden, Finland, Slovenia and Ireland. Only you, unfortunately, are not the heavyweights in the EU. Germany under the former climate Chancellor Angela Merkel, in contrast, was firmly in the camp of the Laggards.

Although about 20 of the 28 EU States, including France and the UK, for more stringent measures. They would be able to outvote Germany and the other procrastinators easily. But Paris had made clear from the beginning that it does nothing against the interests of Germany. Thus, the responsibility for the meagre results is clearly based in Berlin.

Just not too much to change quickly

The IPCC report more clearly than ever before: Without radical change, the world gets devastating consequences of the warming to be felt – not in 50, 100 or 200 years, but by 2040, that is, within the lifetime of most people today. Just one example: the coral reefs, it is because the researchers are pretty sure, by now largely done. The only question is, if all the corals die, or just the most.

However, the attitude of the Federal government and some other, mainly Eastern European countries like this: Just not too much to change quickly. Clearly, the IPCC report is alarming, said about the representative of the Czech Republic. But cars must remain affordable. And the EU also belong to the most ambitious climate activists in the world. To do the others.

The German environment Minister, Svenja Schulze, has made no secret of the fact that it is personal for sharp limits, but the Berlin coalition discipline threw. And is to leave the industry for as long as possible, cars with a combustion engine, to sell, to secure, jobs.

Climate change is a physical process – the Chancellor would have to know

However, this strategy is in two ways wrong. First of all, the past months have proven that the German car industry needs to be forced to a faster task of the internal-combustion engine, should not take the same path as Kodak with the analog photography, or Nokia with the phones. Sweden, the UK, Spain or Slovenia, all countries with large auto industries have recognized this and are sharp to limit CO2 emissions. They fear, and rightly, that China will expire at the development of clean cars.

Secondly, a physicist in the Chancellery, that is supposed to be clear that climate change is a physical process sits with Angela Merkel. It happens, no matter whether Jacek afford a nice car or Manfred can still work a few years longer.

However, the behavior of the EU Ministers follows a fatal Trend. Many once well-paid, middle-skilled jobs in the industrialised countries have been destroyed by automation or by shifting to low-wage countries. The artificial intelligence will soon take also many higher-skilled Jobs.

Middle-class fears for their welfare

The result is a shrinking of the middle classes of the industrial countries, clinging to their remaining wealth and increasingly elect populists who promise a return to the Golden times of the past decades. Serious politicians fear meanwhile, before that, the voters of the radical changes expected. The necessary reactions take place in any of the two cases.

Only one thing is certain: The fight against climate change we have already lost.

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