Is the Corona Crisis good or bad for the climate?

by Joana Kollert 

A few days ago, at the end of March, it snowed! Having never experienced snow this late in Hamburg and with the knowledge that 2019 was the second warmest year on record after 2016, my first thought was: this must be the direct cooling effect due to the COVID-19 induced industrial shutdown.

I felt a strange sense of righteousness, as if all climate change skeptics and politicians could now no longer deny the link between economic growth and global warming. This is of course an extremely oversimplified analysis; it is impossible to link two unexpected snow days in Hamburg with a global slowing down in industrial production . Moreover, climate change is a statistically significant variation in “average weather” over a period of 30 years, such that we cannot make any scientifically sound connections between a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions lasting but a few months and global warming.

Nevertheless, the economic shutdown has led to some directly observable environmental benefits.

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What would you miss the most?

Interactive visual arts project on climate change consequences

by Fenja De Silva-Schmidt

During my research stay in Stellenbosch, South Africa, I came across an interesting arts project on climate change, which was installed during the cultural festival “Woordfees”.

A note on the wall invites onlookers to participate: to illustrate or write about what or who they would miss the most if our climate completely collapsed. Another note asked to describe fond memories of nature.

interactive art project on climate change

All around, people posted little notes and drawings, all of which gave interesting insights into their perceptions of climate change, especially their fears.

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Technische und politisch-soziale Innovationen: Nicht nur Ingenieure sind gefragt, sondern wir alle

von Michael Brüggemann

Kürzlich gab es mal wieder eine deutsche Talkshow mit prominenter Hamburger Professorenbeteiligung. Hans von Storch, mein Kollege an der Universität Hamburg und ehemaliger Leiter des Instituts für Küstenforschung am Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, saß in der „Hart aber fair“-Sendung von Frank Plasberg zum Thema Klimapolitik. Drum herum die üblichen Verdächtigen: ein Klima-Aktivist, eine Grünen-Politikerin, ein konservativer Publizist und eine Schauspielerin; eine Zusammenfassung gibt es bei Spiegel Online. In seinem (bald von Plasberg unterbrochenen) Eingangsstatement hebt von Storch die Bedeutung technischer Innovationen hervor, um die globalen Emissionen zu reduzieren.* Das ist eine gute Idee. Damit ist es aber nicht getan.

Hartaberfair 2. Dezember 2019
Die Talk-Runde vom 2. Dezember. / Quelle: WDR

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