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Can Art Make (Climate) Models Better?

Screenshot from Future Models Manual website

by Felix Schaumann

How do we think about climate futures ahead of us? Different actors tend to use different tools for that. The stream of weather catastrophes in the news media suggests a rather gloomy future. Some recent novels try to paint a more optimistic picture of the decades ahead (see our post on this).

International climate politics, for its part, has mainly based visions of the future on IPCC scenarios and model projections. For example, integrated assessment models (IAMs) played an important role in highlighting the feasibility of limiting global warming to 2 or even 1.5 degrees, and thereby led the way to the Paris Agreement. At the same time, this policy ambition came at the expense of modelling huge quantities of negative emission technologies, which again had a strong influence on the climate policy discourse.

Clearly, model-based climate futures are important for climate politics, but it is far from obvious what goes into them and based on which premises they are devised. Lisette van Beek tried to shine some light on fundamental questions about IAMs by teaming up with artists Ekaterina Volkova and Julien Thomas and writing an IAM manual.

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After Lunch Post: Zum Essen mit Sighard Neckel

von Michael Brüggemann

Wie kommt die Gesellschaft in die Zukunft? Sighard Neckel, Professor für Soziologie an der Universität Hamburg, unterscheidet drei Szenarien.

Prof. Sighard Neckel

(1) Modernisierung. Dies ist der Merkel-Weg, den die meisten westlichen Politiker:innen gehen. Sie erkennen die vor uns liegenden ökologischen Probleme durchaus an, wagen aber nur kleine Schritte Richtung Klimaschutz, Nachhaltigkeit, aber ohne große Veränderungen an den Logiken von Konsumgesellschaft und Wachstumsdenken. Damit befinden wir uns auf dem Weg zu 2,7 Grad, wie gerade ein Bericht der UN-Umweltbehörde UNEP ausgerechnet hat – was harmlos klingt, birgt gewaltige Risiken für Menschheit und Ökosysteme. Continue reading After Lunch Post: Zum Essen mit Sighard Neckel