Climate Change: There is no Alternative to Adaptation

By Edgar L. Gärtner (Frankfurt)

German Geologists Call Two Centigrade Target for Global Warming Bare Nonsense

Six weeks before the beginning of the Copenhagen summit the big German business newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” published an interview with three leading geoscientist (Karin Lochte, Volker Mosbrugger and Reinhard Hüttl) who call UNFCCC’s official target of mitigating global warming at two centigrade through halving global CO2 emissions by 50 percent till 2050 “bare nonsense”. All these scientists believe nevertheless that human CO2 emissions are largely contributing to global warming. But knowing the earth’s history they recognize that there are also important natural factors that determine the evolution of the earth’s mean temperature. Any policy focussing only on CO2 (and some other heat trapping gases) cannot pretend to control climate change as a whole. Adaptation to climate change is the only rational option. Volker Mosbrugger, the director of the famous Senckenberg Institute in Frankfurt, pointed out: “There are always winners and losers in any evolutionary process and who is adapting best will survive. It is stupid to favour mitigation over adaptation.”  

Unfortunately, in spite of having underlined this, Mosbrugger is calling for a global “earth system management” by a sort of world government. But how could man control the movements of the earth’s crust or the intensity of cosmic rays?  In reality adaption doesn’t need neither a global strategy nor global governance. It would be better to guarantee freedom of choice, i.e. let people on the local or regional level decide how to cope with positive or negative consequences of climate change.


About the Author: Edgar Gaertner