Fritz Vahrenholt
© Marcelo HernandezChairman of the Supervisory Board of Aurubis AG and Member of the Board of the German Wild Animal Foundation: Fritz Vahrenholt was Environmental Senator from 1991 to 1997.
Yesterday the online Hamburg Abendblatt published an interview with Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt on the recent climate demonstrations and alarmism. Vahrenholt calls the demonstrations and demands "over-the-top", and a real threat to the economy. He says the climate models are unreliable and predictions of great warming "absurd".

Vehrenholt is one of founders of Germany's modern environmental movement, the founder of the country's largest renewable energy company, Innogy and a member of Germany's SPD socialist parties. Lately the retired professor has become renegade among his peers by criticizing the "over-the-top climate debate" and warning against "hasty reforms".

Atmosphere of fear and hysteria

Vahrenholt tells the Abendblatt the climate debate has become hysterical and that in fact "we don't have a climate emergency." He adds: "If Greta Thunberg's demands are implemented, global prosperity and development will be massively endangered."

Vahrenholt is one of the more prominent signatories of the letter to the UN: "There is no climate emergency."

In the interview with the Abendblatt, Vahrenholt rejects Thunberg's bleak world view, noting that human society has markedly improved on almost every front over the recent decades.

"The number of hungry people in the world has halved, life expectancy has doubled, and infant mortality has been reduced to tenths. These successes have been largely due to the supply of energy for electricity, heat, transport and nutrition," said Vahrenholt.

When asked why so few German scientists (12) signed letter to the UN, Vahrenholt told the Abendblatt: "People no longer dare to express themselves differently."

The German chemistry professor says spreading panic and fear is "irresponsible" and that we should: "Stop scaring the children - they are already getting delusions."

Climate models still unreliable

Vahrenholt then tells the Abendblatt that "we have until the end of the century" to tackle greenhouse emissions - and not 12 years - and that the situation is nowhere near as serious as the alarmist voices claim it is. Moreover, Vahrenholt reminds that the models still - which serve as the basis for the panic - have a long way to go before being reliable: "Many climate models have been shown to show too much warming and cannot reproduce the fluctuations of the past because they know only one factor: CO2."

Later in the interview he asks: "What are we to think of models that neither reproduce the Little Ice Age nor the Medieval Warm Period - when it was about as warm as it is today?" In other words: If they don't even work for the past, then they are completely unreliable for the future.

CO2 greens the planet

Vahrenholt reminds the Abendblatt that the added CO2 has in fact made the planet greener because of the boosted photosynthesis.

Only small number of scientists say man is 100% responsible

When asked about the 97% consensus, Vahrenholt tells the Hamburg-based daily that very few scientists deny CO2 has a warming effect, but adds: "Only a small minority believe that climate change is 100 percent man-made, and the vast majority believe in several causes."

Green movement a real economic threat

Vahrenholt agrees that we have to reduce emissions, "but not commit suicide."

The retired German professor advises against a hasty shutdown of coal energy, and warns it would lead to far greater poverty, even in prosperous Germany: "If we get out of coal and the combustion engine by 2030, then what will become of this country?

The retired professor also rejects the claims he turned his back on environmental protection, rather he has "stayed true to the cause".

Schellnhuber's 6°C warming a scandal, absurd

Near the end of the interview, Vahrenholt tells the Abendblatt he thinks the globe will warm about 1.5° by 2100, i.e. the low end of the IPCC's 1.5 - 4.5°C projected range. He characterizes Prof. Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber's 6°C rise - and the applause it always gets - as a "scandal" and being "absurd".