What was your first scenario for everyone dies

The effects of man-made climate change are already being felt in many parts of the world. But what will it look like in the near future? What challenges does this pose for humanity? Constantin Huber thinks about two possible scenarios.

We don't have many years left in which we would have to reduce our net CO2 emissions to zero. Otherwise the 1.5 ° C target will be missed and the 2 and 2.5 ° C limit values ​​will be exceeded in the foreseeable future.

At the moment it looks as if not even the rich industrial nations with high-quality and nationwide education will be able to elect politicians to the government who are actually prepared to make far-reaching and lasting changes in favor of climate protection. Where should emerging economies, or even those countries led by questionable regimes and even full-fledged dictators, take advantage of the incentive to do much more for climate protection? We can't pretend we don't know any better. Because that's what we do. For decades, all relevant research institutes have come to the same conclusion. For decades these have issued warnings, future prospects and possible solutions. But far too little has been done so far.

It therefore makes sense totwo scenarios to think through and consider how we should deal with the respective situations. One scenario can be viewed as the optimum, the other as the pessimum.

Scenario 1

The year is 2030 - the average temperature has increased by 1 ° C. Dry regions are getting drier and drier, humid regions are getting wetter The sea level is rising, which means that hurricanes regularly devastate much larger areas. Some rivers are drying up and periods of drought last longer. Harvest yields decrease as the world population increases.

The year is 2050 - the average temperature has increased by 1.5 ° C. Heat waves make whole areas uninhabitable. However, due to the fact that supranational disaster treaties have been concluded, millions of refugees do not have to suffer from hunger or live permanently in degrading reception camps.

The year is 2080 - the average temperature does not increase any further. People slowly get used to the extreme weather conditions that occur very regularly and learn to deal with them. Although the many extinct animal species cannot be brought back, hardly any more are dying out due to government and civil society initiatives.

The year is 2100 - the average temperature has decreased by 0.2 ° C due to new technologies. Since the climate was not irreversibly damaged, most scientists come to the view that we can even get back to the CO2 level of 2020 through global projects in the coming decades.

Scenario 2

The year is 2030 - the average temperature has increased by 1.5 ° C. Heat waves make whole areas uninhabitable. Millions of people are becoming refugees. Most countries seal themselves off. New Orleans will not be rebuilt after being destroyed by floods for the third time. Warnings that the Greenland Ice Sheet and the permafrost soils in Siberia, among other things, could melt if the temperature continues to rise, which would result in serious feedback effects and irreversibly upset the climate, are getting louder and louder.

The year is 2050 - the average temperature has increased by 2 ° C. Huge amounts of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere through the warming methane hydrates on the sea floor and the thawed permafrost soils. Regardless of which measures are taken: the greenhouse effect in combination with the lack of ice, which no longer reflects sufficient solar radiation, continues to heat the earth. The global climate has been irreversibly damaged. Due to crop failures, food has to be rationed in many countries.

The year is 2080 - the average temperature has increased by 3 ° C. Half of all species on the planet are extinct and the ecosystems are largely destroyed. The Gulf Stream is drying up, leading to massive temperature changes. The arable land is no longer sufficient to feed everyone who is still alive. The last great forests continue to burn down with every drought. The 9th world famine kills another 400 million people. Poorer countries are using their last resources to attack the richer ones in order to get food and drinking water.

The year is 2100 - the average temperature has increased by 3.5 ° C. Anyone who cannot bring themselves to eat their last pets, rats and vermin, has to die. Resentment, hatred and war are rampant. Nuclear retaliatory strikes are destroying the planet's human livelihood for good. The last person in the world dies.

Play it safe

Both scenarios show one thing very clearly: Neither the narrow-mindedness of the last decades (such as pretty much every conspiracy theory or esoteric quackery), nor the small-mindedness of the past centuries (such as nationalism or protectionism) or the millennia-old moral concepts of isolation and xenophobia ( as they can be found in almost every religion, for example), will be able to help us in resolving potential conflicts.

What we need is ethics that can meet the requirements. One of them can be derived from evolutionary humanism. In combination with the insistence on scientific research - on the basis of critical rationalism in the methodology and naturalism as an epistemological basis - this can lay the foundations to hold together a society that is also faced with very severe challenges due to failed climate protection goals.

Even if Scenario 2 may be overstated and there is a whole range of possible scenarios in between - to be honest: let's go one way or the other for Scenario 1 fight! We owe it to future generations and to ourselves. There is no logically coherent argument against it. Or, to put it in the words of Marc-Uwe Kling:

"Yes, we could do something about climate change now, but if we were to find out in fifty years that all the scientists have made a mistake and that there is no global warming at all, then we would have made sure that we ourselves were in the for no reason whatsoever Cities can breathe the air again, that the rivers are no longer poisonous, that cars neither make noise nor smell and that we are no longer dependent on dictators and their oil reserves. That would annoy us. "



David See at the Permanent Link

if everyone renounces their car, their fish and meat and their vacation, restricts their consumption and also does not have children, then it works. or after me the flood.

Jess Karau at the permanent link

Thanks! Exactly my thoughts !!!

Hans-Paul Broschart at the permanent link

"Food is being streamlined in many countries."


llenneper on the permanent link

Thank you for pointing this out, the correction has been adopted.

Olaf Sander at the permanent link

I think scenario 2 is more likely, although I have doubts about the timing. It will probably go a lot faster.

Only yesterday evening (again almost in the middle of the night, of course) the ARD brought a documentary about the climate change problem. [1] Much of what Constantin locates in Scenario 2 in 2050 is already happening - to unexpected proportions and at breakneck speed. The documentation shows this impressively.

On top of that comes the current soaring populists and nationalists in politics and societies, who are currently laying the foundations for the protectionism and nationalism described and are unfortunately quite successful in doing so. Racism is one of their sharpest tools in this, and genocide will almost certainly be the result.

So what can you do so that scenario 1 occurs and not the Salvinis, Höckes, Trumps and Bolsonarios of this world "shape" the future?

Personally, I think dreams are a good idea.

For example, the dream that the many humanistic, scientific and social associations, which up to now have by and large been lone warriors, will unite - and do everything differently than before.

You could organize yourself sociocratically and agree that the human being is the focus and that the surroundings are of the greatest importance for a focus.

You could work together in an interdisciplinary manner in order to develop a concept for the great, overarching goal - namely the ecological, social and economic triad - which makes Constantin's scenario 1 more probable.

They could show that cooperation is better than competition, but competition is not bad if it is of a sporting nature, i.e. fair.

They could prove that participation is possible for Lieschen Müller and that Daniel Düsentrieb can still achieve great prosperity with his innovations.

You could design your concepts for Germany. Or for Europe. But actually better for the whole world. Because that's one of our biggest and best ignored problems: That the world is round.

The people who actually exist now, who are potentially able to bring their minds, their hearts and their skills together, could be a think tank in the spirit of Thomas More, which not only impresses with a mere utopia, but also shows the way, how the (current) non-location can be reached.

I am convinced that such a concept, even if it is 12,000 pages long, would have the power to radically change the existing political, economic and ecological conditions. Because it could give hope to everyone and open up perspectives.

It could all start with an influential humanist somewhere picking up the phone and calling another influential humanist and saying:

"You, let's talk about the future and see how people can be put at the center without forgetting the trimmings."


And whoever calls me naive now - yes, yes, I know ...

The dream is the best proof that we are not as tightly locked in our skin as it seems.

Friedrich Hebbel (1813--1863)

[1] ARD-Mediathek: The story in the first: Klimafluch and Klimaflucht

Christoph Heckermann at the permanent link

I am convinced of the man-made climate change, possibly also a catastrophe. But I don't believe in the end of the world.

A "downsizing" of the population through wars, famines and other natural disasters will bring the world population back to a number that the earth can handle. Because we do not have the 3 earths that we need with our current number, our current number for one earth will be healthy. In the last tens of thousands of years this has happened to some extent with war, volcanic eruptions, plague etc. It will be much more radical this time, but not the end of the world.

Werner Helbling at the Permanent Link

At the same "pace" as the environmentally harmful influences, CO2 / methane, etc. should be reduced, births should also be reduced worldwide.

What quality of life will people have in a few decades, when 10 billion people on earth are looking for a livelihood? If, according to the UN, almost a billion people on earth are already suffering from hunger. No trace of access to clean water and clean air. With the current attitude of all politicians and religions, humanity will most likely manage to exterminate itself, unfortunately. The current state of our fauna and flora shows us the way ahead. Quo vadis human? The earth will very well recover from the geological time phase of "ingenious" humanity and will hardly miss it.

Helmut Lambert at the permanent link

Nothing new! Above all, no way of solving the problems is shown.

Even Der Spiegel writes that the future of our planet will not be decided with us with our 2% share of CO2, but in India, China and Africa. Nothing is achieved with such sub-complex articles.

Reiner at the permanent link

It's not that difficult:
Put an end to the senseless, resource-destroying, climate and environment damaging and war-inducing throwaway madness!

Reduce production by 50% (we throw away 50% of all food alone ... we scrapped 2,000,000 cars in 2008 in order to "draw or create" new money via credit for new cars, etc. pp.).
Full mineral oil tax on aviation fuel.
Oil, gas, electricity only limited to x energy units on EC cards (e.g. 1,000 liters of gasoline per year ... after that, every liter is x% more expensive, so that the 2,000th liter costs twice as much as 1-1,000 liters, for example)
Prohibit advertising: Do not make anyone mouthwash after things they would never think of.
Freedom of travel, yes ... but no more tour operators: if you want to travel, you have to do more than a click of the mouse!
Trucks are not allowed to drive back empty, they always have to! be loaded.
Unconditional basic income, so that people who can cope with little are not coerced / forced to produce excess.
Reduction of regular working hours to 20 hours a week. Every overtime has to be taxed three times (e.g. to finance the unconditional basic income)
Bringing children into the world must be undesirable ... not forbidding ... and the best interests of the child must always be kept in mind (child benefit) ... but families with an income of over x euros no longer receive any subsidies. Child is a luxury and not a socially desirable contribution.
No more debt money system: all money is credit. That means: All assets are the debts of those wage slaves who have got into debt and then have to "fidget" ... no matter how meaningless their actions are. Money creation must not lead to compulsion to work. Therefore: "Credit money (free of repayment obligation) ... which e.g. the state creates by paying teachers, doctors, nurses with subscribed money.
Inheritance tax for bequests of over 500,000 euros = 100%. Then it is not worth it for anyone to accumulate a billion dollar fortune for their clan (descendants).
Income of over 200,000 euros per year = 1ßß% taxes ... that also slows the motivation to "higher, faster, further".
As a counterpart to almost no inheritance tax on bequests of less than 500,000 euros, employees who will not inherit anything need an exemption of 500,000 euros on their lifetime work income (preferably on the 500,000 euros earned first).
That would all be a start ... and with a little imagination you can develop other approaches.
Best regards

Gerhard Baierlein at the permanent link

This excellent article by Constantin Huber should be published daily in all available media, maybe then the problems of the world will finally get into the brains of the masses and they DO something against it

en the indolence of rulers around the world.

G. Hantke at the Permanent Link

So the quality media will probably do a devil to seriously face the problems. The masses have too little decency, too much arrogance and it is better not to rely on their brains either.

In my opinion, the politicians are not at all sluggish, but always try to discover or support new market gaps with the help of environmental problems.

If the reminders of the Club of Rome were still supported by the media 50 years ago, the Greens were defamed as long as they took their programs seriously and demanded a consistent environmental policy.
For the masses, environmental problems mostly pass by on the busiest part of the body. Even the issue of war and peace tends to rank further down the line. There are almost endless examples of this.
The proportion of SUVs has multiplied in a short period of time. Anyone who is not out and about in such a slaughterhouse, for example, sits in the pedestrian zone under patio heaters because it is so musty inside or something like that. And every budding green on the sidewalk at home is torched with the flamethrower.
The particularly environmentally conscious contemporaries, for whom the invention of the bicycle is no longer enough, now almost without exception allow themselves to be pampered by electric drives in order to get home faster or why?

And the politicians ensure, for example, that whenever something has to be decided in favor of the environment, the necessary exceptions and loopholes are made available immediately, so that everything really remains garbage. Here too there are almost no end to examples. Just take the plastic waste problem. If anything happens at all: just waste.Even if the garbage was reduced by 50%, the planet would not be helped. What changed it great when
it would take 20 years instead of 10 years to produce the same amount of waste? Neither the media, the masses, nor the politicians who represent these masses come up with the idea of ​​completely eliminating plastic waste and / or making it dependent on 100 percent recycling. That would mean going back to the corner shop. There was no need for plastic there.
Etc etc.

Leon Paysan at the permanent link

“There is no logically coherent argument against it.” Is that so?

How likely is it that global agreement can be reached on climate goals that will actually be implemented?
For orientation: to this day it has not even been possible to agree on uniform plugs for smartphone chargers, which would actually be totally trivial.
One can therefore assume that only marginal measures that are completely irrelevant to the climate will be implemented.
Of course, you can now take action against global warming by standing on the track with a water spray gun in order to stop the rolling freight train, but this is not logically coherent.

In addition, the assumed premises are wrong:
There must be people in the future - wrong.
Childless people have a responsibility for future generations - wrong.
As a rule, people put their own desires and needs aside for the benefit of others - and it can be proven wrong.

Logically coherent, on the other hand, is pessimistic hedonism:
The world is going to end anyway, whether in 100 years because of the climate or in 10,000 years because of an asteroid, so let's all get sterilized and then let's drive fat carts, enjoy exotic meat grilled on tropical wood, the whole world by plane watch and party properly.
The last one turns off the light, good night!

Olaf Sander at the permanent link

Your arguments are limping.

As far as common standards are concerned, on which one can allegedly not agree, is refuted by DIN and other norms.

Your water spray gun allegory is pure populism, in which argumentative analysis is not possible because it lacks content itself, i.e. arguments.

Of course, there doesn't have to be any people in the future. And also no elephants, the earth, our planetary system or whatever. But right now there are people, elephants, our planetary system and a little bit more.
So this argument is as correct as it is useless. Again, you cannot argue against it if you want to remain reasonably honest.

Everyone has responsibility for future generations, regardless of whether they have descendants or not. You also have responsibility for others when you get into a car and drive. You have to follow the rules or there will be trouble. And rightly so. Why should it be any different when it comes to climate protection?

Then I would like to ask you to prove very well that people usually put their own wishes and needs aside for the benefit of others. Please set the focus of your receipts on the normal case. But I'm afraid it's not that easy.

In your last paragraph, I am just glad that there are so many young and adult and studied people who are involved in Fridays for Future, for example. Because they are going to screw up the (party) tour for you.

Stefan P. at the permanent link

Thank you, Mr Sander, for taking the trouble to answer so wisely - I can only fully agree! One more remark on this:

Last weekend there was the annual long parade of ships on the Rhine in Cologne, followed by large fireworks ("Cologne Lights"). Before that, climate protection activists demonstrated in a completely peaceful and cooperative manner (according to the police) against exhaust and smoke pollution from ships and fireworks.
Subsequently, the net was teeming with hateful comments like "I drove past them a few times with my SUV and first enveloped them in exhaust fumes ...".

It is really remarkable the hatred and aggressiveness with which many "pessimistic hedonists" fight responsible and committed people so that their "logically coherent" worldview remains unclouded ...

Olaf Sander at the permanent link

Dear Mr. P.,

therefore you have to contradict them first and then put them in their place. That is why politics is exactly the right contact. It creates the framework conditions and ensures compliance with the judicial and executive branches. And if you want to race around with your SUV in the future, you are welcome to do so, if you are willing to spend 15.50 euros on a liter of gasoline. And when a person like that pushes on the autobahn, others step on the stream for a few cents and show him the taillights.

I think if they get smart then they'll feel pretty stupid. ;O)

Leon Paysan at the permanent link

You seem to me to forget that we live in a parliamentary democracy in which you need majorities in order to change the framework conditions.

In Germany you will never get a majority for higher gasoline, electricity and meat prices. And even if there is, there is perhaps a majority among the citizens, but that does not mean that the elected parliamentarians will implement it - greetings from the lobby! : - *

Leon Paysan at the permanent link

A single SUV spinner can easily ruin the efforts of several "committed people".
By the way, I drive Smart because I have a big *******. :-P ;-)

I do not fight naive climate protection idealists, and certainly not aggressively. I make fun of them with a friendly smile and give them the chance to rethink their pointless actions. In this way they can lead a fulfilled, childless life until it just bangs and do not have to waste their time trying to change things that cannot be changed.

But please, waste your life because you need to be oh so good - who else has nothing. * shrug *

Leon Paysan at the permanent link

Minor standards take many years, even though they don't hurt anyone.

So-called climate protection hurts maximally, is much more extensive and complex and without exception everyone would have to participate. I think there is absolutely no chance!

Nothing has been achieved with German climate policy with Germany's already ridiculous 2% share of CO2 emissions.
Every accessible crumb of coal, every drop of oil and every bit of gas that can somehow wrest from the earth's crust will be burned, I have no doubt about that.

Responsibility is an attribution that I dismiss with a mild smile.
Legal restrictions I will and will fight many, many powerful others with all available means.
Fortunately, all major corporations are on my side in this matter, on the side of the happy downfall.

People act according to their own interests or what they think they are. In my opinion, anyone who doubts this suffers from a loss of reality.

Precisely because naive Fridays for Future idealists, as nice as it sounds, try to ban everything that makes you happy, I and many others will do exactly what should be banned to excess, as long as we can.

I can understand your desperate hope of rescue at the last second. I, for my part, stick to:
After me, with curtsey and bow, the deluge. :-)

Olaf Sander at the permanent link

Climate protection doesn't necessarily have to hurt. Because, for example, you don't even notice whether electricity was generated from fossil fuels or renewable energies.

It doesn't hurt either when you get from A to B in a small, light e-car or in public transport and not in an SUV - although I don't know exactly how it behaves with people with a small ego who talk about the crowd of the sheet metal around itself.

Not everyone has to participate. At least not right away. But whoever says I won't start because the others won't start either, is missing out on the chance to be a trendsetter. You can see that very clearly in the competition between European automobile manufacturers and Tesla. Tesla is currently setting the (technological) fragrance brands and our carmakers are sniffing after them.
The example of Denmark shows how it is also financially worthwhile to be a trendsetter, because if a wind farm is to be built anywhere in the world today, especially offshore, then the world first calls Denmark.

A world without oil would be much worse for us humans than a world with oil. The stupid thing is that we burn it because we will miss it at some point. For example for medical technology or for a party in space. So why should the world accept that a few pessimistic hedonists want to race their SUVs through botany, in the longer term desert?

Which brings us to self-interest. Because you ignore the self-interests of those who want to prevent this very behavior. And out of pure self-interest. Perhaps it is something like an intellectual evolution that has made it clear to these people that they can only be fine if their neighbors, compatriots and everyone else are also doing well and resources are meaningful, i.e. useful and profitable (!) , to be needed. Fridays for Future and all associations aiming in this direction show that these people are becoming more and more. And just as there are people with power and influence whose interests these demands are against, so there are others who support it with just as much power and influence.

I find it very interesting who you think is on your side. I don't know you, of course, but I'm pretty sure that you won't be one of the invited guests at parties such as BlackRock. Mercedes won't give you an SUV just because you want to celebrate the end of the world with it. If so, you would be more likely not to post such comments on a humanistic website.

You don't have to be an economist to predict that the consequences of this economic policy will, from a certain point in time, wash you over to the side of the vast majority, i.e. those who pay the price for it. Of course there are still the pessimistic hedonist parties. But you only look through the window from outside - unless you are busy fleeing, hiding or being shot.

But at least you go with a curtsey and a curtsey. May I ask who are you going to bow to?

Hans Mosahr at the Permanent Link

My ego is by no means small, but I still drive a Cadillac Escalade and laugh at the electric car jokes.

Thomas R. at the permanent link

"Responsibility is an attribution that I dismiss with a mild smile."

This is only due to your extremely limited rationality. After all, I (also) have already explained to you in detail what responsibility is and that it does not disappear just because it is "rejected":



"People act according to their own interests or what they think they are."
Correct. It is in the interest of every being able to act morally to behave in the best possible way avoiding suffering according to the ethical principle of equality, because otherwise it is not justified to demand the appreciation of his interests or to criticize their disregard. And before you come back with "legal compliance", please remember this:


As Mr Sander has already indicated, it is only a matter of time before people like you become victims of their own insanity, but even that is unlikely to ignite a spark of reason in their heads.

David Z at the permanent link

I already missed you. It is good that you, as an ethically enlightened person, are again denouncing the outrageous immorality that constantly opposes us in this gloomy apocalypse.

What would depraved humanity do without you?

Hans Mosahr at the Permanent Link

Make no mistake. For example, I'm more of a party person. I really don't care about future generations.

Achim Stößer at the permanent link

More than half of the anthropogenic greenhouse gases come from "agriculture" (mainly corpse and gland secretion consumption).

Veganism would be a large part of the solution to this problem (without additional effort). In addition, there would be consequences such as afforestation of the areas freed up by veganism, no more rainforest deforestation (for grass and "fodder" soy) etc. etc. Even the effects of tsunamis would be reduced by veganism.

But who cares ...

Stephan Motzek at the permanent link

Now that is still mildly described. The permafrost is already thawing.
The rainforest is being cleared at an accelerated rate, the extinction of species continues to increase.

The hunger for energy and raw materials continues to rise. We consume more, not less. Business, politics and society are not seriously interested in the necessary change.
We all know why.
We could immediately save 50% of our consumption of everything without any problems if we wanted ...
In addition, the solutions for sustainable and sensible economic activity are known. We just want to go on like this. bye

Frank Linnhoff at the permanent link

Small changes in behavior will not be enough to fulfill scenario 1. We have to change our way of life more profoundly, e.g.

briefly described here: http://www.postwachstumsoekonomie.de/material/grundzuege/

struppi at the permanent link

<em> Pochen auf Wissenschaftlichkeit </em>

Is it really a good idea to only make political decisions based on their (scientific) benefit?

The article is a crude example of many straw men. the narrow-mindedness of the last decades who has actually experienced this, can hardly deny that it was the first to create this awareness that is peddled here. At least in Europe there was an enormous change of heart about the relationship to the environment in general and the proportion of human production in particular.

The fact that nature in the Far East has so far been irrelevant to us and that we - thanks to globalization - have outsourced our pollution to Asia, should rather lead to protection against products that are not produced according to the standards that we believe to be right.

So what is presented here as good has turned out to be rather bad and those who are presented as bad have tried a lot to change in the past decades.

Unfortunately, it was precisely the developments that were supposedly so great that led to what is now presented as problematic. Intensive consumption in the form of the cheapest goods, traveling around the world with low-cost airlines, job hobbing around the world, electronic devices in every hand, at all times. All things that de jugend massively use and view as part of their everyday reality

But all of these are the consequences of globalization and free trade. To claim now those who would criticize it want or deny climate change is a complete reversal of reality.

Karl-Heinz Büchner at the permanent link

The headline was the stupidest one that had appeared over an hpd article in a long time. This is the best way to irrationally fuel the discussion.

Yes, climate change is happening and yes, it will have significant effects on all of life on this earth. But neither will humanity as a species become extinct, nor do we have the slightest idea whether the efforts we can make will do the slightest thing, apart from the restrictions on our living standards that will undoubtedly come with it.
And who is "we"? The hpd readers? The Germans? The European? Or even Americans, Chinese, Indians at that?
Our problem is 8 billion! With a billion people we would be happy about the rising temperatures and go to the areas where it is good to live. Little is heard of efforts to solve this problem.

Hans Mosahr at the Permanent Link

Bullshit. The only option would be to radically shrink the world population by 90% and then apply strict birth control. Otherwise "game over". Absolutely no matter what you do.