Self-combustion: Climate-KIC chairman Jon Schellnhuber’s view of the big picture

From the pioneer days in barracks to the Pope in the Vatican, from the first mathematical equations to cutting edge computer simulations – for three decades, the physicist, political advisor and Climate-KIC chairman Hans Joachim Schellnhuber has been exploring climate change as a challenge for humanity.

Account of the state of research, life story, eco-manifest: all this is his major upcoming book on the climate crisis. As the founder and director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), he authored hundreds of scientific papers and shaped ideas like the internationally-accepted two-degree limit.

A few weeks prior to the UN Climate Summit in Paris, his book now addresses a wider public.

verbrennung

The book is available in German and can be ordered in print or as an e-book.

“The title ‘self-combustion’ is a double provocation”, explains Schellnhuber. “Indeed, humanity is on the way to unintended self-combustion, if we do not immediately turn to the path of sustainability.” If we keep on burning coal, oil, and gas unabated, the released greenhouse gases will heat our planet by about four degrees Celsius until the end of the century – later by six, by eight degrees.

“This year will probably go down in history as the warmest since record-keeping began – the crisis is blatantly obvious”, says Schellnhuber. “Risks of unknown magnitude are the consequence, from weather extremes and sea-level rise to flows of refugees.”

Self-combustion

At the same time, the title „self-combustion“ alludes to the fact that the scientist Schellnhuber now exposes himself to the fire of the public conflict as a book author, as he did before as a public speaker and as an advisor of institutions like the German Federal Government or the World Bank. “For sure, my life would be easier if I would just accumulate studies over studies”, says Schellnhuber.

“But as a scientist, I also am a ‘conscientist’ – I see it as my responsibility to not only share our knowledge with other researchers but with everyone who will be be affected by the impacts of climate change in the end – and in whose power it lies to stop it.”

So in all respects, Schellnhuber’s book is extraordinary. Framed very personally – beginning with a story about his mother, ending with one about his son – it forges a long bridge from the history of climate science to climate summits like COP 21 coming up in December in Paris, where 40.000 attendants from 190 countries are being expected, to the climate future of rich and poor.

Reviews of the book: “passionate”, “captivating”

Hildegard Müller, Chair of the General Management Board of the Federal Association of the German Energy and Water Industry (BDEW): “Hans Joachim Schellnhuber asks wise and partly painful questions.

With in-depth expertise, eloquence and thirty years of experience, he puts all his credibility and all his convictions into the balance. A passionate plea for a change of direction, which is still possible.”

Peter Höppe, Head of Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research/Corporate Climate Centre: “Self-combustion’ is the book of one of the internationally most renowned climate scientist, that is written with lots of personal commitment. There is probably no other book that depicts the physical processes and political discussions about climate change as comprehensively and understandably as this one.

Time and time again Hans Joachim Schellnhuber intentionally changes his perspective from an objective role as a scientist, takes side and works with his unconventional style of writing. It is a captivating book worth reading.”

The book is available in German and can be ordered in print or as an e-book.

 
Location
Articles you may be interested in
In The News
First European cluster accelerator programme launched in Frankfurt

How to take clusters to the next level and...

First European cluster accelerator programme launched in Frankfurt
Innovation Spotlight
Ioncell’s fiber innovation could help drive the circular economy transitio...

The textile, garment and fashion industries generate tonnes of pollution each year and recycle very little, which...

Ioncell’s fiber innovation could help drive the circular economy transition
Opinion
The challenge of redesigning venture capital
Dominic Hofstetter Transformation Capital, EIT Climate-KIC
The challenge of redesigning venture capital
In Detail
Clean and Healthy Construction

Insights from the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen: Master Class and Market Dialogue for Clean and Healthy Construction. Why clean construction? Kevin Austin,...

Clean and Healthy Construction
Opinion
If we have figured out transformation, why is the world still in such a mess?
Susannah Fisher Research, EIT-Climate-KIC
If we have figured out transformation, why is the world still in such a mess?
Opinion
The tyranny of categorisation
Dominic Hofstetter Transformation Capital, EIT Climate-KIC
The tyranny of categorisation
Opinion
EIT Climate-KIC strengthens biodiversity through systems change
Felicity Spors Head of International Affairs, EIT Climate-KIC
EIT Climate-KIC strengthens biodiversity through systems change
Opinion
Why our cities must act as beacons for ambitious climate action
Tom Mitchell Chief Strategy Officer, EIT Climate-KIC
Why our cities must act as beacons for ambitious climate action
In The News
Biggest-ever global hackathon to tackle climate breakdown

Over 100 Climathon events around the world turn grassroots...

Biggest-ever global hackathon to tackle climate breakdown
In The News
Global call for transformative solutions to tackle the climate emergency

EIT Climate-KIC launches Climathon Global Awards and Healthy, Clean...

Global call for transformative solutions to tackle the climate emergency
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported crop insurance project acquired by world’s largest...

The insurance sector is well aware of the rising...

EIT Climate-KIC supported crop insurance project acquired by world’s largest re-insurer
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC innovators celebrated at 2019 EIT Awards

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has...

EIT Climate-KIC innovators celebrated at 2019 EIT Awards
Opinion
Part three: Climate action #NotinNewYork
Andy Kerr Director, UK & Ireland, EIT Climate-KIC
Part three: Climate action #NotinNewYork
In Detail
New EIT Climate-KIC supported report finds digital technologies can vastly a...

As part of the UN Climate Action Summit, the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and Deloitte launched a report today, supported by EIT Climate-KIC,...

New EIT Climate-KIC supported report finds digital technologies can vastly accelerate the SDGs
Opinion
Part two: Climate action #NotinNewYork
Andy Kerr Director, UK & Ireland, EIT Climate-KIC
Part two: Climate action #NotinNewYork
Opinion
Climate action #NotinNewYork
Andy Kerr Director, UK & Ireland, EIT Climate-KIC
Climate action #NotinNewYork
In The News
Circular Cars Initiative launched at United Nations Climate Action Summit

On the occasion of the United Nations Climate Action...

Circular Cars Initiative launched at United Nations Climate Action Summit
In The News
We’re closing for business in solidarity with #ClimateStrike

EIT Climate-KIC will close this Friday 20 September, the...

We’re closing for business in solidarity with #ClimateStrike
In The News
Open Innovation Call targeting air quality and urban heat island effect launch...

The City of Copenhagen’s department Resilient and Sustainable City Solutions within...

Open Innovation Call targeting air quality and urban heat island effect launched
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC cleantech start-up ZOLAR attracts 10 Million Euro Investment

The Berlin-based start-up Zolar raises a 10 million EUR...

EIT Climate-KIC cleantech start-up ZOLAR attracts 10 Million Euro Investment
In The News
Breaking down barriers to climate-finance: the City Finance Lab launches secon...

Competition for the five most innovative financing solutions for...

Breaking down barriers to climate-finance: the City Finance Lab launches second call for proposals
Opinion
Innovating in complexity: Systemic investing
Dominic Hofstetter Transformation Capital, EIT Climate-KIC
Innovating in complexity: Systemic investing
In The News
Climathon onboard ‘Sail to the COP’

On 2 October, 36 young climate change agents will...

Climathon onboard ‘Sail to the COP’
In The News
Research reveals surprising link between socio-economic indicators and sustain...

A new study by EIT Climate-KIC partner academic institutions...

Research reveals surprising link between socio-economic indicators and sustainability transition
Opinion
Transformation capital: A new investment logic for catalysing systems change
Dominic Hofstetter Transformation Capital, EIT Climate-KIC
Transformation capital: A new investment logic for catalysing systems change
Opinion
Innovating in complexity: From single-point solutions to directional systems innovation
Dominic Hofstetter TRANSFORMATION CAPITAL, EIT CLIMATE-KIC
Innovating in complexity: From single-point solutions to directional systems innovation
In The News
Four EIT Climate-KIC innovators nominated for annual EIT Awards

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has released...

Four EIT Climate-KIC innovators nominated for annual EIT Awards
In Detail
Report offers recommendations for development of agricultural impact tool

A new report supported by EIT Climate-KIC’s CSA Booster programme proposes technical, governance and business arrangements for the development of a new tool for...

Report offers recommendations for development of agricultural impact tool
In Detail
Food value chains strategy report offers recommendations based on systemic i...

A new report details the work of EIT Climate-KIC and its partner Metabolic, a consulting company using systems thinking to tackle major sustainability challenges,...

Food value chains strategy report offers recommendations based on systemic impact
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supports digital roadmap for a circular economy

EIT Climate-KIC, along with several European stakeholders, is advocating...

EIT Climate-KIC supports digital roadmap for a circular economy