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
Opinion
Long democracies
Dark Matter
Long democracies
Opinion
Long financing in a volatile world
Dark Matter
Long financing in a volatile world
Opinion
Long welfare
Dark Matter
Long welfare
Opinion
Abstracted to entangled organisation
Dark Matter
Abstracted to entangled organisation
Opinion
Persistent things
Dark Matter
Persistent things
Opinion
Persistent selves
Dark Matter
Persistent selves
Opinion
Futures in long-termism
Dark Matter
Futures in long-termism
In our community
Strengthening community ties and supporting each other through the COVID-19 ...
Strengthening community ties and supporting each other through the COVID-19 crisis
Opinion
The Corona canvas: How to deal with the crisis as a founder
Marc Mogalle & Anje Kluth Business Buddies & EIT Climate-KIC
The Corona canvas: How to deal with the crisis as a founder
In The News
Lilium completes funding round worth over €224 million

EIT Climate-KIC supported Lilium, a Munich-based aviation company developing...

Lilium completes funding round worth over €224 million
In The News
TWAICE raises €11 million series A to power internationalisation efforts and...

EIT Climate-KIC supported TWAICE, a Munich-based battery specialist, has...

TWAICE raises €11 million series A to power internationalisation efforts and scaling
In our community
Madrid: A city turning eco-fictions into eco-futures through systems innovat...
Madrid: A city turning eco-fictions into eco-futures through systems innovation
In The News
EIT Community shines on Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list

Eight EIT Climate-KIC innovators are featured in the prestigious...

EIT Community shines on Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list
Opinion
Trees as infrastructure: Part two
Dark Matter
Trees as infrastructure: Part two
Opinion
Trees as infrastructure: Part one
Dark Matter
Trees as infrastructure: Part one
Opinion
Could COVID-19 usher in massive systemic change?
EIT Climate-KIC Italy
Could COVID-19 usher in massive systemic change?
Opinion
Working during corona lockdown: EIT Climate-KIC Italy sets an example
EIT Climate-KIC Italy
Working during corona lockdown: EIT Climate-KIC Italy sets an example
Innovation Spotlight
How to improve building energy performance without up-front capital

Air-conditioning equipment, office furniture, lighting systems and even floor coverings are being leased, so why can’t a...

How to improve building energy performance without up-front capital
In The News
EU Taxonomy shows the way to net zero by 2050

The Technical Expert Group (TEG) on Sustainable Finance has...

EU Taxonomy shows the way to net zero by 2050
In The News
Regine Kreitz new EIT Climate-KIC Director of Marketing and Communications

Regine Kreitz will join EIT Climate-KIC, the European Union’s...

Regine Kreitz new EIT Climate-KIC Director of Marketing and Communications
In The News
KICs tackling water scarcity in Southern Europe

How EIT and KICs are working to address one...

KICs tackling water scarcity in Southern Europe
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC and partners launch Massive Open Online Course on e-waste

EIT Climate-KIC, together with its partners the UN, the...

EIT Climate-KIC and partners launch Massive Open Online Course on e-waste
In The News
Five EIT Climate-KIC innovators featured in Global Cleantech 100

Five EIT Climate-KIC supported innovative ventures included in the...

Five EIT Climate-KIC innovators featured in Global Cleantech 100
In The News
The journey to zero-emissions transport – part three

The transport sector already accounts for a quarter of...

The journey to zero-emissions transport – part three
In The News
The journey to zero-emissions transport – part two

The transport sector already accounts for a quarter of...

The journey to zero-emissions transport – part two
In The News
The journey to zero-emissions transport – part one

The transport sector already accounts for a quarter of...

The journey to zero-emissions transport – part one
In The News
Malaysia and Estonia win Climathon Global Awards at ChangeNOW summit

The city of Penang, Malaysia, and a team of...

Malaysia and Estonia win Climathon Global Awards at ChangeNOW summit
Opinion
Redesigning venture capital (part III): A hypothesis
Dominic Hofstetter Transformation Capital, EIT Climate-KIC
Redesigning venture capital (part III): A hypothesis
Opinion
The Long Time
Beatrice Pembroke & Ella Saltmarshe Co-founders, The Long Time Project
The Long Time
In our community
Mariana Mazzucato on big-picture, high-ambition innovation missions
Mariana Mazzucato on big-picture, high-ambition innovation missions