Potsdam Institute for Climate on Trump

On Friday 20 January, Donald Trump was inaugurated as 45th President of the United States.

On this issue Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), Professor at Technische Universität Berlin:

„As the new president of the United States, Donald Trump could be quite successful in the short term, namely because debt-financed infrastructure programs have a rapid impact on the real economy. However, his populism as a business model will not prove viable in the long term. His reliance on scapegoats and his protectionism must be countered with international cooperation and the quest for fairness. Without a just globalization and without free trade, Germany will not be able to survive on the world stage, either politically or economically. Here, Germany could, following its upcoming federal elections in September 2017, send a strong signal by introducing a balanced socio-ecological tax reform. Essentially, Germany will have to fight for the preservation of the European Union and for multilateralism.”

“The incoming US president Trump will have substantial potential to cause trouble on climate policy. It remains to be seen whether the voluntary commitments of the Paris Agreement are actually stable. Trump could try to drive the export of coal. The economic policy of the new president could also lead to rising interest rates, which would compromise the competitiveness of renewable energies. This is because the profitability of climate-friendly technologies, in contrast to coal-fired power plants, is determined primarily by their investment costs, which are dependent on the interest rate. It will therefore be all the more important that realistic carbon prices be implemented in China as well as in Europe.”

For further information please contact the PIK PR Office:

Jonas Viering, Mareike Schodder and Sarah Messina

Phone: +49 331 288 25 07

E-Mail: press@pik-potsdam.de

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1 Response

  1. Poo says:

    Good Grief! Will Ottmar Edenhofer’s predictions never end? Climate, weather, the economy, what’s next football, stocks, the ponies? Has he turned Potsdam’s failed Climate Models on the economy?
    Trump’s biggest problem will be the 20 trillion dollar debt left by the outgoing Narcissist in Chief, 10 trillion of it directly from the last 8 years. This is more than all previous presidents combined. (Source: White House Budget Office, Congressional Budget Office, World Bank and the IMF.) Low unemployment rates are the result of the lowest employment participation rate (62.6%) since Carter. A record number, over 95,000,000 Americans, are no longer in the labor force. (Source: U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics). This is not to mention the record number of part-time jobs, multi-job families.
    It is sad that most of Obama’s admirers do not know the difference between a deficit and a debt. Maybe they don’t care and the speeches do sound better when people think you reduced the debt rather than having spent 3 years to reduce but not eliminate the deficit thus increasing the debt. Oh well.
    “Debt-financed infrastructure programs” do not have “a rapid impact on the real economy.” Mr. Edenhofer ought to check out the lengthy approval process involved in project development in part the result of his picketing and protesting anti-development eco-warriors. Trump will be lucky to get 1/3 of his projects up and running without a 2nd term.
    Germany’s problems on the world stage will not come from Trump but rather a disintegrating EU, 1,000,000 dependent migrants and porous borders.
    Mr. Edenhofer understands “globalization” and “free trade” as functions of some sort of international board or the corrupt U.N., something that would offer “a balanced socio-ecological tax reform.” This is absurd on its face both economically and logically. I gather he reads Stiglitz and Krugman both currently advising Greece on their next bankruptcy, their 6th.
    As to his Climate Policy or lack thereof, Mr. Edenhofer would be better advised to address the coal consumption of China and India. China starts 2 new plants per week and will continue until 2030 while India will pause construction in 2022 before restarting in 2027. So he understands, it is only 2017! All the while demand for coal increases by double digits each year in both countries. “Trump could try to drive the export of coal.” News flash, every country that has coal is exporting it, if and when they can. This includes Canada and the U.S.
    The “voluntary commitments of the Paris Agreement are actually” more than unstable. They are in the verge of collapse as they cannot be and, in some cases, will not be met. In spite of our very own Chairman Moi (Selfie Anyone?) and his preening, Canada has no hope of meeting even the lowest of the “voluntary commitments” though he seems willing to throw tax payers money at it. I believe, in an earlier time, they called this “vainglorious.”
    As an economist, he should know that “interest rates” cannot stay low forever particularly with the debt load carried by the U.S. They will go higher in the short to medium term, not wildly but up all the same. They have been low for too long.
    “Climate-friendly technologies” are only profitable with massive subsidies. Ontario, where I live, was once known as the “economic” engine of Canada.” Under the Liberals, the last dozen years have render the Province “have not” status in Canada. We have twice the debt load of California with 1/3 the population. Our electricity costs, once amongst the lowest, are now the highest in North America. We are following “climate-friendly technologies” and policies that Mr. Edenhofer would, no doubt, approve. Happily, the next Provincial election ends it all.
    Mr. Edenhofer’s models have projected that “man-made global warming” is just about to end Canadian winter as we know and love it. Right after any bad weather happens Potsdam can be counted on to claim that their theory and/or model had predicted it, whether it had or not. They deftly switched from “incontrovertible man-made warming” to the nebulous “anthropogenic climate change.” This allows all weather to be proof of a coming apocalypse. I believe con men and women call this the bait and switch. Temperature rises are claimed as “conclusive proof” while a lack of same is “irrelevant.” But in the interest of science let us understand that a theory that predicts everything actually predicts nothing. No outcome can constitute evidence for or against it. That is how science actually works. Science does not work by unprovable hypotheses asserted with dogmatic intolerance and public relations flair.
    Potsdam global warming “models” rarely try to explain the ‘How’ of the past. That would be something to build on. They successfully predict known past outcomes then feed in current conditions, incorporate some assumptions that make outcomes inevitable, run a simulation and call it a “scientific fact.” Real science works by controlled experiment and repetition not by fiddling with selected numbers.
    Earth’s climate history has been as spectacular as it has unstable. We know it cannot have resulted from human action because most major “climate changes” occurred not only before industrialization but before humans as we know them moved about in significant numbers. The scientific method as opposed to the political p.r. method favored by Mr. Edenhofer, would develop models for predicting the future by “predicting” the past. For example, input 8th century conditions and successfully generate the 11th, 12th century conditions to generate the 14th and so on. As it is, no Potsdam model can explain the Medieval Warm Period, tellingly called the “Medieval Climate Optimum” except in terms of modern man-made global warming and no credible model attempts it. The MWP began around 950 AD and ended with the “Little Ice Age” from around 1300 to 1850. No model exists without whimsy that assures it cannot be applied to 2017 or any other period for that matter. Vast ice sheets surge forth and retreat in bewildering 40- to 100,000 year cycles. Where is the model for that?
    Every other credible branch of science builds from the simplest and earliest basics (a,b,c,1,2,3) logically and chronologically to the complexities of the known modern world. How come the “Climatologists” and “Climate Scientists” cannot predict with any confidence or accuracy future warming, floods and hurricanes or explain with equal confidence and accuracy periods of glaciation such as the Younger Dryas, the Pliocene-Quaternary, the Cryogenian, the Snowball Earth or virtually anything else about the Earth’s past history?
    A fundamental tenet of science asserts that the laws of causation do not change. Measurement and experiment would be meaningless otherwise. Mr. Edenhofer and his fellow alarmists violate this precept with alarming regularity. They happily declare a recent year among the warmest in “recorded history” with the full knowledge that systematic temperature measurements only vaguely began in the Victorian period. Naturally, it is warmer today than in the “Little Ice Age!” Duh!
    It is a fatally flawed data set and fundamentally anti-science. They assert that a warming cycle began naturally around 1850 and maintained its trend line until the invention of the computer when it abruptly and randomly changed its causation. Why? How? Mr. Edenhofer and co. never say unless, of course, they have discovered that the laws of causality are themselves unstable. Shouldn’t they tell us if they are? Now that would be a discovery!
    Scientists have always depended on funding. Today they must not only be brilliant but politically correct and follow the proscribed agenda.
    “Evidence-based decision-making” would serve us better if it explained the evidence. Meantime, I’ll enjoy the snow and the cold.

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