Nature cannot be fooled!

What the corona crisis teaches us about solving the climate crisis

Thursday, May 14, 2020
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM GMT+2
More information and registration

A recording of the lecture can be found here:

I am delighted to be able to give a public lecture again. This time it will be online and hosted by WWF in Basel.

The title is borrowed from Richard Feynman and I will explain why I believe it is highly relevant.


With media’s attention almost entirely devoted to the corona crisis, it is easy to forget that climate change represents a much larger threat to humanity and that we are rapidly running out of time to fix the problem. We should therefore try to learn as much as possible from the current situation, which offers important insights into the politics of crisis management. The most important lesson is probably that “nature cannot be fooled”. Real threats cannot be countered with wishful thinking or political rhetoric.

The largest obstacle to fixing the climate crisis is in our heads. For almost 30 years, we have been arguing over minimal changes to society, hoping that these would miraculously suffice to solve the greatest challenge in human history. Political convenience was more important than solid facts. The corona crisis gives us an opportunity to change this. In my presentation, I will try to be more ambitious and present a plan to solve the climate crisis.

Quiz: Can you find the oil crisis in the plot below?

Global Carbon Pricing and Economic Growth

I have been invited to organize a conference track on carbon pricing at the the 7th RME Research Conference (Responsible Management Education) on October 18-21 2020 at the FHGR in Chur. We are looking for contributions that address the incompatibility of economic growth and climate protection:

The problem with climate change is not that renewable energy is too expensive, but that fossil fuel is too cheap. With current coal prices, the amount of coal required to exhaust the carbon budget of 330 Gt costs less than 7 trillion USD (< 10% of global GPD), or less than 1000 USD per capita. As science and technology are not going to make fossil fuel more expensive, it follows that solving the climate crisis is a political problem, which can only be solved through the introduction of significant global carbon pricing. Most likely, the required price level will be high enough to send the world economy into a long-lasting recession. This track will consider possible mechanisms for the introduction of global carbon pricing and its consequences on employment, technological development, quality of life and economic growth.

Please feel free to submit your contribution to this important topic using this link. The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2020. You can also contact me directly if you have any questions.