note | 20.07.2023

Why it's not enough to replace combustion engines with e-cars and why we need a broad discussion of values.

The Rotary Club of Augsburg organized for the 2nd time a whole day on the topic of climate on Saturday, July 22, 2023 at the Kurhaus in Augsburg-Göggingen. Read an interview with Prof. Wolfgang Rommel on the topic "Challenges of climate change".

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"Technology openness is not the right way in some places" - Interview with Prof. Wolfgang Rommel by Steffan Küpper - Augsburger Allgemeine July 22, 2023

Prof. Rommel, in one of your lectures you ask when we will have eaten up our earth. When will it be so far?

Wolfgang Rommel. If I could name a date, I would probably make a lot of money with it. Seriously, it's not about a date, it's about drawing attention to the fact that in the fight against climate change, we're focusing a lot on technologies and innovation, that we're replacing a coal-fired power plant with wind turbines, for example, or the internal combustion engine with a battery - all right, all important. But this requires resources, it requires materials - more than steel and more than copper, but also other elements of the periodic table, and enormous quantities of them. Replacing all combustion cars with electric cars will not work. Sure, technologies are important, but more important is the realization that things can't go on as they are.

Shouldn't the question actually be the other way around? When will the planet eat us?

Wolfgang Rommel. With regard to climate change, I find the image of the tsunami unfortunately very apt. We have known about it for a long time, but we do not perceive it sufficiently. The sea is still calm, but all of a sudden the wave comes. If we pursue the current strategy of simply wanting to replace everything one-to-one, then a second great tsunami is coming our way. This is the resource crisis. Breaking this giant wave will be even more difficult.


To the complete interview