Jump to contentJump to search

Climate crisis and us

Due to the school strike for the climate of Greta Thunberg and the resulting activities of the Fridays for Future movement, the climate problem has moved into public awareness. The Scientists for Future (S4F) founded by Gregor Hagemann support the goals of the FFF movement and have firmly anchored the topic in the academic environment.

After the successful forerunner event 'Climate Change and Me', which was launched in the winter semester 2019/20 as part of the Studium Universale by Nicolas Schmelling (quantitative biology) and Michael Schmitt (physical chemistry), we decided to attend the lecture series in the summer semester 2020 under to reissue the title 'Climate Crisis'. Lecturers from Heinrich Heine University and external guests will again present topics relating to climate change in individual lectures. The event is aimed at students from all departments and is also open to non-students interested participants within the framework of the Citizens University. At the moment the number of participants is limited to 500. Registration for students takes place in the LSF. 2 credit points (ECTS) can be acquired as an event within the framework of the Studium Universale.

The list of the lecture topics that have been set so far can be found in the LSF and below.

Every Monday at 4:15 p.m. we stream or upload the event to the YouTube channel.

Friday April 17th, 2020 Opening of the event: 'Are we already in the climate crisis?' (Prof. Dr. Michael Schmitt, Institute for Physical Chemistry, HHU)
#ClimateCrisis, #ClimateEmergency have replaced #ClimateChange as the most important hashtags on Twitter. But when does climate change turn into a crisis? Based on the consequences of the changing climate that can be estimated today, the title of the lecture series will be motivated in the opening event and a short cross-section of the lecture series will be presented.

Monday April 20th, 2020: 'Why is our climate changing?' (Prof. Dr. Michael Schmitt, Institute for Physical Chemistry, HHU)
In the second lecture, the physical and chemical basics of climate change are examined. How can historical climate data such as temperature or the composition of the atmosphere be tracked over millennia? Is there an optimal global average temperature? Why do we measure temperature changes better than absolute temperatures? What role do greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrogen oxides play in global warming, and is humanity to blame for everything?

Monday April 27th, 2020: 'Fridays For Future meets Citizen Science. Research with and about the Düsseldorf activists' (Dr. Anna Soßdorf and Laura Ferschinger, Institute for Social Sciences, Chair of Political Science II, HHU)
In cooperation with Fridays for Future activists from Düsseldorf, a team from the social science institute is researching the movement. The project is funded by the Heinrich Heine University (HHU) and is based on a citizen science approach. In this lecture, the central ideas, the planned research questions and the methodological concepts of the project will be presented and discussed.

Monday May 4th, 2020: 'Climate lawsuits: activists in court' (Prof. Dr. Rupprecht Podszun, Chair of Civil Law, German and European Competition Law, HHU)
The fight for the climate reaches the German courts: environmentalists are suing corporations for compensation for CO2 emissions, energy companies are suing climate activists for obstructing their business. Are judges now saving the climate or are they slowing down climate protectors? The new climate lawsuits have great potential, but they also push the judiciary to its limits. Last but not least, they demand an answer to the question of when a right to resistance arises.

Monday May 11th, 2020: 'Climate migration - What we know about the connection between climate change and human mobility' (Dr. Benjamin Schraven, German Development Institute, Bonn)
There is great concern that the effects of climate change will trigger gigantic refugee movements in the near future. Research also deals with the relationship between global warming and migration or human mobility. In this lecture, Benjamin Schraven will present the state of knowledge in this area and outline which scientific and political measures will be required to adequately counteract the phenomenon of 'climate migration'.

Monday May 18th, 2020: 'Business and Climate Change' (Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Hahn, HHU)
Companies are key players in the fight against climate change. On the one hand, they cause large amounts of greenhouse gases and, on the other hand, they can provide important impulses and innovations for reducing emissions. In the lecture 'Business and Climate Change', Prof. Dr. Against this background, Rüdiger Hahn asked three questions: 1. What influence do companies have on climate change? 2. What are the risks for companies from climate change? 3. What can corporate climate (protection) management look like?

Monday May 25th, 2020: 'Old diesel engines - new ideas? Chemical and thermal energy conversion and storage: Basics, concepts and applications' (Prof. Dr. Burak Atakan, Chair for Thermodynamics, Institute for Combustion and Gas Dynamics (IVG) University of Duisburg-Essen)
In the context of the energy transition and climate change, it is worth taking another look at the thermodynamic fundamentals of energy conversion in order to sound out potential for improvement and limits. Using the examples of the heat pump, the thermal “Carnot” battery and the use of engines as chemical reactors (polygeneration), concepts are presented, but open questions are also discussed.

Tuesday June 2nd, 2020: 'Climate change and the future - final questions about the history of the earth' (Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Froitzheim, University of Bonn, Institute for Geosciences)
In the history of the earth, the CO2 content of the air was closely linked to the temperature on the earth's surface. Today's CO2 content, which has been driven up by human activity, has long since left the range of fluctuation between warm and cold periods behind and we are approaching a hot period. If the CO2 emissions are not stopped as soon as possible, feedback with methane from thawing permafrost and marine gas hydrates could lead to a 'point of no return' and a global catastrophe like the one at the Permian-Triassic border 252 million years ago. For mankind used to a stable climate, something like this is hardly imaginable up to now. However, we know from earth's history how real the threat is. Since warnings have so far had too little effect, scientists are increasingly joining movements of nonviolent civil disobedience such as Extinction Rebellion.

Monday June 8th, 2020: 'Flying into the future with hydrogen, fuel cells and electric motors - Alternative drive concepts for aviation' (Alexander Neumann, Scientists For Future)
Air traffic is growing steadily. This means that greenhouse gas emissions in higher layers of the troposphere continue to rise. At the moment there is only the so-called 'bio-kerosene' as an alternative fuel for conventional aircraft engines to fossil fuels. Do new electric drive systems that rely exclusively on renewable energies offer more sustainable solutions?

Monday June 15th, 2020: 'The Heart of a Chef' (Johannes Nicolay, owner and chef of the vegan Hotel Nicolay)
Johannes Nicolay, head chef, hotel management graduate and pioneer of vegan gastronomy in Germany tells in a humorous and entertaining way about his unbelievable and arduous journey to the largest vegan hotel in Europe. He reports on the end of ignorance and the joy of sustainability and the direct successes from it simply without fear of thinking “outside the box”. It also offers tips, visions, opportunities and ideas on market niches for the relatively new target audience.

Monday 22.06.2020: 'Sharing Cities - Sharing as a guiding principle for sustainable urban development' (Jun.-Prof. Dr. Karoline Augenstein)
Can sharing as a guiding principle and strategy for sustainable development offer new impulses for sustainable living and economic activity in cities? How can urban space and coexistence be designed in such a way that participation in (alternative) prosperity as well as social and ecological sustainability are made possible? How do you succeed in enabling and promoting cooperative patterns in the design of urban transformation processes?

Monday 29.06.2020: 'Effects of climate change on biodiversity and changes in ecosystems' (Prof. Dr. Lunau, Institute for Sensory Ecology HHU)
Plants and animals are adapted to their environment. Man-made climate change, caused by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, leads to changes in the environment, global warming, an accumulation of catastrophic climatic events and acidification of the world's oceans. The consequences for biodiversity are dramatic and range from the shift in the occurrence of animals and plants through local and global extinction of species to massive disruption of ecosystems, for example through the death of bees with the associated pollination crisis, whereby the contributions come from the consequences of climate change such as global warming and acidification, the causes of which such as intensification of agriculture and light pollution and other causes such as land consumption and the use of pesticides and fertilizers can often not be separated.

Monday July 6th, 2020: 'Scientist or activist. Pairs of opposites or complement? ' (Prof. Dr. Michael Schmitt, Institute for Physical Chemistry, HHU)
At the end of the lecture series, the question is whether it is legitimate for scientists to be activists at the same time. In the self-image of science, this is often excluded and associated with a loss of credibility. Can this separation between the exploration of reality in the sciences and the shaping of reality in politics be maintained in times of crisis?

Responsible for the content: