Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt called for an end to the "hysteria" over global warming in the lead-up to the summit. The topic is "hysterical, overheated, and that is especially because of the media," Schmidt told Germany's Bild daily. There has always been climate change on earth, Schmidt said. "We've had warm- and ice-ages for hundreds of thousands of years," he said, and added that the reasons behind the multiple climate changes have been "inadequately researched for the time being." To assume that global climate change can be altered by any plans made at the Heiligendamm summit is "idiotic," he said.
--Deutsche Welle, 4 June 2007
Helmut Heinrich Waldemar Schmidt (German pronunciation: [ˈhɛlmʊt ˈʃmɪt]; born 23 December 1918) is a German Social Democratic politician who served as Chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982. Prior to becoming chancellor, he had served as Minister of Defence and Minister of Finance. He had also served briefly as Minister of Economics and as acting Foreign Minister. He is the oldest surviving German Chancellor and the last surviving person to have been solely Chancellor of West Germany (Helmut Kohl was Chancellor of both West Germany and reunified Germany). He is also the oldest Federal German Minister surviving after the death of his Interior Minister Werner Maihofer.