What are some myths about environmental protection

Climate change? Oh stop it!

We clean up with climate myths

Most popular phrase among climate change deniers: It's all just scaremongering! People like to distract from the necessary climate protection measures. There you can choose to say that we have no influence at all on climate change, that climate protection is too expensive or socially unjust or that other countries should do something first. More and more myths are being scattered about this - we are now clearing that up.

Glacier on Spitsbergen - Photo: NABU / Christoph Kasulke

The most popular phrase is probably: We humans have no influence on the climate at all! It would be nice! The natural CO2caused by breathing, fermentation or putrefaction is actually not a problem and has been bound naturally for thousands of years. It is either stored in wood or in the sea or in the ground. Only the additional and constant burning of coal, gas and oil is the real problem. Because this is how the naturally stored CO2 released from the storage at once and the balanced carbon balance is brought out of balance.

The shell of our earth consists of almost 100 percent nitrogen, oxygen and argon. So carbon dioxide is only a minimal and tiny fraction - it is given in parts per million / ppm. For comparison: In the pre-industrial era the value was 280 ppm, until today it has risen to around 408.8 ppm and our earth has therefore heated up by around 1 degree Celsius.

Good to know: Long before humans existed, the average temperatures were actually a lot higher than they are today. 55 million years ago they rose by up to six degrees in a few thousand years - today we can say that the surface of the Arctic sea was around 23 degrees. The big difference: the temperature rises were much slower than today. Living things had much more time for biological adaptation.

Fridays for Future: Useless truants

On the street with Fridays for Future - Photo: NABU / Volker Gehrmann

For almost a year, young people around the world have been on strike for the climate - including in Germany. Critics keep talking about truancy, while the protesters get involved and take responsibility for the climate crisis, which they did not play a major role in causing. Fridays for Future use their school time and free time for social issues and sometimes their grades at risk. They also risk fines and expulsion from school during the holidays. And above all, they put pressure on politics and society. The federal government can finally no longer duck back and the topic is more present than ever.

Good to know: With Fridays for Future, more and more people are realizing that we are currently not well positioned to achieve the German climate protection goals. It is good to see that so many young people are so persistently strong for their future and for all of us.

Flying and driving an SUV is not bad

Airplane (Boeing 747) over residential area - Photo: Helge May

Almost everything we do affects the climate - including flying, of course, and driving around town in an SUV. The Arctic sea ice melts per ton of CO2 by three square meters. By the way: This is the CO2-Consumption of a person when flying there and back from Berlin to Madrid. Heavy cars and large cars need more horsepower than lighter, smaller cars. And an SUV is much more likely to fall into this category than a station wagon. You can see at first glance that SUVs are not particularly streamlined. Due to their size and weight, they have worse values ​​than most other cars in terms of consumption, tire wear and air resistance. SUVs also do not score well when it comes to space requirements, because public spaces in large cities are too valuable to be occupied by cars.

However, the climate crisis must not be passed on to the citizens. It is important that concrete measures are finally taken, both politically and economically. With the given framework conditions - for example cheap meat, cheap flights, cheap fossil fuels or poorly insulated old buildings - it is unfortunately still difficult for many people to live in a climate-friendly way. That is why politicians have long been called upon to set a different course. This is the only way we can be sure that, for example, all of our travel habits will change and that we will rely more on trains and bikes. Here politicians are called upon to optimize the infrastructure for bicycles and public transport at the same time as adjusting prices in accordance with the climate damage caused.

Good to know: Almost everyone can score points privately when it comes to climate protection. For example, with green electricity in the household, fewer car journeys, less meat consumption, traveling by train instead of by plane. For most people, relying on mostly regionally produced organic products should even mean a gain in quality of life and also be health-promoting.

For the really big hit, however, politics and business have an obligation to initiate clever climate protection measures. So if you want real climate protection, you have to question your habits and demand more climate protection both on the street and, of course, at the ballot box.

The real climate experts are at the EIKE institute

The so-called European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) is one Notscientific institution. Under the mantle of “institute”, which incidentally is not legally protected, astonishingly many older men deny science - in short: the climate crisis, on their website they claim, for example, that there are no global trends towards increased extreme weather. In addition, conspiracy theories are spreading and specifically denying man-made global heating. For them, climate protectors, on the other hand, are either ideologically, religiously or socialistically blinded.

In addition, they defame selected scientists in their community and spread that they see no reason for climate research and that CO2 wouldn't heat the atmosphere anyway. One thing is very clear: EIKE is really not a climate expert!

In order to get an insight into the dubiousness, we now show the partner organizations of EIKE in more detail. The institute cooperates regularly with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), one of the leading coordinators of the international science deniers. As luck would have it, EIKE President Holger Thuss co-founded its offshoot CFACT Europe and is still the managing director. EIKE also works closely with the climate deniers lobbying association Heartland Institute. But it is not the case that the institute does not want to interfere in realpolitik. Through its representation in the Federal Energy Committee of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), EIKE has considerable influence on their current environmental and energy policy. Members of the Federal Technical Committee are Michael Limburg, Vice President of EIKE, Horst-Joachim Lüdecke, EIKE press spokesman, and authors of EIKE. EIKE's cooperation partner is the neoliberal Institute for Entrepreneurial Freedom, whose board member and managing director Wolfgang Müller is EIKE's general secretary.

Good to know: EIKE rejects any climate policy and disseminates theses that contradict the scientific consensus. Hardly any “EIKE proof” and hardly any claim made by the science deniers can withstand a test. There are also close personal ties to the AfD.

Germany alone cannot do anything when it comes to climate protection

Electoral Palact with Angela Merkel's hands - Photo: Helge May

Germany accounts for around 2.1 percent of global CO2Emissions - that is quite a lot for a small country like Germany. In an international comparison, it becomes even clearer how much CO2 the Federal Republic of Germany is in 6th place in a global comparison, nothing to be proud of, because Germany emits more CO2 than most other countries. A person in the USA causes on average almost twice as much carbon dioxide as a person in Germany and around ten times as much as a person in India. Of course, it doesn't really matter where the emissions are generated. The fact is that they heat the earth and thus influence the climate and the environment.

The CO2Emissions are increasing globally. While EU countries, Japan and the USA are reducing their domestic emissions, China, India, Brazil and other countries in the Global South in particular are increasing. This is mainly due to the fact that more and more western production facilities are being relocated there. The fact is: as long as the western industrialized countries are not also measured by the total values ​​with imports and exports, this means an unnoticed shift in emissions. "Imported" CO2-Emissions are mainly caused by productions abroad and the subsequent transport to Germany. In 2015 that was around 506 million tons of CO2.

Good to know: Germany contributes 11 tons of CO2-Equivalents per capita and year, a power plant park characterized by coal-fired power plants and a transport sector that has not had any success in terms of climate or health protection for years, an enormous responsibility in terms of climate protection. The human-made CO2-Emissions are unfortunately still increasing worldwide. In 2018 they were around 3 percent higher than in the previous year.

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