Climate protection scientists: “make fewer children” – focus online

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Global warming is the result of billions of small individual decisions – and takes on an increasingly serious scale. Now scientists are asking people to make decisions that can not only significantly change their own lives.

A team of Swedish and Canadian scientists identified four key measures that everyone could implement individually. One of these is likely to pose a problem for most people.

Because the most effective way for individuals to do something about their personal carbon dioxide emissions is to limit their family planning. The researchers now explained this in their study on "climate protection gap", the the trade magazine "Environmental Research Letters" published. That seems like a crazy proposal if you look at it as a whole.

Possible solutions: No meat, no car, no air travel

"Vegetarian diet, avoiding air travel and driving – and making fewer children," said Seth Wynes of the Canadian University of British Columbia, summarizing the four paths.

To calculations the researcher could save a single person up to 2.4 tons of climate-damaging CO2 by not using a car – per year. A meat-free diet saves 0.8 tons of carbon dioxide every year. A person who does not travel by plane can reduce his personal emissions by an average of 1.6 tons per year.

Any child not born helps save the world

However, all of these are only weak measures compared to not having your own offspring. Because not everyone in the world According to the study, the child who is seated has enormous potential for CO2 savings: an average of 58.6 tons less greenhouse gases would be generated each year.

An illustrative example is given: “An American family who chooses to have fewer children contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions to the same extent as 684 people who choose to spend the rest of their lives in their youth Systematically recycle waste, ”wrote the research team. But can you really be serious? It can.

One could then cynically ask whether it would also help climate protection if we humans would give up our long life. An earlier death is also likely to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. But that cannot be the solution.

Recycling far less effective than previously thought

Nevertheless, the scientists are convinced that their four recommended decisions for a different lifestyle have much greater potential for reducing emissions than many other methods that climate protectionists often recommend to people. To stay with the example of recycling: According to the study, comprehensive recycling measures are four times less effective than a vegetarian diet.

Before reaching their result, the scientists evaluated 39 studies from scientific publications and thematic government reports. In addition, they examined the existing climate protection measures that the authorities in the USA, Canada, Australia and Europe applied.


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Christina Cherry
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