Can CO2 be taken from the atmosphere and moved into houses for plants?
No, not in a good way with present day technology, it will be too expensive and not a good environmental solution.
/ Mats Björk
What about the decrease in biodiversity?
The current biodiversity loss is at an unprecedented speed, and it is caused by climate change, pollution and the rapid loss of natural ecosystems. The expert report from IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), approved in May 2019, states that ca 25 per cent of all species (including insects, excluding bacteria) are threatened, suggesting that around 1 million species already face extinction, many within a few decades. This gives extinction rates tens to hundreds of times higher than the average rate over the past 10 million years. These species have evolved over millions of years, and some philosophers argue that they should have the right to exist in their own right. Many species are important for ecosystem functioning, and some species provide important ecosystem services to humans, like for example pollination of our food crops. Current efforts to reduce species loss are far from sufficient. However, ecosystems, with their biodiversity, can be conserved, restored and used sustainably, at the same time as meeting other global goals such as climate mitigation, clean water and justice for indigenous communities.
/ Maria Johansson
Is the situation as bad, or worse, than the scientists are saying?
Scientists study different things, for example trees or impacts of hurricanes, and therefore they are experts about different parts of the Earth. Also, scientists who study the same thing, often agree on many things but disagree about others. Scientists agree that climate change is very serious and getting more serious, but they also agree that if people act we can reduce and cope with the damage.
Scientists have been worried about climate change for a long time, and that worry has been increasing due to both increased understanding of how the earth system works, and the lack of action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, a scientist's beliefs about the future depend not only on science, but how one believes people will act in the future and that is quite uncertain. Science agrees that the impacts of climate change are here now, the difficulty of avoiding dangerous climate change is increasing, but we are not doomed. The sooner climate emissions go to zero, and the less damage the planet and people will experience. We can build the resilience of societies, cities, and ecosystems to reduce the damage caused by climate change.
International scientific assessments processes, such as the IPCC and IPBES, gather hundreds of scientific experts from around the world to periodically assess what the distribution and confidence of the latest knowledge is. One can learn about the current state of the science by reading these reports or their summaries.
/ Garry Peterson
Are electric cars effective? What about the making of the batteries?
Public transportation is in general more effective as it leads to less environmental footprint and emissions per person-mile/person-km. Electric cars are however preferable over fossil-fuel driven forms of car as they cause less emissions of greenhouse gasses. But no form of transportation is free of environmental impact. The making of car batteries often requires rare earth metals that are gathered from places were people and nature is often exploited. The making of car batteries further requires much energy (which ideally is from a renewable source), and it is important that the batteries are recycled after their life time has ended.
/ David Colleste
What are a meaningful compensation?
Compensation schemes are developing quickly to allow polluters to compensate for their action – such as flying. Many of these involve planting trees or investing in renewable energies. The problem is these schemes, while meaning well, are not always all good. So you need to decide what matters to you and then you need to look into what a scheme is doing. Here are a couple of examples to show why:
Planting trees will act as carbon storage, taking CO2 out of the atmosphere – this is good. But where the trees are planted and what kind of trees are planted will matter. If they are monocultures (just one kind of tree, all of the same age) over large areas they can be vulnerable to diseases as these can spread quickly (so they will store less CO2) and they will not provide the benefits of a forest ecosystem such as supporting the diversity of species found in forests – with mixed species and different ages of trees.
Some compensation schemes invest in renewable energies such as biofuels as these produce fewer greenhouse gases – this is good. But where are these biofuel crops being grown? Are they replacing food crops? If they are, is it in places that can afford to have fewer food crops? Are biofuels being planted in areas once covered by another ecosystem? If so, what is being lost?
/ Miriam Huitric