Climate and nature
Nature absorbs carbon in vegetation on land and at sea in deposits that, during very long periods, are stacked in the bottom as waste materials of for instance forests and algae. The living part of the vegetation is absorbing the carbon during its growth and represents a considerable stock of fixed carbon, but the carbon take-up of a fully grown forest is relatively small. Therefore protecting forestry is of utmost importance to prevent worse, but is of relatively low value as compensation of emitted CO2. Plantationof new forests is only effective for this purpose if a very long term existence of the forest can be guaranteed. Use of wood seems to fixate carbon for the short term, but the majority of all wood will eventually decay or be burned and return to CO2 in the atmosphere. Protection of nature during millions or even thousands or hundreds of years is an illusion. Nevertheless, by this standard protection of nature is considered positive. The local environment, climate and biodiversity prosper and if the existing forests would be lost, additional greenhouse gasses would be emitted.
It is very likely that within some decennia or ages technological solutions for current problems will be developed. Development of such sustainability enhancing technology must be strongly stimulated and will be granted bonus points by this standard.
Loss of biodiversity is often considered a symptom of environmental damage. Though it is subject of diESCUssion if biodiversity itself is a sign of a healthy environment (our generation has no problem with the earlier loss of dinosaurs), this standard considers loss of biodiversity harmful because of following reasons:
- Biodiversity is a measure for the effect of mankind to the environment.
- Much of the interdependence of organisms is yet unknown.
- Genes of lost organisms may be a loss for useful future purposes.
- Humanly seen, the value of preservation is higher than the value of destruction.