“We can no longer live as before”

DThree projects by citizens for environmental protection in the city have just been awarded in the “Frankfurt Biodiversity Ideas Competition”: One group wants to create a “Tiny Forest” in the city, another a “nectar bar” for moths and bats, one third ensure that more dead wood remains in the open.

But in view of the enormous dimensions of the climate crisis, aren’t such ideas little more than the proverbial drop in the bucket? Can they really make a difference?

Hannes Jaenicke, the actor known from series such as “Tatort” and “Amsterdam-Krimi”, who has been committed to climate and environmental protection for many years, is firmly convinced of this. He feels “very simple enthusiasm” for the initiatives, he calls them “extremely encouraging” at the FAZ congress in conversation with Mechthild Harting, editor in the Rhein-Main editorial team, and the biologist, author and director Ina Knobloch. The topic of their debate: “Climate change and cities”.

“Sponge cities” instead of more asphalt

What can and what must happen in the metropolises to slow down climate change? There is one thing everyone on the podium quickly agrees on: there are no simple solutions. Nature and the climate are far too complex to be saved with the one “silver bullet”. Many measures would have to interlock in order to slow down global warming.

Editor Mechthild Harting (centre) speaks to actor Hannes Jaenicke (left) and biologist Ina Knobloch (right) at the FAZ Congress.

Editor Mechthild Harting (centre) speaks to actor Hannes Jaenicke (left) and biologist Ina Knobloch (right) at the FAZ Congress.

Image: Lucas Bäuml

Ina Knobloch names an important task for the cities: finally more must be done against the sealing of the soil, demands the documentary filmmaker. Instead of asphalting the areas in the metropolises more and more, work would have to be done on “sponge cities” and “sponge regions”. But you could also help against the climate crisis if you stopped removing dead animals from the forests. For the soil of the forests, the decomposing animals are – as fertilizer – a blessing. In general, it is worth thinking more “out of the box”. “We need a diversification of solutions to stop the climate crisis,” says Knobloch.

Hannes Jaenicke also sees a challenge for each individual. “We can no longer live as before, the responsibility lies with us,” clarifies the actor. He is annoyed by the ignorance of many citizens towards the climate crisis.

“We need the wolf”

He makes no secret of the fact that he doesn’t think much of city dwellers buying “three-ton SUVs.” Instead, one would have to consistently reward citizens who really save energy and conserve resources. More incentives are needed to protect the climate. “People work through their wallets,” says Jaenicke.

A central component in the fight against the climate crisis, Knobloch and Jaenicke agree, is the protection of species. Germany needs more wilderness, they say. National parks in Spessart and Odenwald, for example, would help to get closer to the biological balance.

But many citizens, moderator Harting objects, are skeptical about such plans. For example, they fight against the reintroduction of wolves and even go to demonstrations. “It’s incredibly stupid,” says Hannes Jaenicke. “We need these animals. Nature is an intelligent system: if we eliminate a species, the balance is upset.”

#longer #live
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