Myth-busting scientist pushes greens past reliance on ‘horror stories’, from Greenwire

At home in differential equations and fieldwork, Kareiva illustrates his more theoretical side during a talk on the population dynamics of turtles at Santa Clara. Photo courtesy of Lauridsen/TNC.

This was circulating around at work today…
From E&E News here..
This is enough to give you a flavor.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Peter Kareiva had come to answer for his truths.

Settling at the head of a long table ringed by young researchers new to the policy world, Kareiva, chief scientist of the Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest environmental organization, cracked open a beer. After a long day mentoring at the group’s headquarters, an eight-story box nestled in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, he was ready for some sparring.

The scientists had read Kareiva’s recent essay, which takes environmentalists to task. The data couldn’t bear out their piety, he wrote. Nature is often resilient, not fragile. There is no wilderness unspoiled by man. Thoreau was a townie. Conservation, by many measures, is failing. If it is to survive, it has to change.

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Inducted last year into the National Academy of Sciences, Kareiva continues to teach part-time at Santa Clara University. Photo by Dave Lauridsen. Courtesy of the Nature Conservancy (TNC).

Many around the table were unconvinced. Some were disturbed.

How could this be coming from the Nature Conservancy?

“We love the horror story,” Kareiva said. He was dressed in New Balance running shoes, a purple sweater and rumpled tan trousers. “We just love it. The environmental movement has loved it. That, I think, is … [a] strategy failure. And it’s actually not supported by science.”

This is not some vague hypothesis, he added to murmurs. He’s seen it in the data.

“The message [has been that] humans degrade and destroy and really crucify the natural environment, and woe is me,” he said. “The reality is humans degrade and destroy and crucify the natural environment — and 80 percent of the time it recovers pretty well, and 20 percent of the time it doesn’t.”

One of the visitors, Lisa Hayward, an ecologist working on invasive-species policy at the U.S. Geological Survey, spoke up. How can that be so? “I feel that does not represent the consensus of the ecological community,” she said.

“I’m certain that it doesn’t represent the consensus of the ecological community,” Kareiva shot back, with a smile and flash in his eyes. A circle of nervous laughter swayed around the room. “I’m absolutely certain of that! Wait two years.”

Kareiva has never feared following the data, or dragging others with him. Already a respected ecologist, for the past decade he has shoved the Nature Conservancy toward a new environmentalism. The old ways aren’t working. Inch by inch, for better or worse, conservation must, he says, enter the Anthropocene Epoch — the Age of Man.

For most of the conservancy’s history, the old way meant one thing: buying and protecting land from human development, through any means necessary. “Saving the Last Great Places on Earth,” the old Nature Conservancy motto went. And it worked. Backed by wealthy donors and corporate deals, the conservancy has long been one of the largest landowners in the United States. Worldwide, it has protected more than 119 million acres.

But not all of its trends point up.

The average age of a conservancy member is 65. The average age of a new member is 62. Each year, those numbers creep upward. Only 5 percent of the group’s 1 million members are younger than 40. Among the “conservation minded” — basically, Americans who have tried recycling — only 8 percent recognize the group. Inspiration doesn’t cut it anymore. Love of nature is receding. The ’60s aren’t coming back.

It’s a problem confronting all large conservation groups, including the World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Quietly, these massive funds — nicknamed the BINGOs, for “big nongovernmental organizations” — have utterly revamped their missions, trumpeting conservation for the good it does people, rather than the other way around. “Biodiversity” is out; “clean air” is in.

“In fact, if anything, this is becoming the new orthodoxy,” said Steve McCormick, the Nature Conservancy’s former president. “It’s widespread. Conservation International changed its mission, and it’s one that Peter Kareiva could have crafted.”

For these groups, it’s a matter of survival. But for ecologists like Kareiva, it’s science.

The conservation ethic that has driven these groups — the protection of pristine wild lands and charismatic species into perpetuity — has unraveled at both ends. American Indians dramatically altered the environment for thousands of years, paleontologists have found; even before then, climate shifts followed the planet’s wobbles. And in the future, no land will be spared man’s touch, thanks to human-induced global warming.

The desire to return to a steady-state baseline, before European settlement or human influence, will never work, these scientists say. Many species won’t be saved; some that are saved will not thrive, lingering in a managed existence like the California condor. There is no return to Eden. Population will rise. Triage is coming.

“Conservation is at a crossroads,” said John Wiens, who served with Kareiva as a lead scientist at the conservancy for several years before joining the nonprofit PRBO Conservation Science. “That’s where we are. And we’re likely to be there for some time.”

Kareiva was not the first to see the crossroads. But unlike those of many writers and scientists, his message has come from the inside. And there is every reason to suspect the movement will push back, said Stewart Brand, the environmentalist best known as the editor of Whole Earth Catalog.

“To be the first going somewhat public with this kind of critique from [inside] an organization framework, it’s not only pioneering and important, but brave,” Brand said. “He’s a guy who’s risking his job.”

Here are the last paragraphs:

Ecosystem services are no panacea, though, said Wiens, the former conservancy scientist. It’s a recipe that can easily miss the nonmonetary values of the environment. And it won’t necessarily help managers make the hard choices on what species to save. How will this triage be decided? There are no tools, no paradigm, that can do that yet.

“We don’t have, right now, the framework to think through those cost-benefit calculations,” Wiens said. “And I think that’s partly because people have been avoiding this notion of triage.”

For now, at conservation and ecology conferences, many young scientists speak exactly like Kareiva, said Marvier, his former postdoc. These are the future conservation managers and agency leaders. A generational dynamic is being played out. Kareiva’s team seems to be winning. Team Biodiversity may soon leave the court.

Back at the conservancy’s headquarters, meeting with the young scientists, Kareiva had finished his beer, an India pale ale from Heavy Seas-branded Loose Cannon. It was a good talk. There would be many more like it. Move conservation into working landscapes like farms, he had said. Value nature’s services. Let go of the ideal. And bring in a base beyond affluent, educated whites. Let Thoreau go.

“Broaden the constituency to those loggers,” he said.

The whole article is interesting and you can sign up for a free trial of Greenwire here.
Here is a link to Kareiva’s paper. I think we may have posted it here before, but not sure.

27 thoughts on “Myth-busting scientist pushes greens past reliance on ‘horror stories’, from Greenwire”

  1. Bingo’s?
    How coy of E&E.

    TNC,CI, WWF,EDF,TWS, and the rest of the corporatized Big Green alphabet were long ago accurately identified as Gang Green, for good reason.

    After all, “Steve McCormick, the Nature Conservancy’s former president”, is currently serving the purposes of President of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Trustees — one significant step up the multi-national corporate food chain.

    Kareiva’s soothing dismal of our current horror story is classic Pollyanna-speak. His oversight of the mass extinction event coinciding with the anthropocene, the ensuing chaos, and the timescale of recovery from that, is a sleight of reality.

    This comes as no surprise either. Tis far easier for his sleight of hand to pass a magic wand over the whiteboard of differential equations than to admit the obvious– for he is now complicit in the coverup of conservation failures being directly linked to the multi-national corporate highjacking of the environmental movement.

    The rest of the story will record a very unpleasantly remarkable history– any way you look at it — (except from the corporate perspective Kareiva speaks from.)

    • Here’s what Dick Behan had to say in Plundered Promise: Capitalism, Politics and the Fate of the Federal lands about the “Gang Green” that David speaks of:

      Potomac Fever, Planning, and Pillage
      The influence of large corporate interests in Washington … includes dominant companies of the forest products industry, the mining industry, the livestock industry, and agribusiness industry, the energy industry, and the outdoor recreation industry. They work independently and they work cooperatively, through their trade associations and collateral PACs.
      Standing ostensibly opposed to the “commodity interests” are the large national environmental groups …. That opposition was, at one time, far more ostensible, but the environmental groups became professionalized, permanent bureaucracies, and opened large, expensive, well-staffed offices in Washington.
      … [T]he environmental groups followed suit in betraying American democracy … turning Washington into an arrogant capital. By co-option or choice they formed oblique but significant alliances with the rich and powerful interests in the city, and that meant the corporate interests. …
      Pipelines to corporate largesse and executive talent have transformed the environmental organizations in to large, complex, immortal, virtually corporate entities in their own right. The environmental groups in Washington today, the Big Greens, as they are sometimes labeled—without admiration, respect, or appreciation—are altogether a part of the politics of overshoot. [p. 186-188]

  2. Nice to see some fresh air and common sense infiltrate one of these organizations. Humans aren’t pathogens in the environment, we are a critical part of it. This looks like a minor triumph of science over one of its pretenders.

    • I have maintained that “humans are a part of Nature, and humans are apart from Nature.” Since both our numbers and our technology are so pronounced, we have to choose how we live embedded in Nature’s complex, adaptive systems—and how we adapt and react to system changes. See, e.g. my Whither Humanity in US Forest Service Policy-Making?

      Right now we aren’t doing too well, in my view. We are still acting too much like “pathogens” or “parasites,” or “conquerors of the land-community” and too little as “plain member and citizen of the land-community,” as Leopold counseled.

      • David: If humans are “part of Nature, and humans are apart from Nature,” then so are fish — particularly when filleted, wrapped in plastic, and put on display at a grocery store. However, it is my perspective that it is only Natural to wrap fish in plastic if they are to be stored with other food items for any length of time.

        Your qualifying statement that we are “acting like” pathogens tips your hand. I don’t think we are pathogens at all, nor would I know how to go about “acting” like one. I’m an omnivore that prefers driving my Mitsubishi to walking or jogging in town or down the freeway, and likes to hike around the mountains and seashore when driving isn’t an option. It’s not an act.

        And I happen to think we’re doing great! Check out infant mortality stats, educational opportunities, medical care, and Internet communications. No bipeds ever had it so go, and that goes for a lot of housecats, poodles, and ponies, too!

        Either we’re part of nature, or not. I wouldn’t know how to go about separating us, why we’d want to do it, or where the point of separation is even located.

        • Bob argues,

          Either we’re part of nature, or not. …

          Nope! We are clearly animals, therefore a part of nature. But, it is our “big brains” (and our use of tools and technology) that differentiates us from other animals. So we can be both “part of nature and apart from Nature.” It is the stuff of paradox. It is only Modernism that relegates all to “either/or.” In Postmodern thought “either/or” become “both/and.”

          In the hyperlink I provided, Whither Humanity in Forest Service Policy-Making?, I refer to four important books that almost no one in the natural resources arena has read: Here are quotes from two of them:

          In The Idea of Wilderness: From prehistory to the age of ecology, Max Oelschlaeger asks, (p. 350), “Do we dare think that we are nature watching nature?,” opening our eyes to a paradox. We are part of nature. We are apart from nature, watching it and developing our culture apart from, but in relation to nature.

          In The Social Creation of Nature, Neil Everden advises that “if we want to prevent the realm of humanity or history becoming a subcategory of Nature, we are going to have to admit to ourselves that Nature is in fact a subcategory of Humanity or history — that we are, after all, the authors of the system we call Nature. And moreover, that we are the authors of the dualism that facilitates the existence of humans and nature as separate and qualitatively distinct entities. We are going to have to admit our own role in the constitution of reality, which in turn means admitting something quite fundamental about the nature of our knowing.” (p. 94)

          If you want to call BS on my “a part of, and apart from” notion, you’ll have to do some reading, or at minimum admit that you are disagreeing with others besides me.

          • Dave: My backlog of reading is already longer than my anticipated remaining lifespan, therefore I’m going to have to take the “disagreeing with others, too” option, which — good, bad, or both — has a very familiar feel to me.

            Yes, if you want to argue that “nature” is an artificial concept established by people, then yes, I will readily accept the idea that being “apart from nature” is also a human construct, and therefore there’s enough room at the table to place both structures.

            That’s just semantics, though. If we want to define nature as the combination and interactions of life, mass, and atmosphere on planet earth (which is basically how I see it), then we don’t have the option of separating ourselves from nature without resorting to space travel.

            Either we’re in or we’re out. Just like a swimming pool, whether being used by the post-moderns or not. On or off. No matter how Modernistic this concept might be.

            • Ok, Bob. Using your narrowly-framed definition “were in.” We are part of nature, a perspective I have never denied. The fact remains, that our actions and our sheer numbers have no small effect relative to earth’s systems: deforestation, desertification, human-induced global warming, despoiling of “sinks,” e.g. air pollution that has effects beyond “global warming”, water pollution in rivers, lakes, oceans to name just some of our effects. That is why I earlier said that we were/are acting more like destroyers of earth’s life-support systems than “plain members and citizens of [Leopold’s] land-community” A proposition set forth only to encourage us to seek better pathways going forward. (See #6, #7 above)
              PS. I used the word “pathogens” only because you used it.

              • Dave: This isn’t a difference in semantics so much as a difference in perspectives. Yes, the effects you list are associated with human occupation on the planet. We are the only animal that can use fire and we’re really good at it.

                On the other hand, I’m not so sure these are bad things. One man’s air pollution is another man’s bonfire at the beach. And man is not the only animal who benefits by his use of fire. Several thousand years ago a significant portion of the earth’s forests were burned off and replaced with grasslands and wildflowers and great herds of bison, elk, cattle, horses and milk cows. Made possible by deforestation and air pollution on a massive and unprecedented scale. Personally, I’m glad they did it.

                We are not “destroyers of the earth,” or even close. We are stewards — and we seem to be getting better for the most part, despite the billions of us now living here. We never had Internet when I was a kid, or even TV. Families generally had one telephone, one car, and often only one or two pens and a single razor. Working families. Other kids my age were still getting polio. Rural areas were getting phone service and electrical service for the first time ever. Nobody ate food stamps. And there were a lot fewer people living here — a whole lot fewer.

                Now we have great, mostly preventable, wildfires and millions of acres of rotting snags and people being put out of work because tree mice need 10 acres of forest more than they do. Now we develop $125,000,000 taxpayer programs so college kids can hunt barred hoot owls to keep them from breeding with spotted hoot owls. Now we aren’t going to die and burn in hell like they used to preach on Sunday morning TV — now we’re going to fry and burn in place because we used the wrong kind of light bulb.

                Two perspectives. Glass half full, and being added to, or glass half empty and leaking from a hole in the bottom. Or, as the Modernists say: both.

                • We are not “destroyers of the earth,” or even close. We are stewards — and we seem to be getting better for the most part, despite the billions of us now living here.

                  I hope you are right, Bob. Neither of us are likely to live long enough to know which of us will be closer to right. I marvel at our technology. I marvel at our science. It is awesome! I mean that. Still, I fear, as did Mary Shelly, that we may have created a Frankenstein. I fear that we are playing a fool’s game, living on borrowed time and borrowed printing-press money — by strip-mining the planet, breeding like rabbits, and hanging our hopes on a false sense of security in our own cleverness (productivity and efficiency myths, for example). But what hell! Eat, drink, and be merry! And never, never sell your stock in IBM (or Apple).

        • Yes, “we’re doing great!” (when viewed in isolation, not part of nature) but species are going extinct to make room for our cumulative fat asses.

          Humans are co-opting an alarming fraction of the primary productivity on this planet, and we are not doing a very good jobs of sharing this planet with the the biodiversity that has evolved here with us.

          Our survival, and that of our fellow passengers, depends on complex self-organizing systems, dissipative structures far from equilibrium but poised on the edge between order and chaos. Things are not right when this beautiful symphony is being drowned out and destroyed by “the machine” that is our modern economy.

          • Tree- Just so you know there are many disciplines of science, and thinking of “systems” is a lens on the real world, but not the real world. Certainly scientists who study systems see the world that way, but many other disciplines do not. For example, a meadow may be a random assemblage of plants and animals that happened to have shown up on a given day, month or year, or a finely tuned “ecosystem” that may “fall out of equilibrium” and “crash.”.

            The world is not “poised on the edge between order and chaos.” Or if it is, that’s a philosophical, and not a scientific, observation.

            What do you recommend…getting rid of our modern economy?

            • What do you recommend…getting rid of our modern economy?

              Dick Behan’s book Plundered Promise: Capitalism, Politics, and the Fate of the Federal Lands,2001, referenced earlier in #4 is built around the premise that indeed we do need to reform our “modern economy” as a part of the broader political makeup of our nation. Here, in part, is how Behan makes the case:

              Today, the corporate genie has left the bottle. Impersonal corporations first encouraged and eventually created a self-destructive consumer society. Today, the most powerful corporations rampage through the economy externalizing every possible cost, dismissing workers by the thousands and exporting their jobs to slave labor, child labor, or sweatshop labor; laying waste to ecosystems anywhere in the world to acquire raw materials: paper-shifting profits to lowest-tax jurisdictions; and finally turning capitalism into corruption. They dominate the mass media, indoctrinating society with a system of corporate values; they have overturned a century of regulatory policy,; they have legalized corporate participation in electoral campaigning; and finally they have turned politics into predation. The structure of the corporation, once clearly in service to society, has become a threatening menace.

              And Behan wrote this before the Supremes wrote up ‘Citizens United’, allowing pretty much unlimited corporate wealth to flow via ‘Super PACS’ into US political elections.

            • Yes, complexity is a lens, reductionism is a lens, economics is a lens. There are many ways of trying to find order in the flood of data bombarding our sensory organs. Should we give up trying to find order and patterns? Seems like a weak argument.

              Complex self-organized systems do behave in ways qualitatively and quantitatively distinguishable from random events. Are you really saying the world is random and there is no such thing as pattern, or self-organization, or emergent properties? See:

          • A new book just published by Bob Doppelt. I have not read it, but it looks interesting.


            In “From Me to We: The Five Transformational Commitments Required to Rescue the Planet, Your Organization, and Your Life,” systems change expert Bob Doppelt reveals that most people today live a dream world, controlled by false perceptions and beliefs. The most deeply held illusion is that all organisms on Earth, including each of us, exist as independent entities. At the most fundamental level, the change needed to overcome our misperceptions is a shift from focusing only on “me” – our personal needs and wants – to also prioritizing the broader “we”: the many ecological and social relationships each of us are part of, those that make life possible and worthwhile. Research shows that by using the techniques described in this book this shift is possible – and not that difficult to achieve.

            From Me to We offers five transformational “commitments” that can help you change your perspective and engage in activities that will help resolve today’s environmental and social problems. Not coincidentally, making these commitments can improve the quality of your life as well.

            Bob Doppelt’s latest book is a wake-up call to the creed of individualism. He calls for recognition of the laws of interdependence, cause and effect, moral justice, trusteeship, and free will. The book will be essential to all of those interested in how we can create and stimulate a sea change in how to enable the necessary behavioral change we need to deal with the myriad environmental and social pressures consuming the planet.


            1 ‘Me’ to ‘We’ throughout history

            2 The first commitment: See the systems you are part of

            3 The second commitment: Be accountable for all the consequences of your actions

            4 The third commitment: Abide by society’s most deeply held universal principles of morality and justice

            5 The fourth commitment: Acknowledge your trustee obligations and take responsibility for the continuation of all life

            6 The fifth commitment: Choose your own destiny

            7 Conclusion: It is up to you

  3. I enjoy watching the conservationists fighting against the preservationists. While the “neo-conservationists” have the numbers, the preservationists still have the courts. How long that will last, nobody knows. However, the courts are seeing the results of their political decisions, and they sure don’t like shouldering even SOME of the blame for the continuing legal mandate for doing nothing. Legal reform will lower the number of lawsuits but, there will be great pain before that feat is accomplished. The collaborative approach takes time to work, as trust needs to be EARNED. As the public is more educated on forest issues, changes for the better will happen, and more trusted will be earned by the Forest Service. People also “vote” with their donations, and those hardline “not-one-stick” groups will see less donations.

  4. A bit of back story . . . Dr. Kareiva was one of the environmental plaintiffs’ key witnesses in the pivotal spotted owl trial of the late 80s and early 90s before Seattle federal judge Bill Dwyer. Kareiva’s Ph.D. student, Dan Doak, had forecast the owl’s population rate of change using metapopulation mathematical modeling. Doak’s work, which was based on Russ Lande’s theoretical contributions, was used extensively by the Northwest Forest Plan scientists.

    Kareiva was a superb expert witness, as one would expect from such an engaging teacher.

  5. I will continue to do what I’ve always done Sharon, especially in the spirit of caveat emptor — “let the buyer beware”. I, like many others, aren’t buying what Kaveira is selling.

    I once did. I was a longtime member of The Nature Conservancy until about 15 years ago. Having followed closely our collective environmental decline over the years, I started to dig deeper than the infomercial levels of coverage to search out the actual causes for the inverse relationship between environmental decline and the increasing “investments” in “conservation” (along with the accrued assets of TNC and the rest of Gangreen.) The key here is understanding CAUSES of this inverse relationship, as opposed to profiting from treating the effects of environmental decline. (Kaveira’s fallacy is in disregarding the role of government as a necessary protector, regulator, and sufficient enforcer of environmental laws.)

    There’s an undeniable lure to any sales pitch (especially pitched as a “win-win solution”) — that we can have our cake and eat it too. This Siren Song of Kaveira’s shares identical ends and means to previous versions which would have us believe we can continue to live “normal”(sic) lives if we just change-out our incandescents to CFLs, recycle, and renew our memberships in Gangreen.

    Sorry, this isn’t working for the Planet.

    Stewart Brand, sees Kaveira’s message to recalibrate our expectations and reduce the fate of a species to cost-benefit analysis as, “not only pioneering and important, but brave,” but speaks volumes for Brand’s brand of conservation.

    I beg to differ with Brand. Kaveira’s concern is more rooted in the postwar Baby Boom demographics of “investments” in Gangreen, and monetizing species, ecosystem services etc. In fact, despite Kaveira’s brave presentation here, his past preoccupations with “investments” are well-documented: (

    There’s an undeniable lure to any sales pitch that breezily claims all we have to do is make a business out of conservation and everything will turn out just fine. Don’t we all just want to believe a reversal in this environmental decline can be arrested simply by adjusting our expectations and “incentivizing” the corporate perpetrators to do the right thing? Even our heavily controlled corporate news fare belies Kaveira’s warning we need to back off on the “horror story”. The problem being the daily news accounts of environmental horror stories. He would have greens leading the victims chanting “Biodiversity is out”, “Clean air is in” as a solution?

    I don’t think so. Kaveira needed to throw a window open in that “eight-story box” of his, “nestled (in the suburbs of) Washington, D.C.” and admit apparent hypoxia. That’s the same hypoxia, by the way, that the canary was supposed to be warning coal miners of lack of oxygen. Switching-out the canary for a methane-tolerant species will hardly improve conditions in the mine.

    The evidence is unequivocal that “win-win” is a false promise that periodically requires a refreshened sales pitch through showmanship like Kaveira’s sleights of hand at the whiteboard, fecklessly lapped-up and regurgitated by a lapdog news media.

    The inescapable fact is, biodiversity is a common denominator of environmental health, and that health is getting far worse in the last 30 years as TNC’s assets have swollen to the multiple BILLIONS.

    As a multinational conglomerate,TNC, and their larger brethren, Conservation International, are steeped in environmental and economic scandals worldwide, from biopiracy, to congressional inquiries into insider self-dealing, to administrating World Bank and IMF Debt-for Nature Swaps in third world countries, to looking the other way while corrupt political leadership unilaterally abrogates treaties with indigenous tribes to pay off national debt by mobilizing the military to force Natives off their lands bought by corporate foundations for conversion to biofuel plantations. The word has been out for quite some time TNC and CI are functionaries for their corporate benefactors seeking to cash-in on heavily marketed, heavily speculated derivatives trading instruments aka, Forest Offsets, Clean Development Mechanisms, Carbon Credits, Biodiversity Credits, and Payment for Ecosystem Services (to name but a few). And they call this charity.

    This is the face of free market environmentalism — a fantastic (if not psychopathic) business model, but an utter failure in stemming socio-economic horror stories and our collective descent into irreversible, catastrophic climate change.

  6. David, I know that you disagree with what those groups do. As you know, I agree with you about the offsets and derivatives,etc. But not clear on what your vision is of what we should do about the situation.

  7. Vision? I’m practicing my vision “of what we should do about the situation,” by pointing out this choice of “interesting” posts has a significant countervailing element of truth which exposes the other side of the issues and a failure of the press to understand there’s more to reporting than gushing stenography. Is that not enough?

    I thought that was the point of this blog. The value being that such diversity of perspectives allow for a wider understanding of the issues.

    Knowing you know much of these conflicts of interest too, leaves me at at a loss for advising you or others for a “vision”. Can’t help you (nor want to) there Sharon, especially if “interesting” is all you can up with as a response of your own.

    (btw follow-up comments on this are not working, despite the fact that they’re checked off)

    • David- what do you mean by “follow-up comments are not working” exactly?
      Diversity of perspectives would include “what we should do” as well as “what we shouldn’t do.”

  8. Hi Sharon,
    (The box in which one checks, “notify me of follow-up comments via email” is not functioning despite my repeated checking of the box as I post comments.)

    What we should do:

    Recognize the ruse of “collaboration” and Place Based Legislation when we see it. Our watchwords are those, as well as, deregulation, privatization, corporatization, and “austerity measures” justifying those ends. We are in the midst of neoliberal endgame with a predictable outcome. Educate others on the dynamics of the how we got here. That’s what I’m doing Sharon.

    For an example of what that looks like, please refer to “The most Liked Comments and Posts” on this blog.

    And you?

    (I’m escaping the internet for a few days and won’t be able to respond, but look forward to catching up when I return)

  9. Kierán Suckling was invited to provide a response to the piece by Kareiva. It’s worth reading:


    “Had the article been published a century ago, the author’s decision to frame the environmental movement through a critique of Emerson (1803-1882), Hawthorne (1804-1864), Thoreau (1817-1862) and Muir (1838-1914) might have made sense. But alleged weaknesses of these dead white men is an entirely inadequate anchor for an essay that bills itself as a rethinking of contemporary environmentalism. Indeed, the only 20th century environmentalist mentioned in the essay is the novelist and essayist Ed Abbey. It is frankly bizarre that Kareiva et al.’s depiction of environmentalists is not based on NRDC, the Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited, Environment America,, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, or indeed, any environmental group at all.”

  10. Sharon,
    You demanded and I responded:
    “Diversity of perspectives would include “what we should do” as well as “what we shouldn’t do.”

    And you?
    What should we do and not do, according to you?

  11. That’s a great question, David. Due to the time of year, I have been busy with other obligations. I will post something about it in the near future.


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