Nature ISN’T fragile nor a bossy mother-in-law

Andrew Orlowski writes at TheRegister:

The Green movement needs to rethink its philosophy from the ground-up. That’s according to Peter Kareiva, a leading conservation expert and chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy, the world’s biggest environmental group.

It must abandon the idea that nature is “feminine” and in particular that it’s “fragile”, he said, because not only is this artificial, it’s wrong, and so many bad ideas follow.

“The trouble for conservation is that the data simply do not support the idea of a fragile nature at risk of collapse,” he [Kareiva] write. “Ecologists now know that the disappearance of one species does not necessarily lead to the extinction of any others, much less all others in the same ecosystem. In many circumstances, the demise of formerly abundant species can be inconsequential to ecosystem function.”

“Nature is so resilient that it can recover rapidly from even the most powerful human disturbances,” scientists now conclude. Well, some of them do.

The problem with turning the ship of environmentalism around to a more humane and less fearful philosophy is that it has been so successful – at least up until now. Although the public, when asked, doesn’t share the apocalyptic worldview, eco-mentalism remains embedded among the political and media elites.

The environmentalists who have succeeded using this version of Mother Nature now have successful bureaucratic empires as a result; they’re now really the New Establishment, and have seats at the table. They won’t voluntarily give these up.

Read the lot at TheRegister

(Update 2012-04-07)

Also, spend invest an hour to watch this video of an interesting presentation by Peter Kareiva.

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