Shifting Baselines

Josh Donlan

A Lame Duck Screwing The Environment

During Clinton’s 11th hour, he initiated a number of policies that protected the environment; some of those regulations have remained in force, including the protection of almost 60 million acres of roadless areas. According to an article in Nature this week (and the OMB Watch, a Washington DC-based advocacy group), Bush is gearing up to…

Barcelona Blues

I just returned from the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, where 8,000 of conservation’s “best and brightest” (along with plenty of the “most important”) gathered to discuss, talk, and work toward a more diverse and sustainable world. I wish I had good news to report – but it is mostly more along the lines of…

The “Best Of” Some Good Reading

Every year Houghton-Mifflin puts out a edited volume entitled “The Best American Science and Nature Writing”. The latest volume looks like some delightful bedtime reading (although I may be biased because I was chosen as one of the authors). It includes works by Freeman Dyson, Edward Hoagland, David Quammen, Oliver Sachs, and many others. Editor…

World Conservation Forum

I am hastily heading to the World Conservation Forum in Barcelona, which starts next week. Here, more than 8,000 of the world’s leading decision makers in sustainable development will convene: from governments, NGOs, business, the UN and academia. Together in one place for 10 days, they will to debate, share, network, learn, commit, vote and…

Where The Auroxen Roam

In this month’s issue of Wired Magazine, Andrew Curry writes about rewilding projects around the world. In particular, he describes the wonderful efforts going on in the Netherlands.

What About the Shareholders?

Economist Raghuran Rajan (past Chief Economist for the International Monetary Fund and Professor of Finance at University of Chicago) has an insightful view on the current financial crisis. He also asks what seems to be an important question that no one is asking: Why are we (the US Government) bailing out the system before the…

Making The Hippo Dance

Jad Abumbrad and Robert Krulwich. These two guys are probably the world’s best at bringing the wonder and fun out of science. If you have not listened to RadioLab, you should. Their show last week is a gem. Making the Hippo Dance is a behind-the-scenes look at just how these guys do it. You can…

A Bold Plan For the North Atlantic

Secretary Paulson’s plan revealed today is bold indeed, and sounds like socialism to me (banning short selling on some stocks and giving government backing to select others). Well, here is another bold plan for the North Atlantic Ocean. John Briggs of Oregon State University makes an argument that due to ecological history and overfishing, we…

In 2004, I was in a small intimate workshop with the founder of the field of Conservation Biology Michael Soule. To this day, I remember something he calmly announced. It went something like this: Shit it is going to hit the fan due to global change. Not climate change explicitly but large-scale change that is…

Nature’s Emma Jones recently wrote about Moving On Assisted Migration in Nature Reports. “Experts who once disregarded it as a nutty idea are now working out the nuts and bolts of a conservation taboo: relocating species threatened by climate change.” This will certainly raise some eyebrows and some ulcers in the coming decade.