[Coral-List] Economic Valuation and market based conservation (Juergen Herler)

juergen.herler at univie.ac.at juergen.herler at univie.ac.at
Wed Aug 17 10:49:40 EDT 2011

Dear Steve!

Many thanks for your wise words. You get the point. I think the main problem is the shift of 
the society's peception of nature from generation to generation, called "environmental 
generational amnesia" by Peter Kahn in his book "Technological Nature", and the accordingly 
wrong perception of decreasing human dependence on nature. So I think there is an urgent 
task to show our children (and society) the differences between the condition of nature they 
see and what our grandparents may have seen and what this difference means ecologically. 
If the small park around the next block is considered as nature, how can we stress the 
importance of preserving rain forests, coral reefs, arable soil ...?
Survival is not mandatory, of course, but the suffering from impacts and the risk of extinction 
is not equally distributed across the globe, as the source of potential causes is not. So there 
is still an ethical issue for changing our behavior. We should probably spend as much time 
and money we spend on finding the causes of change on awareness-raising for the change 
and its potential consequences in the society. As biologists we can (and have to) do that. 


> ------------------------------
> Message: 3
> Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2011 10:24:47 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
> From: Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net>
> Subject: [Coral-List] Economic Valuation and maket based
> conservation
> To: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov"
> <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Message-ID:
> 	<8118821.1313504687782.JavaMail.root at wamui-haziran.atl.sa.earthlink
> .net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> Lots of interesting ideas and concepts have surfaced in 
> reaction to the discussion on economic valuation as it 
> relates to coral reef conservation. For sure tourism
> and general economic development contribute to the problems
> observed on our reefs, but isn't the obvious indifference
> of societies in reaction to the degradation the real issue?
> We can debate the proportionate impact of climate change,
> ocean acidification, offshore drilling, agricultural practices, 
> over-fishing, population growth and associated development all 
> we want, but if societal indifference is the prevalent reaction
> what does it matter?
> Somehow we have to overcome biases and translate our collective 
> concern for coral reefs into a campaign that ultimately results
> in a conversion of what appears to be widespread intrinsic values 
> and priorities deep-seated with apathy for this cause.
> In this light, Carl's use of Deming's quote seems right on target.
> ("It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory.")
> Steve
> ------------------------------

Dr. Juergen Herler
Department of Integrative Zoology
Faculty of Life Sciences
University of Vienna
Althanstraße 14
A-1090 Vienna/Austria/Europe
Tel.: +43-4277-76313
e-mail: Juergen.Herler at univie.ac.at

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