Posts Tagged by The Nature Conservancy
|April 24, 2012||Posted by Admin under Issues|
We’ve written before about scientists accused of fabricating data (*cough*Ann Maest*cough*) to “prove” their radical agenda, so it’s only right to highlight those scientists who look at the data and do not try to manipulate it to fit their particular world view.
Meet Dr. Peter Kareiva, chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy. With a master’s degree in environmental biology and a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology, Dr. Kareiva has worked in academics and conservation for over thirty years.
What makes Dr. Kareiva and his work stand out in the scientific community is his willingness to follow the data, question long-held beliefs that were based on assumptions and speak out about what is actually happening in the environment today.
“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.”
Of course, this makes him wildly unpopular with those who do not actually take the scientific approach. He’s been called a “know-it-all,” a “bomb-thrower,” a “provocateur.” Early writings of his at The Nature Conservancy so outraged fellow scientists they wanted him reprimanded and TNC to forbid him to write articles like it ever again.
So how DOES The Nature Conservancy feel about this? Well…
On the Gulf Coast, for example, it recently planned a mile and a half of oyster reef. Rather than just scouting for the most ecologically vital spot, though, the conservancy also accounted for low-income towns that could most suffer from a storm surge and gain from having a reef to help block it. One of those vulnerable regions got the reef.
How refreshing – a scientist and an organization that understand that people are also a part of nature and take us into account.
Dr. Kareiva is an excellent model of what his profession should be about—following the data—rather than activist-scientists trying to promote their own political agenda.