February 12, 2007

Advocacy for ecosystem services

In defending policy advocacy by conservation biologists, Peter F. Brussard and John C. Tull write (in Conservation Biology):
Three concepts are almost completely foreign to people who are not ecologists: (1) natural ecosystems provide services on which our economic, social, cultural, and political systems depend; (2) when these processes are altered our quality of life declines; and (3) when the processes fail life becomes very difficult or impossible. As a result of this ignorance, conservation is seen by many as a minor amenity benefiting a small cadre of birdwatchers or backpackers that stands in the way of "progress" that benefits all.
Statements (1), (2) and (3) are false or uninteresting, although a version of the basic idea - a reduced supply of some ecosystem functions is bad for some of us - is true and interesting. Perhaps because I am ignorant, I see much of conservation as an "amenity benefiting a small cadre of birdwatchers or backpackers," although, perhaps because I am a birdwatcher and a backpacker, I would not call it "minor."


  1. You are not an ecologist. Calling these claims false shows you don't know what you are talking about.

    Please refrain from claiming that you are an ecologist.



  2. Dano, read this. ;)