adactio / tags / biodiversity

Tagged with “biodiversity” (4)

  1. Chris D. Thomas: Are We Initiating The Great Anthropocene Speciation Event? - The Long Now

    The bad news (not news to most): Many wild species are under severe duress.

    The good news (total news to most): “Nature is thriving in an age of extinction.”

    Ecologist and evolutionary biologist Chris Thomas has examined a little-noticed phenomenon around the world, that as an unintentional byproduct of massive human impact, biodiversity is increasing in pretty much every region of the world. Evolution has sped up. Wild populations are on the move, sometimes in response to climate change, often hitch-hiking on us. Hybridization is rampant, leading at times to whole new species. The Anthropocene, evidently, is a mass speciation event.

    An ardent conservationist, Thomas makes the case that conservation efforts are far more effective when we acknowledge—and study— what nature is really up to, and work with it.

    Chris Thomas is a professor in the Department of Biology at the University of York in England and author of Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction (02017).

    http://longnow.org/seminars/02018/jun/19/are-we-initiating-great-anthropocene-speciation-event/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  2. Why save seeds?

    What, really, is the point of conserving agricultural biodiversity? The formal sector, genebanks and the like, will say it is about genetic resources and having on hand the traits to breed varieties that will solve the challenges tomorrow might throw up. Thousands of seed savers around the world might well agree with that, at least partially. I suspect, though, that for most seed savers the primary reason is surely more about food, about having the varieties they want to eat. David Cavagnaro has always championed that view. David’s is a fascinating personal history, which currently sees him working on the Pepperfield Project, “A Non-Profit Organization Located in Decorah, IA Promoting and Teaching Hands-On Cooking, Gardening and Agrarian Life Skills”. I first met David 15 or 20 years ago at Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah. This year, I was lucky enough to be invited there again, and I lost no time in finding time for a chat.

    David pointed out that immigrants are often keen gardeners and, perforce, seed savers as they struggle to maintain their distinctive food culture in a new land. That’s true for the Hmong in Minneapolis, Asian communities in England and, I’m sure, many others elsewhere. What happens as those communities assimilate? The children and grandchildren of the immigrant gardeners are unlikely to feel the same connection to their original food culture, and may well look down on growing food as an unsuitable occupation. Is immigrant agricultural biodiversity liable to be lost too? Efforts to preserve it don’t seem to be flourishing.

    Seed saving for its own sake, rather than purely as a route to sustenance, does seem to be both a bit of a luxury and to require a rather special kind of personality. John Withee, whose bean collection brought David Cavagnaro to Seed Savers Exchange and people like Russ Crow, another of his spritual heirs, collect and create stories as much as they do agricultural biodiversity. And that’s something formal genebanks never seem to document.

    http://www.eatthispodcast.com/why-save-seeds/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. E.O. Wilson: My wish: Build the Encyclopedia of Life

    As E.O. Wilson accepts his 2007 TED Prize, he makes a plea on behalf of all creatures that we learn more about our biosphere — and build a networked encyclopedia of all the world’s knowledge about life.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/e_o_wilson_on_saving_life_on_earth.html

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  4. KQED Forum - Biodiversity and Our Future (w/ E.O. Wilson)

    Harvard entomologist E.O. Wilson joins us to discuss his new book, "The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies." Wilson is faculty emeritus in the department of entomology at Harvard University and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction.

    http://www.kqed.org/epArchive/R905110900?itemMD5=ae221a42440d262171d77ea407e7ca58

    —Huffduffed by adactio