Dbytes #396 (30 September 2019)

Info, news & views for anyone interested in biodiversity conservation and good environmental decision making


“Exploiting scientific uncertainty has long been a classic tactic of industry lobbyists. It has been used to justify inaction on everything from tobacco to climate change. Local politicians and lobby groups seem to be copying moves from a well-worn overseas playbook in their misuse of the replication crisis.”
Martin Bush et al [see item 5]


In this issue of Dbytes

1. How does Scott Morrison’s climate declaration at the United Nations stack up?
2. I’ll match your crisis and raise you one Armageddon
3. It is perfectly moral to bring children into a shitty world
4. Last Days of the Anthropocene
5. Real problem, wrong solution: why the Nationals shouldn’t politicise the science replication crisis
6. Why biodiversity is the next big step for corporate sustainability
7. How damaging is sexy soundbite scicomm?

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1. How does Scott Morrison’s climate declaration at the United Nations stack up?

Speaking in the US, Scott Morrison said he would drastically reduce plastic pollution and strongly defended Australia’s position on climate change. Does what he said stack up?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/26/how-does-scott-morrisons-climate-declaration-at-the-united-nations-stack-up

And also see FACT CHECKING SCOTT MORRISON’S UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY SPEECH from the Climate Council https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/fact-checking-scott-morrisons-un-general-assembly-speech/

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2. I’ll match your crisis and raise you one Armageddon
The pros and cons of playing the crisis game

Martin Luther King did not stir his audience in 1963 by declaiming ‘I have a nightmare’ (Anthony Giddens). Five reasons to take care when playing the climate crisis game.

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/

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3. It is perfectly moral to bring children into a shitty world

We will not defeat climate change by having less of a stake in the future.

https://theoutline.com/post/7925/having-babies-climate-change-birthstrike?zd=1&zi=bhs3jkhc

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4. Last Days of the Anthropocene

Last summer started early in Australia. In November a heatwave struck northern Queensland, pushing temperatures to record heights in many places. In Cairns the temperature reached 42.6 degrees, more than five degrees higher than the previous record for November. Over 12 days fire crews attended more than 1200 fires, including devastating blazes in rainforest areas that had always been regarded as natural firebreaks. In parts of Queensland, fire conditions were designated catastrophic, the first time the rating—which was only created in 2009—had been used in the state.

https://meanjin.com.au/essays/unearthed/

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5. Real problem, wrong solution: why the Nationals shouldn’t politicise the science replication crisis

The National Party, Queensland farming lobby group AgForce, and MP Bob Katter have banded together to propose an “independent science quality assurance agency”. To justify their position, Liberal-National MP George Christensen and AgForce’s Michael Guerin specifically invoked the “replication crisis” in science, in which researchers in various fields have found it difficult or impossible to reproduce and validate original research findings. Their proposal, however, is not a good solution to the problem.

https://theconversation.com/real-problem-wrong-solution-why-the-nationals-shouldnt-politicise-the-science-replication-crisis-124076

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6. Why biodiversity is the next big step for corporate sustainability

Pioneers of the biodiversity movement are helping organizations recognize dependencies and impacts on delicate ecosystems so they may establish sustainable business practices.

https://www.icf.com/blog/people-and-culture/biodiversity-for-corporate-sustainability

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7. How damaging is sexy soundbite scicomm?

The ‘tyranny of the sound bite’ has plagued politicians and celebrities for decades. Pithy one-liners, taken out of context, can be extremely damaging to a person’s reputation. In science communication, Sexy Science soundbites, condensing complex ecological problems into simple data points or the efforts of single researchers, can damage public understanding of science.

https://ecologyisnotadirtyword.com/2019/09/23/how-damaging-is-sexy-soundbite-scicomm/

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About Dbytes

Dbytes is a weekly eNewsletter presenting news and views on biodiversity conservation and environmental decision science. For the past decade Dbytes has been supported by a variety of research networks and primarily the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). From 2019 Dbytes is being produced by David Salt (Ywords).

If you have any contributions to Dbytes (ie, opportunities and resources that you think might think be of value to other Dbyte readers) please send them to David.Salt@anu.edu.au. Please keep them short and provide a link for more info.

Anyone is welcome to receive Dbytes. If you would like to received it, send me an email and I’ll add you to the list.

David Salt


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