Dbytes #412 (12 February 2020)

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


“These fires have burned up old certainties about the world and our place in it. In doing so, they mark a turning point and an extraordinary opportunity—maybe our last—for deep change. If, at this moment, we learn the lessons of ecology and translate them into our politics and into how we work for change, this doesn’t have to be the end of the world. It could be the beginning of the next.”
Tim Hollo, The End of the World as We Know It, Meanjin


In this issue of Dbytes

1. Hazard reduction burning had little to no effect in slowing extreme bushfires
2. Lots of people want to help nature after the bushfires – we must seize the moment
3. Threatened Species of Greater Melbourne
4. Fires and extreme weather do not change climate skeptics into believers
5. Conversations with the Devil
6. Climate change splits the public into six groups. Understanding them is key to future action
7. Science can’t remove the political roadblocks to climate action

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1. Hazard reduction burning had little to no effect in slowing extreme bushfires

-Forest scientists say prescribed burning is best used in a targeted way to help protect assets.
-31 ex-fire and emergency bosses say royal commission a waste of time if it doesn’t examine climate change

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/06/hazard-reduction-burning-had-little-to-no-effect-in-slowing-this-summers-bushfires?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Tweet

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2. Lots of people want to help nature after the bushfires – we must seize the moment

Big, life-changing moments – whether society-wide or personal – provide unique opportunities to disrupt habits and foster new behaviours. Think of how a heart attack can prompt some people to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

For many Australians, the bushfire disaster could represent such a turning point, marking the moment they adopt new, long-term actions to help nature. But governments and environmental organisations must quickly engage people before the moment is lost.

https://theconversation.com/lots-of-people-want-to-help-nature-after-the-bushfires-we-must-seize-the-moment-130874

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3. Threatened Species of Greater Melbourne
Think you need to travel to the outback to see threatened species? Think again!
From the Society of Conservation Biology
https://scbgreatermelbourne.wordpress.com/threatenedspecies/

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4. Fires and extreme weather do not change climate skeptics into believers

by Matthew Selinske

Lacroix, K., Gifford, R., & Rush, J. (2019). Climate change beliefs shape the interpretation of forest fire events. Climatic Change, 1-18. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-019-02584-6

In a nutshell: Indirect exposure (e.g. media) to forest fires increased risk perception of climate change, which predicted the likelihood of climate change policy support. Overall risk perceptions of climate change increased during the fire season, but weakly among climate skeptics despite indirect and direct exposure to forest fires.

https://keeptothepath.com/2020/01/22/fires-and-extreme-weather-do-not-change-climate-skeptics-into-believers/

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5. Conversations with the Devil

The fires have served as a wakeup call for some and yet there have also been reports of political focus groups finding that many ordinary Australians are responding to the fires by entrenching their positions. Drawing back into our tribes is not helping the situation. There’s a real challenge here. How do we stop the compounding of a natural disaster with a human disaster of more polarisation? How do we nurture a more civil and productive discourse in our democracy?

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/

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6. Climate change splits the public into six groups. Understanding them is key to future action

In Australia there is now widespread public acceptance of the reality of climate change; we seem to see its effects almost hourly.But the electorate still votes for political parties with environment policies that I would call recalcitrant, and with significant groups of climate deniers in their ranks.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-29/climate-change-global-warming-six-groups-rebecca-huntley/11893384

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7. Science can’t remove the political roadblocks to climate action

Scientists say that the climate crisis is real, grave and driven by human activity. However, scientific consensus doesn’t solve four challenging political equations.

https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/science-cant-remove-the-political-roadblocks-to-climate-action/

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About Dbytes

Dbytes is a weekly eNewsletter presenting news and views on biodiversity conservation and environmental decision science. From 2007-2018 Dbytes was 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 receive it, send me an email and I’ll add you to the list.

David


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