Dbytes #416 (11 March 2020)

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


“Australian agriculture has an enviable reputation as a producer of ‘clean, green’ food and fibre but currently ranks 61st out of 180 countries for biodiversity and habitat on the Environmental Performance Index.”
Richard Heath Executive Director, Australian Farm Institute


In this issue of Dbytes

1. Summer of Crisis
2. Farmers’ input sought on model to reward positive environmental management
3. Farmer behaviour and agricultural policy
4. Science in an age of scepticism
5. Emu poo study the key to finding out how they could be reintroduced in Tasmania
6. The zero sum game – from biodiversity to emissions
7. The ‘3.5% rule’: How a small minority can change the world

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1. Summer of Crisis

Australia’s Black Summer of 2019-2020 was characterised by catastrophic bushfires. The bushfire season started in winter and was the worst on record for New South Wales in terms of its intensity, the area burned, and the number of properties lost. It was also the worst season on record for properties lost in Queensland. The Summer of Crisis report is the first comprehensive overview of the devastating climate impacts Australians experienced this summer.

https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/summer-of-crisis/

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2. Farmers’ input sought on model to reward positive environmental management

Regional consultations begin next week inviting farmers’ input on the development of a framework to reward them for promoting biodiversity through verification mechanisms. The National Farmers’ Federation has a goal for five per cent of farmers’ income to be derived from ecosystem services by 2030. The target is part of the NFF’s plan for agriculture to be a $100 billion industry by the same year.

https://nff.org.au/media-release/farmers-input-sought-on-model-to-reward-positive-environmental-management/

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3. Farmer behaviour and agricultural policy

An understanding of farmers’ adoption of new practices is central to the design of effective and efficient agricultural policies. Aspects of agricultural policy that can be enhanced by good information about adoption include the design of the policy, the targeting of policy effort, and the assessment of additionality.

http://www.pannelldiscussions.net/2020/03/332-behaviour-and-policy/

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4. Science in an age of scepticism

IT IS FREQUENTLY claimed that science is facing a ‘crisis of trust’ in what has been termed this current ‘post-truth era’. As the Australian Chief Scientist Alan Finkel noted in early 2017, ‘science is literally under attack’, and the public debate around vaccines, climate change, genetically modified organisms, complementary medical therapies and a range of other issues speaks to a significant degree of public disagreement and dissent about some aspects of the processes and promises of science. In a 2017 survey in the United States, only 35 per cent of participants indicated that they had ‘a lot’ of trust in scientists – and the number who claimed to trust scientists ‘not at all’ had increased by more than half compared with a similar poll conducted in 2013. In the face of volumes of evidence and counterevidence from so many disciplines and experiments, as well as the diverse products and possibilities presented by science, it is perhaps understandable that some can feel overwhelmed. ‘Science’ itself has been brought into doubt and even disrepute.

https://www.griffithreview.com/articles/science-in-an-age-of-scepticism/

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5. Emu poo study the key to finding out how they could be reintroduced in Tasmania

Tasmania’s ecosystem could be missing out by no longer being home to wild emus, and researchers say the answers are hidden in the large birds’ poo.

ABC News

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6. The zero sum game – from biodiversity to emissions
A game for mugs or a magic pudding that just keeps giving?

The lesson here is that great care needs to be applied to the establishment of any zero sum policy game. It needs to be transparent, accountable and enforceable. And it cannot be applied merely as cover for business as usual to proceed without any checks and balances.

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/

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7. The ‘3.5% rule’: How a small minority can change the world

Nonviolent protests are twice as likely to succeed as armed conflicts – and those engaging a threshold of 3.5% of the population have never failed to bring about change.

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190513-it-only-takes-35-of-people-to-change-the-world?ocid=ww.social.link.twitter

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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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