Dbytes #452 (19 November 2020)

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


“Narratives are not trivial things to mess with. They help us form stable cognitive and emotional patterns that are resistant to change and potentially antagonistic to agents of change (such as people trying to make us change our mind about something we believe).”
Peter Ellerton on ‘why do humans instinctively reject evidence contrary to their beliefs?’ [see item 2.]


In this issue of Dbytes

1. Linking biodiversity into national economic accounting
2. Climate explained: why do humans instinctively reject evidence contrary to their beliefs?
3. In praise of pardalotes, unique birds living in a damaged country
4. Biodiversity narratives: stories of the evolving conservation landscape
5. Red handfish juveniles released to boost endangered wild population
6. State of the Climate 2020 shows continued warming and increase in extreme weather events
7. How not to do peer review

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1. Linking biodiversity into national economic accounting

A discussion of a framework that links biodiversity indicators to national economic accounts. Case studies presenting the state of the art in accounting for biodiversity. Informing holistic land use and economic planning for sustainable development.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901120313769

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2. Climate explained: why do humans instinctively reject evidence contrary to their beliefs?

Why do humans instinctively reject evidence contrary to their beliefs? Do we understand why and how people change their mind about climate change? Is there anything we can do to engage people? These are three very significant questions. They could be answered separately but, in the context of climate science, they make a powerful trilogy.

https://theconversation.com/climate-explained-why-do-humans-instinctively-reject-evidence-contrary-to-their-beliefs-149436

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3. In praise of pardalotes, unique birds living in a damaged country

“I’ve spent more of my life with pardalotes than with most other acquaintances. They are an obscure and odd group of four species of small (thumb-sized) birds. They have little public profile, not helped by the awkward name. But they are quintessentially Australian, occurring nowhere else in the world.”
John Woinarski
https://theconversation.com/friday-essay-in-praise-of-pardalotes-unique-birds-living-in-a-damaged-country-148921

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4. Biodiversity narratives: stories of the evolving conservation landscape

Narratives shape human understanding and underscore policy, practice and action. From individuals to multilateral institutions, humans act based on collective stories. As such, narratives have important implications for revisiting biodiversity. There have been growing calls for a ‘new narrative’ to underpin efforts to address biodiversity decline that, for example, foreground optimism, a more people-centred narrative or technological advances. This review presents some of the main contemporary narratives from within the biodiversity space to reflect on their underpinning categories, myths and causal assumptions. It begins by reviewing various interpretations of narrative, which range from critical views where narrative is a heuristic for understanding structures of domination, to advocacy approaches where it is a tool for reimagining ontologies and transitioning to sustainable futures. The work reveals how the conservation space is flush with narratives. As such, efforts to search for a ‘new narrative’ for conservation can be usefully informed by social science scholarship on narratives and related constructs and should reflect critically on the power of narrative to entrench old ways of thought and practice and, alternatively, make space for new ones. Importantly, the transformative potential of narrative may not lie in superficial changes in messaging, but in using narrative to bring multiple ways of knowing into productive dialogue to revisit biodiversity and foster critical reflection.

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/environmental-conservation/article/biodiversity-narratives-stories-of-the-evolving-conservation-landscape/857FFCB16378AC8827B463943EBB268F

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5. Red handfish juveniles released to boost endangered wild population

Juvenile Red handfish hatched and raised from eggs at IMAS, CSIRO and Seahorse World have been released back into the wild to help the species avoid extinction. This week, 42 Red handfish were released, likely doubling the size of one of the remaining populations.

https://www.csiro.au/en/News/News-releases/2020/Red-handfish-juveniles-released-to-boost-endangered-wild-population

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6. State of the Climate 2020 shows continued warming and increase in extreme weather events

Continued warming of Australia’s climate, an increase in extreme fire weather and length of the fire season, declining rainfall in the southeast and southwest of the continent, and rising sea levels are some of the key trends detailed in the latest State of the Climate report, released today by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO. Drawing on the latest climate observations, analyses and projections, the biennial report provides a comprehensive and scientifically rigorous analysis of Australia’s changing climate, today and into the future.

http://media.bom.gov.au/releases/805/state-of-the-climate-2020-shows-continued-warming-and-increase-in-extreme-weather-events/

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7. How not to do peer review

Academia may be unique among careers in its lack of standardised processes or training for so many of the common activities that are essential to being an academic. Instead, new researchers have to bumble blindfolded through the dark room of early career researchhood to work out how to literally do the academic parts of their job. Sometimes we’re lucky to have a supervisor, colleague, or mentor who might guide us to a door (but it may not always be the right door). Publishing and peer review are part of this bumbling process. Publishing our research in peer-reviewed literature is a key part of our job description, to share knowledge with the discipline and beyond.

https://ecologyisnotadirtyword.com/2020/11/17/how-not-to-do-peer-review/

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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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