Dbytes #545 (12 October 2022)

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


“climate policies over the past decades have often targeted low-income and low-emitter groups disproportionately, while leaving high emitters relatively unaffected”
Lucas Chancel [see item 5]


In this issue of Dbytes

1. Do you care about New Interventions in Global Ocean Hotspots?
2. Climate change and the threat to civilization
3. To be or not to be? It’s really a question about whether we adapt or transform
4. New ‘ethics guidance’ for top science journals aims to root out harmful research – but can it succeed?
5. Global carbon inequality over 1990–2019
6. Fire-related threats and transformational change in Australian ecosystems
7. Protected areas and the future of insect conservation


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1. Do you care about New Interventions in Global Ocean Hotspots?

Take part in a ~15min global survey on how new interventions in ChangingOceans are proposed, managed and governed.

Qualtrics Survey | Qualtrics Experience Management

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2. Climate change and the threat to civilization

Although a body of scientific research exists on historical and archeological cases of collapse, discussions of mechanisms whereby climate change might cause the collapse of current civilizations has mostly been the province of journalists, philosophers, novelists, and filmmakers. We believe that this should change.

Climate change and the threat to civilization | PNAS

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3. To be or not to be? It’s really a question about whether we adapt or transform

Transformation is about creating a new and different system. Transformation is enormously challenging as the existing system has a lot of inertia and sunk investment. Transformation is one of the most overused and abused terms in the realm of sustainability. For transformation to occur, resilience thinking says there are three important factors needed: to get beyond denial, to have optional systems to move towards, and to have the capacity to normalize these options.

https://sustainabilitybites.home.blog/2022/10/11/to-be-or-not-to-be-its-really-a-question-about-whether-we-adapt-or-transform/

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4. New ‘ethics guidance’ for top science journals aims to root out harmful research – but can it succeed?

The British journal Nature was founded in 1869 and is one of the world’s most influential and prestigious outlets for scientific research. Its publisher, Nature Portfolio (a subsidiary of the academic publishing giant Springer Nature), also publishes dozens of specialised journals under the Nature banner, covering almost every branch of science. In August, the company published new ethics guidance for researchers. The new guidance is part of Nature’s “attempt to acknowledge and learn from our troubled deep and recent past, understand the roots of injustice and work to address them as we aim to make the scientific enterprise open and welcoming to all”. An accompanying editorial argues the ethical responsibility of researchers should include people and groups “who do not participate in research but may be harmed by its publication”.

New ‘ethics guidance’ for top science journals aims to root out harmful research – but can it succeed? (theconversation.com)

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5. Global carbon inequality over 1990–2019

All humans contribute to climate change but not equally. Here I estimate the global inequality of individual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between 1990 and 2019 using a newly assembled dataset of income and wealth inequality, environmental input-output tables and a framework differentiating emissions from consumption and investments. In my benchmark estimates, I find that the bottom 50% of the world population emitted 12% of global emissions in 2019, whereas the top 10% emitted 48% of the total. Since 1990, the bottom 50% of the world population has been responsible for only 16% of all emissions growth, whereas the top 1% has been responsible for 23% of the total. While per-capita emissions of the global top 1% increased since 1990, emissions from low- and middle-income groups within rich countries declined. Contrary to the situation in 1990, 63% of the global inequality in individual emissions is now due to a gap between low and high emitters within countries rather than between countries. Finally, the bulk of total emissions from the global top 1% of the world population comes from their investments rather than from their consumption. These findings have implications for contemporary debates on fair climate policies and stress the need for governments to develop better data on individual emissions to monitor progress towards sustainable lifestyles.

Global carbon inequality over 1990–2019 | Nature Sustainability

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6. Fire-related threats and transformational change in Australian ecosystems

Most impacts of the 2019–2020 fires on ecosystems became apparent only when they were placed in the context of the whole fire regime and its interactions with other threatening processes, and were not direct consequences of the megafire event itself. Our mechanistic approach enables ecosystem-specific management responses for the most threatened ecosystem types to be targeted at underlying causes of degradation and decline.

Fire‐related threats and transformational change in Australian ecosystems – Keith – 2022 – Global Ecology and Biogeography – Wiley Online Library

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7. Protected areas and the future of insect conservation

Although protected areas (PAs) play a prominent role in safeguarding many vertebrate species from human-induced threats, insects are not widely considered when designing PA systems or building strategies for PA management. We review the effectiveness of PAs for insect conservation and find substantial taxonomic and geographic gaps in knowledge. Most research focuses on the representation of species, and few studies assess threats to insects or the role that effective PA management can play in insect conservation. We propose a four-step research agenda to help ensure that insects are central in efforts to expand the global PA network under the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

Protected areas and the future of insect conservation – ScienceDirect

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About Dbytes

Dbytes is a weekly eNewsletter presenting news and views on biodiversity conservation and environmental decision science. ‘D’ stands for ‘Decision’ and refers to all the ingredients that go into good, fair and just decision-making in relation to the environment. 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). Dbytes is supported by the Global Water Forum.

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.
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David Salt
and you can follow me on twitter at
@davidlimesalt

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