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What makes this old scientist grumpy

Recher, H.F. (2013) What makes this old scientist grumpy. In: Recher, H., Lunney, D. and Hutchings, P., (eds.) Grumpy Scientists: The Ecological Conscience of a Nation. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman, NSW, Australia, pp. 1-8.

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This scientist is grumpy with his scientific colleagues and the conservation agenda driven by green groups. Scientists are too conservative and lack the skills to communicate effectively with the community. Scientists need to assume moral responsibility for the application of their science and not allow multinationals and politicians dictate science policy or interfere with the communication of science. This requires fundamental changes in science education in Australia. The conservation agenda is anthropocentric with too much emphasis on conservation reserves for human recreation, and on wilderness, threatened species, and alien (exotic) species. The result is a fragmented reserve system that cannot conserve continental biodiversity in the long-term, and inadequate funding for less charismatic species or preventing common species from becoming threatened. A whole-of-landscape approach, such as WildCountry and Wild Lands, is needed; the conservation paradigm should be inverted with the entire continent seen as a nature reserve and human activities managed with nature conservation as a priority. However, nothing will be achieved without policies to limit and then reduce the human population and its consumption of resources. Humanity needs to share Earth with all other species regardless of those species economic benefits or costs.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales
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