RARE Reports, Articles, Ideas and Events
New article January 2022
The Roles of Science in the Global Ecological Crisis – As Solution Yes, But Not the Way You May Expect
By Dan Fiscus
Most have likely heard calls for science as needed to solve the multi-faceted suite of environmental problems we now face, what I call the global ecological crisis. While this role of science – to solve the crisis – is well-known, well-studied, heavily funded, and supported by many and diverse social groups, this essay is about a second role for science that I see as nearly completely ignored. The second one is the role of science – a specific type of science, and the dominant type now and for the past 400 years described below – as the root cause of the global ecological crisis.
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Fiscus and Fath webinar Sept. 2020
Dan Fiscus and Brian Fath presented an online seminar at SESYNC on Sept. 22, 2020 that covered their book from 2018 – Foundations for Sustainability. See the webinar recording online.
Abstract: This presentation reviews key concepts in sustainability and asks deep questions about why there are so many symptoms of environmental crises present in the world today (climate disruption, mass species extinctions, nitrogen cycle disruption, ocean acidification, crises with food, energy, and water, and many more). These symptoms relate to the prevailing approach, in which we use reductionist mental models and treat living and environmental systems as if they are mechanisms. However, contrary to machines, ecological systems show much resilience and capacity to self-organize, regenerate, increase their organization and complexity, and improve their environment over time. We propose that achieving a sustainable world will require a shift in the way we approach life and life sciences. The good news is that such a shift is possible now, without the need of waiting for new technologies, and is limited only by our willingness.
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