What can we do about it? -reply

Art Souther souther at CS.UTEXAS.EDU
Wed Mar 29 21:28:38 CST 1995


Thanks for your thoughtful comments, both on economics sources and
lifestyles.  Self-actualization is a critical first step, one I'm not
sure many TAXACOM members have taken.  Although I'm an optimist about
the prospects of life, as a betting man I am a pessimist about the
prospects of current life.  Nevertheless, I cannot morally act other
than to support sustainable behavior through words, work, and
modelling behavior.  Acting your beliefs is always a healthy way to
live, and who knows, that longshot may come in.

I queried the readers twice about innovative approaches because I
think that only if we find more effective means for conveying the
importance of other living things can we hope to reduce the currently
overwhelming odds against us.

Its a real shame, because taxonomists, ecologists, etc, can be some of
the most effective advocates for sustainability, but such discussions
rarely get more than a couple of people involved.  Passive listening can
be helpful, but I don't think most ideas make much of an impression if
the person is not actively engaged.

One of the members of the group said she was criticized today because
of getting away from the theme of the newsgroup.  It seems that
biodiversity conservation is nobody's problem, at least if you are a
"professional" biologist.  It's a shame that taxonomists seem in
general to think that their role is to identify and catalogue as much
as they can before its gone.  The defeatism is overwhelming and
inevitably a self-fulfilling prophesy.


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