[Taxacom] eol in NYT

Paul Kirk p.kirk at cabi.org
Fri Sep 7 02:34:05 CDT 2007


but it will ...

To follow on from the contribution from Rich ... if we do not have to
repeat what others have done already and what others are also
concurrently repeating, and if all that we require to carry out our
existing work is much more efficiently available then 'we' will have
more time to do what we all want to do - discover the remaining 90
percent. Maybe I'm an optimist, but I'm right behind the cheerleader
(but leave out the pom-poms).

Paul

Dr Paul M. Kirk
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-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Bob Mesibov
Sent: 07 September 2007 05:28
To: TAXACOM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] eol in NYT

Professor Wilson's OpEd piece in the New York Times is well-intentioned
but there's a logical hole in it.

He gets the reader worried by ringing the usual bells, like
"Human-caused climate change alone could eliminate a quarter of species
during the next five decades" and "What will we and future generations
lose if a large part of the living environment continues to disappear?"

Next, he claims that "[EOL] should make it possible to discover the
remaining 90 percent of species in far less than 250 years, perhaps only
one-tenth that time, a single human generation", and that "[EOL] will
accelerate the discovery of the unknown species".

Excuse me? How does compiling information about known species make it
more likely that unknown biodiversity gets discovered? How does sitting
in an office playing with bioinformatics tell you anything about life
you haven't found yet, out there in nature? How exactly does funding for
EOL translate into funding for fieldwork?

More importantly, how would EOL shift survey and sampling priorities to
those places where biodiversity is disappearing fastest?

Nice promotional piece, but it doesn't help the worldwide biodiversity
salvage effort, still in its infancy. 
--
Dr Robert Mesibov
Honorary Research Associate, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery and
School of Zoology, University of Tasmania
Contact: PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
(03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195

Australian millipedes checklist
http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/zoology/millipedes/index.html
Tasmanian multipedes
http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/zoology/multipedes/mulintro.html
Spatial data basics for Tasmania
http://www.utas.edu.au/spatial/locations/index.html
Biodiversity salvage blog
http://biodiversitysalvage.blogspot.com
---



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