[Taxacom] The Barometer of Life

Bob Mesibov mesibov at southcom.com.au
Mon May 31 18:36:20 CDT 2010

Dean Pentcheff wrote:

"Part of our job is to make the case that we need better biodiversity information, and to push as hard as we can to make that information count."

Agreed, but please note that this is exactly what climate scientists have been aiming to do for ca 25 years, with very limited success. Some years ago there was a call for the biodiversity equivalent of the IPCC. I wonder if one reason for the failure of that body to get off the ground is the IPCC's track record: great media, top science, minimal impact on policy.

We also need to understand very clearly what the goals of biodiversity monitoring need to be. I don't think it's enough to say 'We've got really good data here showing that the biosphere is in terrible shape', because that isn't a different message from the one enviornmental policymakers have been hearing for a long time. Nor is it enough to simply say such a thing and sit back and expect policymakers to act - witness the shocking history of wild fishery management.

So what do we want out of biodiversity monitoring, specifically?
Dr Robert Mesibov
Honorary Research Associate
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and
School of Zoology, University of Tasmania
Home contact: PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
03 64371195; 61 3 64371195
Webpage: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/mesibov.html

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