Deaths-head Jester

[The Project]
[The ApocaDocs]
[Equal Share]
The Six Scenarios:
[Species Collapse]
[Infectious Disease]
[Climate Chaos]
[Resource Depletion]
[Biology Breach]


It's weekly, funny, and free!


More than 5,600 stories!

A great gift
for crisis deniers!

The ApocaDocs have a Book!
Humoring the Horror of the
Converging Emergencies
94 color pages
$24.99 now $15!
Or read FREE online!


Ping this story
in social media:

Posted Thu Apr 8 2010: from Yale 360:
The Natural World Vanishes: How Species Cease To Matter
Once, on both sides of the Atlantic, fish such as salmon, eels, and, shad were abundant and played an important role in society, feeding millions and providing a livelihood for tens of thousands. But as these fish have steadily dwindled, humans have lost sight of their significance, with each generation accepting a diminished environment as the new norm.... Every generation takes the natural environment it encounters during childhood as the norm against which it measures environmental decline later in life. With each ensuing generation, environmental degradation generally increases, but each generation takes that degraded condition as the new normal. Scientists call this phenomenon "shifting baselines" or "inter-generational amnesia," and it is part of a larger and more nebulous reality -- the insidious ebbing of the ecological and social relevancy of declining and disappearing species.... As species disappear, they lose both relevance to a society and the constituency to champion their revival, further hastening their decline. A vivid example of this was highlighted in a recent study in Conservation Biology, in which researchers found that younger residents along China's Yangtze River knew little or nothing of the river dolphin, the bajii -- now believed to be extinct -- and the threatened paddlefish.
[Read more stories about: ecosystem interrelationships, habitat loss, species restoration, tipping point]

Your Quips:
Gail says: "Shifting baselines aren't only inter-generational - people have anmesia"
Terra says: "But we'll always have the Discovery Channel and NatGeo reruns..."
Fallon says: "@Terra: but not in hi-def. 3D That'll be the new NatGeo "baseline" wrought in technology. The new "normal.""
Alex says: "look no further than Easter Island for a real example."

Got a PaniQuip?

Your Quip (limit 140 characters, no links, just wit):

First name:

The text shown in the Web image to the right:

We reserve the right to reuse, remove, or refuse any entry.

'Doc Michael says:
If a species falls in a forest and nobody cares, does it matter?

More stories:
  • Kalamazoo Cleanup Delayed After Lyondell Bankruptcy
  • ...and then there were 25. Numbers and ice.
  • (The Natural World Vanishes: How Species Cease To Matter)
  • Material traps radioactive waste, could help nuclear cleanup
  • Deadly fungus threatens 9 bat species in Ga., Ky., N.C., S.C. and Tenn., expert says

  • Want to explore more?
    Try the PaniCloud!
    Copyright 2010 The