1. Speaking of intergenerational equity, epigenetics appears to be becoming a more and more important component of this. That is, our own exposure to toxicants today appear to be able to affect our children, and their children–without altering their DNA sequences. It appears that this is a common characteristic of many chemicals, according to recent research by a WSU professor Michael Skinner. This, of course, has important implications for policy and environmental justice in the present.
2. A new piece in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, the membership journal of the Ecological Society of America, calls for us to “act on existing knowledge rather than describe the process of environmental deterioration ever more precisely. The authors of the study are an unusual alliance of scholars from a wide range of academic disciplines, including sociology, ecology, public policy and philosophy.” The authors (led by Ideas4Sustainability’s Prof. Joern Fischer of Leuphana University Lueneburg) point out that
“a powerful new sustainability movement is needed in civil society – and researchers should play an important role in gathering momentum for such a movement to start… unless civil society demands fundamental changes, existing structures won’t change…Those interested in sustainability must engage people more actively and provide opportunities for citizen participation. Put bluntly, we know what needs to happen to work toward a more sustainable future: we know that a social avalanche is needed. The challenge now is to get it started.”
A copy of the paper can be downloaded via lead author Joern Fischer’s website.
3) Lastly, an old story, but one emphasizing the importance of paying attention to people, culture, society, and well-being in conservation, and the incredible importance of not simply “fencing things off” to conserve them, but thinking of them as part and parcel of a whole, integrated, socio-ecological landscape: Kenya, with some of the largest national parks in the world, nevertheless could have it said that “National parks aren’t doing the trick in Kenya“.