I have added two new sites to the 'Naturalist' section of my blog roll, Yale Environment 360 and Wandering Gaia.
Two articles posted at Yale Environment 360 prompted its addition to my feed reader. The first is an essay by Jonathan Foley titled "The Other Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis in Global Land Use". The abstract of the essay describes the piece better than I can:
As the international community focuses on climate change as the great challenge of our era, it is ignoring another looming problem — the global crisis in land use. With agricultural practices already causing massive ecological impact, the world must now find new ways to feed its burgeoning population and launch a "Greener" Revolution.
This is a position I agree with whole heartily. Indeed, I am tempted to go further than Foley and suggest that unsustainable agricultural practices are a danger much greater than that posed by climate change. If the climate were to be held in stasis for the next century the "land use crisis" would still be a crisis. Climate change simply makes the existing problem worse. It stands to reason that any attempt to solve the climate crisis must begin by solving ecological crises already in existence.
The recognition that mitigating carbon emissions does not truly overcome the challenges posed by climate change is also found in the second Yale E360 piece. This essay, titled "Coping With Climate Change: Which Societies Will Do Best?", also has a wonderful abstract:
As the world warms, how different societies fare in dealing with rising seas and changing weather patterns will have as much to do with political, social, and economic factors as with a changing climate.
I could not have said it better myself.* This essay's publication in such a prominent forum is a very good sign. All too often discussion of adaptation is side lined in climate policy circles, despite its monumental importance. I suppose that cap-and-trade pet projects are simply more sexy than practical solutions to real development problems.
As it turns out, the author of this second post, Gaia Vince, has her own website. I found her blog (the afore mentioned Wandering Gaia) to be a fascinating read -- Gaia has been trekking across the world for a year now, "visit[ing] the people, animals, plants and places that will be most affected by the impacts of climate change." Her blog is a stellar record of the sights she has seen and the musings they have prompted. It is certainly one of the more interesting and insightful websites I have come across in a long while.
As with all my blog roll additions, I encourage you to check these websites out and add them to your own weekly reads.
*Except that I have. Or something close to it.