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The concept of shifting baselines

April 12, 2008

We humans are not good at observing gradual change.  Things tend to sneak up on us: it’s how a lean, healthy 20-year-old becomes an obese, arthritic 50-year-old.  The same is true in our perception of the natural environment.  We look out across the bay and it looks pretty, so we assume everything is OK.  But what if there are less than ten percent of the fish remaining from 50 years ago?  We can’t see the fish, and we didn’t know there were so many there in the first place…

(Hat tip to: Shifting Baselines)

  1. April 13, 2008 at 02:22 | #1

    Thanks for this!  Funny how you can live in a place and have to hear of these things from folks who are far away…

  2. April 13, 2008 at 13:28 | #2

    Very good video! And important because it’s very easy to not realize the impact we make on society and in remote places we do not live or visit.

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