If a doom-monger came up with a set of recommendations that would imply less money and power to the class of people to whom he or she belongs, I would at least listen with interest.
We shouldn’t listen to the latest “obey us, or face doom” message.
A recent commentary in Nature (subscription necessary) calls for an international body of biodiversity experts.
…it should have a formal link to, and be funded by, governments. This feature, which distinguishes it from previous biodiversity initiatives, would ensure that negotiations within international biodiversity conventions are based on validated scientific information and lead to action at national and global levels.
So, because governments would (use taxpayers’ money to) pay for this, that would ensure action “at national and global levels”? And this “action” would be effective? The authors of the proposal owe a payment for ecosystem services to the owners of the ecosystem that produced whatever they smoked.
The consultation process, supervised by an international steering committee, will last 18 months and proceed in two phases. During the first phase, a number of studies will define the need for, and goals of, an international panel on biodiversity. These studies will examine the global decision-making landscape concerned with biodiversity, analyse successes and failures of biodiversity conservation efforts at different scales, and assess existing international mechanisms that deliver scientific expertise. In a second phase, this information will be used to articulate a set of recommendations for an international panel, which will be presented at a set of regional meetings to seek input from all sectors of society and all regions of the world.
This is not about action, or doing science, this is about creating and getting money for a talking shop.
We urgently need a scientific body of knowledge on conservation. What works, what doesn’t work, what are the cost and the benefits? We can’t do systematic reviews before the field trials have been done. Diverting scientists away from science and getting funds for scientists to pontificate on the basis of weak science is a waste both of scientists and of money.