Rethinking Environmental Policy

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Daniel Botkin argues that in a world constantly confronted by global environmental problems, establishing effective environmental plans, policies, and laws is more important than ever. His book The Moon in the Nautilus Shell: Discordant Harmonies Reconsidered challenges us to rethink our current conservation policies and to appreciate the complexities of the natural world.


Daniel Botkin

Comments [17]


Mr. Botkin sounds wise and real to me.No easy answers or stances.Keep your mind open, dig out the facts,

Oct. 05 2012 07:15 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Prof Botkin is quite a pleasure to listen to. It is wonderful to hear a totally sane, and calm, and EDUCATED discussion of these topics.

Oct. 03 2012 01:55 PM
Joe from nearby

Would your guest *please* speak above a whisper?!

Thank you.

Oct. 03 2012 01:54 PM
Wayne Johnson Ph.D. from Bk

The state sponsored slaughter of wolves in Idaho,Montana,Wyoming,Wisconsin and Minnesota is an example of human intervention destroying balance.

Oct. 03 2012 01:53 PM
Bob O'Hara from Frankfurt am Main

"f the idea that there is a perfect balance in nature is so prevalent, why is it not represented in any political policy or other societal behavior? "

It is, but nobody really thinks about it. A lot of conservation is about trying to return the environment to what we knew when we were kids (e.g. restoring land as a nature reserve): this assumes that that was the "stable" state. It's a big problem with climate change: the environment might not me suitable.

Oct. 03 2012 01:49 PM

Mr. Botkin is not addressing acidifiation of the oceans, which is directly attributable to the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

He's obviously right on many things, but climate change deniers will continue to say that we can burn all the fossil fuels we want to burn without having an effect on the environment.

Oct. 03 2012 01:47 PM
savitra from manhattan

please ask this: even if CO2 has lagged temperature change in the past, how does this mean that adding large amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere won't cause warming?

Oct. 03 2012 01:47 PM
howard from NJ

found a reference to that study that disproves the cot lags behind temperature...

Oct. 03 2012 01:45 PM

As far as the creationism goes; As a Christian I can not find where Christianity does not sync with science. Science is merely Gods grace allowing us to see his character in HOW He created. To understand Why is to understand the Love God has for each and every one of us.

Oct. 03 2012 01:42 PM
Hal from Crown Heights

Chaos theory explains that complex systems find stable states, but small variations in the initial states and perturbations can have drastic effects on the system over time, thus the butterfly effect. Man's influence on the climate may be the butterfly.

Oct. 03 2012 01:39 PM
John from NYC

If the idea that there is a perfect balance in nature is so prevalent, why is it not represented in any political policy or other societal behavior?

Oct. 03 2012 01:37 PM
Bob O'Hara from Frankfurt am Main

I'm an ecologist, so I'm obviously not happy with Blotkin's unkind comment about the subject. In some cases he's definitely wrong: the balance of nature problem is more complex than he suggests, and the suggestion that a system not in equilibrium can't have a tipping point is just wrong.

And his suggestion that ecology is retrograde because it uses an equation from 1839 is laughable, as anyone using Newton's laws should realise.

Oct. 03 2012 01:35 PM
Howard from NJ

There was a recent paper that explained the apparent lag of CO2 behind Temperature in Antarctica. there is a difference between the memispheres but globally CO2 precedes T change. I'll try to find the paper and post.

Oct. 03 2012 01:34 PM
Montse from Harding

The next world war will be over water.

Oct. 03 2012 01:16 PM
Eric from Harding from Harding

Unfortunately, until you take economics out of the equation, nothing will ever change environmentally. A sad, but true, reality of today's state of global economic pressures.

Oct. 03 2012 01:13 PM
Laura from UWS

"Rethink" is one thing but I also hope to hear about actions we can take and organizations we can join.

Thank you.

Oct. 03 2012 11:48 AM
kevin from chappaqua

Barry Commoner, who passed this weekend, was as Ralph Nader noted "the greatest environmentalist of the 20th century." His four principles of ecology (everything is connected, everything goes somewhere, nature knows best, and there is no free lunch) should be the foundation of our environmental policies. Unfortunately, a small elite class of investors in the pursuit of obscene profits have taken control of the political process to the detriment of our country and the world's environment.

Oct. 03 2012 11:20 AM

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