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Viewpoint: Modern farming, economic growth don’t cause biodiversity decline—they prevent it

| | May 9, 2019

Driven perhaps by envy at the attention that climate change is getting, and ambition to set up a great new intergovernmental body that can fly scientists to mega-conferences, biologists have gone into overdrive on the subject of biodiversity ….

They are right that there is a lot wrong with the world’s wildlife, that we can do much more to conserve, enhance and recover it, but much of the coverage in the media, and many of the pronouncements of Sir Bob Watson, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), are frankly weird.

The threat to biodiversity is not new, not necessarily accelerating, mostly not caused by economic growth or prosperity, nor by climate change, and won’t be reversed by retreating into organic self-sufficiency. Here’s a few gentle correctives.

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On the whole what really diminishes biodiversity is a large but poor population trying to live off the land. As countries get richer and join the market economy they generally reverse deforestation ….  Thanks to fertilizers, tractors, genetics and pesticides, we now need 68% less land to produce a given quantity if food than we did in 1960.

Read full, original article: Biodiversity threat won’t be tackled by alarmist biologist hype and dismantling capitalism

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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