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Ep 74: Is the Biodiversity of Earth Doomed? with guests Dr. Pamela McElwee, Dr. Kai Chan, and Dr. Alex Pfaff

biodiversity

The statistics are staggering.  One million species are close to extinction.  No ecosystem is left untouched.  Corals in the sea, forests on a windy bluff, jungles, deserts.  The biodiversity of the Earth is declining at worrying rates.

What is causing this decline? Is it due to climate change, pollution, over-exploitation of resources, or something else? And what can we do about it?

To understand nature’s decline, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services , also known as IPBES, compiled a report.  The report is over one thousand pages long and contains the knowledge of over 450 authors from 50 countries.  It draws upon the knowledge of scientists, ecologists, economists, governmental agencies, and even aboriginal people to understand the biodiversity crisis.  

Today we are talking to three of the authors of this paper.

Dr. Kai Chan is a professor at the University of British Columbia in the Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability. Kai was a Coordinating Lead Author for the solutions and pathways chapter of the IPBES Global Assessment.

Dr. Pamela McElwee is an associate professor of human ecology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She is an environmental anthropologist who has done extensive work in tropical Asia on human vulnerability to environmental change and the impacts of sustainable development policies.

Dr. Alex Pfaff is a Professor of Policy, Economics and the Environment at Duke University. His research examines how economic development and the environment affect each other and what that implies for best policies.

You can follow Kai at @KaiChanUBC, Pamela at @pammcelwee, and check out Alex’s website.

Looking for a way to make a difference?  You can also sign this petition which can act as an encouragement so that we will see the types of big-level change we need in our society to make a change.

Some of the background music you heard were clips from solar fractal by Quarkstar, reNovation by airtone, Chords For David by Pitx, nightRain by airtone, (all licensed under CC by 3.0.) and Too Cool from https://filmmusic.io by Kevin MacLeod  (https://incompetech.com) licensed under CC BY 4.0.

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