More great, succinct commentary by Joern Fischer (this time on a recent debate about “Super Farms”).
By Joern Fischer
Some of our world’s leading ecologists are now advocating sustainable intensification for the sake of nature; preferably in combination with new protected areas — we’ve commented on these issues before, regarding a paper by Jon Foley et al. and one by Ben Phalan et al.
High profile papers, with politically appealling concepts like “sustainable intensification” can help to shape political agendas. And they can badly backfire … The Guardian now has a discussion on “super farms”, which are, from what I gather, super-large farms. And guess what — part of their appeal is their “sustainability”.
It should be obvious that disclaimers by scientists about what kind of intensification is needed will be lost on those who are going to advocate intensification at all costs. Conservationists advocating “sustainable intensification” should recognise that they are advocating a free lunch; something politically inherently appealling; and conceptually inherently flawed. The small…
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