Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lions in Greece, the reforestation of the west and the use of satire in environmental conservation

Date:
August 17, 2011
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
As the Greek economy maintains its slide towards default and the global climate continues to change for the worse, one organization has come up with some novel answers to both problems. Reforest the country to offset historic deforestation and reintroduce long extinct animals such as lions, boosting the economy through eco-tourism.

Lions once roamed through southern Europe but were displaced by people. Reintroducing them to countries like Greece could generate badly needed revenues from tourism.
Credit: Douglas Sheil

As the Greek economy maintains its slide towards default and the global climate continues to change for the worse, one organisation, writing in Biotropica, has come up with some novel answers to both problems. Reforest the country to offset historic deforestation and reintroduce long extinct animals such as lions, boosting the economy through eco-tourism.

The Coalition of Financially Challenged Countries With Lots of Trees (CoFCCLoT) also count the introduction of wild gorillas to Spain and the return of forests in G8 nations back to pre-industrial levels, among its suggestions for global sustainability.

CoFCCLoT of course does not exist. However, argue Erik Meijaard and Douglas Sheil, from the University of Queensland and the Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation respectively, this fictitious organization's demands are an example of the effective use of satire to bridge seemingly impassable gaps in the understanding of politically contentious issues.

"Mockery is seldom part of the scientific approach, but it is effective when it comes to sustainability and the environment," said Meijaard. "Scientists tend to approach problems using objective logic and data, ignoring the emotional content and subjective values. Conservation science is especially vulnerable as it is about values as much as facts."

The use of satire to cut to the heart of a crisis has a noble history stretching back to 1729 and Jonathan Swifts Modest Proposal to consider cannibalism as an answer to the economic plight of the improvised Irish community. It is this tradition, Meijaard and Sheil argue, which should be embraced by climate and conservation communicators today.

In their Biotropica paper Meijaard and Sheil consider a range of issues to compare the demands 'the West' makes of the developing world and how this contrasts hypocritically with how western consumers and politicians view their own actions. For example it's perceived that 'the West' lambasts developing economies for focusing on cash crops, while remaining firmly attached to the resulting morning cup of coffee.

"An effective use of satire and humor can clarify the social, political or ethical obstacles to which conservation science is often blind," concluded Sheil. "These obstacles play a major role in the political impasse to combating problems such as climate change. Using satire to force a reader to consider an issue from a surprising new angle, even if that angle is ridiculous, can help bridge the gap in perspectives."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Erik Meijaard, Douglas Sheil. A Modest Proposal for Wealthy Countries to Reforest Their Land for the Common Good. Biotropica, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2011.00802.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Lions in Greece, the reforestation of the west and the use of satire in environmental conservation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110817075421.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2011, August 17). Lions in Greece, the reforestation of the west and the use of satire in environmental conservation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110817075421.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Lions in Greece, the reforestation of the west and the use of satire in environmental conservation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110817075421.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A 19-year-old computer science student has been arrested in relation to a data breach of 900 social insurance numbers from Canada's revenue agency. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins