Peter Kareiva has some unconventional ideas about conservation. Chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy, Kareiva is known in scientific circles as a provocateur who constantly questions the status quo — a habit that has made him a few enemies among old-guard conservationists.
Among his crimes: He thinks environmentalists should empathize more with the “other side” — the loggers, fishermen, and developers. He works with big smoke-puffing, water-polluting, chemical-creating corporations such as Dow Chemical, which he calls a “keystone species” in the corporate ecosystem. And he refuses to accept the conservation mantra that nature is fragile; in fact, he thinks nature is resilient in most cases.
By working with a broader constituency, Kareiva hopes environmental issues will become human issues, incorporated into our basic social, economic, and political fabric. His advice for conservationists? “Don’t be a special interest. We all want a better future … We just have to make it clear to people how healthy nature contributes to a better future.”
When told to respe... Read more