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Rethinking Extinction

ACS friend and colleague Stewart Brand recently published a thought-provoking essay in AEON entitled rethinking extinction. Here, Stewart makes a convincing argument that framing the conservation movement around extinction is not only wrong, but not strategic: "The idea that we are edging up to a mass extinction is not just wrong – it’s a recipe for panic and paralysis."

Viewing every conservation issue through the lens of extinction threat is simplistic and usually irrelevant. Worse, it introduces an emotional charge that makes the problem seem cosmic and overwhelming rather than local and solvable. It’s as if the entire field of human medicine were treated solely as a matter of death prevention. Every session with a doctor would begin: ‘Well, you’re dying. Let’s see if we can do anything to slow that down a little.’

Read the essay here.

The Environmental Mortgage

While microfinance models have been hugely successful on a global scale in providing the means for people to escape extreme poverty, they aren’t often used to finance payments for ecosystem services projects that offer many poverty alleviating benefits. Despite it being risky and costly, both sectors see potential in working together on a larger scale.

The Ecosystem Marketplace talks to Josh Donlan about the opportunities and challenges of leveraging microfinance approaches for environmental conservation. Check out the article here.

Climbing high to save a threatened West Coast plant

Climbing high to save a threatened West Coast plant

Josh Donlan is quoted this week in Science News Magazine in an article that looks at the amazing group of plants called "liveforevers." Many of the species belonging to the genus Dudelya are endangered. In the late 1990s, Josh Donlan worked on the San Benito Islands in northwest Mexico, where he helped save an endemic Dudleya that was threatened with extinction from non-native rabbits. Check out the article here.

ACS on Radiolab

ACS on Radiolab

Check out RadioLab's show on the Galapagos. RadioLab asks some serious questions about conservation in the 21st century. Is it inevitable that even our most sacred natural landscapes will eventually get swallowed up by humans? And just how far are we willing to go to stop that from happening?

ACS's Josh Donlan participates in the show, along with Island Conservation's Karl Campbell and Cornell University's Harry Greene. The show goes beyond the Galapagos and looks at the biodiversity conservation challenges of the 21st Century. 

Rewilding and Science

Rewilding and Science

Journalist Daniel Cossins writes about Rewilding and Science in the latest issue of The Scientist. He talks with Josh Donlan on his view of rewilding and the need for more science to document the benefits, costs, and risks of rewilding.


The Mammoth Commeth

ACS's Josh Donlan is quoted in the New York Times Magazine article The Mammoth Commeth by Nathaniel Rich. Rich explores the latest developments and challenges around de-extinction. Bringing extinct animals back to life is really happening — and it’s going to be very, very cool. Unless it ends up being very, very bad.