Each of us can make a difference if we step up and try our best / Becoming Planet Citizens
File:About Baselines and Change.png
H/t to Rebecca Solnit, Harper's Magazine, September 2017
In the 1990s, the fisheries biologist Daniel Pauly popularized the term “shifting baselines” to describe the impossibility of accurately appraising the present without a clear sense of the past. A baseline is the stable point from which you measure change in a system before it was damaged or dramatically altered — the usual date on which the spring thaw used to arrive before climate change began, for example, or the total population of a given species before it became endangered. The scientist and filmmaker Randy Olson put it this way:
If we know the baseline for a degraded ecosystem, we can work to restore it. But if the baseline shifted before we really had a chance to chart it, then we can end up accepting a degraded state as normal — or even as an improvement.
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