Throughout National Wildlife Week (April 21 – 29), which intersects Earth Day, about 30 bloggers (signed up in a mere three days since the announcement) will be spending the week conducting bioblitzes across the world – the US, Panama, Canada, etc. – compiling the information gained into tallies and grand totals of species, then georeferencing the whole bit on an interactive world map, showing our results spatially.
This yearï¿½s Earth Day, marking the anniversary of the founding of the modern environmental movement in 1970, is Sunday, April 22, 2007.
In celebration of this event, ESA News and Views will feature your thoughts, reminiscences, polemics, and general musings on Earth Day
Regardless of dictionary definitions, anyone who has ever restored a car or a house knows that it is not only possible, it is also a rewarding experience that allows one to regain use of something that has been damaged or fallen into disrepair. But no one expects a restored house to be the same house that it was before. The paint may be the same color, but if lead paint was used something less toxic would now be substituted. No one would propose the use of asbestos as insulation or wallpaper known to burst into flames from a mere spark. In some parts of the world, air conditioning might be installed to protect the remaining historic components of a structure from the elements; if threatened by floods, a historic house undergoing restoration might be raised up on pilings. Where a house might have been home to a family of five, it might now be used as an office or retail store.
Why on earth would an ecologist, much less one employed by the Ecological Society of America, say such a thing? Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of papers and books have been devoted to the subject, not to mention numerous meetings and at least one professional society (the Society for Ecological Restoration International, a partner in ESAâ€™s 2002 and 2007 annual meetings.) The phrase â€œecological restorationâ€ generates 772,000 hits on Google, the phrase â€œecological restoration is impossibleâ€ six. So this would appear to be a minority opinion. But perhaps some explication will produce broader agreement than the current three-quarter million to one ratio would imply.
Anyone who has ventured to Antarctica can not help but have the highest respect for early explorers. How did these men, without the benefit of modern outdoor equipment, endure the harsh conditions of cold, starvation, isolation, scurvy, injury, ice storms, avalanches, and physical deterioration? Why do explorers past and present ï¿½ï¿½ have such an obsession for experiencing nature in its extreme?