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Generational Amnesia
« on: August 22, 2020, 12:23:43 AM »
Younger Generation Fail to Notice Environmental Decline Due to Generational Amnesia

Young people are not as aware of environmental changes compared to the older generation, according to a new report by Royal Holloway, University of London and international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society London) due to a phenomenon known as shifting baseline syndrome (SBS).

The UK-based paper showcases a reduced awareness of issues such as the decline in bird biodiversity and abundance within their area compared to several years ago—meaning vital naturalist knowledge is being lost over generations without people noticing.

This worrying gap in knowledge and perception surrounding environmental data and conservation needs between the older and younger generation could hinder efforts to emphasize the urgent need for conservation action for declining species.

SBS describes a persistent downgrading of perceived 'normal' environmental conditions with every new generation, leading to under-estimation of the true magnitude of long-term environmental change on a global scale.

... "There needs to be more intergenerational communication about the environment and conservation issues. People tend to compare current ecological conditions to reference points set within their own experience, forgetting or ignoring valuable historical information. This research supports the need to encourage greater intergenerational communication and increase experience of local nature. Knowledge of past environments is critical to evaluate current conditions, comprehend change and set effective conservation targets for the future. Discovering evidence of SBS in public perceptions of animal and bird species experienced within everyday life demonstrates that this is a pervasive social issue, not only in niche contexts such as fisheries, but in public perceptions of local nature."

... By focusing on more recent timescales, we at more at risk of losing perspective on the true magnitude of long-term environmental change, as historical environmental information is lost over time and people do not notice.

Lizzie P. Jones et al. Investigating the implications of shifting baseline syndrome on conservation, People and Nature (2020)
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late


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Re: Generational Amnesia
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2020, 08:06:17 AM »
Important article imo. Shifting baseline syndrome is very strong and dangerous and it operates on whole groups.

It will be difficult for yougsters to imagine car front windows and car bumpers/numberplates full of splashed insects.
They probably also can't imagine a world without mobile phones and Internet.
Same as today's parents who can't imagine a world without TV, take-away food and without personal cars for everyone.

Perhaps it's a good plan to include landscape and biodiversity of 50ya in history/biology lessons.
And in economy classes show the country's make-up from before privatisations and globalisation. Infrastructure, care system, education, advertising, house prices, durable clothes natural materials, food production etc.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?


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Re: Generational Amnesia
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2020, 09:36:00 AM »
It will be difficult for yougsters to imagine car front windows and car bumpers/numberplates full of splashed insects.
Insects have problems but sometimes...