Posts and Comments by: Gen Hua Tan


Spreading the Discussion on Biodiversity--posted on Oct 1, 2013
A BioBlitz Segment--posted on Sep 4, 2013


"I completely agree with your point but like to add that aside from the scientific community, I believe she also wants to extend this framework to the self-interested groups so that they too will have a general basis of discussion in order to come to better conclusions and organize themselves in such a way that could enable sustainability in their respective resource systems. In other words, she is trying to bridge the gap between the scientific community and the rest of the people and therefore encourage self-organization rather than waiting for some government to give instructions on how to better manage the system."
--( posted on Nov 12, 2013, commenting on the post Letting The Common Man Learn To Manage The Commons )
"Indeed, Silliman's article (and experiment) really shed light on how important top-down consumers are in regulating a system's ecology. The consequences of Silliman's experiment is immense in that now we must re-think a way to limit over-fishing of blue crabs as it would indirectly lead to the destruction of salt marshes. I am interested in what measures the government or environmental groups have done so far to protect some of the ecosystems that are being over-harvested by us. My response to why most scientists before only looked at the importance of bottom-up organisms and its effect on the ecosystem is because it is easy to grasp the concept even without carrying out an experiment for it. The more dense the bottom-up organism populations are, the higher the biodiversity there will be. Hence, by looking for different ways to increase or maintain bottom-up organisms would most likely support the overall system as well. Or, simply because oftentimes, to think oppositely is very difficult. Last note, I don't think Silliman forgot to include "us" in the figure, but rather the scientists decided that it is best not to complicate the matter even more by putting us into the picture--when clearly, even without putting us there, it should be obvious that commercial fisheries have a great effect on it."
--( posted on Sep 26, 2013, commenting on the post Bottom-Up? Think Again. )
"I find it interesting that you bring up a "necessary evil" underlying this paper's premise. I certainly was not focused on the idea of getting rid of nature for our benefit but instead using it in such a way that would benefit us. However, undoubtedly that we are damaging the ecosystem, for example, cutting innumerable trees from a tropical forest to be manufactured into other products. Yes, trees will grow back but not nearly at the rate we are cutting them down. As mentioned in the previous two comments already, this article is not recent. But with so many uncertainties in the calculation of the ecosystems, it is most likely impossible to assert the true values of them even in the future; or perhaps they should be regarded as infinitely valuable as stated in the article because certain ecosystems are irreplaceable. Despite such, there are many, especially corporations, who disregard the environment if money can be made. The reason to have such an article published explicitly with economists and policy makers in mind by estimating the values of ecosystems is because we take them for granted. Many people simply do not care or refuses to care. To your point in valuating based on the cost to create a synthetic environment being ridiculous, in my opinion, it might not be such an absurd suggestion. Sure with out current technology it's impossible to create an artificial environment but I feel and believe that we will probably have to take that measure to actually do it in the future. Currently, we certainly do not have any means to restore Earth or much of the ecosystems that we are tampering with. As a "starting point" study, the research reported in this article certainly had done its job, at the very least, in raising awareness of the gravity of the situation that we are living in. We take from the environment but have very few incentives to preserve it because its value is obscured, otherwise intangible. People need to see the true worth of our environment, or else little to nothing will be done in politics or the advocacy for direct actions."
--( posted on Sep 12, 2013, commenting on the post “We stress again that this is only a starting point.” )