Climate Change is sucking funding away from biodiversity

money_sucking_vortexFrom the “let’s include climate change is all our work so we’ll keep getting funded” department, comes this admission in the form of a press release from The University of Kent.

Overshadowed by climate change

Kent research suggests that recent high levels of media coverage for climate change may have deflected attention and funding from biodiversity loss.

In a paper published by the journal Bioscience, Kent conservationists also recommend that, to prevent biodiversity from becoming a declining priority, conservationists need to leverage the importance of climate change to obtain more funds and draw attention to other research areas such as biodiversity conservation.

For the study, the team conducted a content analysis of newspaper coverage in four US broadsheets (The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today) and four UK broadsheets (the Guardian, The Independent, The Times, and the Financial Times). Academic peer-reviewed coverage and project funding by the World Bank and National Science Foundation were also examined.

Among their findings the team discovered that:

  • Press attention devoted to biodiversity has remained stable since 1990, but the proportion of climate change reports rose before 2007 and has stayed substantially higher than biodiversity since 2005
  • In scientific journals, papers on biodiversity loss and conservation have increased at a steady pace, but publication of papers on climate change accelerated markedly around 2006 and overtook them
  • Funding by the World Bank shows no evident change over the past 20 years, with climate change projects funded at a much greater rate than biodiversity projects. The US National Science Foundation’s investments directed toward climate change research have increased substantially since 1987, but biodiversity expenditures have increased much less and have held steady since 2004.

The researchers further recommend that, given that many human influences are driving both climate change and biodiversity loss, conservationists should aim for win-win solutions such as the United Nations program REDD+ (an extension of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation programme) – an initiative that protects forests while also creating benefits for local communities and biodiversity.

Dr Diogo VerissimoDr Diogo Verissimo, a postdoctoral researcher at Kent’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), said: ‘Our findings suggest that while climate change could be deflecting attention from biodiversity loss in terms of funding, in other areas the sentiment shared by many conservationists that biodiversity loss is now a secondary issue could be a result of a comparatively quicker rise in prominence of climate change.’

Dr Zoe DaviesDr Zoe Davies, Senior Lecturer in Biodiversity Conservation at DICE, added: ‘Conservationists must continue to be proactive, and use the growing interest in climate change as a flagship to leverage more support and action to prevent further biodiversity loss.’

Has Climate Change Taken Prominence over Biodiversity Conservation?’ (Diogo Verissimo, Zoe G. Davies, Robert J. Smith, Jennifer Crees, and Douglas C, Macmillan) was published in the June issue of Bioscience.

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41 thoughts on “Climate Change is sucking funding away from biodiversity

  1. Climate Change is sucking funding away from biodiversity which is sucking private property rights from citizens…

  2. I love the solution proposed by the researchers—exaggerate any conceivable connection from your research to climate change, no matter how tenuous, so you can piggyback on the climate hysteria in order to get the funding.

    Or as the author put it in much less transparent and more laudatory terms:

    ‘Conservationists must continue to be proactive, and use the growing interest in climate change as a flagship to leverage more support and action to prevent further biodiversity loss.’

    Be clear, I can’t blame her for saying that. If I saw my funding drying up and all the money being poured down a carbon rathole, I’d try to stick my bucket in the money stream myself.

    It’s just a tragedy that “science” has come to this …

    w.

  3. Perhaps these researchers need to look at the impact of biofuels on biodiversity. I hear Orangutan habitat (rain forest) is being sacrificed for palm oil plantations. i also wonder what how much of this same resource is being diverted to sugarcane production and ethanol distillation in Brazil. And what about the expansion of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico from corn cultivation in the Midwest?

  4. Sean – you are quite right….the impacts of mitigation attempts are extensive and immediate, but are not strategically assessed…especially not by the green advocates of action. There is a stupidly naive attitude prevalent that all green activism requires is to win some target commitment from politicians – they then leave the ways-and-means to whatever vested interests step into the subsidy trough. Biofuels are the worst offenders – through South America, SE Asia and Africa, but also new hydro schemes in remote places, tidal barrages and arrays of wind turbines.

    Meanwhile, there is very little data to show the calamity for biodiversity they wish to avoid. The small changes in zonation or plants – latitudinally or altitudinally, lead to marginal changes in insects and birds – usually with an equal number of ‘winners’ and ‘losers’. Millions have been spent on calculating ‘climate space’ for each species in the future. These studies take no account of natural cycles and species’ past histories of adaptation. Declining population and even extinction is always regarded as ‘bad’…whereas they are in a fact perfectly natural consequence of (cyclic) environmental change. Even when studies show a balance of ups and downs, value judgement comes in and talks of ‘threats’ and ‘bidiversity losses’ – with an obvious eye on the funding streams.

    These millions could be spent on creating larger and more resilient nature reserves.

    And Willis – they are all at it! Hundreds, if not thousands of papers sign on as if ‘climate change’ were self explanatory, when there is actually no good evidence the current rate of ecological change is any different from previous warmings. Certainly, we are at a high-point. In the UK, for example, we now host several new breeding species – especially the Mediterranean egrets, little bittern, and the beautiful golden oriole, whereas we have yet to lose one species through loss of cold habitat – even the snow bunting is doing well on the Scottish mountain tops. Not one paper on potential biodiversity losses mentions cycles – for example, that the white storks now prospecting in the English lowlands, bred in Edinburgh in the 13th century (at the same time as the Vikings were farming in Greenland), or that in 8000BP Neolithic peoples in Somerset breakfasted on Pelicans.

    Sadly, every new paper that uncritically accepts the unprecedented ‘warming’ hypothesis, contributes to this meaningless 97% of scientists who agree….etc.

  5. It is natural for species to be negatively impacted by other species, even eliminated. It is evolution at work, species adapt to less-favorable conditions, perhaps migrate to still-favorable locations, or go extinct.

    Why do the Greener-than-thous proselytize their devotion to unnatural unquestioning biodiversity?

  6. Biodiversity is under direct assault by the icons of the CAGW cult.
    Top avian species, cut to pieces as the soar the foothills, burnt to a crisp as they fly over the desert plains.
    Common sense and honesty in the human species is being threatened, as a loss of diversity.
    The intelligence test continues.

  7. In a paper published by the journal Bioscience, Kent conservationists also recommend that, to prevent biodiversity from becoming a declining priority, conservationists need to leverage the importance of climate change to obtain more funds …

    That, in a nutshell, is the “consensus”.

  8. Good laaarrrd! They don’t even bother with email anymore. They just brazenly put it out there in a journal. What used to be to unseemly for public eyes is now trotted out, complete with pee…pal review, for all the eyes to see! It’s like they have Miley Cyrus disease!

  9. Climate Change is sucking funding away from biodiversity
    ————
    The leftist/greenie/warmunist extremist eco-panic industry not only sucks away funding from such issues, but blackens the reputation of worthy environmental causes via scepticism and eco-fatigue.

  10. (attach your organization’s name here) also recommend that, to prevent (attach your research subject here) from becoming a declining priority, (attach your job title here) need to leverage the importance of climate change to obtain more funds …

    And now we have a nice boilerplate to use in our next press release.

  11. ‘The title is about Climate harming biodiversity yet what they are realy talking about is loss of habitat’ is what I thought a couple of times recently e.g. today on Radio DW from Germany
    “Climate change impacts human health
    The United Nations University’s institute in Malaysia has become increasingly concerned about environmental change and its impact on the way we live and how healthy we are. DW spoke to the institute’s director Anthony Capon” is the intro text..but in audio he spoke about was effect of habitat loss in general not climate.

    http://www.dw.de/climate-change-impacts-human-health/av-17702408

  12. Their just putting into words what has clearly gone on for years now , stick in an AGW connection no matter how poor and make sure no matter the facts its supports ‘the cause ‘ and there is funding to be hand.

    Its one of sad things about all this , that this joke of ‘science’ is dragging the rest of science down with it . And for that we can thank not the team and their friends, but those working in other areas who refused to call out the poor practice and worse ethics of the team and friends and to often planed the three wise monkeys.
    When ‘the cause ‘ falls it will take much good science , the loss of which we will regret, with it .

  13. this has been the norm for a long time…..maybe it’s just so much focus is on climate change, that sticks out…..but funding has, for the most part, piggy backed on something else

  14. re: “Climate Change is sucking funding away from biodiversity

    Since the 1980s, the mindless alarmism over a tiny amount of increased CO2 from man’s activities has sucked the life and funding out of the conservation movement that was once so strong in the U.S. — and I use “conservation” since the #@#$@!#$ left-wing crazies have ruined the term “environmentalism”.

    Once upon a time we were real concerned about keeping the environment from being poisoned, clean water, clean air, habitat preservation for endangered species, and so on. But now it seems no one is left in the “environmental” movement who cares about anything other than the fictional dangers of the magic gas CO2.

    All I can say is God Damn It! (sorry to be profane, but this issue deserves a profane comment) I want coal fired power plants to burn as clean as is realistic, but I want inexpensive power to fuel the industrial society that keeps some 315 million U.S. citizens alive.

  15. In a paper published by the journal Bioscience, Kent conservationists also recommend that, to prevent biodiversity from becoming a declining priority, conservationists need to leverage the importance of climate change to obtain more funds and draw attention to other research areas such as biodiversity conservation.

    Many scientists are doing this now and as a result the environment suffers. Environmentalists have diverted their attention away from the environment and onto a greening trace gas. How ironic.

  16. As KNR and Latitude stated above, its been going on for years – bit slow on the uptake this last lot. Last one to the waterhole dies of thirst.

  17. These two have been piggybacked for decades. I used to support the Nature Conservancy (I admired how they bought the land to preserve the critters of interest and didn’t whine about getting more restrictive laws passed) but when they hopped on the AGW bandwagon, I stopped sending checks.

  18. Biodiversity Agenda..

    A Manifesto for Rewilding the World

    http://www.monbiot.com/2013/05/27/a-manifesto-for-rewilding-the-world/

    http://www.ethos-uk.com/downloads.html

    Cores and Connectivity: A Wildlands
    Manifesto for Britain

    http://www.ethos-uk.com/downloads/WildlandManifesto.pdf

    Large scale ecosystem restoration initiatives in the
    British landscape and the potential reintroduction of
    large carnivores.
    Peter Taylor (Ethos)and Simon Ayres (John Muir Trust)

    http://www.ethos-uk.com/downloads/EthosRewilding.pdf

  19. Mark and two Cats says:
    June 17, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Climate Change is sucking funding away from biodiversity

    ————
    The leftist/greenie/warmunist extremist eco-panic industry not only sucks away funding from such issues, but blackens the reputation of worthy environmental causes via scepticism and eco-fatigue.

    =================================================================
    When they threw “biodiversity” against the wall it didn’t stick as well as CAGW…er…CACC.

  20. Brent,

    Thank you for the John Muir Trust pdf link.

    I must confess I really do like their proposals. I will have to recondition myself to accept the idea of wolves and bears in my locale (I’m from the wilds of Wales) but I think I really do like the idea..Might change my mind back again if a pack of wolves decides to make me their lunch when I’m out walking but what the hey….

    What about wild boar as well? (I didn’t forensically read the pdf so I may have missed it if it was there).

    Thanks again.

    A

    [New wolves and bears in the wilderness, and this writer wonders if he will be winsomely bored while walking in the wild woods of wales? 8<) .mod]

  21. @kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    “Why do the Greener-than-thous proselytize their devotion to unnatural unquestioning biodiversity?”

    The “commandment” about biodiversity comes from the modern Darwinist Religious synthesis.
    Note the ideology of the Great Darwinist Theologian E. O Wilson

    E.O Wilson Quotes
    If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.
    Science and religion are the two most powerful forces in the world. Having them at odds… is not productive.
    People need a sacred narrative. They must have a sense of larger purpose, in one form or another, however intellectualized. They will find a way to keep ancestral spirits alive
    I see no way out of the problems that organized religion and tribalism create other than humans just becoming more honest and fully aware of themselves.

    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/e_o_wilson.html

    Michael Ruse’s insights into the Darwinist Religion are quite useful

    Double-Dealing in Darwin
    Are intellectuals allowing dogma in science but not in religion?
    Today, likewise, we see that evolutionism has its priests and devotees. Entomologist and sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson of HarvardUniversity tells us that the “evolutionary epic is mythology,” depending on laws that are “believed but can never be definitively proved,” taking us “backward through time to the beginning of the universe.” Wilson knows that any good religion must have its moral dimension, and so he urges us to promote biodiversity, to amend our original sin of despoiling the earth. There is an apocalyptic ring to Wilson’s writings, and in true dispensationalist style, he warns that there is but a short time before all collapses into an ecological Armageddon. Repent! The time is near!

    http://www.beliefnet.com/News/Science-Religion/2000/01/Double-Dealing-In-Darwin.aspx?p=1

    In the 20th century we have people like Julian Huxley and, today, Edward O. Wilson, who I would say treat evolution as a secular religion. Not just this—they were/are professional scientists—but at least in part they are secular humanists with evolution at the center of their theology

    http://www.americanscientist.org/bookshelf/id.3533,content.true,css.print/bookshelf.aspx

    Priests in lab coats

    http://www.salon.com/2005/08/06/ruse/

    I once asked the great ecologist E.O.Wilson how many people the planet could sustain indefinitely. He responded, “If you want to live like North Americans, 200 million.” North Americans, Europeans, Japanese, and Australians, who make up 20 per cent of the world’s population, are consuming more than 80 per cent of the world’s resources. We are the major predators and despoilers of the planet, and so we blame the problem on overpopulation. Keep in mind, though, that most environmental devastation is not directly caused by individuals or households, but by corporations driven more by profits than human needs.

    http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/science-matters/2011/11/is-seven-billion-people-too-many/

    Putting Humans In Their Place
    Eminent Harvard ecologist and ant expert E.O. Wilson once told me that if humans disappeared overnight, only a handful of organisms would also go extinct: creatures that live on our skin, in our armpits, and our groins and guts. The rest of nature would rebound, the planet would green up, and animals would increase in abundance. But if all the ants went extinct overnight, whole terrestrial ecosystems would collapse, and the makeup of animals and plants would change catastrophically. Kind of puts humans into perspective.

    http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/science-matters/2008/10/putting-humans-in-their-place/

    The ant-like world of David Suzuki

    http://minx.cc/?post=219770

    The New Divinity
    By Julian Huxley

    I believe that an equally drastic reorganization of our pattern of religious thought is now becoming necessary, from a god-centered to an evolutionary-centered pattern
    Snip
    Today the god hypothesis has ceased to be scientifically tenable, has lost its explanatory value and is becoming an intellectual and moral burden to our thought. It no longer convinces or comforts, and its abandonment often brings a deep sence of relief. Many people assert that this abandonment of the god hypothesis means the abandonment of all religion and all moral sanctions. This is simply not true. But it does mean, once our relief at jettisoning an outdated piece of ideological furniture is over, that we must construct some thing to take its place.
    Though gods and God in any meaningful sence seem destined to disappear, the stuff of divinity out of which they have grown and developed remains. This religious raw material consists of those aspects of nature and those experiences which are usually described as divine. Let me remind my readers that the term divine did not originally imply the existence of gods: on the contrary, gods were constructed to interprete man’s experiences of this quality.
    Some events and some phenomena of outer nature transcend ordinary explanation and ordinary experience. They inspire awe and seem mysterious, explicable only in terms of something beyond or above ordinary nature.

    http://www.update.uu.se/~fbendz/library/jh_divin.htm

    http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/31/open-thread-weekend-30/#comment-373005

    Hardtalk – James Lovelock – Population reduction (max 1 billion)

  22. Political goals aside, I think the dividing line is between those who would protect the environment for the people who live there and those who would protect the environment at the expense of the people who live there.
    Priorities.
    CAGW has traction among, for lack of a better term, “the useful idiots” because it has emotional appeal to both.

  23. I just saw in the past day some footage on the news, a black bear started following two joggers very closely. The news people talked with a wildlife expert, she said the best thing is bear spray, which she described as a semi-painful distraction that allows you to get away.

    I don’t run that fast. If an aggressive and possibly rabid bear approaches, my semi-painful distraction of choice would be labeled .38 Special, .410, or perhaps .45 Colt.

  24. I heard, from a man who shot a biggin in Africa, that roasted wild boar is taaaaaaaasty!!!

  25. The promotion of eco threats to obtain research funding has sucked the life from basic research in field biology and the integrity from the research that is being funded.

  26. Anthony Watts here, Anthony Watts there, at one, three, seven, ten, twelve o’clock at night… two in the morning, five…, every day? Does he exist, or is it a model?

    REPLY: Oh I indeed exist, and I use something called SCHEDULED PUBLISHING to post stories overnight and sometimes during the day. – Anthony

  27. Conservation and the Misuse of Science
    Hedgehogs, Bats and Badgers
    Dr James Irvine
    FRSE, DSc, FInstBiol, FRCPath, FRCPEd
    Teviot Scientific Consultancy, Edinburgh
    Teviot Agriculture, Cultybraggan Farm, Comrie, Perthshire

    Whether it be hedgehogs, bats or badgers it would appear that SNH and others are happy to”fiddle” at taxpayers expense “while Rome burns” in terms of damage to human and animal health and to the economy. It is time that a stop was put to this form of self-indulgent and extravagant pseudo science

    http://tinyurl.com/yqptur

    The “Independent Scientific Group” advises against badger cull as part of plan to control TB in cattle.
    A sad day for science, and for animal health that it is supposed to protect

    http://www.land-care.org.uk/tb/current_topics/tb%202007/june%202007/isg_badger_18_06/isg_badger_18_06.html

    How the members of the Independent
    Scientific Group on Cattle TB were appointed

    http://www.land-care.org.uk/tb/current_topics/tb%202007/june%202007/comp_isg_22_06/comp_isg_22_06.html

  28. Am I supposed to feel sympathy for the biodiversity crowd that their funding is threatened by the cause du jour “climate change”? Well I don’t. They seem to have the same venal goals as the Carbon Cult, but are less successful. I look on them as the losing pack in a turf war between tribes of cannibalistic parasites.

    Whatever credibility their message might have had just evaporated when they admitted their primary goal was to suck more from the public purse.

  29. So academic prostitution has become open and acceptable?! Did I fall asleep for 40 years… when exactly, did this happen? GK

  30. …conservationists should aim for win-win solutions such as the United Nations program REDD+ (an extension of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation programme) – an initiative that protects forests while also creating benefits for local communities and biodiversity.
    _______

    I certainly hope that they are not talking about forests in the US West. The forest service and now envioro’s have just about loved them to death through the Forest Service’s 100 years of fire suppression and enviro banning of logging.

    We have 300 to 600 trees per acre when we should have, in a natural forest state, 30 to 60 with meadows interspersed among the trees. The US Gov. won’t spend the money necessary for clearing and reducing fuel loads on Federal land around population areas which is how we got the our of control Yarnell Fire last year and lost 19 of our brave Prescott, AZ. Hotshots.

    Without logging, when these fires get going with a superabundance of fuel, there are no breaks to help the firefighters. These fires burn super hot and sterilize the soil and kill the big tress which does not happen when a forest is in a natural state and is allowed to burn periodically. The brush is cleared in a natural fire and killed and the big trees survive just fine. In fact, fire is necessary to a forest. The Forest Service has woken up to this fact. The Enviro nuts have not.

    They have easily killed more spotted owls with fires and by not allowing logging for fire breaks than would have died any kind of death with logging going on. In fact, the spotted owl, much to the dismay of the environmentalist, is breeding itself out of existence by mating with another species of owl. it is rather amusing to read what they have to say about the owls choice of “diversity” in mating.

    Where I live, by the letters to the editor, you can always tell who moved here from California and, through them, why California has so many out of control wildfires. They complain vehemently like clockwork whenever our firefighters do prescribed burns in the forest around our city. They get hysterical about second-hand smoke. Well, I moved here and three days later woke up with my house full of smoke. That was the 2002 fire and we almost lost our town. Everything went right and we didn’t. We did lose some homes, but no lives. Credit to our firefighters for taking on both environmentalism and HOW’s and doing prescribed burns and maintaining trails through the forests. Ditto last year when we had another fire successfully fought by the same Hotshots who lost their lives a month later. I will gladly take some second-hand smoke a few times a year to an out of control wildfire any day.

    Mother Nature is a b!t@h and will not be messed with and does not suffer fools. There seem to be a lot of fools out there.

  31. This is a suprise? Dropping “global warming” or the more de rigeur “climate change” into a funding application has been the norm for at least 10-15 years. It’s all but a guarantee of success too unfortunately.
    The absurdity is that the study’s report must therefore comment on climate change, regardless of whether it was a factor or even examined at all. Thus adding to the body of work on climate related activities. So it becomes a self perpetuating truism. Back around the early part of this century the only cited “papers” were likely to be an IPCC report, which was taken uncritically. More remarkably it was acceptable to use this non peer reviewed document as some sort of accurate reference point. Of course by including climate change in so many applications there is now a plethora of climate related work done so the references are plentiful.

    The funding pie is only so big. If you ain’t on the climate change bandwagon the slice of pie you’re trying to access is awfully small. Of course no one acknowledges that the funding has been scaled back from useful things like health care research as well.

    Granting organizations only fund panic/desperation/catastrophe and have done so for a very long time now. There is no bigger looming catastrophe than climate change if you believe the believers.

    The environmental movement is a grand experiment in unintended consequences.

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