New Scientist: Many Natural Scientists Believe All Human Influence is Bad


I am catching up on my backlog of reading New Scientist and this editorial in the February 27 issue caught my attention. It begins:

For many environmentalists, all human influence on the planet is bad. Many natural scientists implicitly share this outlook. This is not unscientific….

Not unscientific? Really? The editorial continues:

…but it can create the impression that greens and environmental scientists are authoritarian tree-huggers who value nature above people.

Well, yes.

The editorial is a lead-in to a couple of articles in the issue that the editors at New Scientist believe are more balanced with regard to the dangers posed by human influence on nature. Maybe. In any case, the editorial is surely right when it concludes:

…exaggerating our problems is not the way to solve them.

But unscientific exaggeration sure does work as a fund-raising device for environmentalist lobbying groups, and even more sadly, for obtaining research grants.