Peter Kareiva is chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy, where he is responsible for developing and helping to implement science-based conservation throughout the organization and for forging new linkages with partners.
In addition to a long academic career, he has worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and directed the Northwest Fisheries Science Center Conservation Biology Division. His current projects emphasize the interplay of human land-use and biodiversity, resilience in the face of global change, and marine conservation.
Yes, global warming is a big deal and a big challenge. But sometimes I get so frustrated by conservation and environmental NGO’s for not being able to chew gum and walk at the same time — in other words, for failing to appreciate the real lesson of greenhouse gas emissions. The real lesson is there [...] More
I have made a habit of asking ardent supporters of conservation — from members of The Nature Conservancy’s board of directors to the volunteer docents at a neighborhood nature reserve — why they care about conservation. The answer, almost inevitably, is some memorable or inspiring experience in nature. So what will happen if future generations [...] More
In 50 years, many parts of the world will be unrecognizable because of climate change, population growth, shifting agriculture, new energy sources, hundreds of new cities and imperiled water supplies. The pressures of the climate crisis, coupled with the global recession, are pushing the conservation movement to reexamine many of its core assumptions. There is [...] More
You have all heard the statistics that nearly one-half of all Americans do not think humans evolved from apes, and that about one in five American adults think the sun orbits the Earth. Scientific illiteracy is not just a matter for elitist smugness — it can endanger the innocent. For example, there is a movement [...] More
I am going to commit conservation heresy and ask out loud: Should the conservation movement be proud of the 108,000 protected areas around the world it has thus far helped establish? I have many reasons for asking that question, but among those reasons is certainly Mark Dowie’s recently published book Conservation Refugees: The Hundred-Year Conflict [...] More
There are carbon calculators galore on the web — including The Nature Conservancy’s very own. These calculators allow you to figure out how your activities and lifestyle contribute to the carbon emissions that are responsible for the climate disruption the world now faces. Rarely, however, does one see any discussion of what population growth means [...] More
If you stop 100 people on the street and ask them about climate change, 87 of them would know something about it, according to polls. But if you asked the same 100 people if they’ve ever heard of “adaptation to climate change,” I bet you’d get 100 blank stares. That’s a problem. For sure, we [...] More
You cannot read about conservation these days and not notice the astonishing zeal for ecosystem services as a new conservation strategy. (The February 2009 special issue of the Ecological Society of America’s journal Frontiers of Ecology and the Environment is a good case in point, although it’s not online yet.) The idea behind ecosystem services [...] More
I follow politics, and love to argue and discuss the subject with friends. But usually conservation science and scientists are on the outside looking in – external voices trying to influence federal policy. That situation, however, just changed. President-elect Barack Obama has appointed two of the United States’ most prominent environmental and conservation scientists to [...] More