The Shifting Baseline (TED video)

The more I learn about permaculture, the more I learn about the potential for not only stability in our food and water systems, but abundance. When I see the sharp difference between the future that permaculture offers and the future of scarcity that our current path seems to lead to, I have to wonder what is wrong with society’s perspective in general that it wouldn’t be searching desperately for an alternative path, like permaculture.

The video above might be part of the explanation for warped perceptions in the scientific community about the real differences between the natural world that we are destroying and the abundant world that we could reclaim.

These two quotes touch on the talk, but the video explains them more fully.

We transform the world, but we don’t remember it. We adjust our baseline to the new level, and we don’t recall what was there. — Daniel Pauly

Before an animal becomes extinct, it becomes rare. So you don’t lose abundant animals. You always lose rare animals. — Daniel Pauly



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