Add biodiversity to the list of important things no one gives a sh*t about
Environmentalists, NGOs, relatively progressive governments and the UN made a lot of noise about climate change a couple of years ago. Nothing really happened. Then 2010 was hailed by the United Nations as the “Year of Biodiversity” in order to draw awareness to the catastrophic loss of natural resources, which global ecosystems (including humanity) depend on for little things like livelihood and survival.
But comfort, convenience and promises of wealth trump doomsday scenarios every time. Just like with climate change, governments are failing to significantly act on biodiversity loss. Large corporations couldn’t give a toss, because they make money from it – at least for the moment. And the public doesn’t even know what the hell it is. Many think biodiversity is a kind of washing powder.
OK, it’s not quite fair to say that no one cares. A survey in the UK by Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) found that 78% are worried about the loss of native species in Britain. On the other hand:
Researchers found that 18% of respondents know “a lot” about biodiversity in 2011 compared with 20% in 2009; 30% know “a little” compared with 24%; 18% have “only heard the name” compared with 21%; and 31% haven’t even heard of it, down from 32%.
Read more on that story in the Guardian.
Maybe the UN should hire a Don Draper-like Madison Avenue wordsmith to sell biodiversity to the Starbucks-addled masses of Western consumerism. Or at least fire their current adman and hire one that knows about Twitter, Tumblr, iPhones and other stuff people give a sh*t about.
To inspire yourself a bit, see these recent articles and multimedia items on biodiversity and conservation.