we don't need to change how we do conservation, we need to change why we do it

Ken Christenson

Author's posts

Mi’kmaw Fishery Isn’t a Threat to Conservation, Say Scientists

Here is what you need to know about the lobster fisheries issue currently playing out in Nova Scotia: https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/local-perspectives/megan-bailey-mikmaw-fishery-isnt-a-threat-to-conservation-say-scientists-511572/? My personal position is this: Although what I have been calling “The Extremophile Choice” would ultimately phase our ALL human dependence on wild species for a livelihood, in favour of hi-tech, maximally non-invasive farming, this is …

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The Unseen Unseeing Buddhanature: Population Evo-Ecology

At the end of a meditation session, practitioners will often formally repeat something like, “May all beings live in harmony and be free from harm.” But what does this ‘metta phrase’ actually mean, coming from the one being who is free of the harmony of beings eating each other? In a time of species die-back …

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Our Ecologically Strange Situation: we alone are the progressive inventors of behaving extensions.

I don’t know why I have been avoiding this technical underpinning to the Extremophile Choice hypothesis in this blog. But here it is. Perhaps, for the evo-eco geeks anyway, it will help make better sense of it all. On the importance of structure vs function from Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice: fifty short essays on what it means to be human …

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Extreme Times

Extreme temperatures in the Arctic. Extreme flooding in Bangladesh. Extreme wildfires in Australia and in California. Extremely low water-tables in Syria and in California. Extreme rates of glacier melting. And, most alarming for biologists, extreme rates of species extinction and ecosystem collapse. All caused by human activity over the years. It is becoming more and …

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One Species, One Niche: Why Humans Destroy Nature

If I am too cold for human friendship, I trust I shall not soon be too cold for natural influences. It appears to be a law that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature. Those qualities which bring you near to the one estrange you from the other. — Henry David …

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The Narrow Way

Ok, in case you thought that last post from Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice was too metaphysical, here is the physical prequel: four Our Platonic heritage prompts us to view means and medians as the hard ‘realities,’ and the variation that permits their calculation as a set of transient and imperfect measurements of this …

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‘Heat Death’ Through the Eyes of Darwin, Dogen and Maxwell’s Demon

[five] Now let us suppose that … a being, who can see the individual molecules, opens and closes the hole, so as to allow only the swifter molecules to pass from A to B, and only the slower molecules to pass from B to A. He will thus, without expenditure of work, raise the temperature …

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On The Value of Taking a Knee

There’s been a lot of cynicism expressed over the past week or two, pointing out the potential for hypocrisy when you ‘take a knee’. Images from the Black Lives Matter protests, which show law enforcement folks taking this posture, have naturally stirred up the lack of trust in the police that people of colour feel …

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Darwinian Zen

Please understand this as coming from a friend who shares with you the dis-ease of remaining fully human in a divided world. I am just a humble student of population evo-ecology and of zazen, and I don’t mean to present myself as a shining example of one who has perfected Rumi’s “marriage of form and …

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Is There a New Realty Afoot?

There are still a few cars coming and going on my street. I don’t know where they’re coming from or where they’re going to; maybe they’re just neighbours with cabin fever who want to get away from the TV news, which is all about Covid-19 anyway. Maybe they just want to come down to the …

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