Is Conservation Extinct? A new look at preserving biodiversity

Hillary Rosner, reporting for ENSIA:

WWF’s Hoekstra likes to talk about “the pivot.”

Reactive and defensive almost by definition, conservation has long made its living by explicitly looking backward. It’s an approach that made perfect sense, for a time. “We wanted to restore a species so that it spanned the breadth of its historic range,” says Hoekstra. “We would look to the past and say, ‘We should have this much of this habitat back again, or it should look this way.’” But while this strategy may still work in certain specific cases, as an overarching vision it no longer fits. You can’t “dial back time” in a world of 9 billion people demanding water, food and energy.

Interesting perspective that ecologists should stop using the 'past' to guide conservation, but rather look to the future or predict that future to direct today's conservation efforts. In a rapidly changing world, this approach makes sense.