LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “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.To fix this problem, we must learn how to stay in touch with the past while continuing to move forward,” stated Daniel Pauly, legendary UBC fisheries scientist
Every generation is handed a world that has been shaped by their predecessors – and then seemingly forgets that fact. In a short-but-influential paper published in 1995, legendary UBC fisheries scientist Daniel Pauly argued that this blind spot meant scientists were failing to account fully for the slow creep of disappearing species. Daniel Pauly coined this effect as the Shifting Baseline Syndrome. Since then, this has been observed far more widely than the fisheries community – it takes place in any realm of society where a baseline creeps imperceptibly over generations.