Daniel Pauly

    Know Your History and Context to Offset Generational Amnesia

    To know where you are going, you need to know where you have come from. Otherwise, as Daniel Pauly observed in 1995 when he published a short but influential paper about the “Shifting Baselines Syndrome”, baselines shift when successive generations of practitioners do not have an image in their minds of the recent past. Know your history. Know your context. These are keys to overcoming generational and organizational amnesia.

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    CARPE DIEM: Is the pandemic a ‘reachable, teachable moment’ for actually achieving sustainability in British Columbia?

    “Being ‘stuck in the past’ has always been a liability. Now, as the pace of everything accelerates, it is logical to expect disruption. It is prudent to be nimble and responsive. There is a French word ‘prevoyant’ that has no English equivalent. It is ‘the power of a prepared mind to act upon chance events in a world of deep uncertainty’. Pulitzer Prize winning historian, David Hackett Fischer wrote that prevoyant is also ‘learning to make sound judgements on the basis of imperfect knowledge; taking a broad view in projects of large purpose; and thinking for the long run’,” stated George Hanson.

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    Resiliency Planning During a Pandemic: perspectives from Gibsons on a local government response

    “In our resiliency framework, Emergency Planning is identified as an area of focus and includes recommendations to update programs to support neighbourhood preparedness to deal with natural or human-induced disasters. We had barely identified that as an action, and here we are dealing with an extremely serious situation, affecting everything and everyone we know. I wanted to share some thoughts about what I have observed in terms of our local government’s response to this on-going situation,” stated Emanuel Machado.

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    PREPARE FOR TOMORROW: Here’s what the coronavirus pandemic can teach us about tackling climate change

    “In many ways, what we’re seeing now is a rapid and unplanned version of economic ‘degrowth’ – the transition some academics and activists have for decades said is necessary to address climate change, and leave a habitable planet for future generations. Degrowth is a proposed slowing of growth in sectors that damage the environment, such as fossil fuel industries, until the economy operates within Earth’s limits,” stated Dr. Natasha Chassagne.

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    PREPARE FOR TOMORROW: Coronavirus response proves the world can act on climate change

    “The alarms for both COVID-19 and climate change were sounded by experts, well in advance of visible crises,” stated Eric Galbraith. “As scientists who have studied climate change and the psychology of decision-making, we find ourselves asking: Why do the government responses to COVID-19 and climate change — which both require making difficult decisions to avert future disasters — differ so dramatically? We suggest four important reasons.”

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    KEEP CALM & CARRY ON: Words of wisdom from UBC’s Dr. Daniel Pauly, the world’s top fishery scientist, provide perspective during difficult times

    “It’s not a question of gloom or hope. People ask you: pessimist or an optimist? What does it mean if I tell you I am an optimist or a pessimist? You don’t know what I’m going to do. But what we need to do is what Winston Churchill told England what it had to do to fight Nazism. We will fight them on the beach and fight them on the hills and we’ll fight them. That speech is the answer to the question. Churchill never told people whether he was an optimist or a pessimist. Churchill didn’t know if the Germans were going to cross the English Channel. It is beside the point,” stated Daniel Pauly.

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