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Advocacy, Science, Policy, and Life in the Real World

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Baskerville, Gordon L.
Journal: Ecology and Society
Volume: 1
Date: 1997
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2759
Sector: Theory
Subject(s): ecology
policy analysis
Abstract: "Disruption of the structure and function of ecological systems constitutes a set of major problems for contemporary society. It is straightforward to conclude that the actions of humankind that create these problems are improperly, or insufficiently, informed. By that, I mean the problems were not created with malice aforethought, but rather were/are largely the result of inadequate reflection before action. In areas with which I have some familiarity, this inadequacy appears to derive primarily from two sources: (1) weakness of models (of the mind or in a computer) used to create the forecasts that underlie the design of management of forests and of related environmental systems, and (2) insufficient attention to, or impossibility of following, those forecasts during implementation. People do not make dumb choices, so much as they choose from among dumb forecasts and/or make insufficient effort to ensure that the actions are invoked to 'cause' the chosen forecast to happen."

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