Just quickly what do I mean by Radical Conservation?
Simply from my perspective it is stressing the importance of individuals and small independent autonomous groups and how those nano and micro efforts have far reaching effects (e.g. PEOPLE POWER CONSERVATION
). Most importantly from my experience (of experiencing frequent isolation) those far reaching effects can best be harnessed and magnified by larger efforts such as Conservation NGOs, the wider network and even Centralised government if there was better inter-connectivity through the entire conservation network.
My own efforts of setting up and running a small independent conservation effort LITTLE OAK GROUP
where we make money from environmental management (tree, garden and habitat restoration work) and then re-distribute the profits into conservation work (basically using an ethical- capitalist model and reducing market failure externalities even further by linking that to a nano conservation organisation, basically a series of projects) have revealed a degree of futility of nano and micro effort unless we have that greater connection. I also strongly believe that larger organisational effort also has a degree of futility unless it connects with the independent autonomous network-in my mind it's a largely un-tapped army which has self-configured but not yet mobilised. Maybe the State of Nature Alliance are going to do something about that- or are they a dangerous distraction from a genuine alliance??
All conservation is radical to a degree in that the preservation and enhancement of nature is in direct conflict with fundamental Capitalism (which is painful for me the use the exhausted words- the prominent ideological paradigm) . However things have moved a long way since the Environmentalism movement started in the 1960s and 1970s. Also remember it is only now that the UK is becoming a truly Capitalist society- Capitalism was checked in the past by the political structure of liberal democracy . regulatory bodies and socio-enviornmental insurgents within the establishment). It is only now that a major radical push is required as privatisation has led to effectively a corporate dictatorship and the death of democracy through political lobbying- a dictatorship which has little place for nature or the well being of society at large as it mainly shareholder driven- i.e. a form of mob rule- an un-managed mass united largely by greed.As this is fundamentally parasitic on the planet there is a danger that shareholders will kill the hosts- so it is also important for corporations who want to survive to get in the current groove and connect with the socio-environmental sector in a genuine way. Needless to say not all corporations want to survive and are simply the transient vehicles for whoring and gambling CEOS and directors to fund their addictions before they die (why not I consider that option daily!) .
Birding (like it or not twitchers) was part of that same movement that has moved to this point- the social revolution of that era was not just about the unleashing of the power of popular culture such as popular music but also popular science- and Birding is Popular Science no matter how hard reductionists try to turn it into a nihilistic pursuit of competitive listing (which needless to say I enjoy and engage in the game of the lists of shame- we all have our dark sides) but nonetheless even listing and competitive birding ego-sparring (please- there are no women or other notable sexual conquests or massive wads of cash waiting if you win this battle) has scientific spins off in supporting conservation efforts through travel and spending on nature resource services and carrying out a type of citizen science through recording even in the most basic way ( a contribution which is probably much to the frustration of some more individual minded listers I presume).
Anyway I digress. Although that's about it- things have moved on a lot in birding and environmentalism and there has been some major convergences and inter connectivity recently involving the rise of social media, natural history facebook groups and forums, the corporate takeover of government (setting the scene for the next major interconnection- the corporate merger of the socio-environmental network), the rise of Cornell Lab as a major ornithological organ of the global network, Ebird, the completion of HBW and HBWAlive (and a divergence here between government and HBW and science with Cornell and IOC/EBird) , BIRDFORUM, SURFBIRDS, resources such as XENO-CANTO, Bird and nature news services (e.g. BIRDGUIDES), the humbling of the conservation NGOs, the global bird and nature tour industry, the stratospheric rise of LUSH and funding of radical organisations/ cutting edge birding material, the even more remarkable survival (still clinging on in there) of BB and the simply miraculous continual existence of archaic structures such as the BBRC (genius in its on right). There's loads and loads more of other ingenuous efforts in the modernisation of natural history within the advancing global society. More so there has been an integration across birding and other pan-species communities and a great integration into 'radical' environmental groups (sticking a Guy Fawkes mask on though is a bit thin on content and there's more genuine radical effort going on in e.g. the RAC but nonetheless all plays it's part) and also the emergence of birding radical groups such as those headed up by Avery and Packham (Hen Harrier and the Mediterranean Island campaigns) and Birders Agaisnt willdife crime.
In short this is a true and powerful movement which in my opinion is sitting on the precipice of a fundamental and magnificent shift - where a gradual movement leads to a sudden transformation. The shift will also be very dangerous for the un-prepared. Basically I don't really know what is going to happen next but from my perspective as a small minded micro-organism in all this is I know what I need and that is basically what all this is about, the interconnection of effort for mutual benefit (and the counter-insurgency of fundamental capitalism (they are only a small but powerful group)- which respect due has been a necessary step in the journey and will also play a key role in the future - but not a dominant one). What do I need?- I need to be part (a very tiny part) of something like this: Radical conservation
The most radical thing about my definition of radical conservation is that it's not even that radical at all- it just an observation of what is occurring anyway- slowly and surely. Its an infinite revolution- but there are surges and pulses and we need a little surge i.e. a blip in eternity
A couple of other links :
RADICAL CONSERVATION- THE GUARDIAN
- a pretty narrow concept of radical conservation
- a bit of history