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Why you should tell your children about vanishing fireflies

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Washington Post or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: Maine, known for its vast forests, is a significant source of America's timber and paper products
• Yet, it has lost various species such as sea minks, cougars, caribou, and gray wolves
The 'pristine' landscapes aren't as untouched as they seem, revealing the problem of 'shifting baselines.'

🔭 The context: Shifting baselines, a term coined by marine biologist Daniel Pauly in 1995, describe the generational amnesia towards the natural world
• As species decline or disappear, our collective memory of them fades: even though many see Maine as a wild refuge, this landscape has evolved significantly over time

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: Accepting deteriorating conditions as the new normal risks undermining the world's ability to combat challenges like climate change
• To rejuvenate the rich inter-species relationships and our place amongst them, it's vital to remember and understand our ecological and environmental history

⏭️ What's next: For a comprehensive understanding of our environment, Pauly advocates supplementing wildlife counts with anecdotal evidence
• The firsthand accounts of individuals who've observed ecological shifts can provide invaluable insights into historical ecosystems

💬 One quote: “The result, obviously, is a gradual shift of the baseline, a gradual accommodation of the creeping disappearance of resource species” (Daniel Pauly, marine biologist)

📈 One stat: While Maine's landscape has drastically changed, it shows signs of hope: for instance, the bald eagle population was down to around 800 in the 1960s in the contiguous U.S., but today, over 317,000 of them are thriving

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