Contra el consenso: Hallazgos que amenazan fundamentos del eco-alarmismo

  • Ricardo Grau Instituto de Ecología Regional (U.N. Tucumán-CONICET). Yerba Buena, Tucumán, Argentina. Facultad de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán. Tucumán, Argentina.
Palabras clave: biodiversidad, cambio global, disenso, fragmentación, invasiones biológicas, sociología de la ecología

Resumen

Los avances del conocimiento se nutren fuertemente del disenso. Al dificultar que las ideas que emergen de nuevas investigaciones reemplacen a las dominantes, el sesgo confirmatorio limita el crecimiento y el desarrollo de las comunidades científicas. Presento cuatro grupos de hallazgos que desafían ideas dominantes y resilientes (consensos) en la comunidad de ecólogos: 1) la fragmentación de hábitat generalmente no resulta en pérdidas de biodiversidad a escala de paisaje, 2) las invasiones por especies exóticas contribuyen al aumento de la biodiversidad de las comunidades vegetales y, posiblemente, a una explosión de diversificación a escala global, 3) la productividad primaria del planeta aumenta, la superficie global de bosques no disminuye, la desertificación y las zonas quemadas no se expanden (no hay una ‘degradación’ generalizada de los ecosistemas), y 4) la agricultura orgánica y la mezcla de sistemas productivos con sistemas naturales en general resultan en menores rendimientos agrícolas, lo que (en contraste, por ejemplo, con los cultivos transgénicos) tiende a aumentar la demanda de tierras para agricultura, en desmedro de los ecosistemas naturales, de su biodiversidad y de sus servicios ecosistémicos. Propongo cinco mecanismos hipotéticos no excluyentes para explicar las dificultades de la comunidad científica para aceptar y enriquecerse de las consecuencias teóricas y aplicadas de estos hallazgos: el conservadorismo intelectual, las preferencias estéticas e ideológicas y la influencia de poderes político-institucionales y económicos. El desafío a ideas dominantes en base a nuevos datos debería implicar la readaptación de las agendas científicas y políticas que las tenían como sustento. Cuanto antes eso ocurra, más rápido avanzará la ciencia y más acertadas serán las políticas ambientales. Sugiero que para esto se necesita una agenda científica y educativa orientada a fomentar el espíritu crítico y contrarrestar los efectos del sesgo confirmatorio en la comunidad de ecólogos.

Citas

Abeli, T., G. A. Rocchetti, Z. Barina, I. Bazos, D. Draper, P. Grillas, J. M. Iriondo, E. Laguna, J. C. Moreno-Saiz, and F. Bartoluccio. 2021. Seventeen plant species back to conservation attention in Europe. Nature Plants 7:282-287. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-021-00878-1.

Aide, T. M., and H. R. Grau. 2004. Globalization, migration and Latin American ecosystems. Science 305:1915-1916. https:doi.org/10.1126/science.1103179.

Aide, T. M., M. L. Clark, H. R. Grau, D. López-Carr, M. A. Levy, D. Redo, M. Bonilla-Moheno, G. Riner, M. J. Andrade-Núñez, and M. Muñiz. 2013. Deforestation and reforestacion of Latin America and the Caribbean (2001-2010). Biotropica 45:262-271. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744.7429.2012.00908.x.

Aide, T. M., H. R. Grau, J. Graesser, M. J. Andrade-Núñez, E. Araoz, A. P. Barros, M. Campos-Cequeira, E. Chacón, F. Cuesta, R. Espinoza, M. Peralvo, M. Polk, X. Rueda, A. Sánchez, K. Young, L. Zarbá, and K. Zimmerer, K. 2019. Woody vegetation dynamics in the tropical and subtropical Andes from 2001 to 2014: satellite image interpretation and expert validation. Global Change Biology 25:2112-2126. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14618.

Andela, N., D. C. Morton, L. Giglio, Y. Chen, R. var der Werf, P. S. Kasibhatla, R. De Fries, G. J. Collatz, S. Hantson, S. Kloster, D. Bachelet, M. Forrest, G. Lasslop, F. Li, S. Mangeon, J. R. Melton, C. Yue, and J. T. Randerson. 2017. A human-driven decline in global burned area. Science 356:1356-1362. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aal4108.

Arora, V. K., and J. R. Melton. 2018. Reduction in global area burned and wildfire emissions since 1930s enhances carbon uptake by land. Nature Communications 9:1326. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03838-0.

Balmford, B., R. Green, M. Onial, B. Phalan, and A. Balmford. 2019. How imperfect can land sparing be before land sharing is more favorable for wild species? Journal of Applied Ecology 56:73-84. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13282.

Berg, A., and M. Mc Coll. 2021. No projected global drylands expansion under greenhouse warming. Nature Climate Change 11:331-337. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-021-01007-8.

Brookes, G., and P. Barfoot. 2020. Environmental impacts of genetically modified (GM) crop use 1996-2018: impacts on pesticide use and carbon emissions. Biotechnology in Agriculture and Food Chain 11:215-241. https://doi.org/10.1080/21645698.2020.1773198.

Calaboni, A., L. R. Tambosi, A. T. Igari, J. S. Farinaci, J. P. Metzger, and M. Uriarte. 2018. The forest transition in Sao Paulo, Brazil: historical patterns and potential drivers. Ecology and Society 23:4. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-10270-230407.

Cromer, A. 1993. Uncommon Sense. The heretical nature of science. Oxford University Press, N York. Pp. 240. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.17987.

Danneyrolles, V., M. Vellend, S. Dupuis, Y. Boucher, J. Laflamme, Y. Bergeron, J. Fortin, M. Leroyer, A. de Romer, R. Terrail, and T. Arseneault. 2020. Scale-dependent changes in tree species over more than a century in eastern Canada: landscape diversification and regional homogeneization. Journal of Ecology 109:273-283. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.13474.

Dawkins, S. 2006. The god delution. Hougthon Mifflin, Boston, USA. Pp. 496. https://doi.org/10.1080/19349630903081218.

De Carvalho Guimaraes, C., J. P. Rodrigues Viana, and T. Cornelissen. 2014. A meta-analysisi of the effects of fragmentation on herbivorous insects. Environmental Entomology 43:537-545. https://doi.org/10.1603/EN13190.

Del Vicario, M., A. Scala, G. Calderelli, H. E. Stanley, and W. Quattrociocci. 2017. Modeling confirmation bias and polarization. Scientific Reports 7:40391. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep40391

Diamond, J. M. 1975. The island dilemma: lessons from modern biogeostudies for the design of natural reserves. Biological Conservation 1:29-146. https://doi.org/10.1016/0006-3207(75)90052-X.

Donlan, C. J., J. Bergre, C. E. Bock, J. H. Bock, D. A. Burney, J. A. Estes, D. Foreman, P. S. Martin, G. W. Roemer, F. Smith, M. E. Soule, and H. W. Greene. 2006. Pleistocene rewilding: an optimistic agenda for twenty first century conservation. American Naturalist 168:660-681. https://doi.org/10.1086/508027.

Dornelas, M., N. J. Gotelli, B. Mc Gill, H. Shimadzu, F. Moyer, C. Sievers, and A. F. Magurran. 2014. Assamblage time series reveal biodiversity change but not systematic loss. Science 344:296. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1248484.

Ellis, E. C., E. C. Antill, and H. Kreft, H. 2012. All is not lost: biodiversity in the Anthropocene. PlosOne:0030535. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0030535.

Estrella, J. B. 1993. La filosofía y sus formas anómalas. Cuadernos de Humanitas, San Miguel de Tucumán. Pp. 117.

Fahrig, L. 2003. Effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 34:487-515. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.34.011802.132419.

Fahrig, L. 2017. Ecological responses to habitat fragmentation per-se. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 48:1-23. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-110316-022612.

Fahrig, L. 2019. Forty years of bias in habitat fragmentation research. En P. Kareiva, M. Marvier and B. Silliman (eds.). Effective conservation science: data not dogma. Oxford Scholarship Online, N. York. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198808978.003.0005.

Fahrig, L., V. Arroyo-Rodríguez, J. R. Bennett, V. Boucher-Lalonde, E. Cazzeta, D. J. Currie, F. Eigenbrod, A. T Ford, S. P. Harrison, J. Jaeger, N. Koper, A. Martin, J. L. Martin, J. P. Metzer, P. Morrison, J. R. Rhodes, D. A. Saunders, D. Simberloff, A. C. Smith, L. Tischendorf, V. Vellend, and J. I. Watling. 2019. Is habitat fragmentation bad for biodiversity? Biological Conservation 230:179-186. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2018.12.026.

Flynn, D. J., B. Nyhan, and J. Reifler. 2015. The nature and origins of misconceptions: understanding false and unsupported beliefs about politics. Advances in Political Psychology 38:127-150. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2018.12.026.

Fernández, R. 2016. How to be more effective environmental scientist in management and policy contexts. Environmental Science and Policy 64:171-176. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2016.07.006.

Fernández, R., S. Ceballos, R. Aragón, A. Malizia, L. Montti, J. Whithword-Hulse, P. Castro-Diez, and H. R. Grau. 2020. A global review of Ligustrum lucidum (Oleaceae) invasion. The Botanical Review 86:93-118. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12229-020-09228-w.

Festinger, L. 1962. A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford University Press.

Feniuk, C., A. Balmford, and R. Green. 2019. Land sparing to make space for species dependent on natural habitats and high nature value farmland. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences 286:1909. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.1483.

Folberth, C., N. Khabarov, J. Blakovic., R. Skalsky, P. Visconti, P. Ciais, I. A. Janssens, J. Peñuelas, and M. Obersteiner. 2020. The global cropland-sparing potential of high-yield farming. Nature Sustainability 3: 281-289. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-020-0505-x.

Fromm, E. 1973. The anatomy of human destructiveness. New York, Fawcett Crest.

Gao, C. 2018. The future of CRISPR technologies in agriculture. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 19:275-276. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrm.2018.2.

Garibaldi, L. A., I. Steffan-Dewenter, K. Kremer, et al. 2011. Stability of pollination services decreases with isolation from natural areas despite honeybee visits. Ecology Letters 14:1062-1072. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01669x.

Geddes, P. 2005. The dangers of scientific consensus. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 3:242-243.

Georgiev, G. 2020. Stop using the Occam´s razor principle. Towards data science. URL: tinyurl.com/zhe9fh52.

Glaeser, E. L. 2011. The triumph of the city. How our greatest invention makes us richer, smarter, geener, healthier and happier. Penguin. New York. Pp. 352. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soscij.2012.11.003.

Grau, H. R. 2017. Biología y globalización. Ediciones del Subtrópico, Tucumán. Pp. 68.

Grau, H. R., T. Kuemmerle, and L. Macchi. 2013. Beyond land sparing versus land sharing: environmental heterogeneity, globalization and the balance between agriculture production and nature conservation. Current Opinion on Environmental Sustainability 5:477-483. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2013.06.001.

Herrero, M., P. K. Thornton, D. Mason-D´Croz, J. Palmer, T. G. Benton, and B. L. Bodirsky. 2020. Innovation can accelerate the transition towards sustainable food system. Nature Food 1:266-272. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-020-0074-1.

Hooper, D. U., F. S. Chapin III, J. J. Ewel, A. Hector, P. Inchausti, S. Lavorel, J. Lawton, D. M. Lodge, M. Loreau, S. Naeem, B. Schmid, H. Setala, A. J. Symstad, J. Vandermeer, and D. Wardle. 2005. Effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning: a consensus of current knowledge. Ecological Monographs 75:3-35. https://doi.org/10.1890/04-0922.

IPBES. 2018. The IPBES Assessment Report on Land Degradation and Restoration; Montanarella, L., Scholes, R., Brainich, A. (eds.). Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Bonn, Germany, 2018.

Johns, L. N., and J. Jacquet. 2018. Doom and gloom versus optimism: An assessment of ocean related U.S. journalism (2001-2015). Global Environmental Change 50:142-148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2018.04.002.

Karp, D. S., S. Chaplin-Kramer, T. D. Meehan, T. D., et al. 2018. Crop pests and predators exhibit inconsistent responses to surrounding landscape composition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 115:E7863-E7870. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1800042115.

Khun, T. 1962. The structure of scientific revolutions. University of Chicago Press. Chicago. Pp. 197.

Klumper, W., and M. Qaim. 2014. A meta-analysis of the impacts of genetically modified crops. Plos One:0111629. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0111629.

Lamb, A., R. Green, I. Battleman, et al. 2016. The potential for land sparing to offset greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Nature Climate Change 6:488-492. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2910.

Lehman, C. L., and D. Tilman. 2000. Biodiversity, stability, and productivity in competitive communities. The American Naturalist 156. https://doi.org/10.1086/303402.

Leslie, I. 2021. Conflicted. How productive disagreement leads to better outcomes. Harper Collins Publishers.

Liu, H., P. Gong, J. Wang, G. Ning, and B. Xu. 2021. Production of global daily seamless data cubes and quantification of global land cover change from 1985 to 2020-iMap World 1.0. Remote Sensing of the Environment 258:112364. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2021.112364.

Mac Arthur, R. H., and E. O. Wilson. 1967. The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton NJ, Princeton University Press. Chicago. Pp. 222.

Mahoney, M. J. 1977. Publication prejudices: an experimental study of confirmatory bias in the peer review system. Cognitive Therapy and Research 1:161-175. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01173636

Mercado-Sáez, M. T., and F. Koop. 2018. Environmental journalism in Argentina. Pp. 159-176 in B. Takanashi, J. Pinto, M. Chávez and M. Vigón (eds.). News media coverage of environmental challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean. Springer.

Mulet, J. M. 2014. Comer sin miedo. Mitos, falacias y mentiras sobre la alimentación en el siglo XXI. Ediciones Destino, Barcelona, España. Pp. 262.

Nanni, A. S., S. Sloan, T. M. Aide, J. Graesser, D. Edwards, and H. R. Grau. The neotropical reforestation hotspots: a biophysical and socioeconomic typology of contemporary forest expansion. Global Environmental Change 54:148-159. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2018.12.001.

Nickerson, R. E. 1998. Confirmation bias: a ubiquitous phenomenon in many guises. Review in General Psychology 2:175-220. https://doi.org/10.1037/1089-2680.2.2.175.

Nyhan, B. 2021. Why the backfire effect does not explain the durability of political misconceptions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 118:e1912440117. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1912440117.

Oerke, E. C. 2005. Crop losses to pests. Journal of Agricultural Sciences 144:31-43. https:doi.org/10.1017/S0021859605005708.

Piao, S., X. Wang, T. Park, et al. 2020. Characteristics, drivers and feedbacks of global greening. Nature Reviews Earth and Environment 1:14-27. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43017-019-0001-x.

Pielke, R.A. 2007. The honest broker. Making sense of science in policy and politics. Cambridge University Press.

Popp, J., K. Peto, and J. Nagy. 2013. Pesticide productivity and food security. A review. Agronomy Sustainability and Development 33:243-255. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-012-0105-x.

Redo, D., H. R. Grau, D. Clark, and T. M. Aide. 2012. Asymmetric forest transition driven by the interaction of socio-economic development and environmental heterogeneity in Central America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 109:8839-8844. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1201664109.

Sandin, P., S. Peterson, O. Hansson, C. Rudén, and A. Juthe, A. 2011. Five charges against the precautionary principle. Journal of Risk Research 5:287-299. https://doi.org/10.1080/13669870110073729.

Scott, S. E., and P. Rozin. 2020. Actually, natural is neutral. Nature Human Behaviour 4:898-990. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-0891-0.

Seebens, H., T. M. Blackburn, F. Essel, et al. 2017. No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide. Nature Communications 8:14435. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms14435.

Seufert, V., N. Ramankutty, and J. Foley. 2012. Comparing the yields of organic and conventional agriculture. Nature 485:229-232. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11069.

Schellemberg, M. 2020. Apocalypsis never. Why environmental alarmism hurts us all. Harper Collins Publishers, N. York. Pp. 413.

Sinclair, T. R., and K. G. Cassman. 1999. Green revolution still too green. Nature 398:556. https://doi.org/10.1038/19182.

Song, X. P., M. C. Hansen, S. V. Stehman, P. V. Potapov, A. Tyukavina, E. Vermote, and J. R. Townshend. 2018. Global land change from 1982 to 2016. Nature 560:639-643. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0411-9.

Stein, A. J., and F. Santini. 2021. The sustainability of “local” food: a review for policy makers. Review of Agricultural, food, and Environmental Studies https://doi.org/10.1007/s41130-021-00148-w

Stern, G., and J. J. Stoorvogel. 2020. Desertification. Scientific vs political realities. Land 9(5). https://doi.org/10.3390/land9050156.

Swaine, M., L. Blomquist, J. Mc Namara, and W. J. Ripple. 2017. Reducing the environmental impact of global diets. Science of the Total Environment 601-611:1207-1209. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.08.125.

Tscharntke, T., I. Grass, T. C. Wanger, C. Westphal, and P. Batáry. 2021. Beyond organic farming – harnessing biodiversity-friendly landscapes. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 36(10):919-930. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2021.06.010.

Thomas, C. 2015. Rapid acceleration of plant speciation during the Anthropocene. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 30:448-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2015.05.009

Thomas, C. 2017. Inheritors of the earth. How nature is thriving in the age of extinction. Hachette, N. York, Pp. 300. https://doi.org/10.1080/21550085.2019.1652240.

Thomas, C., and G. Palmer. 2015. Non-native plants add to the British flora without negative consequences for native diversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 112:4387-4392. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1423995112.

Thompson, A., E. Ellis, H. R. Grau, T. Kuemmerle, P. Meyfroidt, N. Ramankutty, and G. Zeleke. 2019. Sustainable intensification in land systems: trade-offs, scales and contexts. Current Opinion on Environmental Sustainability 38:37-43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2019.04.011.

UNCCD. 2017. The Global Land Outlook, 1st ed. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification: Bonn, Germany.

Van dem Berg, H.A. 2018. Occam´s razor: from Occam´s via moderna to modern data science. Science Progress. https://doi.org/10.3148/003685002465082.

Vellend, M., L. Baeten, I. H. Myers-Smith, S. C. Elmendorf, R. Beausejour, C. D. Brown, P. De Frenne, K. Verheyen, and S. Wipf. 2013. Global meta-analysis reveals no net change in local-scale plant diversity over time. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 110:19456. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1312779110.

Yanco, E., M. P. Nelson, and D. Ramp. 2019. Cautioning against overemphasis of normative constructs in conservation decision making. Conservation Biology 33:1002-1013. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13298.

Contra el consenso: Hallazgos que amenazan fundamentos del eco-alarmismo
Publicado
2021-12-01