Author Topic: Extreme Conservation?  (Read 1629 times)

Online cavemanmike

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2017, 08:47:38 pm »
i would be interested to know why glacial sediment outways the importance of the WHOLE cave.
i can see it has value for research , would it not be of greater benefit to remove some sediment whilst leaving a cross section exposed for investigation . in the meantime the removed sediment could be stored for a later date or researched immediately whilst the rest of the cave could be be explored/investigated (sympathetically)of coarse
just a thought 

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2017, 10:04:31 pm »
Quote
Given that “nature” has already caused (significant) damage, at what point is the need for conservation mitigated in favour of exploration/scientific research/recording of information etc?

Never. But conservation needs will shift from one resource to another. As I said earlier, science, digging, exploration, and documentation can all be practiced with care. Conservation can mean lots of things. It can mean use, as in the case of a sediment threatened with obliteration. Scientific use in this case is conservation, as it protects the thing of value from wasteful depletion. Deliberate and purposeful destruction is conservation if the only alternative is aimless and wasteful destruction.

Too many people mistakenly equate conservation with preservation (which it may include), or with avoiding impact. This is perhaps why many of my posts have been so wildly misunderstood. My ideas about conservation have never suggested that caves in general should not be entered, but that caving organizations do not equip people to "consider caves on their own merits," which I think we both agree is part of the foundation of conserving anything.

But maybe you were asking when the balance shifts from conserving speleogenic or aesthetic resources to conserving (by carefully using) scientific or exploratory resources? I cannot answer that question, especially if the cave is in Wales. I can only make that decision for caves that I know personally, and even then I will not always make the right one. It is too often after the fact that we realize the quality of our decisions, which is why I am trying to learn to take them more seriously (many of you say too seriously) before I act.

Online Ian Adams

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2017, 12:40:00 pm »
Very interesting reply.

To be more specific;


Never. But conservation needs will shift from one resource to another. As I said earlier, science, digging, exploration, and documentation can all be practiced with care.

and

Too many people mistakenly equate conservation with preservation (which it may include), or with avoiding impact. This is perhaps why many of my posts have been so wildly misunderstood.

These two statements (in my opinion) demonstrate very clearly that your previous posts have been misinterpreted or mis-understood (by people (including myself) in the UK).

If we (as cavers) are to have a meaningful debate, we need to understand how to communicate. There are clearly differences in the manner in which you (or the USA?) define “words” and the way in which they are interpreted (in the UK). That is no fault of yours (or ours) but I think is it now recognisable.

For instance; you use the word “resource” when referring to caves. In the UK we would more generally use the word as meaning something that has a purposeful use or value.  You appear to be using in a different context. (no one at fault in my opinion).

Similarly, you are making a distinction between conservation and preservation which may have escaped readers attention (it escaped mine).

I will try to post in a more generic manner which will (hopefully) be less liable to be interpreted differently to the intention.

Importantly, you appear to be saying that it is perfectly ok to enter cave where (and I am taking your words above) science, digging, exploration, and documentation can all be practiced with care.

Does my understanding accord with yours correctly so far ?

Ian

A door, once opened, may be stepped through in either direction.

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2017, 05:45:32 pm »
Quote
For instance; you use the word “resource” when referring to caves. In the UK we would more generally use the word as meaning something that has a purposeful use or value.  You appear to be using in a different context. (no one at fault in my opinion).

The word resource has a scary history of use, and I do not like to use it at all. But I mean the same thing you do. Cave resources are extremely varied, and can be aesthetic, scientific, cultural, recreational, spiritual, exploratory, culinary, agricultural, commercial and more. The task of assigning proper value to each and then using them without wastefulness, as is appropriate per particular cave, is the difficult job of every conservationist.

A strict preservationist can serve the purposes of future conservation, but is a coward, in my opinion. Preservation has its place, but to make it an obsession is to remove oneself from the processes of the world, and to absolve oneself from difficult thought.

Quote
Importantly, you appear to be saying that it is perfectly ok to enter cave where (and I am taking your words above) science, digging, exploration, and documentation can all be practiced with care.

Does my understanding accord with yours correctly so far ?

Of course.


Offline droid

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2017, 08:02:55 pm »
Perhaps it is now time to define the term 'conservation'.

Because if it can't be defined, this discussion is going to be infinite: everyone will have their personal definition.

And well done Ian for your lucid and compact posts. For those of us with a 2-minute attention span it's a great relief.

 :)

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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2017, 08:21:35 pm »
Conservation? My dictionary says "protection against loss or depletion". Note that this definition does not say protection against impact or change or use. Since there are many of things in need of conservation, and since some of them are seemingly at odds with one another, what conservation practically means will, yes, be different for everyone.

The second entry under preservation says, "keeping in unaltered condition; maintain in an unchanged form," which is the aim of certain preservationist groups, and very different from ideal conservation.


Offline droid

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2017, 09:12:29 pm »
Conservation? My dictionary says "protection against loss or depletion". Note that this definition does not say protection against impact or change or use.

It doesn't 'say' a lot of things.

Let's concentrate on what it DOES say. 

What sort of 'loss and depletion' takes place when people use caves for their recreation? How can this be prevented/ameliorated?

Your solution is, as I understand it, not to use them. And it's a pretty logical solution, if rather ....errrr....*extreme*.

Have I interpreted your missives correctly? Please remember my 2-minute attention span, especially after a night shift at work....
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2017, 09:17:28 pm »
Have I interpreted your missives correctly?

You have not.

If applied universally, abstinence from caving for conservation purposes is not logical. And it is not conservation, because in protecting one thing we are losing another. Conservation is not about preservation per se, it is about wisely determining relative values.


Offline droid

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2017, 09:35:57 pm »
So when you were railing about the encouragement of people to go caving, implying it was 'a bad thing', that wasn't saying that people should not use caves?
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2017, 09:43:29 pm »
Certainly not, as a careful reading would have revealed.

I understand that some may not have the time or interest or patience to read and think along with a handful of paragraphs. This is ok. It also means that those same people are not qualified to pillory the author



Offline droid

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2017, 09:51:51 pm »
I will admit that I'm not one to go through massive posts with a fine-tooth comb, hence asking for clarification in a more concise form. And I'd suggest I'm not alone in that.

So.

What *were* you suggesting?
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2017, 12:21:42 pm »
It's in the massive posts, with examples and justifications and possible questions and answers. I haven't been able to cook the entire concept down to a few tidy lines.





Offline pwhole

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2017, 03:39:21 pm »
This one wasn't bad as a concise summary of one point at least, in the Stagnation of Caving thread - it can be done  :ang:
Quote
But I think that caves are too singular and irreparable to be used as mere gyms.

http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=21411.msg272271#msg272271

Also noted the differences in language use between the UK and US, and it does often cause problems, especially in text-only communications. I used to write software manuals occasionally, and eventually trained myself to stop writing colour with a 'u', as 95% of our customers were US-based, and 'color' appeared about 50 times on every page. When I added up all those 'u's, I realised how much time I was saving annually! Now I have to continually think about putting it back in texts (mainly so as not to upset Pitlamp!), but I'm aware that cultural usage of many terms and phrases are different - as I've worked with a lot of Americans, I guess I'm more familiar.

Offline droid

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2017, 06:22:18 pm »
It's in the massive posts, with examples and justifications and possible questions and answers. I haven't been able to cook the entire concept down to a few tidy lines.

Occam's Razor.
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Offline JasonC

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2017, 07:12:33 pm »
I will admit that I'm not one to go through massive posts with a fine-tooth comb, hence asking for clarification in a more concise form.

With respect, if you can't take the trouble to find out what the man is saying, how do you know you disagree with him ?

It's just a forum, if it takes someone 10 paragraphs to express what they think and it's not sufficiently interesting for you to read and digest, you do have the option of ignoring him. ;)

Offline droid

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2017, 07:26:26 pm »
As an (ex) scientist I've seen quite complex concepts condensed to a few short paragraphs.

If the idea is to promote discussion, then this is the best way to do it, hence my comments above. The *nuances* of the argument can be stated once the basic concept is established.

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Offline Disgusted from Cornwall.

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Re: Extreme Conservation?
« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2017, 07:58:26 pm »
wrong topic!