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Greetings and a response to Steve Curwood


I am Ken Jones and am the director of the Green Mountain Institute for Environmental Democracy. It is our mission to expand the use of environmental information so that people can participate more actively, and more effectively in policy deliberations and in making personal decisions that reflect their care for the environment.

I work with many people that hope that environmental information can gain the same currency as does economic information, where individuals will tune into the internet to get up-to-the-minute information regarding trends in environmental conditions. Unfortunately, the environment is not as responsive to short term changes as are many aspects of the economy.

So, like other parts of our lives that change slowly, it is possible that we need to build stories within which to weave our bits of environmental information. Stories of our natural environment that are parallel to stories about our human history. Stories that have themes that show the interdependence of human health and ecological vitality and the disruptions that occur (often on long time frames).

The current state of environmental information is not oriented toward telling the story of the environment and its connections with our lives. Individual data sets are important to those that know the topic intimately, but are used by others only in ways which reinforce their own beliefs. I call it the advocacy use of science and information.

I will sign off for today, but look forward to following more of this discussion later in the week.

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