ONE PROBLEM - FIRST ANSWER
Ecosystem meltdown - use Nature's Names
" . . . in my lifetime we have damaged [the Natural World] more severely than in the whole of the rest of Human history. "
David ATTENBOROUGH, Video, 2012.
" . . . the reality is that descriptive scientists [taxonomists] have all but disappeared, and that's not good for the environment or us."
David SUZUKI & D.R. Taylor 2009 The Big Picture: reflections on science, humanity and a quickly changing planet.
"If the news [WWF Report] that in the past 40 years the world has lost over 50% its vertebrate wildlife (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish) fails to tell us that there is something wrong . . .
George MONBIOT, The Guardian, Oct, 2014. http://www.monbiot.com/2014/10/02/the-kink-in-the-human-brain/
" . . . the entire structure of the scientific enterprise depends on communication."
Steve JONES, in Pheno. October 2013 (Newsletter of the Alan Wilson Centre (AWC) for molecular biology and evolution) [molecular "ecology"]
"I think the biggest challenge of our times is ecocide. ... A country like New Zealand has a phenomenal authority to speak on ecological matters ... a moral authority to follow an eco-philosophy." ... "I believe that whatever faith or country you are born in, you are first an ecological creature and have a responsibility to protect your environment. It's important that we live out our role as an ecological being."
Gopalkrishna GANDHI, on a NZ visit, 22 Nov, 2012. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10849212
"Revitalizing* taxonomy is the greatest scientific challenge of our time. Knowledge of our world's species can help us and all future generations expand our understanding of the living world and solve environmental and human welfare challenges. Revitalizing taxonomy is the noblest contribution that our generation can make to humankind. No future generation will ever have access to the number and diversity of species that we have. For comparatively modest costs we can provide a legacy of specimens, data, information and knowledge that will inspire and inform all humans that follow us."
Quentin D. WHEELER (Editor & Contributor) 2004 Taxonomic triage and the poverty of phylogeny: 571-583 in: Taxonomy for the Twenty-first Century. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London (Biology) (2004) 359: 559-739.
[* Wheeler's term "revitalizing" refers to the need to fix taxonomy following two decades of disruption from biotechnology, as well as huge advances, also from biotechnology.]
"The scientific classification of living things ... is only just getting started, ..." ... "... without leaving their desks, scientists need ... to look at and compare data from many sources at the same time ..." ... "...our records of plants and animals around the world are one of the triumphs of modern science. [np] But we can't make the most [use] of them because mostly they are not linked together, ..." ... " Kew has provided the backbone for monocot taxonomy: an initial agreed consensus classification and list of names [70,000 species]."
"Paul WILKIN, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 3 Oct. 2014. http://planetearth.nerc.ac.uk/features/story.aspx?id=1752
TAXONOMY: it's the essence of what we know about Life on Earth and how we can learn ever more about it. Probably no other area of science or of human endeavour can help us look so objectively into the past, so intimately at all of Life's bounty and wonders, and so constructively into a perilous future. Critically, taxonomy holds the keys to unlock the timeless wisdom of all Life to help humanity understand and relate to that Life and its future - if only we can honour our birthright and learn that we are either part of co-operative Nature, or nothing. Right now, the rampaging destruction of Nature can only be stopped and partially reversed by our species, and we must use the communications and co-ordinating power of a revitalised Linnean Taxonomy. Only with this and a functioning system of real-time observational and grass-roots data collection will big computers be able to help the environment.
Cedric WOODS. Underpinnings of the SKI-System, 1982-1994 and the BioLists System, 2004-2014.
Big computers will only be able to help define and manage our environmental problems if this taxonomy is quickly made functional and gets used widely in real-time, grass-roots data collection.