The group pictured here, or at least what I sought when I did the Creative Commons image search, has a better understanding of the systems ecology of their landscape than does a team of systems ecologists funded by the NSF who might visit them.
That knowledge does not involve Carbon budgets, or water cycling, or estimates of how much energy is harvested by the plant life in their system. The folks in the community do not create population matrix models to determine how many offspring each of them may have each year to keep the community thriving, or sustainable.They’ve been doing it for hundreds of thousands of years, no data needed.
They understand the seasons, and weather, and yes, climate too, at least they used to, before we smart folks screwed it up. They understand under what conditions certain plants grow well, how various animals move around, what those animals feed on, the importance of their manure.
All of these things are expressed differently, understood, differently, than the way they are understood by those folks from the NSF, who think that THEY are the ones collecting empirical data.
Those folks who think they need to bring “civilization”, and of course “science”, to these silly people who understand so much more than they, that’s what many of those scientists funded by the NSF doing those studies believe. As soon as they really understand their experimental units, these people and their lifestyles, they’ll work hard to change it.
Bring the gifts of science to them.
Like famine, and climate change.
One thing I learned, for sure, after earning my terminal degree in the sciences: I’d far rather follow the model that the group pictured here offers for sustainability than any I’ve seen offered by science, and I promise you, I’ve looked at many, offered by science.
No thanks. I’m pretty sure I’d go for their healthcare plan, too.