Untangling the Environmentalist's Paradox: Why Is Human Well-being Increasing as Ecosystem Services Degrade?
Raudsepp-Hearne, C; Peterson, GD; Tengo, M; et al. Untangling the Environmentalist's Paradox: Why Is Human Well-being Increasing as Ecosystem Services Degrade?BIOSCIENCE, 60 (8): 576-589 SEP 10 2010
One finding of the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment was that human well-being is improving globally while at the same time ecosystem services are declining. The authors explore four possible explanations for this phenomenon: 1. the wrong metrics of human well-being were used, 2. well-being is dependent primarily on food which is increasing, 3. technology has shifted things so that humans are no longer dependent on ecosystem services and 4. there is a time lag between ecological degradation and impacts on human well being. They conclude that there is at least some evidence for hypotheses 2-4.
Pros: From Paul Erlich's Population Bomb to Bjorn Lomborg's Skeptical Environmentalist, this article touches on a recurring and problematic issue. It is well thought out and a worthwhile read.
Cons: Other than addressing potential pitfalls with ecosystem services in general, I'm not sure the connection to restoration is strong enough to warrant selection for group discussion.