[Coral-List] Subject: Hollywood

Michael Risk riskmj at univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca
Sun Mar 12 11:24:32 EST 2006

Hello Caspar.

Some quick comments on your posting, and "sexy" spokespersons/outreach:

1. those who are appalled by "The Day After To-Morrow" don't understand
the science. They need to get up to speed on recent research on the
present status of thermohaline circulation in the Atlantic. The 1997
Letter to Nature by Smith el al on Rapid Climate Change would be a good
place to start. In this case, Hollywood was guilty of collapsing into a
few days a process that will take a few years. Hardly surprising
behaviour by Hollywood.

2. if you plan a book on the extinction of reefs by climate change, you
had better hurry. Most of the damage has already been done. In fact,
future paleontologists-Martians?-will probably consider this as
analogous to the dinosaur dieoff. At first, the picture looked
simple-asteroid hits the earth, BLAM, dinosaurs all dead. Now we think
that the asteroid simply pushed over the edge a species complex that
was well into decline.

3. In "Paradise Lost", I discuss the failure of the coral reef research
community to come to grips with the problem. I cited lack of leadership
as one key element, and anyone who gets too close to the field would
agree. It's as they say about watching ballet and sausage-making: one
should not get too close. There are a couple of people behind whom I
feel most reef scientists would unite-Gene Shinn and Jim Hendee. I like
both men far too much to wish on them such a fate.


More information about the Coral-List mailing list