[Coral-List] Struggling with ocean optimism

Nancy Knowlton knowltonn at gmail.com
Thu Mar 1 19:00:15 EST 2018

As one of the people behind #OceanOptimism (and now #EarthOptimism) I
encourage people to use these hashtags to highlight and find examples of
things that are moving in the right direction.  I have to say that I have
been continually amazed by the number of marine conservation professionals
who are unaware of the successes that have been achieved, even in their own
areas of expertise.  I also regularly meet students who tell me that they
almost gave up on conservation as a profession because it was so
depressing.  This is not to diminish the enormous problems the ocean and
coral reefs particularly face (they really are the canary in the
environmental coal mine), but we need to do a better job of talking about
solutions, particularly solutions that are being implemented and are now
working.  I also find that talking about success often diffuses partisan
arguments about policy.

A recent analysis relevant to this discussion is a great article on
recovery of shark populations by David Shiffman

Cheers, Nancy Knowlton

On Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 5:34 PM, Paul Muir <paul.muir at qm.qld.gov.au> wrote:

> In terms of reef optimism the joke:  'don't worry it will all be ok in
> 50000 years!' works for me. I use this quite a a bit on the dive deck after
> seeing yet another heavily bleached reef or revisiting a once perfect reef
> that has been heavily degraded. It sounds a bit trite but it does put
> things into some sort of perspective.
> Sent from my iPhone
> > On 27 Feb 2018, at 4:49 am, "Steve Mussman" <sealab at earthlink.net>
> wrote:
> >
> > Dear Listers,
> > Coming from the perspective of someone involved for many years in the
> diving industry, I am struggling with the concept of ocean optimism and
> would like some feedback from you, the experts on coral reef ecology. I
> understand that tourism is an important economic driver in many tropical
> regions around the world and that too much doom and gloom is bad for
> business, but it seems to me that for far too long the major threats to
> coral reefs have been downplayed industry-wide and that this approach has
> therefore unwittingly contributed to decades of inaction. How can we hope
> to work towards real-world solutions if we can’t bring ourselves to openly
> discuss policy positions that could effectively address the fundamental
> problems involved?   Most recently, I have come across two excellent,
> thoughtful and well written articles that reflect the position of the
> diving industry on the current state of our oceans and coral reefs in
> particular.   Please consider reading these articles and providing any
> commentary you consider appropriate.
> >
> > http://www.alertdiver.com/Northern_GBR
> >
> > http://www.alertdiver.com/Ocean_Optimism
> >
> > Regards,
> > Steve Mussman
> >
> >
> >
> > Sent from my iPad
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