[Coral-List] Sexy Scientists and TV shows

Martin Moe martin_moe at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 11 10:32:18 EST 2006

To all,

Lets assume that the recent threads on sexy scientists
and TVC reality shows have the following motivations,
among others.
1.	Enhance public knowledge and concern on the plight
of the reefs and other marine environments.
2.	Create public support and acceptance for MPAs.
3.	Stimulate bright students to enter careers focused
on marine science.
4.	Stimulate recreational users of the marine
environment to be more aware of how their activities
can negatively impact marine environments and living
marine resources and how to reduce personal
contributions to negative environmental impacts and
enhance positive attitudes and activities.
5.	Enhance the knowledge and concern of commercial
fishermen on the current condition of marine renewable
resources and stimulate their personal responsibility
toward conservation and sustainable fishing practices.
6.	Create a public ethic of personal concern and
respect for natural places and respectful and
sustainable use of natural resources.
7.	Curb and eliminate wherever possible hydrocarbon
and carbon dioxide emissions to reduce and eventually
reverse the pace of anthropogenic climate change.

OK, a good public relations campaign and popular TV
shows could/would go a long way towards accomplishing
the first 6 of these points, and this would be a very
good thing. But number 7, sorry, in my humble opinion,
it won’t work. There is only one way to change the
ingrained essential needs of the American public (and
most other countries as well) for personal
transportation and their psychological identification
with their personal choice of vehicle. You have to hit
them in the only place that really counts in their
personal life, and that is in the pocketbook.

There is now well developed and also nascent
technology for non polluting vehicles powered by
hydrogen, bio-diesel, electric, and compressed air
engines. All have their advantages and disadvantages,
I don’t know which will rise to the top of heap but we
must create the conditions that will strongly
stimulate the development and acceptance of vehicles
that are not dependent, or at least not greatly
dependent, on polluting fossil fuels. And the thing
that will best do this is very expensive gasoline and
diesel fuel, like $10.00 a gallon, or more
. What
should be done, again in my humble opinion, is to put
an “environmental tax” on every gallon of gas and
diesel, starting low, like maybe 10 cents per gallon,
and over the space of 10 years climbing to really
hurtful levels, levels to the point where Billy Joe
Bob will decide that he really can’t afford to drive
his 350 hp pickup truck and will opt, out of
necessity, for an inexpensive electric or compressed
air powered vehicle for everyday use that can be
quickly modified to function as small truck or
passenger car. The astronomical tax on fossil fuels
must be used, not to wage war, but to subsidize the
development and purchase price of non polluting
vehicles.  Over the span of 10 years it should be
possible to present the public with the choice of
spending $40,000 for a vehicle that will cost 8or 10
thousand dollars a year to operate, or a $15,000
vehicle that runs on electric or compressed air at a
fraction of the price of fossil fuel.  Do we have the
political and economic will to do this, I hope so, the
alterative for our civilization may not be very

And concomitantly of course, we must change public
attitudes toward other wasteful and non essential
elements of our civilization such as excessive use of
grains to produce unsustainable and unnecessary
quantities of meat and use of the excessive amounts of
sugar that pervades our food supply with the basic
elements of obesity and diabetic development.  And
also, efforts must be expanded on development of other
means of electric generation, wind, water (tides
perhaps), solar, and non polluting use of coal
resources. Again, the astronomical tax on gas and
diesel may help in this effort also. And then there is
the economic inequality between most of the world’s
populations and the developed countries, and the
effect of irrational religions (most of them) on the
basic conduct of life of human population. And, sorry,
 I don’t know what to do about that.

Martin Moe

More information about the Coral-List mailing list