[Coral-List] What can SCIENTISTS do??

Precht, William F PrechtW at BATTELLE.ORG
Mon Dec 31 14:29:02 EST 2007


Your note to the list reminded me of a funny (ironic) story from a few
years ago.

Isabelle Cote and John Reynolds organized and led a Coral Reef
Conservation Workshop at the Zoological Society of London in December
2004 - at that meeting a prominent American reef scientist trying to
make a point about CO2 emissions asked for a show of hands as to how
many people in the audience drove a hybrid vehicle.  She was the only
person to raise her hand.  This was followed by her chiding the group
until Clive Wilkinson then asked for a show of hands as to how many
people in the audience even owned a car.  Only a small handful (out of a
group of 400) raised their hands.  

Obviously, her point backfired but the overriding message was not lost
on this group of European reef scientists.  

Being one of only a few North American scientists at this meeting, I was
amazed at how different we view, value and prioritize things that we
normally take for granted. 

Hopefully, we can all learn a lesson from this. 

Have a very happy and safe New Year!


Bill Precht

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Charles
Sent: Wednesday, December 26, 2007 3:34 PM
To: Douglas Fenner; Coral List
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] What can SCIENTISTS do??

Douglas Fenner wrote:
>      I remind folks that the average French person produces one third
> amount of CO2 as the average American or Australian.  It can be done. 
> People are now saying that it would only take 0.1% of global GNP to
> this problem.  We spend more than that on stuff we throw away.  If
> wants to solve this problem, it can be solved.  Let's get cracking.
Don't forget too that in Europe, public transport systems are much more 
prevalent than in North America (think rail, metros, buses) plus many of

these cities were around long before the car was so they are smaller, 
closer together and hence were easy to connect to each other. Also, 
people ride bikes and walk more than they do in North America. In North 
America cites are huge, distances between them are great, etc etc so 
getting around is not as easy as in Europe. I saw a Frontline program on

urban congestion and srawl, using Atlanta as an example, they showed 
newly constructed neighbourhoods with no sidewalks, all geared toward 
the car. I read recently that the feds are going to start looking into 
boosting the rail system in America ... 'bout time I say.

Doug's bang on with the gas cost observation, fuel prices have always 
been higher in Europe and yes cars are smaller, but then so are the 
roads in many locales across Europe. Then again, gas prices were always 
higher in Canada than the US due to higher taxes, didn't stop them from 
buying big American made cars.

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