[Coral-List] "Reefs in Trouble- The Real Root Cause" (week 1 perspective)

Stephen Jameson sjameson at coralseas.com
Sun Sep 14 17:16:28 EDT 2008

Dear Friends,

Thanks for your interesting and insightful comments on "Reefs in Trouble-
The Real Root Cause".

I have received an order of magnitude greater number of private responses
(ALL very supportive and thoughtful) "off-list" as I have "on-list".

It is interesting to see in the first week of our "on-list" discussion the
many comments related to human over-population issues.

I though David Medio's comment was especially poignant.

"I argue that it is those countries that have indeed largely sorted out
the population problem that are largely responsible for trashing the
planet (at least those bits away from home turf) through a range of
subtle and less subtle actions."

As stated in the editorial, I view human over-population issues as only a
"symptom" of the much bigger and profound problem/challenge.

Per the editorial.....

At its core, the real root cause of coral reef decline, when objectively
looking at the evidence, seems to be attributable to innate human species
behavior characteristics determined by how we are genetically hard-wired.
It raises two key questions.

(1) Does the human species, when operating in very large groups such as a
nations, have the genetic capability to live sustainably with its

(2) Does the human species have the genetic ability to create and maintain
systems of national governance that makes sustainable environmental
stewardship possible?

The answers to these two questions have important ramifications for the
future of not only coral reefs, but for ourselves and our children, and the
other species that inhabit this planet.

In week two, I would very much like to hear views from coral-list experts in
the fields of animal behavior, policy/governance, and socio-economics with
respect to the inter-related human behavior/genetic and
national/international governance issues/challenges - and especially
thoughts on possible SOLUTIONS.

Peter Sale touched on this a little in his last post and hopefully he and
others can expand on it.

It is also important to note that I am asking these questions from the
perspective of the unique behavioral/psychological dynamics created when
"the human species operates in a large group", such as a nation (or as
groups of nations).  Please try and frame your thinking and responses using
this perspective/scale of reference.

Thanks again for your thoughtful participation!  I hope week two is as
interesting as week one!

If you need to refer back to "Reefs in Trouble- The Real Root Cause", it can
be found in the coral-list archives at:


Best regards,

Dr. Stephen C. Jameson, Chairman
Coral Seas Inc. - Integrated Coastal Zone Management
4254 Hungry Run Road, The Plains, VA  20198-1715  USA
Office:  703-618-2775
Email:  sjameson at coralseas.com
Web Site:  http://www.coralseas.com

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