[Coral-List] Public perceptions about climate change: US the most educated, incentivized?

Georgina Bustamante gbustamante at bellsouth.net
Wed Oct 28 17:03:14 EDT 2009

I don't see why the world has to loose hope "if the most technologically
advanced nation in the world cannot preserve its OWN coral reefs"..... 
If you mean ...."if the most technologically advance world doesn't do
anything to stop climate change" I agree, then but protecting coral reefs is
more than stopping climate change. 
Redicing local impact is a big part of making them resilient, and it might
be more realistic to expect small islands states or third world countries to
be more interested in managing well reefs if their livelihoods depend on
their ecological services (fishing, tourism, etc.), and their population is
closer to the sea (geographically and culturally).

Everything is about incentives (economic?), and the US people (not us,
scientists, conservationists) may not have enough incentive to learn
on/contribute to the restoration of coral reefs. Their life is not directly
depending on them.

Georgina Bustamante, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Caribbean  Marine Protected Area Management (CaMPAM) Network
and Forum
GCFI Board of Directors

"A social network for enhancing MPA effectiveness in the
 Wider Caribbean through communication and capacity building tools"

Hollywood, Florida
Tel./fax (request) +1 (954) 963-3626
Mobile +1 (305) 297-6995
email: gbustamante at bellsouth.net (preferred) and campam at gcfi.org;
skype: yoyibustamante

CaMPAM web sites:
To subscribe or unsubscribe to CaMPAM list, go to
To send a message to CaMPAM List, send it to campam-l at listserv.gcfi.org 

To access the Regional MPA Database go to  http://cep.unep.org/caribbeanmpa

.. -----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Michael Risk
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 10:24 AM
To: Szmant, Alina; John Bruno; coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Cc: Richard B. Aronson
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Public perceptions about climate change

Good morning, all.

Alina is probably right, there is no hope. If the most technologically
advanced nation in the world cannot preserve its own coral reefs, what
hope is there for those Third World nations that house most of the
remainder? May I suggest Richard Wright's "What is America" for an
overview that will reinforce Alina's depressing prediction.

In Walt Jaap's immortal words, coral reefs are the canaries of the
sea-but we must always bear in mind that the canary's greatest value to
the human race came upon its death.

We have room for some of you in Saskatchewan, but you would have to


On Wed, 28 Oct 2009 07:48:16 -0400
 "Szmant, Alina" <szmanta at uncw.edu> wrote:
> One more comment:  if our newspapers, TV and people in general spent
> 1/2 the space and/or time on science articles and study as they do on
> sports, we would be a different society...
> **********************************************
> Dr. Alina M. Szmant
> Professor of Marine Biology
> Coral Reef Research Program, Center for Marine Science
> University of North Carolina Wilmington
> 5600 Marvin K. Moss Lane
> Wilmington NC 28409
> Tel:  (910)962-2362; fax: (910)962-2410;  cell:  (910)200-3913
> http://people.uncw.edu/szmanta
> **********************************************
> ________________________________________
> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> [coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml..noaa.gov] On Behalf Of John Bruno
> [jbruno at unc.edu]
> Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 6:31 PM
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Cc: Richard B. Aronson
> Subject: [Coral-List] Public perceptions about climate change
> As Steve Mussman posted about a few days ago, nearly 20% fewer
> Americans belive in AGW than just three years ago.  I think there are
> complex social issues than underlie this trend, but I also think this
> is happening because people are being misinformed by the media, even
> by otherwise reliable outlets like the New York Times and the
> Washington Post.
> Not to suggest that this will be the last word on this, but the AP
> released an article today for which they hired four independent
> statisticians to analyze (blindly) the 130 instrument temperature
> record and the 30 year satellite record.  The statisticians were
> asked
> to look for trends over time.  Did they find any recent cooling?  No.
> They found, like NOAA, NASA and the MET, that the earth has continued
> to warm over the last decade.  No cooling.  No plateau.
> You can read the AP story here:  http://www.climateshifts.org/?p=3350
> But there are already many recent newspaper stories, published peer-
> review papers and easily accessible online articles debunking the
> recent "global cooling" and "warming pause" myths, e.g.:
> http://www.climateshifts.org/?p=3261
> http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2009/08/warmest-by-fair-margin/
> So why are we loosing the public? They clearly are not being
> convinced
> by evidence.  There isn't any in support of the cooling/pause
> arguments.  I suspect that it is (in part) because the media is
> saturated with skepticism about AGW. Fox News commentators and New
> York Times science writers are spreading the myths there is a recent
> cooling or a plateau in warming.  George Will, who is read by tens of
> millions of Americans, wrote yet another op-ed in the Washington Post
> a few weeks ago arguing the earth wasn't warming.  I responded with
> an
> op-ed in the local Raleigh News and Observer (which you can read
> here:
> ) but I doubt I changed many minds.  And the editor cut the most
> direct criticism of the complacency of the media in this in general
> and of newspaper editors in particular:
> "Given the clarity and relative certainty of the science and the
> scale
> of the potential social and economic impacts, why do newspapers
> publish articles denying climate change is happening? Social
> commentators like George Will certainly have freedom of speech and a
> general license to express their opinions on the editorial page. But
> would newspaper editors publish essays denying other major threats to
> humanity? Imagine an editorial arguing that cancer, poverty, HIV-AIDS
> or genocide don't exist and are merely the product of a well-
> orchestrated scientific hoax"
> I don't know what the solution is.  Grassroots education is
> important,
> but I sense we are getting drowned out by skeptics and even
> misinformed science writers with much large megaphones than any of
> us.  I have written every journalist I have seen publish an
> inaccurate
> piece about climate change and many of their editors and not one has
> responded.  Perhaps we need to employ the weight of our major
> society,
> the ISRS.  The word "climate"  does not even appear on the ISRS
> website (http://research2.fit.edu/isrs/).  I know we have position
> papers on various threats to reefs posted, but perhaps we could be
> more proactive and begin writing journalists and  columnists (and
> their editors) when they get it wrong.  The Ecological Society of
> America has been very active in such correspondence
> (http://www.esa.org/pao/policy_positions.php#letters
> ) as has the AGU and many other major environmental sciences
> societies.  And back in February, when George Will wrote another
> silly
> article about global cooling, a number of NGO heads co-wrote a letter
> to the publisher and editor of the WaPost.   Note I don't in anyway
> mean this as a criticism of ISRS or of any of its officers.  I am
> just
> throwing out a few ideas.  I don't think we have done this sort of
> thing with the society in the past and we likely lack the resources
> to
> do it on a large scale.  BTW, is the ISRS sending representatives to
> Copenhagen?
> JB
> John F. Bruno, Ph.D.
> Associate Professor
> Department of Marine Science
> The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
> Chapel Hill, NC 27599-330
> jbruno at unc.edu
> www.brunolab.net
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

Mike Risk
Marine Ecologist
PO Box 1195
Durham Ontario
N0G 1R0
Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

More information about the Coral-List mailing list