[Coral-List] CO2 science

Walter Goldberg goldberg at fiu.edu
Thu Oct 29 12:33:19 EDT 2009

I took a look at the essay written by "CO2science" posted recently. They make some interesting points about CO2 and corals, some of which are actually fact-based. Regrettably, their perspective is so biased that the authors seem to highlight only the parts of papers they like. For example, they cite Maynard et al., 2008 (Major bleaching events can lead to increased thermal tolerance in corals. Marine Biology (Berlin) 155: 173-182) as follows: “Major bleaching events can lead to increased thermal tolerance in corals” and the coral genera that were originally most susceptible to thermal stress (Pocillopora and Acropora) "showed the greatest increase in tolerance." Both of these statements may be true, but here is the part they left out: 

Although the vulnerability of coral reefs remains largely dependent on the rate and extent of climate change, such increase in thermal tolerance may delay the onset of mass coral mortalities in time for the implementation of low-emission scenarios and effective management”. 

This is in the abstract, so it doesn’t take much sleuthing or scholarship (as Gene calls it) to figure out what these guys are trying to do. Who or what is CO2science? It is The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change run by the Idso family who constitute the Chairman, President, Vice President and Operations Manager. Three have PhD’s, none having anything to do with reefs or oceans. Here are some gems from their own website:

1) Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming
Where We Stand on the Issue
C. D. Idso and K. E. Idso
….the biospheric benefits that come from the aerial fertilization effect of atmospheric CO2 enrichment: enhanced plant growth, increased plant water use efficiency, greater food production for both people and animals, plus a host of other biological benefits too numerous to describe..
2) What Motivates the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change?
 “ExxonMobil made some donations to us a few times in the past”. “We never discuss our funding”.

My goodness, nothing suspicious here. Just pure scholarship.

Walter M. Goldberg, Ph.D.
Professor of Biological Sciences
Florida International University
University Park Campus
Miami, FL 33199
email goldberg at fiu.edu

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