[Coral-List] $33B Hawaii Reef Economics Value

David M. Lawrence dave at fuzzo.com
Fri Nov 18 17:36:41 EST 2011


As someone who once designed, administered, analyzed, and wrote up a 
survey of a major scientific society, I wish you'd keep your uninformed 
assessments of the "self-serving" nature of surveys to yourself -- 
unless you have thoroughly reviewed the methods, text of the survey 
instrument, analytical procedures, etc.  I've spent most of my life 
working in the natural sciences, but I would never be so thoroughly and 
uninformedly dismissive of procedures used by other disciplines.


On 11/18/2011 11:24 AM, Eugene Shinn wrote:
> Robert, Thank you for exposing the devious nature of the,  "Total
> Economic Value for Protecting and Restoring Hawaiian Coral Reef
> Ecosystems" survey that came up with an outrageous $33.5B per year
> value of Hawaiian coral reefs. You did a great job of showing the
> problems, flaws, and exaggerations. In my long career I have seldom
> seen a questionnaire type survey that was not self-serving. I like to
> call them, "when did you stop beating your wife" surveys that imply
> you have been beating your wife (or dog). Agencies that do these
> surveys decide what they want to do then ask questions about various
> options and ways to accomplish the thing they want. They never ask
> the basic question,  Is the thing or action they want necessary in
> the first place? They are usually all about expanding the agency and
> squeezing more funding (our money) out of Congress.
>       I suppose they know how poorly educated the vast majority really
> is (especially in science) and realize they can pull the wool over
> their eyes. You clearly exposed this attitude in your posting. These
> days agencies often have covert help from tax exempt Non Government
> Foundations (NGOs) that are very good at getting press coverage,
> influencing congress, and squeezing tax exempt donations from those
> having expendable money or in need of the tax breaks they provide.
> Gene PS: I could not help noticing posting number 3 that starts with:
> "Seeking a Natural Resource Social Scientist to support the National
> Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Center for Coastal Monitoring
> and Assessment (CCMA), Biogeography Branch. (note key words, "Social
> Scientist")

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