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

Billy Causey billy.causey at noaa.gov
Sun Nov 20 14:38:44 EST 2011

You have provided some excellent advice that we all should consider and practice in our postings.   

We (coral reef managers) are in serious need of socioeconomic data such as that cited in this study.  I have confidence in the PIs and their methodology and am not surprised by the results.  

$33 Billion is considerably less than what I put on the value of Hawaii's coral reefs, which is priceless.

Cheers, Billy  

Billy D. Causey, Ph.D.
Southeast Regional Director
NOAA's  Office of National Marine
33 East Quay Road
Key West, Florida 33040
Office: 305 809 4670 ex 234
Cell:  305 395 0150
Fax:   305 293 5011
Email: billy.causey at noaa.gov

Please excuse brevity for messages sent from this BlackBerry.

----- Original Message -----
From: David M. Lawrence [mailto:dave at fuzzo.com]
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2011 05:36 PM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] $33B Hawaii Reef Economics Value


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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