[Coral-List] Ocean acidification is simply a bandwagon.

Dean Jacobson atolldino at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 14 20:27:27 EST 2012


The following comes from thinking how hope and other motivational emotions can complement our science...

Because I have a dear college buddy (still in contact via email) who is now an influential cleric (he was nearly elected Bishop of Washington in the Episcopal Church!) I recently asked him to consider how the environmental situation, including coral reefs, is reflected in his sermons, his ministry.  (I acknowledged that ecology is not taught in seminary, and that his job requires him to raise funds for his Cathedral).  He has not responded fully (he did endorse the concept of "original blessing"), I wonder if was a non-starter, or perhaps he is thinking long and hard on it.  I am finally acting on my long-held suspicion that we need to develop links with churches, even if it is outside our comfort zone.  They deserve to be told what is going on.  A faculty member (and one time SCUBA buddy) just died, and at the memorial service a paster spoke of him being a wise person,  who prepared for his death.  It is wise to prepare not just for our death,
 but for the lives of our children, for the environment future generations will experience.

Perhaps more of us should meet with pastors, it may help to pretend to be a church goer (I once was, I am sure many listers still are), show Slide shows, powerpoints... I am making an iMovie on my Mac, highlighting the situation on Majuro with many time series photos (*very* time consuming, with the temptation to "Ken Burns" it).  It will be shown on our local cable TV channel.  What I am showing is literally in their backyard, so I have a special obligation to share my photos.  I know that many on this list do this much more, better, and for much longer, and we have discussed this here before.  I am late in the game, and even so perhaps others could use a reminder!  It is worth the trouble.

PS:  the silt curtain has just been removed from the lagoon, by the Majuro reservoirs, where the latest coral mining was to have begun!  And, I am talking with a group from the Coral Reef Task Force by phone tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

Dean Jacobson
College of the Marshall Islands

 From: Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net>
To: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> 
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2012 11:46 AM
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Ocean acidification is simply a bandwagon.
Dear Listers,

Just consider the commentary thus far. 
All these top-notch, well-respected scientists and environmental 
activists of unquestionable integrity perhaps losing sight of the fact 
that we are on the same team with the same ultimate goal – to safeguard
our coral reef ecosystem for future generations to come.

Billy, Ove and others have expressed similar and equally conspicuous 
sentiments in concluding that we are doing ourselves a disservice
by sustaining the debate over which specific effect (OA or rising 
temperatures, among others) is the leading cause of coral decline. 
All the while CO2 and other greenhouse gases remain the ultimate storm
on the horizon. It is no wonder that we remain in limbo as to resolve. 

But you must know by now that it will take more than a concerted effort
on the part of the scientific community if we are to regain focus and 
effectively combat the insidious nature of the issue before us. It is 
no longer enough to ask science to concisely delineate cause and effect. 
It seems obvious that Climate Change has now been effectively framed more 
as a political/ideological value-based issue than one of a factual nature 
that can ultimately be resolved by the establishment of a clear scientific
consensus. If you have any doubt, just listen to the echoes of the climate
change deniers/skeptics involved in contemporary political discourse.

If you have a charge in this aspect of what has sadly become a sub-plot 
in an ideological culture war, it is to establish the role that science 
can play in offsetting the demagoguery. We have yet to find an effective 
means to combat deception and time is running out. The last thing we can 
afford to do under these conditions is nurture discord amongst ourselves.
I agree that so many of you are coral reef heroes, but now it is past time
to fully live up to that calling. 


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