[Coral-List] Ocean Acidification and the state of coral reefs

Alan.e.strong alan.e.strong at noaa.gov
Wed Feb 15 14:48:03 EST 2012

Well spoken, Peter!!  As we all tend to look only at the trees in each 
of our own backyards (by our very nature) we keep losing track of the 
entire forest.  (Is that why I "enjoy" the view from our satellites so 
much??) :-)


On 2/15/2012 1:02 PM, Peter Sale wrote:
> Hi all,
> I have been reading the posts on ocean acidification and related matters
> and have been impressed.
> My friend Alina Szmant got it started with a post that could have led to a
> lot of name-calling and worse (the polite description is that Alina was
> being provocative).  What followed was a series of posts about the science
> of OA, about the large gaps still remaining in our understanding of the
> impacts of OA on reef systems, and about the relationships between science
> and advocacy.  They were informative, useful, and respectful of
> contributors with differing views.  You all did well.
> Interspersed with this discussion was the suggestion that OA is a bit of a
> bandwagon, and the implication that bandwagon riders are self-serving, out
> for what they can get in the grubby world of science funding.  As one who
> has ridden the occasional bandwagon ....... we choose the bus that will
> take us where we have to go, and a bandwagon is not always a pretty sight,
> but it can move.  OA is clearly an important change happening to the
> oceans right now, very deserving of scientific study, and if that
> generates a bandwagon, those who have the skills to tackle the science
> should hop on board.
> At the same time, lets not fall into the 'mine is bigger than yours' trap
> when discussing the various deleterious impacts on coral reefs.  Humanity
> is in the midst of the worst environmental crisis we have had to deal with
> since the Pleistocene, it is multifaceted, coral reefs are being hit
> harder than any other ecosystem, and the future looks very grim, both for
> us and for reefs, if we do not change our ways.  Arguing about which
> process is worst diverts attention from the need to confront the fact that
> there is an enormous crisis out there and it really is time for humanity
> to stop rearranging deck chairs and deciding the tunes to be played on the
> decks of the Titanic.  OA, bleaching and a whole lot of local
> anthropogenic nastiness are worthy of being investigated, understood, and
> documented in an effort by scientists to get the word out to those who
> still insist that if we can just get those deck chairs rearranged..... You
> get my point.  We don't need to add to the confusion.
> Peter F. Sale
> www.petersalebooks.com
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****<><  *******<><  *******<><  *******<><  *******
Alan E. Strong, Ph.D.
NOAA Coral Reef Watch, Consultant
Strong Research, Inc.&  IMSG
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA Coral Reef Watch Program
  e-mail: Alan.E.Strong at noaa.gov
url: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov

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