[Coral-List] Are coral reefs really doomed?

John Bruno jbruno at unc.edu
Wed Jul 18 23:49:25 EDT 2012

Just in time to liven up our discussion, Dave Roberts of Grist (not exactly an optimist) has a detailed piece on some of the reasons for hope in terms of CO2 emissions.  http://grist.org/climate-policy/u-s-leads-the-world-in-cutting-co2-emissions-so-why-arent-we-talking-about-it/  

Yes, yes, I know there is plenty of counter evidence that can make us all more depressed. And staying below 500 or even 700 ppm CO2 is a long shot..  

But please consider:

-The US has cut carbon emissions more than any other country in the world in recent years — 7.7 percent since 2006 (http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2012/may/name,27216,en.html). U.S. emissions fell 1.9 percent last year (http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/) and are projected to fall 1.9 percent again this year, which will put us back at 1996 levels (http://johnhanger.blogspot.com/2012/04/eia-says-us-carbon-emissions-to-fall.html).  
-This is due in part to the economic slowdown, but to a greater degree because our use of coal has cratered! (and is being replaced by natural gas and to a lesser extent, renewables)
-Installed wind and solar have doubled in the U.S. since Obama took office. Costs for solar are plunging like crazy (http://grist.org/solar-power/2011-10-11-solar-pv-rapidly-becoming-cheapest-option-generate-electricity/) and onshore wind power may be competitive with fossil fuels without subsidies by 2016 (http://bnef.com/PressReleases/view/172).  

Point being, this is doable. How can China do it? Just like the US, Canada, Europe, etc are. Not with one big fix, but with a mixture of smaller solutions, e.g.,  


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