[Coral-List] Approaching game over

Mel Briscoe Mel at briscoe.com
Wed Mar 21 10:55:16 EDT 2012

"Once the Keystone pipeline is operational, it will be game over for Earth's
climate and for the coral reefs."

I doubt that the extreme hyperbole is a good way to communicate your
concerns to decision makers.
They simply do not listen to Chicken Little.

"initiate a conversation with someone who still has a working brain in

A truely wonderful way to get someone to listen to you.
Sarah, your emails are now in the (permanent) public record. 

Given your stated attitude, I doubt that you will be called to testify! This
squanders your knowledge and passion.


- Mel

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Sarah
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 10:22 AM
To: coral list
Subject: [Coral-List] Approaching game over

Dear Coral-ListersI think we are approaching game over. 
President Obama will announce tomorrow the permit approval for the southern
portion of the Keystone XL
This is a pipeline operated by TransCanada, that will connect the oil sands
in Canada with U.S.  oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. While the
approval is still pending for the portions of the pipeline that go through
the U.S. heartland (and one of the most valuable aquifers in the country),
approval of the southern portion of the pipeline means that, unless
something dramatic happens, the pipeline will become a reality.
Once the Keystone pipeline is operational, it will be game over for Earth's
climate and for the coral reefs.
When you follow the debate about this project, it's interesting to see that
scientists are almost non existent. Reporters talk about "environmentalists"
and use the words "believe" to frame the consequences of using the Canadian
oil sands and the pipeline. As if environmentalists are running around in
some mystical trance, playing with crystals, singing kumba-ya, and using
their believes to "stop the progress of America". Whereas the statements
from the oil companies are framed as facts. They even go to the extend of
saying "Canadian oil sand use will diversify the country's energy
Where are the climate scientists, the marine scientists, the coral reef
scientists in this debate? Are any of the top scientists on those research
areas talking to government officials, warning them against using the oil
sands?I don't know if Canadian scientists have approached the Canadian
government asking to reconsider the use of oil sands. If they had, it didn't
Considering the U.S. is the largest fossil fuel consumer in the world, you
would expect top scientists have approached the government and demonstrated
this madness has to stop. I'm not aware of a commission of top scientists
speaking up... the Union of Concerned Scientists seems missing in action.
What can we do?  
July brings the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium. I wonder if this
will be the last ICRS held while there are still living coral reefs out
there. Besides the many activities during the Symposium, those attending
should think about the 13th ICRS, in 2016. If nothing changes, the Keystone
pipeline will be operational, the Canadian oil sands will have had 4 more
years to burn, and so all the other fossil fuel burning all around the
world.Maybe the 13th ICRS will be renamed as the "International Coral Reefs
We Used to Have Symposium"
Perhaps the world renowned scientists attending the upcoming ICRS could
draft a letter to both the U.S. and Canadian governments, explaining the
major environmental damage of oil sand usage, for land and marine
ecosystems, willing to provide their scientific expertise to answer whatever
questions politicians might have... maybe it can be signed up by those
attending the Symposium. 
Or perhaps, some of you in this list can get into the power circles in
either government (or knows someone who can), and initiate a conversation
with someone who still has a working brain in there.
Or maybe someone in this list has a better idea on how to deliver the
Think about it. Imagine if scientists could really change the world.
Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. Schmidt Ocean Institute Postdoctoral FellowOcean
Research & Conservation Association (ORCA) 1420 Seaway Drive, Fort Pierce,
Florida 34949 USA Tel (772)
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