[Coral-List] Approaching game over

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Thu Mar 22 10:20:30 EDT 2012

Perhaps it was the objective of the original message in this
thread that was misconstrued. The use of “extreme hyperbole”
may not be a viable strategy when dealing with decision makers,
but if the intent was to rile a particular constituency which 
has been beset with inaction and quietude, then it may well 
have been justified.

There is historical precedent that begs the argument that
although well intended, the cautious nature of the scientific
ethos restrained by its search for certitude can inadvertently 
delay the implementation of critical policies effectively 
exacerbating the repercussions. If ever there existed a condition exemplifying this concern, it may well involve the implications 
climate change holds for coral reefs and mankind in general. If 
the scientific community collectively holds any remorse for previous 
displays of placidity and nonintervention in the face of similar
challenges then herein lies an opportunity for redemption. 

Concerns relating to overstatements are understandable, but
quiescence in the face of the latest in a series of relentless 
attacks on science could ultimately lead to our undoing. Such 
reticent posturing only seems to be encouraging the pernicious 
nature of the demagoguery targeting both scientific motives and 
methodology. The unfortunate reality is that we are living in a 
world where powerful elected officials promote books claiming that
climate change is "The Greatest Hoax" - while simultaneously 
the indisputable scientific evidence continues to mount. These 
are the dynamics at play among the decision makers who will call
you to testify. 

Although it may be true that the authorization of the southern 
portion of the Keystone pipeline in and of itself does not signal
game over, how much longer do you believe we can continue down this 
path armed only with muted facts and restraint before these tactics
prove fatal?


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