[Coral-List] Approaching game over

RainbowWarriorsInternational southern_caribbean at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 23 01:34:15 EDT 2012

As a foreigner I can weigh in on the problem with the United States on this issue. Both US environmentalists and scientists dominate the global discussions in their respective fields. Unfortunately both groups are hopelessly outdated in their paradigms.

The main problem is that their whole approach towards sustainable development, biodiversity conservation and environmental protection is dictated by economic models based on competition, supply and demand.

If instead a conflict model is used, and the focus is on conflict resolution, mitigation. mediation and prevention, we can actually factor in conflicting points of view, conflicts over use of diminishing resources etc.

The upcoming Rio+20 conference which focuses on the "green economy" will render obsolete whatever scientists and environmentalists are still left in the US camp to fight the good fight.

The Green Economy is a conflict based model for economy where resources are optimized under the guise of "green".

And in this so-called "win-win" scenario of the Green Economy the only winners to walk away with the public relations prize are the energy industry and petroleum companies.

And in all of this the press-oh the press-keeps the public disinformation campaign well oiled in favor of big business and political domestic agendas in this presidential election year.

If only the myopia would dissipate among US scientists and environmentalist and they truly take to heart "think globally, act locally" and for once just this year network out with the rest of the global community in their respective fields they could actually win some domestic public relation and other battles.

Outfits like the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, NRDC, Nature Conservancy and some fifty other large organizations suffer from being stuck in old models, which are perpetuated by the grant organizations from which they draw a lot of money.

The Union of Concerned Scientists cannot be blamed.

Redefine the models, to redefine the problems and solutions and network out with global peers.

In more than one way the US is still a superpower, and the moral resolve of US citizens to rally behind a cause is still unmatched.

Fortunately the US is also showing sparks of hope and chance, and you should look to Avaaz as a model for change.

www.avaaz.org deals with all sorts of issues domestic and foreign, maybe a new platform modeled after avaaz.org is in order to combine the forces of scientists and environmentalists to fight the good fight in marine ecology and marine conservation.

Global coalitions are the only way to go in this brave new world.

Milton Ponson, President
Rainbow Warriors Core Foundation
(Rainbow Warriors International)
Tel. +297 568 5908
PO Box 1154, Oranjestad 
Aruba, Dutch Caribbean 
Email: southern_caribbean at yahoo.com

To unite humanity in a global society dedicated to a sustainable way of life

 From: Sarah Frias-Torres <sfrias_torres at hotmail.com>
To: coral list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> 
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 10:22 AM
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 pipelinehttp://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2012/03/21/exp-early-myb-keystone.cnn
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 resources".
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 work.
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 message.
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) 467-1600http://www.teamorca.orghttp://independent.academia.edu/SarahFriasTorres
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