[Coral-List] Approaching game over

Greg Challenger gchallenger at msn.com
Fri Mar 23 14:22:15 EDT 2012

I like Steve's message.  If I may take liberty to summarize below:
  "To rile constituency beset with quietude rather than a scientific ethos restrained by a search for certitude with exacerbating repercussions of placidity and nonintervention, coupled with reticent posturing that encourages pernicious demagoguery and persistence of muted facts."
Wow!  I wish I could write like that.  However, this sort of message could be missed by 99% of the american public (being generous to the american public)......at least that's my excuse for writing at the 7th grade level!  If there is an online Steve Mussman writing course sign me up.

Greg E. Challenger, M.S.
Principal Marine Scientist  
Polaris Applied Sciences, Incorporated
12525 131st Ct NE Kirkland, WA 98034 
425-823-3805 fx 
206-369-5686 cell 
visit us at: www.polarisappliedsciences.com


> Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2012 10:20:30 -0400
> From: sealab at earthlink.net
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Subject: [Coral-List] Approaching game over
> 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?
> Regards,
> Steve
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