[Coral-List] The frustration of environmentalism vacillation.

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 15 13:40:12 EDT 2014

   I would point out that there is a significant difference in the approaches
   being advocated by âself-servingâ environmental organizations, so-called
   âdo-goodersâ and The Heritage Foundation. The latter not only dismisses
   anthropogenic  impacts, it designedly casts doubt on the science-based
   consensus that human activity is contributing to climate change and opposes
   every  effort put forth to limit carbon emissions. Although population
   management  is  vital,  it  is neither absurd nor insulting to promote
   environmental awareness as a way of changing our current trajectory.  I do
   not believe that The Heritage Foundation or any other conservative think
   tank is likely to lead the way on population reduction to say nothing of the
   broader  impacts  associated  with  this problem. At least some of the
   environmental groups running on good intentions and endorphins just might.
   -----Original Message-----
   >From: "Durwood M. Dugger"
   >Sent: Apr 14, 2014 2:45 PM
   >To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
   >Subject: [Coral-List] The frustration of environmentalism vacillation. Vol
   68, Issue 12
   >Gene's point of long term solutions and any potential results in preserving
   the planet as we found it as a species - are well taken. Not taking the long
   view in negative anthropogenic impact solutions almost certainly guarantees
   their  failure.  Equally,  not  facing the level and scale of negative
   anthropogenic impacts on the planet is also self defeating. The growing
   frustration at governments and environmentalists not dealing with the source
   of negative anthropogenic impacts is becoming more and more palpable.
   >The ultimate logic of any problem solving is to resolve the direct cause of
   the problem and generally before you address the symptoms it generates.
   Otherwise the costs of only addressing the symptoms risks depleting the
   resources necessary for a solution, or being overrun by the symptoms which
   can't be eliminated without eliminating their source. Perhaps like worrying
   about preserving the cargo in a ship before you stop the inflow from a major
   mid-ocean hull breach.
   >You can't intelligently approach a solution to - or realistically discuss
   climate change (including ocean acidification), loss of species diversity
   (including corals) and, or any kind of anthropogenic pollution related
   impacts without first implementing a plan to stop the cause. We need a plan
   for  a  solution  that ultimately reduces the human population back to
   demonstrated, sustainable and minimal impact levels of under 2 B - while
   maintaining non-growth, but functional, civil and progressive economies -
   and that is admittedly a near impossible task.
   >Doing otherwise has even worse outcomes and is simply wasting the resources
   that  should be implemented in reducing actual cause of the problem of
   grossly unsustainable global human populations. Having not addressed human
   overpopulation makes it hard to consider current collective anthropogenic
   environmental concerns (most environmental problems) - as anything more than
   piece meal, not intellectually serious and possibly being only slightly
   better outcome wise than those who would chose to ignore both overpopulation
   and its obvious environmental symptoms like climate change and loss of
   species diversity.
   >Like  the  lingering affects of rising CO2, humanely addressing human
   overpopulation and maintaining sustainable human populations is going to
   take centuries. This assuming current global NPK food production collapse
   predictions in the next 30 years - are highly inaccurate. Consequently,
   current discussions logically should consider plans and their economics to
   preserve species and habitat recovery in light of continued and long term
   uncontrolled and consequently unavoidable negative anthropogenic impacts,
   until and while population reduction solutions are implemented.
   >Scale wise and to be economically practical - very long term solutions
   necessarily  need  to be of a more of seed bank concept like approach.
   Compared  to  affecting  major  areas  of the planet which will simply
   ineffectively exhaust the a little resources available. The cost of even
   preserving the planets most remote areas are likely economically (fiscally
   and physically) unrealistic. Solutions have to be capable economic resource
   wise  of surviving the longterm of continued and growing environmental
   impacts  -  including  continued  environmentalist and preservationist
   vacillation - not to mention the inevitability of growing critical resource
   conflicts  and  their impacts - which also limit environmental problem
   solution resource availability.
   >To have these discussions about trying to control negative anthropogenic
   impacts with zero population management plan(s) in place, implemented and
   functionally demonstrated - are realistically absurd and insulting to anyone
   who  understands  the  scale  and  complexity of the problems at hand.
   Especially, when those discussions aren't difficult to be seen as self
   serving and profit motivated (whether you are the Heritage Foundation - or a
   leading NGO environmental activist organization whose existence and funding
   is dependent on the continuation of anthropogenic environmental problems)
   and or those who are well intended "do gooders" that are motivated by their
   inadequately based "good feelings" and the endorphins they might generate.
   >As unpleasant as it is unavoidable, we must discuss and implement human
   population reduction before critical resource limitations force it upon us
   and any environmental solutions or even considerations - are lost to the
   most basic survival priorities.
   >Durwood M. Dugger, Pres.
   >BioCepts International, Inc. (BCI, Inc.)
   > -----------------------------
   >Message: 2
   >Date: Sat, 12 Apr 2014 21:04:45 0100
   >From: Peter Raines
   >Subject: [Coral-List] Coral Restoration
   >To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa..gov
   >Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
   >I congratulate Sarah, Peter and countless other friends and colleagues who
   >each and all are doing their valued bit to help understand, promote and
   >protect coral reefs.
   >I recently attended a one-day workshop in London on Logical Frameworks.
   >Many will know that these are the arch-stone and requisite for many
   >funders. The context was LIFE funding from the European union, of which
   >there are many hundreds of $millions on offer.
   >The far-right column of most 'logframes' is entitled 'Assumptions'. These
   >are usually assumptions outside of the control of the project/programme but
   >nonetheless need to be factored. Some of these assumptions are termed
   >'Killer Assumptions' - i.e. assumptions so severe that they will kill the
   >project stone-dead in its tracks and thus either require a fundamental
   >project/programme re-think or most likely, just give up, go home and not
   >So, I asked of the workshop convener during a coffee-break this: "Assuming
   >the predicted global trends are correct re. ocean acidification and the
   >like, then these surely are the 'Killer Assumptions' that should be
   >paramount and overarchingly declared in any Logframe. Should I pack my bags
   >up and go home now?" He politely smiled, nodded but of course could not
   >So, the killer-question I ask myself is: "Should I give up any and all hope
   >for coral reefs and just throw in the towel?" My glass always being
   >half-full, my answer is a resounding "NO!".
   >I say good luck to Sarah, Peter and everyone in their mission, drive and
   >energy to help protect and restore coral reefs. What we need is a coalition
   >of the willing to kill assumptions!
   >All the best,
   >Peter Raines MBE
   >Coral Restoration Foundation International
   >Email: rainespeter at gmail.com
   >Mobile: 44 (0)7597 664987
   >Skype: peter.raines
   >Message: 3
   >Date: Sat, 12 Apr 2014 17:24:40 -0400
   >From: Eugene Shinn
   >Subject: [Coral-List] What do coral reef scientists perceive are the
   > major, threats to Caribbean coral reefs?
   >To: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov"
   >Message-ID: <5349AF18.6050701 at mail.usf.edu>
   >Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
   >Alina, I agree that Caribbean Coral death continued into the late 1980s
   >and 1990s however, the peak year of /Acropora/ death was 1983. That was
   >the year both A. /palmata/ and /cervicornis/ died at San Salvador. Thats
   >way out east of the Bahamas and surrounded by deep clear blue water.
   >Telephone pole reef at San Salvador, (almost entirely a staghorn
   >thicket) died in 1983 over a very short period (2 or 3 months). It was
   >disease that was not preceded by bleaching. Death of that reef put the
   >nearby resort devoted to underwater photographers out of business. This
   >was all observed by the director and scientists at the nearby Finger
   >Lakes lab at San Salvador. My 52-year serial photographs of the same
   >sites in the Florida Keys confirm that coral death peaked in 1983. They
   >were showing signs of sickness in the late 1970s but the peak time of
   >demise was 1983. Summer water temperature in the Keys was no higher in
   >1983 than previous years and wide-spread bleaching in the Keys did not
   >start until 1986. As you know the peak year for African dust flux into
   >the Caribbean was 1983. I might add the second peak year was 1998 but by
   >then disease and bleaching was rampant everywhere in the Caribbean. That
   >world wide El Nino even killed corals in the Persian Gulf where corals
   >had long been adapted to extreme temperature changes. Before you
   >mention "correlation is not causation" I remind you that correlation is
   >causation when when people correlate sewage/people (the usual suspects)
   >with coral death. It seems to depend on what is being correlated. If you
   >really want to get stirred up read the coral section in the recently
   >released Non Governmental Climate Change report. There you will find
   >that acidification is not a problem. I certainly agree with you about
   >over population but you have to be realistic. That ain't gonna change
   >voluntarily. You may be interested to know that in the current IPCC
   >massive report on page 1106 chapter 12 there is a Frequently Asked
   >Question (FAQ) 12.3, "*What would happen to future climate if we
   >stopped emissions today?*" as part of a longer sentence the answer
   >given is, "Much of the warming would persist for centuries after
   >greenhouse gas emissions stopped." So if green house gasses are the
   >ultimate cause none of us will ever see the reefs recover. Very
   >depressing. Gene
   >No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
   >------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
   >E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
   >University of South Florida
   >College of Marine Science Room 221A
   >140 Seventh Avenue South
   >St. Petersburg, FL 33701
   >Tel 727 553-1158
   >---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
   >Message: 4
   >Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2014 05:47:37 0000
   >From: Clive Wilkinson
   >Subject: Re: [Coral-List] What do coral reef scientists perceive are
   > the major threats to Caribbean coral reefs?
   >To: Sarah Young ,
   > "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov"
   > <1DFBA9E7B710074E91192EAD2A4A388E017FBFA81E at MAIN-SERVER.rrrc.local>
   >Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
   >Hi Sarah (and those interested in lists)
   >There have been many recent efforts to list the most serious threats to
   coral reefs (usually excluding non-anthropogenic stressors). May I suggest
   you start with these.
   >The first in the literature was via Bernard Salvat in the early 80s and
   threats were the theme of the 4th International Coral Reef Symposium in
   Manila with Edgardo Gomez leading the charge.
   >Don Kinsey summarised the major threats in 1988 with a focus on organic
   pollution, overfishing and excess sedimentation (Kinsey, D. W. (1988). Coral
   reef  response to some natural and anthropogenic stresses. Galaxea, 7,
   >The two plenary addresses at the 7th International Coral Reef Symposium in
   Guam focused on the threats facing coral reefs, with
   >predictions and bringing in climate change as a major threat(Buddemeier,
   1993 p. 1; Wilkinson, 1993, p. 11).
   >Barbara  Best  compiled  a list of threats in 2001 (Best, B.A. and A.
   Bornbusch (eds). Global trade and consumer choices: Coral reefs in crisis.
   Proceeding  of 2001 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the
   Advancement of Science, San Francisco, California, 19 February 2001)
   >In 2004, the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network produced this 'Top Ten'
   list, based on input from more than 200 people:
   >Global Change Threats:
   >o Coral bleaching - caused by elevated sea surface temperatures due to
   global climate change;
   >o  Rising levels of CO2 - increased concentrations of CO2 in seawater
   decrease calcification rates in coral reef organisms;
   >o Diseases, Plagues and Invasives - increases in diseases and plagues of
   coral predators that are increasingly linked to human disturbances in the
   >Direct Human Pressures:
   >o Over-fishing (and global market pressures) - the harvesting of fishes and
   invertebrates beyond sustainable yields, including the use of damaging
   practices (bomb and cyanide fishing);
   >o Sediments - from poor land use, deforestation, and dredging;
   >o Nutrients and Chemical pollution - both organic and inorganic chemicals
   carried with sediments, in untreated sewage, waste from agriculture, animal
   husbandry and industry; includes complex organics and heavy metals;
   >o Development of coastal areas - modification of coral reefs for urban,
   industrial, transport and tourism developments, including reclamation and
   the mining of coral reef rock and sand beyond sustainable limits.
   >The Human Dimension - Governance, Awareness and Political Will:
   >o  Rising poverty, increasing populations, alienation from the land -
   increasing  human  populations  put increasing pressures on coral reef
   resources beyond sustainable limits;
   >o Poor capacity for management and lack of resources - most coral reef
   countries  lack  trained  personnel for coral reef management, raising
   awareness, enforcement and monitoring; also a lack of adequate funding and
   logistic resources to implement effective conservation; and
   >o Lack of Political Will, and Oceans Governance - most problems facing
   coral reefs are tractable for solutions if there is political will and
   effective and non-corrupt governance of resources. Interventions by, and
   inertia in, global and regional organisations can impede national action to
   conserve coral reefs.
   >(Wilkinson, C.R., 2004. Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2004. Global
   Coral Reef Monitoring Network and Reef and Rainforest Research Centre,
   Townsville, p.557.)
   >This  list was expanded a bit in a paper in Marine Pollution Bulletin
   (Wilkinson, C.., Salvat, B. (2012). Coastal resource degradation in the
   tropics: does the tragedy of the commons apply for coral reefs, mangrove
   forests and seagrass beds? Marine Pollution Bulletin, 64: 1096-1105.)
   >Thus you have many lists to start with. Not all threats will apply in all
   reef areas and the order of prominence will change radically. And it is
   important to note "that everything connects to everything else" which is
   attributed to Leonardo da Vinci around 1500 and Barry Commoner in 1971. So
   the comments by Alina Szmant that the combination of climate change and
   disease fits exactly into this connection for the Caribbean.
   >Best wishes
   >Clive Wilkinson
   >PS - Sorry Gene Shinn, we have not included dust from the Sahara in our
   >Coral-List mailing list
   >Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

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