[Coral-List] coral reefs and human population growth

Peter Sale sale at uwindsor.ca
Sat Nov 1 21:23:12 EDT 2014

Hi again, a second late response to several posts,
Initially, I had planned not to comment on Alina's comment re the issue of 
human population growth.  However, I feel compelled.
Anybody who heard, and still remembers, my paper at the 11th ICRS in Fort 
Lauderdale, will know that I also believe the continued growth of the 
global human population is a major problem for any environmental 
conservation we want to undertake.

That being said, I think it is dangerously wrong to take the approach that 
this issue is so important that we might as well forget about everything 
else until we fix it.  Current projections show population trending down 
late this century.  Pandemics, war and other unanticipated events could 
trend it down more steeply, so we are not really sure what is going to 
happen.  But regardless of what the actual population trend turns out to 
be, it makes sense to work to maximize the sustainability of natural 
ecosystems, and especially ones like coral reefs that are so clearly at 
real risk of serious degradation or even total loss.  It is also very 
appropriate to use whatever power we each have to influence opinion on the 
major question of GHG emissions.

My original post re repair of coral reefs was to make the point that we 
(globally) are not doing enough, and nowhere near what we could do, to 
remediate local impacts on coral reef systems, and to argue that we should 
do a lot more, and not become complacent re current mediocre performance. 
I mentioned we also needed to try our best to infleunce the debate on GHG 
emissions.  And it goes without saying that we should articulate reasoned 
arguments for the benefits of making family planning services as readily 
available as possible, and for the benefits to humanity of engineering a 
steeper decline than currently appears likely in the rate of growth of our 
global population.  We need to bring all our demands on this planet down 
towards sustainable levels as quickly as we can.

And, finally, Alina.  Don't retire from coral-list.  we need you, and 
repetition is what we older reef scientists do!

sale at uwindsor.ca                 @PeterSale3
www.uwindsor.ca/sale           www.petersalebooks.com

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