[Coral-List] CO2 risks for coral reefs

Sarah Frias-Torres sfrias_torres at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 26 12:20:53 EDT 2015

The scientists of the Manhattan Project, headed by Robert Oppenheimer, lobbied to avoid nuclear proliferation and a nuclear arms race between the USA and the Soviet Union. As the keepers of knowledge for nuclear power it was all they could do to redeem their actions because they had created death with the atomic bomb. 
Coral reef scientists are the keepers of knowledge (for coral reefs, of course). We have not built an atomic bomb. But our lack of action to lobby for massive reduction and eventual elimination of CO2 emissions will cause irrevocable death to coral reefs. We can kill due to our lack of action.
What are we afraid of? Is lobbying a dirty word? What are we willing to risk to save coral reefs? The time we spend being proactive, we'll divert from publishing a couple of papers, not writing that grant, or something else.If we do nothing, Can we live with the knowledge we let the rainforests of the ocean die in our watch?
I want to stand up and be counted. There are others in this list who agree with what Peter Sale wrote and perhaps what I'm writing here. Let's get organized. The clock stops November 30, 2015

Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. Twitter: @GrouperDocBlog: http://grouperluna.wordpress.comhttp://independent.academia.edu/SarahFriasTorres

> Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2015 15:54:30 -0400
> From: sealab at earthlink.net
> To: sale at uwindsor.ca; eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu; coral-list at coral.aoml..noaa.gov
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] CO2 risks for coral reefs
>    Accepting the status quo and continuing to manage coral reefs as best we can
>    is  only  acceptable  if  one finds it satisfactory to do nothing when
>    confronted with a confirmable and transcendent crisis. At the moment there
>    still seems to be cause for hope, but time is running out. I don't see how
>    people of conscience have any choice but to advocate for a comprehensive and
>    proactive approach as Peter suggests. We can all come up with reasons to
>    doubt and question the current level of national and international will to
>    take  on  this  challenge,  but  that  in no way justifies inaction or
>    indifference.
>    -----Original Message-----
>    >From: Peter Sale
>    >Sent: Aug 21, 2015 12:24 PM
>    >To: "eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu" , "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov"
>    >Subject: [Coral-List] CO2 risks for coral reefs
>    >
>    >Gene,
>    >Agree with the sentiment, but disagree slightly on the details of what you
>    said.  1)  Yes,  it  will  take  time, but we can be passive and see a
>    long-drawn-out shift away from fossil fuels, or we can be more pro-active
>    and achieve the shift much more rapidly - second is clearly preferable if we
>    want   to   minimize   damage  to  the  oceans,  and  2)  as  well  as
>    reducing/eliminating CO2 emissions, we can maximize rates at which CO2 is
>    taken out of the atmosphere by encouraging reforestation and afforestation,
>    encouraging no-till farming practices and use of perennial rather than
>    annual crops, and by developing technologies for sequestering CO2, CH4
>    preferably in solid materials, either capturing the gases at source, or
>    extracting them from the atmosphere. The new technologies would increase the
>    rate at which we pull atmospheric concentrations back, thereby getting reefs
>    and oceans back to a less damaging place.
>    >
>    >In other words, we can be more proactive in reducing damage to reefs and
>    oceans  from warming and acidification. If we do this, and also act to
>    actually manage the local pressures of overfishing and pollution, we bring
>    reefs through this tight spot relatively unscathed. If we go forward as we
>    currently are doing, making minimal efforts to reduce GHG emissions, reefs
>    disappear, and the oceans are seriously acidified, both to the detriment of
>    humanity because we need the goods and services they provide us.
>    >
>    >Main effort at present should be to push, in advance of Paris talks, for
>    CO2 less than 350ppm - a much more demanding target than the 2 degree limit
>    set at Copenhagen.
>    >
>    >Peter Sale
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