[Coral-List] Florida's barrier reef seen doomed by 2000

Peter Sale sale at uwindsor.ca
Wed Jul 15 15:52:06 EDT 2015

Hi Gene and listers,
Yes, old news reports can bring back memories.  Thanks for sharing.

Some will immediately latch onto the date, 2000, and say, "hey, there is 
still some living reef here, therefore those ancient scientists did not 
know what they were talking about."  Others may latch onto Walter Jaap's 
dismissal re the amount of reef area sampled as further proof against 
those ancient scientists.  Others may vaguely (or more clearly) remember 
that it is not the total area in sample plots, but their dispersion across 
the area and how their data are handled statistically that determines 
whether the sampling was adequate.  And others will reflect on the real 
message conveyed by Shinn, Porter, Ogden and others:  that the Florida 
reef tract was in decline, that there were diseases and pollution, and 
likely too many people -- and these others will know that those 
observations were correct back then, and that things have not improved 
very much if at all since then, except that the question of whether we are 
the cause, or whether climate change is involved is now in far less doubt 
(emphatic yes to both).

No, it did not "disappear" by 2000, but we still seem to ignore the need 
to substantially change our behavior in order to give it much chance for 
the future.
And the Florida reef tract is just one of many reef regions around the 
world where our conservation efforts could be far more robust than they 
have been to date.

Gene keep up your photo documentation effort.  we need a visual history 
for that day in the future when we finally want to see exactly what the 
Anthropocene has wrought.

Peter Sale

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