[Coral-List] The Irony of the Pope's science - is it's selectivity.

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Thu Jun 25 20:03:36 EDT 2015

     I quite disagree that overpopulation is the primary cause of all
anthropogenic climate change.  The USA has released more greenhouse gases
over the course of history than any other country, 28.8% of the world's
total, three times as much as the second ranking country (China) in the
most recent statistics available, shown below.  While the US is the world's
third largest population country by current national boundaries, it was 4th
before the breakup of the Soviet Union, and has only about 1/4 the
population of China and 1/4 the population of India.  The reason that USA
and some European countries have released so much greenhouse gas is not
because they have huge populations, it is because of industrial development
(multiplied by population, indeed, if the US had a tiny population, like
Luxumbourg, which has the highest cumulative per capita emissions, then
like Luxumbourg it would rank very low in the total national cumulative
emissions).  Greenhouse gas emissions increased much faster than population
in the US and Europe.  On the other hand, until recently, China and India
had huge populations and small greenhouse gas emissions.  Now, as they
develop rapidly, their greenhouse gas emissions have grown very rapidly,
much more rapidly than their populations.  I'm afraid blaming anthropogenic
climate change on population is the favorite thing for developed countries
do, blame it on somebody else.  Well, I say look in the mirror.  And I'm
from a developing country, the one that made by far the biggest
contribution.  We can't solve a problem unless we know what the facts are
about the problem.  And yes, to solve the problem both China and India are
critical, China is already the top current emitter and India is growing
very fast and large.  But it's not about blame, its about solving the
     As for the Pope and family planning, yes, the Roman Catholic church
has had a long history of resisting family planning (they are not the only
ones), and Pope Francis certainly didn't embrace it in this encyclical.
However, he is a relatively new Pope, and he has moved forward on a lot of
issues (also, in some countries like the US, Catholics have just as high
use of birth control as others).  Myself, I'm very appreciative of the
progress.  I am not going to attack anyone for not solving all the world's
problems in one document.  I will take what I can get, and I think we
should keep trying to move forward.  As I've said before, population
control cannot possibly avoid the coming destruction of the world's reefs
without a nuclear holocaust.  I also don't think it can solve the climate
change and global warming problems either, which are the greatest future
threat to coral reefs in many people's views.  I think these statements are
      I favor continuing to move forward to try to make progress, joining
with those who would also like to do so.  And I strongly support free
voluntary family planning for everyone around the world who wants it but
can't afford it.  Reducing population growth now will indeed reduce future
problems, larger populations multiply other problems caused by things like
development and consumption.  China has probably done more than any other
government to slow world population growth, with it's "one child family"
policy.  I don't agree with the fact that it is not voluntary, but their
government realized population was a major problem for them and did
something about it.  India has a voluntary program which has made a
significant difference too.  Population growth rates usually come down with
development as women get more education, equality, job opportunities, and
ability to control their family size.
     Cheers,  Doug

>From the World Resources Institute, cited in a web page by the Guardian:

"Historical emissions

Since carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere can stay there for centuries,
historical emissions are just as important – or even more important – than
current emissions. The tricky question of historical responsibility is one
of the key tensions in the process of negotiating a global climate deal.
The following figures from the World Resources Institute
the top 10 nations as measured by their cumulative emissions between 1850
and 2007. The US tops the list by a wide margin – though Chinese emissions
have risen significantly since these data were assembled.

1. US: 339,174 MT or 28.8%
2. China: 105,915 MT or 9.0%
3. Russia: 94,679 MT or 8.0%
4. Germany: 81,194.5 MT or 6.9%
5. UK: 68,763 MT or 5.8%
6. Japan: 45,629 MT or 3.87%
7. France: 32,667 MT or 2.77%
8. India: 28,824 MT or 2.44%
9. Canada: 25,716 MT or 2.2%
10. Ukraine: 25,431 MT or 2.2%
See all countries

On Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 3:22 AM, Durwood M. Dugger <ddugger at biocepts.com>

> While I would agree that it is ironic that the Pope is seemingly embracing
> science - I think the irony is his selectivity in the science he embraces..
> He still leads a major religion that doesn’t support birth control and or a
> woman’s right to control her reproductive destiny. This is hypocrisy at its
> worst - lecturing the world on climate change and environmental degradation
> (Did he forget to mention critical resource depletion conflicts - also
> known as war?) all the while enabling, encouraging - if not demanding
> unlimited population growth. Over population is the primary cause of all
> anthropogenic climate change, environmental degradation and resource
> conflicts. Perhaps neither climate science nor the world of political
> (includes religion) manipulation are as simple as many of you seem to think.
> Best regards,
> Durwood M. Dugger, Pres.
> ddugger at biocepts.com <mailto:ddugger at biocepts.com>
> BCI, Inc. <http://www.biocepts.com/BCI/Home.html>
> On Jun 24, 2015, at 12:00 PM, coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> <mailto:coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> wrote:
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> Today's Topics:
>   1. Re: Spratly Island update (Ulf Erlingsson)
>   2. Ecology of Caribbean Reef Fishes in Puerto Rico, USA
>      (Mithriel MacKay)
>   3. Re: Confirmation bias (Douglas Fenner)
>   4. climate Change "deniers" (David Evans)
>   5. CNN broadcast coral reef restoration (Sarah Frias-Torres)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2015 10:39:05 -0400
> From: Ulf Erlingsson <ceo at lindorm.com>
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Spratly Island update
> To: coral list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Message-ID: <2F67D62E-F214-4C73-B700-8F4D3F88523D at lindorm.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain;       charset=us-ascii
> I have to make an amendment to my statement. Since the islands in question
> are actually in Philippine waters, it would be wrong to ask the Chinese for
> permission to come in and monitor it. The request should be to the
> Philippine government, and since they don't have the military to back it up
> with, a separate request should go to the White House to provide military
> escort for the mission should the Philippine government request it.
> On 2015-06 -23, at 8:12 , Ulf Erlingsson wrote:
> >
> > On 2015-06 -22, at 17:02 , Douglas Fenner wrote:
> >
> >> Here we are, we're all
> >> doing our level best to save reefs against huge odds, and these people
> are
> >> deliberately destroying reefs and saying that the damage is "localised,
> >> temporary, controllable and restorable".  If so, let international
> >> scientists come in and take data and verify what you say.  There is no
> way
> >> they would allow that.
> >
> > I love the idea! It could be made as a public petition that people can
> sign online.
> >
> > Ulf Erlingsson, Ph.D.
> > President and CEO
> > Lindorm, Inc.
> > 10699 NW 123 St Rd
> > Medley, FL 33178
> >
> > http://lindorm.com
> > ceo at lindorm.com
> > +1-305 888 0762 office
> > +1-305 308 6334 mobile
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> >
> ------------------------------
> Message: 2
> Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2015 13:14:23 -0500
> From: Mithriel MacKay <mithriel.mackay at gmail.com>
> Subject: [Coral-List] Ecology of Caribbean Reef Fishes in Puerto Rico,
>         USA
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Message-ID:
>         <CAMzFUZ_Az9qfNQ24JsWE=Cyoren9f=qZsOoKyY1q0=
> g4gtP0nw at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> The Marine and Coastal Ecology Research Center has summer field intensive
> programs posted.
> The Ecology of Caribbean Reef Fishes and several other one week programs
> are offered at the field station in Puerto Rico USA. Prices are being
> subsidized by the coastal center to keep them low for interested university
> students and graduates.
> No experience required!
> For details and a list of other programs being offered this summer in the
> Caribbean, please visit the website (www.Marine-Eco.org) and Education
> Hub (
> www.Marine-Eco.org/mcerc-moodle). You can see our photo Gallery at
> www.Marine-Eco.Jindo.com
> Questions not covered on the links above? Wrire to Dr. MacKay at mcerc.
> mail at gmail.com.
> See you in the Caribbean!
> --
> *}-wh^ale>   **}-wh^ale>   **}-wh^ale>   **}-wh^ale>   **}-wh^ale>   *
> *}-wh^ale>*
> Mithriel M. MacKay Ph.D.
> Marine Mammal Behavioral Ecology Group
> Department of Marine Biology
> Texas A&M University, Galveston
> (830) 688-9878
> Mithriel at Marine-Eco.org <mithriel.mackay at gmail.com>
> and
> Director of Research and Education
> Marine and Coastal Ecology Research Center
> San German, Puerto Rico, USA
>     and
> Pipe Creek, Texas 78063
> Website                  www.Marine-Eco.org <http://www.marine-eco.org/>
> E-mail                     Mithriel at Marine-Eco.org <MCERC.mail at gmail.com>
> Education HUb         www.Marine-Eco.org/mcerc-moodle
> ------------------------------
> Message: 3
> Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2015 08:48:24 -1100
> From: Douglas Fenner <douglasfennertassi at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Confirmation bias
> To: Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net>
> Cc: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Message-ID:
>         <CAOEmEkHEY6zmyixYh=KgTJO1E8MOU1w=
> r5yRynx4+Dn--X4Gpg at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>     Well said, Steve, I agree!  As the leader of one of the world's
> largest religious groups, with 1.3 billion members, it is fantastic to see
> the Pope put out such a detailed document, both very supportive of
> stewardship of the environment, and science-based.  He is surely the first
> Pope with a Master's degree in Chemistry.  He clearly listened to the
> Vatican Academy of Sciences, which I've read is small but prestigious, with
> several Nobel prizewinners (yes, the Roman Catholic Church has an Academy
> of Sciences!).  Note, I would be very supportive of this even if he had
> never mentioned climate change or global warming once.  (I also don't think
> we should hold it to the standards of a peer-reviewed science paper.
> That's not what this is intended to be.)  I also have the impression that
> the Pope is not the only religious leader around the world that supports
> stewardship of the environment and listening to science, there are others
> as well (the Dali Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, comes to mind).  The way to make
> progress is to emphasize the positive and work cooperatively to benefit the
> environment (which provides us with so many ecosystem services).
>     Cheers,  Doug
> On Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 7:11 AM, Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net>
> wrote:
> > The irony here is that Pope Francis is embracing science as the basis of
> > his argument just as Galileo did. In today's world science is still being
> > challenged by some on the basis of religious dogma. But here we have the
> > pope putting this encyclical out there risking a theistic (and agnostic)
> > onslaught from all those whose orthodoxy takes issue with his
> science-based
> > perspective.. Got to admire his courage and conviction as he knowingly
> > steps into the fray. His views on the human drivers behind climate change
> > may be controversial, but it seems to me that his observations on the
> state
> > of the world's oceans and coral reefs is spot on and beyond dispute.
> >
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >
> >> On Jun 22, 2015, at 10:23 AM, Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
> > wrote:
> >>
> >> Climate change has become a religion and everyone knows arguing religion
> >> is a waste of time. Now the Pope has provided confirmation. As someone
> >> pointed out recently he represents the institution that forced Galileo
> >> to recant. Guess its time for me to  recant before I get burned at the
> >> stake. So I will stop now. 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
> >> <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
> >> Tel 727 553-1158
> >> ---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
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> > _______________________________________________
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> >
> --
> Douglas Fenner
> Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
> PO Box 7390
> Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA
> phone 1 684 622-7084
> Join the International Society for Reef Studies
> www.fit.edu/isrs/
> "belief in climate change is optional, participation is not."
> website:  http://independent.academia.edu/DouglasFenner
> blog: http://ocean.si.edu/blog/reefs-american-samoa-story-hope
> ------------------------------
> Message: 4
> Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2015 21:05:55 +0000 (UTC)
> From: David Evans <davidjevans1818 at yahoo.com>
> Subject: [Coral-List] climate Change "deniers"
> To: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Message-ID:
>         <55026069.4282759.1435093555264.JavaMail.yahoo at mail.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> All -?I honestly don't understand this. Not the climate science, that I
> understand, or at least we'll enough. What I don't understand is that this
> childish discussion is still going on. I think there are plenty of worthy
> and important discussions about climate change that certainly should and do
> take place. But this one? Really?
> I think mostly of Gene in this and I mean this with respect, but the cute
> old curmudgeon thing only goes so far. Too many times has some link or
> posted news just not panned out - was never really well based to begin
> with. Why do we have to go through that part of it every time??
> We get it. This is how science works, but can we take the childish part
> elsewhere? If you have something to discuss, can it please be based on your
> own work or on someone other than the staunch "denialists" website? Like
> maybe an actual peer reviewed science based paper or article?
> We all should stop to consider: If we are truly a scientist, what level of
> error do we give our own position - whichever that may be?
> What ever happened to the cautionary principal? Is it worthwhile to extend
> our own potential error just to make sure we choose right based on risk and
> consequences?
> If you are sticking with taking the chance no matter the expected
> consequences, ignoring the risk, what sort of evidence would you expect the
> consensus to accept in your support? (Being crochity and snarky doesn't
> count)
> Yes, a consensus can be wrong. We all accept that. But put up or shut the
> door on your way out.
> I would think coral scientists would be most in tune with what's going on
> in our changing world. Coral reefs must be one of the closest analogs to
> climate change.
> Any one can find a reef a patch that is "healthy." Does that mean reefs
> are not in danger? Corals have always changed. Does that mean this change
> is not caused by human activity? Coral degradation on massive scale is
> almost always non point source. Does that mean since we didn't catch a
> culprit with dynamite then there's nothing we're doing to affect reefs?
> We get it. You don't believe it but can you keep it on your own time and
> focus on contributing something you actually know about?
> I'm sorry. I just don't understand. I hope I wasn't rude.
> Cheers,Peace,
> David J. Evans
> ------------------------------
> Message: 5
> Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2015 01:15:05 -0400
> From: Sarah Frias-Torres <sfrias_torres at hotmail.com>
> Subject: [Coral-List] CNN broadcast coral reef restoration
> To: coral list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Message-ID: <SNT148-W52F490CC8C8B85A700DC7E81AF0 at phx.gbl>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="Windows-1252"
> CNN International will broadcast a special on Seychelles. They will
> showcase the large scale coral reef restoration project I'm leading and
> coordinating there. Below are the opening event and repeat broadcasting
> times in GMT.
> CNN InternationalINSIDE AFRICA SEYCHELLES: Coral Reef Restoration, Bird
> Island and Curieuse Island
> FIRST BROADCAST ? FRIDAY 26TH JUNE, 17:30 GMT (Repeated)Saturday 27 June:
> 04:30 GMT; 11:30 GMT ; 18:30 GMT Sunday 28 June: 01:30 GMTTuesday 30 June:
> 09:30 GMTWednesday 1 July: 04:30 GMT
> If you miss the broadcast, it will be posted online most likely after the
> 29th of June here: http://www.cnn.com/specials/africa/inside-africa
> Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. Coordinator Reef Rescuers ProgramIsland
> Conservation Centre Nature Seychelles,Amitie, Praslin, Seychelleshttp://
> www.natureseychelles.org/what-we-do/coral-reef-restoration-and-Research
> CollaboratorSmithsonian-National Museum of Natural Historyat Smithsonian
> Marine Station, Fort Pierce, FL, USATwitter: @GrouperDocBlog: http:/
> /grouperluna.wordpress.comhttp://independent.academia.edu/SarahFriasTorres
> ********************************************************
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Douglas Fenner
Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
PO Box 7390
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA

phone 1 684 622-7084

Join the International Society for Reef Studies

"belief in climate change is optional, participation is not."

Hope from the Pope


Will Pope Francis's climate message break through where others have failed?


website:  http://independent.academia.edu/DouglasFenner

blog: http://ocean.si.edu/blog/reefs-american-samoa-story-hope

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