[Coral-List] ISRS Consensus Statement - how to support it

Abigail Moore abigail2105 at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 5 10:44:48 EST 2015

Dear Steve and fellow Coral-Listers
1. I personally strongly support the ISRS statement and most of my colleagues and friends certainly support the gist of the statement, as evidenced by many remarks and presentations at numerous events and informal meetings over recent years - even though with it being in English most couldn't appreciate the finer points even if they knew about it.
2. I have no idea how I or anyone else can actually show support in a meaningful way - e.g. via signing on a petition supporting the statement. Therefore my support is only "moral", internal and not visible or potentially useful in the crucial global debate now underway. I consider that just writing to/on this list in itself is not enough to make any real difference.
3. Unfortunately at present I don't have the resources (and indeed lack suitable credentials) to do so, but I do so hope you or someone (on/associated with this list and/or the ISRS) can organise a way for the silent majority on this list - and the many many other people around the world who I am sure would support this statement - to show the world leaders how much so many of us care, and put as much weight as possible behind this statement. Perhaps using something like AVAAZ, CARE2,Change.org etc, or even via social media like Facebook etc. 
I also think it would be worth putting the statement (or at least a synopsis) and associated vehicle for showing support into several languages, not ony for non-English speaking people in "1st World" countries but also people living in key coral reef areas like the Coral Triangle and Pacific. While most reef scientists have at the very least a basic working knowledge of English, most reef stakeholders and most people who could form a potential "reef constituency" do not. However vast and increasing numbers do have access to the internet, and especially to social media.

Yours in hopeAbigail
Abigail MooreSekolah Tinggi Perikanan dan Kelautan (STPL-Palu)Kampus MadaniJl Soekarno-Hatta km 6Palu 94118Sulawesi TengahIndonesia

Message: 3
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2015 13:05:02 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
From: Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Consensus statements in general
To: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
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I just wanted to say that I appreciate every response that I received from a small, but very distinguished group of coral-listers. I particularly want to thank Jeremy Jackson, who in my opinion epitomizes the role of what a marine scientist should be in today's world. I'm referring to showing the courage to back up research findings with a robust level of public advocacy. At least part of the reason that we haven't made more progress in winning over public support for protecting coral reefs from the ravages of climate change and a host of local stressors can be traced to a less than powerful voice emanating from researchers on the front lines. How can I hope to succeed in promoting awareness and facilitating change within the diving industry when the vast majority of marine scientists (whose published works are the very basis of my appeal) refuse to take a public stand?  Perhaps many of you don't think that supporting consensus statements is important, but what your backing 
 does is to create a quantifiable assessment of the level of support and that is often what sways public opinion. My own working group is now hesitant to promote the ISRS statement within the the diving community in part because it is unclear as to the level of peer-reviewed support with which it has been received. No wonder there is hesitancy and inaction. Ironically, almost every paper that I read on the impacts of climate change on corals seems to me to be "like a firebell in the night", but too quickly those recurrent alarms become muted by what appears to be indifference. I think that the scientists among you have a responsibility to sort this out .. . .  Are our coral reefs on the brink or not?  My own anecdotal evaluation, based on observations spanning over a half-century now, are not enough. To illustrate how bad it has become, I'm beginning to see how the argument put forth by some that coral scientists are just riding a popular wave in order to obtain grant money c
 an gain credibility . . . and I never thought that I would ever think or say anything like that.    Steve Mussman      


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