[Coral-List] Consensus statements in general

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Tue Oct 27 13:46:46 EDT 2015

Dear Listers,

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I recognize that coral scientists are not of one mind, but I need to be able to gauge the level of support that exists for the consensus statement recently put out by the ISRS. (It can be found here): https://www.openchannels.org/sites/default/files/ISRS%20Consensus%20Statement%20on%20Coral%20Bleaching%20%26%20Climate%20Change.pdf
It differs somewhat from an earlier (2012) ICRS consensus statement found here: http://www.icrs2012.com/Consensus_Statement.htm

I understand that there are differences between these two declarations, but I want to focus on their similarities. 

They both emphasize the fact that climate change presents perhaps the ultimate threat to coral reefs. As I see it, the ISRS statement focuses only on CO2 emissions whereas the ICRS statement goes on to mention more about the role of local stressors. 

Rather than debate every minutia, is it accurate to assume that the coral science community generally supports the spirit and intent of both statements?  I think that it does, but quietude is difficult to interpret. I need feedback and getting scientists to commit is apparently like herding cats. I don't expect 8,000 responses, but can someone just step up and publicly confirm or reject my basic supposition?  


-----Original Message-----
>From: Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net>
>Sent: Oct 23, 2015 11:49 AM
>To: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
>Subject: [Coral-List] Consensus statement and sunscreens
>I recognize that coral scientists are not of one mind, but can I say categorically that the consensus statement recently put out by the ISRS (International Society for Reef Studies) has as close to universal backing as is possible considering the divergent nature of independent thought?  I want to promote it within the diving industry, but don't want to portray it as having a unifying level of support if that turns out to be a distortion of the facts. 
>As for sunscreen toxicity, I am concerned that statements like "any small effort to reduce oxybenzone pollution could mean that a coral reef survives a long, hot summer, or that a degraded area recovers" could be misleading in that it may be taken to suggest that we can offset the impacts of other local and global stressors if we can just manage to eliminate sunblock. PADI's website now contains a cautionary message about sunscreens and their effect on corals and even goes further to mention that other threats such as coastal pollution, overfishing, and marine debris are a greater threat to marine life . . . but still there remains no mention of climate change. 
>Steve Mussman
>Sea Lab Diving      
>Coral-List mailing list
>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

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