[Coral-List] Re Thank you ISRS!

Maoz Fine Maoz.Fine at biu.ac.il
Wed Jan 6 08:48:33 EST 2016

I tend to agree with Christian re ICRS.
We tend to blame national economies and large industries for the outrageous greenhouse gas emissions but basically we may have a culture conflict. The “carbon-hungry” culture to which most of us belong to has an irresponsible demand for carbon. As carriers of the anti-climate change flag, we teach our students, try to educate the public through outreach, advise stakeholders, and spread the word about the hazards of continued emission trends.
As scientists we should be the first to serve as an example and reduce our own carbon footprint. Yet we fly thousands of km to preach to the converted in conferences and meetings. So maybe scientists don’t fully believe in the consequences?
Personally, I feel it is immoral being responsible for 5 tons of carbon emissions for an event such as the ICRS, while lecturing to students and the public that we will probably have to reduce such emissions globally to 2 tons per person per year. I felt so in the previous ICRS and didn’t attend and more so today. I just cannot go for a dive on beautiful reefs, think of their future and then hop on a transatlantic/Pacific flight the next day.
Most of us already travel for research trips and family holidays and this  adds to a significant emission contribution. So as much as I would have liked to attend in person, meet friends and learn what’s new, I think we just cannot afford it in terms of our credibility.  I’m sure the ICRS is going to be an amazing event but it is time to consider a cultural and behavioral change even within our coral reef science community. To save reefs, we must take serious measures such as removing local disturbances and pushing hard to reduce emissions.
I call for a discussion at the ICRS about this issue and means of maintaining scientist’s credibility while networking and communicating.  At a minimum, we should promote the use of teleconferencing and related internet technologies. Encouraging such means of communication will also generate a market for improved and advanced capabilities.


Maoz Fine PhD
Professor of Marine Ecology
The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University
The Interuniversity Institute for Marine Science in Eilat, P.O.B 469 Eilat 88103, Israel

  * regarding the ICRS13: are there studies that prove that these
    massive CO2 emitting events are necessary for our science? and even
    if yes, is it morally acceptable to put our science over the lives
    of humans? If somebody asks us in 30 years why we did not pause our
    global meetings to contribute to emission reductions and set a sign
    for alternatives, will our answer be that we had to finish more
    papers? we knew all the facts, but preferred to stick to our habits?!

  * volunteers are needed? let's start calling them! let's use the
    remaining time before ICRS and every sessions to contribute to
    solutions. Let's ask for money to prepare these solutions. We can
    start now.



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