[Coral-List] Coral Reef Degradation

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Sat Jul 30 12:08:51 EDT 2016

Dear Esther,
For sure ecological impacts due to climate change are a direct threat to human populations as well as to coral reefs and other marine and terrestrial ecosystems. My frustration with the leadership of the scuba diving industry in light of their refusal to acknowledge and promote understanding of this issue reflects on "the big picture" as you described it . . .  their lack of involvement and advocacy contributes to further delay the implementation of policies and actions that could actually begin to turn things around. Ironically, their inaction and complacency will only further contribute to their own demise. We still have not found an effective way to end the debate and accept what appears to be a virtual unanimous opinion (at least among marine scientists here on list) that the science is settled and climate change must be effectively and resolutely addressed if we are to have any hope of conserving coral reefs for generations to come. DEMA's forceful response to the bloom of toxic cyanobacteria is laudable, but we can't wait until our coral reefs are all so obviously dead or dying to call for action on climate change. By then I fear it will clearly be a case of too little coming way too late.      Steve    

-----Original Message-----
>From: Esther Peters <estherpeters at verizon.net>
>Sent: Jul 28, 2016 6:02 PM
>To: "Bruno, John" <jbruno at unc.edu>, "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>, Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net>
>Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Coral Reef Degradation
>Hi Steve,
>I think we need to change the conversation: if the reefs are not safe 
>for the corals or other organisms living on them, humans are also not 
>safe. Dennis Hubbard pointed that out in a recent coral-list message. We 
>need to look at the big picture and figure out how to get others to 
>understand and, more importantly, take action!
>Esther Peters
>George Mason University
>Fairfax, VA
>On 7/28/2016 11:39 AM, Bruno, John wrote:
>> Dear Steve, yes I agree.  My only quibble is that reefs in no take Caribbean MPAs already have been greatly impacted by warming. And that is not going too far; the prognosis is that they are pretty much toast under the “business as usual” emissions scenario (A2/RCP 8.5), e.g., http://gci.uq.edu.au/climate-change-threatens-survival-of-coral-reefs
>> JB
>>> Dear John,
>>> How would I express your findings in layman's terms if I wanted to advise and inform an audience composed of dive industry professionals?  Would I be consistent with your findings if I said . . . "it is certainly beneficial to address local stressors, but we should not lose sight of the fact that even the world's most "pristine" reefs like those found in remote areas of the Pacific and well-managed, no take MPAs in the Caribbean will eventually succumb to the impacts of a warming world if we don't take aggressive and timely steps to address climate change"?  Is that going too far?  What's the prognosis for the world's best coral reefs if we just continue to do business as usual?
>>> Steve Mussman
>>> Sea Lab Diving
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