[Coral-List] Half-earth: our planet's fight for life

Magnus Johnson m.johnson at hull.ac.uk
Mon Mar 7 17:45:29 EST 2016

Hi David,

All good points and yes I want to read the book too.  I like Hilborn because he is often right and he is one of few willing to stick their neck out and remind folks that there is another side to the story.  Re the point you raise about the 50% and people live there, read Dowie's book "Conservation Refugees".

Also worth reading for another perspective is the stuff from The Breakthrough Institute, http://thebreakthrough.org/  (I don't agree with all of it but it's thought provoking)

cheers, Magnus


From: David Evans [davidjevans1818 at yahoo.com]
Sent: 07 March 2016 19:29
To: Coral List
Subject: Re: Half-earth: our planet's fight for life

Hi Magnus, All,

I also certainly respect EO Wilson's work and invaluable perspective on science, nature, and our human relation to each of those.

I have not yet read his book, but it certainly looks interesting and worthwhile.

I think the issue, especially with Hilborn's critique, may be a factor of jumping the gun a bit on what he has laid out in his book. It seems that Ray's critique is based primarily on the interview piece in the New York Times.. I respect Ray Hilborn as well, but I know he approaches the conservation question from a sustainable fishery management perspective, which I do think is also valuable. I just think that relaying the broader concepts that it sounds like Wilson is trying to highlight is difficult to relay in an interview. I'm willing to wait for the book to draw conclusions.

I listened to an interview on Public Radio's Science Friday (March 6) and was intrigued especially when a caller (a field researcher in the Amazon) brought up the point that people live in these places (the 50% of the earth) and they depend on the resources from them. Wilson did not at all seem to discount this point or to forsake these folks and he seemed to think there was a way to "manage" and allow their "hunting" and resource harvesting. Presumably for local sustenance? I don't know.

I just don't know how realistic he is approaching this, but I suppose that is laid out in the book. I also think Hilborn's perspective is worth bearing in mind, but I'd like to apply it once I better know what Wilson actually has to say about his idea, not to a NYTimes article or NPR interview. I think that most people who hear the idea are rightfully skeptical of the practicality of setting aside 50% of the Earth, let alone the Ocean. Though I think we can all agree (at least the rational and reasonable among us) that "resource" depletion and habitat fouling is reaching critical levels around the world.

If nothing else, I'd like to know more even if it's just for its aspirational value and its valuable insights into this crazy ride on planet Earth. I'd hate to live in a world without dreamers and a world without practicality could get pretty hairy... Just my thoughts.


David J. Evans


Message: 2
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2016 13:35:11 +0000
From: "Magnus  Johnson" <m.johnson at hull.ac.uk<mailto:m.johnson at hull.ac.uk>>
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Half-earth: our planet's fight for life
To: Coral-List Subscribers <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov<mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>>
    <8A3EA8C56DC9804680CDA8CD57F3FFD5FB473F3B at PAT-DG1.scar.hull.ac.uk<mailto:8A3EA8C56DC9804680CDA8CD57F3FFD5FB473F3B at PAT-DG1.scar.hull.ac.uk>>
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I like EO Wilson's writing and admire his career/achievements but it's worth reading a critique of his suggestion that 50% of the ocean should be "protected".


-----Original Message-----
From: Vassil Zlatarski [mailto:vzlatarski at gmail.com<mailto:vzlatarski at gmail..com>]
Sent: 07 March 2016 11:51
To: Coral-List Subscribers
Subject: [Coral-List] Half-earth: our planet's fight for life

Dear colleagues,

This week appears new book by the world's preeminent biologist and leader of efforts for preservation of biodiversity Edward O. Wilson "Half-earth:
our planet's fight for life".


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