[Coral-List] What's really killing the corals.

Martin Moe martin_moe at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 4 17:31:03 EDT 2017

Peoplereproduce, that’s what we do, that’s why we exist. If we, humanity, are topersist as an advanced technologically based civilization on this small planet,we will have to realize and accept that we, the species Homo sapiens (I’m notsure that the species designation “sapiens” is accurate), are a product of thebiological evolution of life of life on this planet, as are all species of life.And that this life is predicated on the innate internal and external ecologicalconflicts in which every species, plant and animal, must engage to achieve survival.Successful reproduction, balanced by the biological requirement for the speciesto be abundant enough to support survival of the species but not so great thatthe capability for survival is destroyed. Given time, evolution supplies that characteristic.Humanity has developed the unusual capabilities of intelligence and materialmanipulation to the extreme, and this presents an unfair survival advantage inthe biological ecosystems of this world. In past ages human populations werekept somewhat in check by disease and war, but these population controllingelements have been mitigated by technological and political innovations. Ourtechnology has allowed us to survive and expand despite the natural ecologicalchecks and balances of biological life. Our battles with nature against disease,predation, and agricultural, geological and environmental limitations, haveallowed an “unnatural” survival of our species far beyond the natural carryingcapacity of the ecology of the Earth. Unfortunately, perhaps due to the prettymuch universal beliefs that we are, in essence, supernatural beings in a predeterminedsupernatural world, we have placed ourselves above the “laws of nature”. Thuswe spend our time and effort in ways contradictory and detrimental to our continuedexistence as a species that could, if we but recognized it, control our destinyin keeping with the biological requirements of both the Earth and our species. Warand conflict guided by capitulation to a central authority figure seems to beinherent in the way our societies function; which probably aided tribalsurvival in the distant, and recent, past. Despite great efforts in recenttimes to end war and conflict this still seems to be the path toward survivaland dominance that our societies continue to favor. Hopefully, hopefully, wewill find path to the future that will provide for survival of our speciesbefore our species destroys the Earth that gave us birth. Survival of our coralreefs could well be the indicator of our progress in a positive direction.


    On Monday, July 3, 2017 4:49 PM, Magnus L Johnson <M.Johnson at hull.ac.uk> wrote:

 Hi All,

Some folks have bigger feet than others.  Americans/Europeans and Australians should definitely wear condoms. 6-8 Indians ~ 1 American/European in terms of resource use.

I used to run the Hofstra Marine Station in Jamaica (about 20 years ago when Eugene Kaplan was the director).  We did a bit of outreach work with local kids.  We ran a session once where we showed a video on coral reefs and fish.  At the end of it a wee girl (probably about 9-10years old) came up and ever so shyly asked "Was that real?"  I almost cried.

Those are the problems.  We in the west use too much and spew CO2 into the atmosphere.  Those inhabiting the areas with reefs predominantly don't have a chance or the resources to appreciate what they have.

Education, education, education.

Cheers, Magnus

From: John Ogden [mailto:jogden at usf.edu]
Sent: 03 July 2017 17:29
To: Peter Sale <sale at uwindsor.ca>; coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov; Magnus L Johnson <M.Johnson at hull.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: What's really killing the corals.

Hi Peter and all,  OK, I think we pretty much agree and probably have for decades.  But if policies are going to change, we need a focal point on something that has a good chance of being achieved.  Right now ICRI is working on the materials for the announcement of the third International Year of the Reef (IYOR) in 2018.  Presently, the goals look disturbingly like those of the first IYOR in 1997.  Is there a policy focus suitable for  IYOR 2018 that can be achieved?  For example, is it conceivable that the global coral reef community could rise up with one voice to push the Paris COP climate agenda?

On 7/3/2017 12:02 PM, Peter Sale wrote:
Hi Magnus,
I think I said it clearly some years ago:  Save a reef; use a condom.
There are more elegant ways of saying so, but until humanity grapples effectively with our over-sized footprint on this planet, coral reefs and most other ecosystems are in for a very rough ride.  Eventually, we will be shuffled off and the planet will soldier on, but I'd like to believe humanity is capable of the wisdom needed to do a much better job of managing our negative environmental impacts than we have been doing of late.  It takes a strong ethical belief that other life has rights, considerable humility, plus some technical expertise - these are all attributes we can develop, if we want to.

Peter Sale
University of Windsor
sale at uwindsor.ca<mailto:sale at uwindsor.ca>


John C. Ogden

USF Professor Emeritus, Integrative Biology

190 18th Avenue North

St. Petersburg, FL 33704 USA

Cell: 727-641-4673

Email: jogden at usf.edu<mailto:jogden at usf.edu>



To view the terms under which this email is 
distributed, please go to 
Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov


More information about the Coral-List mailing list