[Coral-List] pushing Paris while pulling no punches

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 5 11:02:44 EDT 2017

Les, so here's my concern. As I see it, there needs to be an unequivocal connection made between the two messages rather than a disconnect. After all, you pointed out that it is important to both kill climate change and cultivate corals. What I see and hear in the public domain is often a hot story that might lead one to believe that we can save coral reefs by manual restoration or some other local action (alone). These efforts are rarely characterized as an important part of a broader agenda. It seems to me that many would prefer to avoid any mention of climate change in an effort to solidify support.. I get that, but in doing so they may (unknowingly) be providing cover to those who would like to take climate change off the table. What's wrong with a clear and consistent message that emphasizes that restoration efforts (and all the other actions addressing local impacts from overfishing to sunscreen) are important, but that if we really want to save coral reefs we must link these efforts with clear and decisive action against climate change?   

Steve Mussman

Sent from my iPad

> On Jul 3, 2017, at 6:34 PM, Kaufman, Leslie S <lesk at bu.edu> wrote:
> John, pushing Paris is a wonderful idea, especially now, and especially with some good voices from out of the US loud enough to drown the din of our Twitter In Chief.  Throwing rotten fruit at the Trump show may be therapeutic, but better still is to just change the channel.
> I would also suggest that we do the one-two: push Paris, but also put out a welcome mat for reefs to return to.  I think most of us realize that the debate over why coral reefs are deteriorating is sterile- you know, whether it is climate change or local impacts (overfishing, overdevelopment, overpopulation, lousy watershed stewardship).  Without battling climate change we are screwed, but even doing so, if we do not also recreate the enabling conditions for coral reef growth, then we are shanked.   We should also exercise caution in berating manual restoration as futile, for it is going to prove a welcome adjunct in this recently recruitment-limited ocean.  We’ve brought the ocean  to a new low and it may take a little encouragement to love it back to life.  Think of the “lost Franklinia,”  the gorgeous North American camellia, Franklinia alatamaha.  Minus the admiration of the Bartrams and subsequent generations of ambitious gardeners, this magnificent small tree from a tiny last redoubt in Georgia, would surely be extinct.  Or think of the American chestnut, for which hope that it might one day return as a bulwark of eastern US deciduous forests is literally growing, today, in experimental gardens.  Now, in the same mental frame, think Atlantic acroporid corals.
> It might be advisable to separate the two messages: killing climate change and cultivating corals, to keep each point simple, forceful, and in its proper context.  Dealing with climate change is essential on so many levels, and for so many reasons, that it stands alone.  Meanwhile, however, in our basic science and clinical practices alike, we should be reinforcing the importance of responsible stewardship for anything good to happen and stay happening in our children’s and grandchildren’s lives.
> Les
> Les Kaufman
> Professor of Biology
> Boston University Marine Program
> Faculty Fellow, Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future
> and
> Conservation Fellow
> Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science
> Conservation International
> lesk at bu.edu<mailto:lesk at bu.edu>
> Message: 6
> Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2017 12:29:08 -0400
> From: John Ogden <jogden at usf.edu<mailto:jogden at usf.edu>>
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] What's really killing the corals.
> To: Peter Sale <sale at uwindsor.ca<mailto:sale at uwindsor.ca>>, "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov<mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>"
> <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov<mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>>, Magnus L Johnson
> <M.Johnson at hull.ac.uk<mailto:M.Johnson at hull.ac.uk>>
> Message-ID: <3b9865f5-3413-2189-6153-9a99dd91700e at usf.edu<mailto:3b9865f5-3413-2189-6153-9a99dd91700e at usf.edu>>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"; format=flowed
> 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?
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