[Coral-List] pushing Paris while pulling no punches

David Obura dobura at cordioea.net
Thu Jul 6 01:51:27 EDT 2017

Les - I agree with you! Not really a surprise ...
We need, as you say " two messages: killing climate change and cultivating corals ”
This is the message we put into the latest report out on World Heritage reef sites led by Scott Heron and Mark Eakin, and that I credit to Ove for its application in the context of the IPCC and the Paris Climate COP and high level messaging. In the report we framed it as:
"Reduced atmospheric CO2 pathways give corals time to adapt and provide two key opportunities, through: 1. improving opportunities for adaptation by corals … ; and
 2. expanding opportunities for the research and development of new solutions”

#1 and #2 won’t happen without dealing with CO2, but #2 won’t happen if we don’t do everything we can to find them.
At the same time - we must be honest about the limitations of solutions we may be passionate about today.
best, David

http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1676/ [http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1676/]

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/06/almost-all-29-coral-reefs-un-world-heritage-list-damaged-bleaching [http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/06/almost-all-29-coral-reefs-un-world-heritage-list-damaged-bleaching]

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REPLY TO: ------------------------------

Message: 3
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2017 22:34:50 +0000
From: "Kaufman, Leslie S" < lesk at bu.edu [lesk at bu.edu] >
Subject: [Coral-List] pushing Paris while pulling no punches
To: Coral List < coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] >
Message-ID: < 9BE25346-D487-4545-A0F4-8115406A8778 at bu.edu [9BE25346-D487-4545-A0F4-8115406A8778 at bu.edu] >
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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 Kaufman

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