[Coral-List] whats really killing the corals

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Thu Jul 6 16:52:48 EDT 2017

     Coral-list goes out around the world and many readers are outside the
US and have never seen the Geiko ads.  I take your parable as meaning the
same thing as when people sometimes say something like 'this is going to be
the best documented death of coral reefs ever', or 'recording what happens
to coral reefs is like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic for a
better view.'  Indeed, we need to do something about the problems, not just
record the death of reefs (if I remember, you took photos of the same coral
decade after decade until most everything was dead).  Though in defense of
the scientists who study the problem, we also need to know what the problem
is and what tools are effective, things scientists are finding out (if you
don't know what the problem is, how can you fix it?).  Someone has to raise
the alarm when there is a fire, or the fire dept. crew won't know there is
a fire to put out.  Scientists are raising the alarm.  In my view, there
are a lot of people (managers, low paid NGO people, etc etc) out there
trying to do something about reef decline, and most of them are working
flat out, doing the best they can.  I agree, it is not enough.  But on the
broader view, the world's human community has not provided the resources
(money, effort) that would be needed to solve these problems.  Coral reefs
are not at the top of the list of concerns of the world's people right now,
rather they are quite low on a very long list.  And in fact, I think humans
that do things that damage reefs are always doing those things because
those things provide benefits to them personally.  People don't damage
reefs just for the fun of it.  That suggests they aren't going to stop what
they are doing if we just politely ask them, and in fact groups will fight
tooth and nail to keep doing what they are doing, such as fishermen who
want to keep fishing (and if it is to feed their children, as it is for
most poor reef fishermen around the world, I have great sympathy for them),
or farmers who want to keep clearing land and using fertilizer, developers
who want to build things, people who cut forests, people who burn fossil
fuels or get paid to find oil to drill, and so on and on.  But speaking of
're-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic', isn't arguing for no action
on global warming (after arguing for years that there is no global warming)
an example of that?
     Cheers,  Doug

On Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 6:07 AM, Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>

> Coral-listers that have cable TV may have seen the Geico commercial that
> is shown several times each day. It shows people lying on the floor of a
> Bank looking up at a man in a uniform that looks like a bank guard. They
> tell him, "we are being robbed aren't you going to do anything about
> it?"  The man replies "I am not a guard." I am just here to monitor the
> situation" He looks over at the men with guns at says "Yes, it is a
> robbery." Those who monitor coral reefs might appreciate the analogy. Gene
> --
> No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
> ------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
> E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
> University of South Florida
> College of Marine Science Room 221A
> 140 Seventh Avenue South
> St. Petersburg, FL 33701
> <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
> Tel 727 553-1158
> ---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
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Douglas Fenner
Contractor for NOAA NMFS Protected Species, and consultant
PO Box 7390
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA

phone 1 684 622-7084

New online open-access field guide to 300 coral species in Chagos, Indian

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