[Coral-List] Earth Optimism

Nancy Knowlton knowltonn at gmail.com
Thu Mar 2 14:38:35 EST 2017

Two posts just appearing now have prompted me to sit down and write this
one which I have been meaning to write for a couple of weeks.  Michael
Burgass has invited you to the Conservation Optimism summit in the UK
(below).  And Robert Nowicki has just posted: "As members of the scientific
community we have a good idea of what needs to be done at multiple levels
(from individual to global) to curb climate change and the impacts it has.
Yet I hear the retort "Well, there's nothing we can do, is there?" all the

So to put these in context, here at the Smithsonian we are hosting the
Earth Optimism Summit 21-23 April (so perfect for those of you who are
closer to DC than the UK).  As part of this 18 month effort we have spread
the word and the result is an entire multitude of sister Earth Optimism and
related events that you can find on our website, including two events in
the UK.  For info on these go to:


the site gives you information about what is happening where and also how
to plan your own. If you are so inspired, let us know and we will post it
with the others.  For those of you familiar with #OceanOptimism (which has
now reached over 70,000,000 accounts!) this is its now very big baby.

Ours is "by invitation" in the sense that we can seat about 1200 people but
we are not trying to individually invite 2000 people to get to this number
as that is way beyond our bandwidth.  Instead we are using trusted networks
to spread the word, and in particular reach out to friends and friends of
friends now as there is an early bird rate that expires March 10th.  Coral
list is definitely a trusted network!!

There will be nearly 180 speakers in fields ranging from traditional
conservation of species and spaces to reducing pollution to renewable
energy to the role of philanthropy, venture capital, the media and the
arts.  We have chosen our speakers on the basis of 1) a documented success
and 2) the ability to tell a compelling story.  this will not be a standard
meeting at all. So not only are there things that can be done, there is
already a lot being done!

I encourage you to consider registering for this and I will send the
invitation itself in the next post.  The web site tends to lag behind the
program development so I am happy to send you the complete program as it
stands as a pdf if you wish.

cheers, nancy knowlton

On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 11:12 AM, Burgass, Michael <
m.burgass14 at imperial.ac.uk> wrote:

> Dear all,
> For those interested in changing the discourse around (marine)
> conservation then I urge you to head over to www.conservationoptimism.org
> and attend our summit April 21-22 at Dulwich College in London, U.K. - with
> a public outreach day at London Zoo on Earth Day (Saturday 23rd April). The
> summit is hosted by a partnership of the University of Oxford, Zoological
> Society of London and Durrell Conservation Trust with the aim of reframing
> the conservation movement by celebrating positive thinking in conservation,
> and putting forward a road map for change towards an optimistic and
> forward-thinking future. Registration is now open and we have an amazing
> array of plenary speakers and workshops lined up.
> Best regards,
> Mike
> -----Original Message-----
> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:
> coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Risk, Michael
> Sent: 30 January 2017 13:28
> To: Douglas Fenner <douglasfennertassi at gmail.com>;
> coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] #oceanoptimism, sort of...
> Hi Doug.
> I have not read Peter's essay, but with respect to the structure "will
> remain long after the coral ecosystem is dead", we can put some numbers on
> "long after."
> Tom Tomascik has described the death of the reefs around Jakarta,
> something that occurred long before the global climate changed. Judging by
> what can be seen on a transect from the inner harbour up into Pulau Seribu
> (Thousand Islands) we are talking about 15-20 years to go from a complex
> three-dimensional (but dead) reefal structure to a low-lying array of
> boulders. Not a long time.
> ________________________________________
> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> [coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml...noaa.gov] on behalf of Douglas Fenner [
> douglasfennertassi at gmail.com]
> Sent: January 29, 2017 11:19 AM
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] #oceanoptimism, sort of...
>       I would agree that we in developed countries do not have to have
> coral reef ecosystems, the many countries that don't have reefs don't have
> to have them, and humans as a species will not disappear if coral reef
> ecosystems as we know them disappear.  In fact most humans would hardly be
> affected, and many wouldn't know.  But there are probably around 100
> million people in poor countries that live along coasts and are heavily
> dependent on coral reef fish for food to survive.  Many of these people are
> only steps away from malnutrition if not starvation.  The loss of coral
> reef ecosystems will have huge impacts on them as most of the fish
> disappear after the loss of their habitat (death of the coral will likely
> have minor effects on fish, but collapse of the skeletons will; dead rubble
> beds have few fish).  Two of the top countries are Indonesia with 230
> million people and 16% of the world's coral reefs and the Philippines with
> 100 million people and about 8% of the world's coral reefs, but there are
> many other tropical countries in a similar situation, because most
> countries with coral reefs are poor.  The people most dependent on reefs
> did not cause global warming, and they have little if any international
> clout to push for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
>      I completely agree that coral reefs are the canaries in the mine
> shaft, and the northern Great Barrier Reef is a stern warning of what is
> going to happen if we don't get greenhouse gas emissions reduced, and fast.
>      On a different topic, I note that Peter points out in his essay that
> the rocks that make up the reefs will remain long after the coral ecosystem
> is dead.  I think that's correct.
>     Cheers,  Doug
> On Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 9:37 PM, Peter Sale <sale at uwindsor.ca> wrote:
> > Brendan and others on the list,
> > Nice to see people looking at ways to get the message out.  I'm sure
> > there are ways to enhance the environmental understanding of divers
> > within their training programs and know that some attempts in this
> > direction are already made.  But I am much more concerned about how we
> > reach people who do not dive, people who have less opportunity to see a
> reef with their own eyes.
> > Because we need a much larger change in behavior than could be
> > produced if every diver out there became 100% committed.
> >
> > Also, nobody so far has picked up on one of my main points.  The
> > oceans do not have to have reefs, and we do not have to have reefs.
> > Yet the degradation of reefs is a signal of lots of other things
> > happening that will be necessary for us to continue some quality of life.
> >
> > Peter Sale
> >
> > From: Douglas Ryan [mailto:stardiverdwr at gmail.com]
> > Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 8:54 PM
> > To: Brendan Turley <crabtails at gmail.com>;
> > coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov; Peter Sale <sale at uwindsor.ca>
> > Subject: Re: [Coral-List] #oceanoptimism, sort of...
> >
> > I actually like that idea a lot.  As a PADI instructor and a teacher
> > of Marine and Environmental Science in a formal setting, I'd love to
> > write that module.
> >
> > I reckon PADI would want to do some market research to see if
> > potential customers actually want to pay to sit through such a module,
> > and there would be a substantial cost to updating the course materials
> > and training Course Directors and Instructors to teach it.  On the
> > other hand, it would be great press for PADI and my sense has always
> > been that the organization does love coral and recognizes that they
> > benefit from working toward its protection.
> >
> > The recreational scuba diver can be, and in my experience often is, a
> > powerful voice in favor of coral protection and conservation.  I think
> > the recreational diving public would welcome additional training that
> > made them more aware of the threats to the ocean realm and the role
> > they play in combating them.
> >
> > On Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 12:47 PM Brendan Turley <crabtails at gmail.com
> > <mailto:crabtails at gmail.com>> wrote:
> > Hi Peter,
> >
> >
> >
> > In response to serious matters to address ocean conservation. What
> > about,
> >
> > as a small measure, approaching PADI and other certification groups to
> >
> > including a conservation module to basic open water diver
> > certification? I
> >
> > understand that logistically this could be difficult, but small steps
> > could
> >
> > contribute to progress.
> >
> >
> >
> > It seems as help from the top governmental levels at least in US is
> > likely
> >
> > waning, we should seek out private sector help to secure a shared
> interest.
> >
> > I am not suggesting a novel panaceia, in all likelihood this has been
> > tried
> >
> > before, but I thought it would be worth a mention.
> >
> >
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > Brendan Turley
> >
> > PhD student
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> >
> > Coral-List mailing list
> >
> > Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov<mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> >
> > http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
> > _______________________________________________
> > Coral-List mailing list
> > Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
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> >
> --
> Douglas Fenner
> Contractor for NOAA NMFS, and consultant "have regulator, will travel"
> PO Box 7390
> Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA
> phone 1 684 622-7084 <(684)%20622-7084>
> Join the International Society for Reef Studies.  Membership includes a
> subscription to the journal Coral Reefs, and there are discounts for pdf
> subscriptions and developing countries.  Coral Reefs is the only journal
> that is ALL coral reef articles, and it has amazingly LOW prices compared
> to other journals.  Check it out!  www.fit.edu/isrs/
> "Belief in climate change is optional, participation is not."- Jim Beever.
>   "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own
> facts."- Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
> Last year was- again- the hottest year on record.
> http://www.sciencemag.org/news/sifter/last-year-was-again-hottest-record
> 99 Reasons 2016 was a good year.  https://medium.com/future-cru
> nch/99-reasons-why-2016-has-been-a-great-year-for-humanity
> -8420debc2823#.9iznf7pfk  Check items 42-59.
> 43. Global carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels did not grow
> at all in 2016, for the third year in a row.  Scientific American <
> http://futurecrunch.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=6321f
> eeb3ffd42b0e44a01616&id=18ef49d1e6&e=20926c12c5>
> 44. renewables now account for more newly installed capacity than any
> other form of electricity in the world, including coal.. Gizmodo <
> http://gizmodo..com/renewables-now-exceed-all-other-forms-
> of-new-power-gene-1788195297>
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