[Coral-List] Economist coral reef article

Bill Allison allison.billiam at gmail.com
Mon Mar 19 14:54:40 EDT 2018

Hey Doug,
I'm unsure at which point your satanic advocacy begins, but even with the
unlikely assumption that capital and operational inputs are carbon neutral,
won't this accelerate ocean warming and perhaps reef eutrophication if done
on a scale large enough for reef cooling?

On Sun, Mar 18, 2018 at 8:19 PM, Douglas Fenner <
douglasfennertassi at gmail.com> wrote:

> New in the popular press:
> Mass die-offs are driving efforts to create hardier corals:
> https://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/217388
> 71-selective-breeding-and-genetic-engineering-are-both-possi
> bilities-mass-die-offs
> Open-access.
>    I'm sure they can breed extra tough corals, no question.  But if you
> think for a minute about the size of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), 2500
> miles long, about 2000 reefs or some such.  The GBR has well less than 16%
> of the world's coral reef area (Australia as a whole has 16% and they also
> have the world's longest fringing reef on their west coast.)  Will they be
> able to breed enough corals to plant them out and make a difference???
> They need to plant at least 2 on a reef for them to breed with each other.
> Of each species.  Can 2 re-seed an entire reef??  Probably around 400 coral
> species in that reef system.  Let's see, how many corals will they have to
> grow and plant out?  400 X 2000 X much more than 2?  Would 5 or 10 million
> do?  Add the rest of the world's reefs and it could take at least 10 times
> as much as that (Indonesia alone has 13,000 islands, the Philippines
> another 3000.)  Who's going to cough up that kind of money??  Great
> research project, I'm all for it.  But research and practical management
> are two very different things.
>      We already know how to fight bleaching.  Cool the reefs, and/or shade
> them, during bleaching.  Both work extremely well.  But everybody says they
> are totally impractical, no press, no one is even trying.  Water near
> freezing is just 600 feet down in the tropics, 2 hotels in Tahiti ran pipes
> down to pump it up, use it for nearly free air conditioning.  But this
> stuff with selective breeding which doesn't seem much more practical than
> cooling or shading is getting huge coverage and enthusiasm.  Why?  Clever
> slogans like "assisted evolution" and "super corals"?  Seems to be less
> difficult to do?  Difficult part far off in the future instead of
> immediate?  If politicians say "oh, well, that's taken care of" and don't
> do anything, will it be a net benefit???
>       The comment that all the horror stories are turning off young people
> reminds me that there aren't enough jobs for all those young people on
> coral reefs.  Typical of academia, the job of professors in the
> universities is to do research and train young people to be top
> researchers.  I would guess that less than one in 10 get a job in
> research.  But if the profs don't train all those young people, the profs
> won't have a job.  So they train far more than there are positions.  It
> costs society, education isn't free.  The idea (or excuse?) is that you
> need to train many more than there are jobs, so the best will succeed.  And
> that way the big profs have jobs training people even if the students won't
> be able to use their training.  So what if a few get turned off, they won't
> have jobs anyhow.  (I'm playing devil's advocate here, in case you haven't
> noticed.)
> Cheers,  Doug
> --
> Douglas Fenner
> Contractor for NOAA NMFS Protected Species, and consultant
> PO Box 7390
> Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA
> New online open-access field guide to 300 coral species in Chagos, Indian
> Ocean
> http://chagosinformationportal.org/corals
> Even without El Nino, 2017 temperatures soared.
> http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/01/even-without-el-ni-o-
> 2017-temperatures-still-soared?utm_campaign=news_weekly_2018
> -01-19&et_rid=17045989&et_cid=1800664
> Coral reefs are bleaching too frequently to recover
> https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/01/the-glob
> al-scourge-on-coral-reefs/549713/?utm_source=atlfb
> How to save the "tropical rainforests" of the ocean
> https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/theworldpost/wp/2018/01/
> 09/coral-reefs/?tid=ss_tw-bottom&utm_term=.80ce291c546b
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"... the earth is, always has been, and always will be more beautiful than
it is useful."
- Ophuls, 1977
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
- Shelly

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