[Coral-List] FW: On a positive note But actually...

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Wed Jun 26 21:26:26 UTC 2019

I       totally agree that population is a major driver of most of
humanity's problems today.  But I also agree with Mike Risk, consumption is
the other major driver.  They essentially multiply each other, as Paul
Ehrlich long ago pointed out.  Good to understand and know, and there IS
action that can be taken.  Voluntary family planning can help huge numbers
of people who would like to have fewer children but don't have a way of
achieving that.  The developed countries could help those who can't afford
it, to have voluntary family planning.  The US is doing much less than it
could do to help, and did in the past.  Same people who don't want people
from poor countries come into the US also cut off family planning aid.  Not
smart in my view.  Giant, well-meaning philanthropic organizations like
Bill & Melinda Gates, are working hard on reducing medical problems for
those that don't have minimal health care (a wonderful thing to do), but
family planning needs to be a prominent part of that.
     On the bright side, the world's largest population country (China) now
has a large part of it's population voluntarily limiting their families to
only one child each, because they want to give their children the best
possible chance for a better life, and doing that is expensive.  And just
for perspective, I and many in North America, are the product of a
population explosion that happened in Europe and which led to the export of
huge numbers of people who went to the Americas and displaced the people
who were living there (those that were left after the diseases the first
explorers brought decimated the populations).
     All that said, could someone please tell me how we can reduce the
world population enough, and fast enough, to save coral reefs???
 Preferably a way that doesn't involve nuclear war or genocide.  If we need
to reduce world population, say, by half, how are we going to do that in
20-30 years, without killing half of humanity???  I submit there is no way
to do that.
     I think we'll do better in the short run working on things like
emissions, which CAN be controlled within a reasonable time frame.  All
population projections indicate that the world human population with crest
(perhaps around the year 2100) and then slowly decline.  It would be good
to speed that process by providing voluntary family planning for all who
want it.  I'm all for it.
     But it will NOT save the world's reefs (as I've stated before).
Reducing emissions, in part with new technology, in part by the world's
wealthy countries (most notably the USA) reducing consumption, is at least
physically and ethically possible.
      If we want to solve the problem, we have to concentrate our efforts
on things that could conceivably work in time.  Population reduction can't
possibly happen soon enough (even though it is indeed one of the two
fundamental drivers).
Cheers, Doug

On Thu, Jun 27, 2019 at 1:46 AM Alina Szmant via Coral-List <
coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> wrote:

> Hi Steve:
> I agree that we all want to be hopeful, but my concern is that too many
> good people see climate change only as a consequence of fossil fuel use,
> and ignore the ultimate cause of climate change, TOO MANY HUMANS, for the
> loss of coral reefs, loss of biodiversity all over the world (land animals
> and plants are in far worse shape that marine ones). That is because there
> is this ostrich response (stick your head in a hole in the ground) to the
> ELEPHANT in the room: human overpopulation. It is HUMANS who not only burn
> fossil fuels for all the various uses we can't live without, but  also: we
> deforest the land for all sorts of human uses (cooking fuel, agriculture,
> all types of commercial development) and deforestation is just as major a
> contributor to climate change, loss of habitat and biodiversity, and
> coastal pollution affecting coral reefs as fossil fuel burning;  we
> over-fish which is directly related to number of humans wanting to catch
> fish for their own consumption or to sell for income, and which affects
> ecosystem dynamics on coral reefs as well as all marine ecosystems and
> through loss of predators and herbivores, coral health. So when we focus
> only on renewable energy and reducing CO2 emissions from burning fossil
> fuels we are ignoring the ultimate cause of all of this. It scares the
> bejeebers out of me when I read in the magazines from major environmental
> organizations an acceptance that we will have 9 Billion or 10 Billion
> people on Earth by 2050 or 2100. Why aren't TNC, The Ocean Conservancy,
> Environmental Defense, Conservation International, Sierra Club, Audubon, to
> name just a few,  raising this flag at the top of their messaging? There
> are only a few organizations like Population Connection (great
> organization, check out their website, yellow dot video (
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khFjdmp9sZk) that make this their mission
> to raise awareness and to connect the dots between human overpopulation,
> human misery and conflict, poverty, loss of habitat and
> wilderness/wildlife, etc.
> We can't handle the 7.5 Billion people on Earth now, some poor some
> wealthy but everyone having a minimal daily need for resources,  with all
> of the food animals humans raise and their environmental impact. The idea
> that new technology is going to save us from ourselves is fake news to use
> a current term. We haven't been able to keep up over the past 4 decades and
> no reason to believe that is going to change any time soon. So while I
> personally do what I can do reduce my own carbon footprint and be as
> environmentally conscience as possible, I do not feel optimistic in any way
> that things will be just peachy and all right by 2050. I won't be alive
> then, so luckily I won't have to experience the sad state of things many of
> us are predicting to be inevitable.
> Sorry to get back onto my old soap-box so soon after rejoining Coral-List
> but it IS the major crisis of today, and basically ignored by most as too
> intractable an issue, which it will continue to be as long as we continue
> to ignore it.
> Alina
> *************************************************************************
> Dr. Alina M. Szmant, CEO
> CISME Instruments LLC
> 210 Braxlo Lane,
> Wilmington NC 28409 USA
> AAUS Scientific Diving Lifetime Achievement Awardee
> cell: 910-200-3913
> Website:  www.cisme-instruments.com
> **********************************************************
> Videos:  CISME Promotional Video 5:43 min
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Coral-List <coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> On Behalf Of
> Steve Mussman via Coral-List
> Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 3:31 PM
> To: coral list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Subject: [Coral-List] On a positive note
> I’d like to draw your attention to an article that appeared recently in
> Alert Diver, the magazine of Divers Alert Network (DAN):
> http://www.alertdiver.com/Reef-Futures .
> In it, the publisher and editors have broken new ground (for the US scuba
> diving industry)  in clearly articulating the dire problem that
> anthropogenic climate changes holds for the planet’s coral reefs; even
> going so far as to proclaim that “The science and associated consequences
> of anthropogenic climate change are undeniable when examined without
> preconceived notions” and . . . that “The greatest risk would be to do
> nothing about carbon (CO2) dioxide emissions. Immediate and aggressive
> action on climate change is paramount for the long-term survival of
> reefs”.  The article goes on to acknowledge the significance of the
> contribution made by many of you in the coral science community who for
> years have dedicated your careers to saving coral reefs as well as the
> inspiration that you have provided to the new generation of up and coming
> young coral scientists. As one who has been a persistent critic of the U.S.
> scuba diving industry’s inaction on this issue, this is welcomed news
> indeed. This may sound pollyannish, but let’s hope that this proclamation
> signals the beginning of a real movement to reform the scuba diving
> industry, educate the diving public and ultimately help turn the tide and
> brighten the future for the world’s coral reefs.
> Regards,
> Steve
> Sent from my iPad
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Douglas Fenner
Ocean Associates, Inc. Contractor
NOAA Fisheries Service
Pacific Islands Regional Office
PO Box 7390
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA

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