Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Tue Aug 4 19:23:28 UTC 2020

I believe that everyone in this discussion is making good points.
    I would like to add a hint of optimism.  There are aspects of
environmental battles that provide solid grounds for optimism, as well as
for caution and pessimism.  The grounds for optimism are that people don't
like things that threaten their health, or survival, or income, or
livelihoods.  A few years ago in the US lead was discovered in the water
supply in Flint, Michigan.  It was in the international news.  Outrage
resulted.  I haven't kept up with the story, but I bet it is being fixed,
because if it isn't, the outrage is a threat to the political careers of
elected officials.  ]k= =-z>:"AA^%q

On Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 1:36 AM Steve via Coral-List <
coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> wrote:

> Mike Risk’s perspective on the effects of coral scientists not speaking
> with a unified voice clearly resonates with me.
> While the point is well taken that people have shown that they care way
> more about other things, how can we expect this dynamic to ever change when
> the messaging they receive from the “experts” in the coral science
> community continues to be rife with ambiguity? Policy makers respond to
> monied interests, but public opinion matters too and there is every
> indication that interest in environmental issues is on the rise, especially
> with the younger generation.
> What would happen if the messaging put out about what we need to do to
> “save coral reefs” was done with more clarity, simplicity and conviction?
> Consider the paper cited (https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0231817)
> on survivorship of the ongoing NRP (NOAA Recovery Plan) in the Florida Keys
> Marine Sanctuary. As I read it, the paper makes it clear that “reducing
> stressors is required before significant population growth and recovery
> will occur. Until then, outplanting protects against local extinction and
> helps maintain genetic diversity in the wild”. Although this conclusion
> points to a significant role for restoration, it makes clear that reducing
> (both local and global) stressors is paramount.
> Why can’t we make that point clear? What’s so hard about selling the
> public on the idea that we must restore some semblance of the natural
> ecological balance? Clean up the water; promote sustainable fisheries and
> cut carbon emissions. That simple message has yet to resonate in the public
> domain. Instead, many have become convinced that the only viable strategy
> is to race to outplant supercorals designed to withstand an inevitable and
> mounting onslaught of stressors that are somehow beyond our control.
> I have listened to many gray-haired coral reef scientists and there’s
> obviously more capitulation out there than optimism.
> So, does it even matter at this point if we change the messaging? Maybe
> not, but it may represent our best last chance to try.
> Regards,
> Steve Mussman
> Sent from EarthLink Mobile mail
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