sealab at earthlink.net sealab at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 29 19:35:44 UTC 2020

Dear Phil,

Well said, thank you for both your documentary and your plea.

If, as you mentioned, “many of the current crop of reef biologists have no idea of what we’ve lost”, just imagine what can be said of the rest of us!

I’m not sure how much responsibility should be placed at the feet of the coral science community for failing to keep coral reefs from disappearing, but it seems certain that the sobering downward trajectory will continue until people come to view (all) ecosystems as worthy of protection rather than as resources divinely provided for exploitation.

That’s a tall order. All we have to do is change “the way of the world”.

The only thing that gives me hope is what I took away from the recent Global Coral Week webinar that you participated in. There are a lot of young scientists out there doing great work to bring about change. Let’s hope they continue to push on and that they don’t become corrupted by the same forces that brought us to this point.

After all, we will leave this world and what remains of its coral reefs to them.


Steve Mussman

P.S. Kudos go out to Judith Lang, Franziska Elmer and Chelsie Counsell for their great work in producing Global Coral Week 2020!

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On 7/28/20, 11:05 AM, Phillip Dustan via Coral-List <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> wrote:

I made this video to open eyes about the dramatic changes that have

occurred in a short time.

Many of the current crop of reef biologists have no idea of what we've lost.

All the nature films to increase people's love for the sea, all the

monitoring projects that increase our resolution, all the management, all

the restoration, all the rhetoric about protecting reefs, etc.... on and on

have not worked.

The mantra that people protect what they love has proven false.

It's more like, "People exploit what they need to make money, then move on

to richer places to do the same over and over...."

While the scientific community has greatly increased our resolving power to

watch reefs degrade, we have not figured out how to keep reefs from


This is the point of my offering at this time - more of an emotional

plea than a documentary.

I've always thought a coffee table book titled :How they Die" about all the

human activities that kill coral reefs would be interesting as all the

current and past books are eye candy divorced from current reality.

Maybe a website of such atrocities would help jar people into action?

Reefs are ecosystems, not resources.



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