[Coral-List] Fwd: bleaching

Dennis Hubbard dennis.hubbard at oberlin.edu
Tue Mar 29 17:57:56 UTC 2022


If there is any (very tiny) positive element to this.... at least climate
change impacts all of us (however differently) regardless of location and
class. I confess that this is grossly oversimplified. I have to
(pessimistically) wonder whether we have any real control over either -
theoretically yes, but....?

Regardless of the answer to my last question, we still need to try... and
those of us who are probably most responsible and with the greatest means
to make a difference must try even harder.


On Mon, Mar 28, 2022 at 1:02 PM Austin Bowden-Kerby via Coral-List <
coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> wrote:

> (Resending this as it says I have been blocked)
> Following on Gene's note,
> I am thinking that what is happening in Ukraine might actually be quite
> relevant to coral reefs.  The Coral reefs at our sites here in Fiji are now
> bleaching badly, and the reefs of Kiribati have lost 90% of their corals
> from 2015-2019, and so now the reef fish are too ciguatoxic to safely eat.
> And what the heck is going on at the poles right now?  I am feeling
> increasingly pessimistic seeing these horrors.
> With a failed COP26, corporate control of governments, and now this heinous
> war on top of that, and with modelers saying the best we might hope for is
> a 2.4C temperature increase- that is if countries do what they promise, my
> hope has been worn thin.  I am beginning to wonder if anything we do to
> save coral reefs will work over the long haul, based on these grim
> prospects?    Is it mostly just me, or do many of us feel this way?  This
> is not a good place to dwell.
> It looks pretty obvious to me that on the present track, that the vast
> changes needed are not going to happen quickly enough to make a difference
> over the long run.  Meaningful change is blocked by selfish interests and a
> cancerous materialism: corporate control, corrupt political systems, fake
> news and denial, 'end times' religious fundamentalism, the material comfort
> and insulated nature of those who might otherwise facilitate change, and we
> see the problems worsen as extremes of wealth and poverty grow, and with
> the vast wastage of wealth on defense and war now increasing.
> Is there any way we might turn things around quickly enough to avoid the
> demise of coral reefs and tropical forests and to prevent the 6th
> extinction?  Meetings and international agreements have certainly not done
> it.  Is there anything short of a sudden global catastrophe that can save
> the reefs and the biodiversity of the planet?
> I always believed that if people are the problem then people are the
> solution, but people have not been able to turn things around.
> With WW3 now a distinct possibility, my question is this: Would a nuclear
> autumn and the resulting cooling of the planet and associated loss of half
> to two-thirds of the planet's human population be better over the long term
> for coral reefs and wildlife in general than business as usual?   Are there
> any existing models for this?
> These are such dark thoughts when considering the horrific human suffering
> that this would entail..... I feel dirty even considering it!   But on the
> other hand, consider the horrific plight of humanity and diverse species
> due to unabated and out of control climate change.  If we do not change
> quickly, horrendous multi-generational suffering will ensue, as the world
> is deprived of the bounties of coral reefs and forests, and as vast areas
> of the continents become uninhabitable as the heat becomes so extreme, and
> coastal areas and island nations become drowned by rising seas, with chaos,
> famine, mass migration, and more war.  With that in my mind, I wonder if
> the short term horrors and cooling effect of a nuclear autumn would be
> better for both humanity and the planet?
> Of course as we have no control over what happens, this is all just a
> mental exercise.  Maybe I am doing this in a desperate attempt to identify
> a silver lining to what hopefully will never happen?  In the mean time, I
> am counting my blessings, thankful to be located in the Southern hemisphere
> on a remote island, with very good food security.  If any of you are
> considering a long vacation, a retirement location, or a field site where
> you might safely take the family, Fiji is an excellent option. We could
> also use some experienced volunteers in our sites.
> I still hold a strong belief that one day humanity will find our proper
> balance with nature, and that we will share the realization that we are one
> planet and one people.
> I hope that what is unfolding now will serve to weld the nations together,
> so that the planet can finally disarm in safety, with all nations agreeing
> to disarm and to rise one and all against any aggressor.  Disarmament would
> free up vast resources and wealth to use for the restoration of society and
> nature. Perhaps a more just global economic system could then also be
> launched, with the goal of eliminating unfair advantage of the rich nations
> over the poor ones, and the elimination of the vast extremes of wealth and
> poverty.  Such a just system would include monetizing ecological services
> and carbon storage, and taxing the environmental harm of things like
> harmful chemicals, CO2 and plastics, all the things that presently drive
> this horrific destruction of our planet?
> My greatest hope is that these positive things can now begin to happen
> based on the shock of what is happening now, as we approach the brink and
> look in horror into the dark void, but hopefully not actually falling into
> the abyss.  Nuclear disarmament could be the first step in a planetary
> transformation, and what we as individuals must demand of our governments.
>  One things is certain, our world has changed, and all of this might
> impacts the fate of coral reefs.
> Kind regards, to all,
> Austin
> Austin Bowden-Kerby, PhD
> Corals for Conservation
> P.O. Box 4649 Samabula, Fiji Islands
> https://www.corals4conservation.org
> On Thu, Mar 24, 2022 at 10:22 PM Eugene Shinn via Coral-List <
> coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> wrote:
> > It is really difficult for me to worry about  Barrier reef bleaching and
> > climate change in general considering what is happening in Ukraine. Dead
> > corals can hardly compare with the the death and destruction going on on
> > the other side of the world right now. There is always the possibility
> > me may not live to see if the reefs survive. Gene
> >
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Dennis Hubbard - Emeritus Professor: Dept of Geology-Oberlin College
Oberlin OH 44074
(440) 935-4014

* "When you get on the wrong train.... every stop is the wrong stop"*
 Benjamin Stein: "*Ludes, A Ballad of the Drug and the Dream*"

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