In The New York Times' Opinion Page, Roger Bradbury discusses the inevitable end of the coral reefs, once a thriving underwater world, now nothing more than a zombie ecosystem, "neither dead nor truly alive in any functional sense, and on a trajectory to collapse within a human generation."
[...] by persisting in the false belief that coral reefs have a future, we grossly misallocate the funds needed to cope with the fallout from their collapse. Money isn't spent to study what to do after the reefs are gone -- on what sort of ecosystems will replace coral reefs and what opportunities there will be to nudge these into providing people with food and other useful ecosystem products and services. Nor is money spent to preserve some of the genetic resources of coral reefs by transferring them into systems that are not coral reefs. And money isn't spent to make the economic structural adjustment that communities and industries that depend on coral reefs urgently need. We have focused too much on the state of the reefs rather than the rate of the processes killing them.
Overfishing, ocean acidification and pollution have two features in common. First, they are accelerating. They are growing broadly in line with global economic growth, so they can double in size every couple of decades. Second, they have extreme inertia -- there is no real prospect of changing their trajectories in less than 20 to 50 years. In short, these forces are unstoppable and irreversible. And it is these two features -- acceleration and inertia -- that have blindsided us.
|"Why fertilising the ocean with iron is not such a crazy idea."|
|Global Warming: "atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide hit a new record high."|
|“Imagine if you were allowed to eat as many M&M’s as you wanted.”|
|Miniature Eco-Friendly Low-Energy Home|
|For the Earth to Remain Human-Habitable, Carbon Emissions Must Be Brought to "Near Zero" by 2100|
|“For the first time in the world, AI will run in an election.”|
|“Never let a good crisis go to waste.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“Wouldn't it be nice if you were rewarded for all of the little good things you do.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“Is curing patients a sustainable business model?”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|Amateur-Built Electric Car Going After Record Set by Tesla|
|Why, Typewriters Are Alive and Well, Thank you|
|Humans Need Not Apply|