Re: Extropian environmentalism?

Michael S. Lorrey (
Mon, 25 Jan 1999 18:34:15 -0500

"J. R. Molloy" wrote:

> *** New microbes posing health risks
> ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Previously unknown bacteria and viruses
> blooming in the Earth's warming oceans are killing some marine life
> and threatening human health, researchers say. There are increasing
> reports of dying coral, diseased shellfish and waters infected with
> human virus as the seas rise in temperature and pollution from the
> land intensifies, researchers said Friday in studies presented at the
> national meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of
> Science. About 10% of the coral worldwide has died, said James W.
> Porter, an ocean studies specialist at the University of Georgia. He
> said if present trends and conditions continue, another 20% to 30% of
> the coral could be lost.
> Yes, extropians want to migrate to a Type I civilization, as outlined by
> Michio Kaku. But do we need to preserve our Type 0 civilization to get
> there? Or will the disintegration of Type 0 spur us to build Type I?

If it is a human virus that is killing the coral, then its likely brought there by the divers who protest about the coral's destruction. However, I have also seen studies (don't have any cites handy) which assert that much of the coral die offs is a natural cyclic occurence, as they grow too close to the surface for the species present, or for other reasons. Considering how much we now know how much of the ocean ecosystem is dependent on phytoplankton, including coral, as well as the krill population(which most of the rest of the ecosystem in the ocean relies on), we can look to the two causes of reductions in phytoplankton:
a) a reduction in the amount of free iron in the oceans, as fewer ships are sunk, and the old ones are almost all rusted away. Its amazing how much a little rust in the water can keep the plankton blooming. b) the ozone hole lets in too much UV which kills plankton. While too many people equate the ozone hole (caused by CFC aerosols, mostly) with global warming, they are, in fact, two entirely different phenomena. Since the amount of CFCs being released world wide has dropped dramatically, and continues to decrease, climatologists now consider the problem of the ozone hole almost solved, it just will take time for the CFCs currently in the stratosphere to reduce (about 10-20 years) to more natural levels. At that point plankton levels should be rebounded handsomely.

Global warming should only be a concern in that rising sea levels will change where the intertidal zone is, thus dropping much coral below their normal depths. Since the sea levels have scarcely risen much, that can hardly be the cause. Also, since as much of the die offs have been in colder coral climates, warmth can hardly be expected to be to blame. I think that, as we are finding with Red Tide, the die offs are not a man made problem, but a natural one we are only now beginnning to learn about.