False dichotomies

How many times must it be said? The issue is not ‘environment versus economy’. It is long-term thinking versus short-term thinking. If we ‘develop’ a coral island to increase tourism, because we need the income and the jobs, and the development destroys the coral reefs, we lose the tourism as well as the ecosystem that hitherto supported the community. How is that economics winning?

And here‘s some evidence.

And more:

Thanks to a double whammy of disease and bleaching, branched corals have given way to stumpier rivals in most of the Caribbean's reefs (Image: L Alvarez-Filip, N Dulvy, J Gill (UEA), I M Côté and A Watkinson)

(image from New Scientist article linked above)

(This mini-rant was triggered by listening to BBC Radio 4 Costing the Earth – a politician, when asked about the possibility of developing East Caicos (as yet undeveloped and uninhabited by humans and therefore with the most pristine reefs in the Caribbean), said ‘The economy has to win sometimes.’)


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