Reef Madness

Confronted with this season’s steady stream of hurricanes, floods, and natural disasters, it occurred to me that future leaders may need to shift their focus from how we can kill each other to how we can protect each other from nature. To paraphrase the opening narration from the Six Million Dollar Man, can we rebuild it and make it better than it was before? The race is already underway (as are the ethical debates) when it comes to building a better coral reef — an effort made increasingly necessary because the original ones are dying off. The goal of researchers working with coral “is not just to study them, but to find the ones with the best genes, multiply them in tanks on land and ultimately return them to the ocean where they can continue to breed. The hope is to create tougher reefs — to accelerate evolution, essentially — and slowly build an ecosystem capable of surviving global warming and other human-caused environmental assaults.” From the NYT: Building a Better Coral Reef.

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