Australia’s Great Barrier Reef And Climate Change

Posted on Fri 01/02/2009 by


This Great Barrier Reef image courtesy of The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
This Great Barrier Reef image courtesy of The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
For a much greater detailed map
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This image shows the extent of the Great Barrier Reef along the coastline of Queensland in Australia. Click on the image to open it in a larger window.

It’s just the way things happen that sometimes makes me feel a little angry at times.

It seems that everything can now be effectively blamed on Global Warming. I explained at great length why the debate was changed from Global Warming, and is now being referred to as Climate Change. What that effectively does is to widen the scope of the debate, so, now that the Planet might indeed be entering a cooling phase, and that ‘warming’ word can seem problematic, the debate can continue because the title has been changed.

This story appeared on the news media today.

The Great Barrier Reef is an icon that is known across the World as a symbol of Australia. Because of that, it is an easy target for Environmentalists to latch on to. If there is any threat to this vast coral reef, then that can be very cleverly used to bolster any argument.

The Reef has been used in this manner for numerous years now, stretching into decades in fact.
It started with the threat of the Crown Of Thorns starfish, and back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, this starfish boomed in numbers. It’s not your ‘cool’ looking cute starfish from the cartoon ‘Nemo’, but an ugly grey hairy thing that is quite large. The explosion in numbers of this starfish caused emotive responses from all sections of the media, politics, and everyday life. The threat was that it would explode in numbers so hugely that it would take over the Reef and kill it off. … 

This would obviously have a huge effect, especially on tourism, because that is one of the main tourist destinations in Australia.

Scientific, and even non scientific groups, also latched onto this, but for a reason not reported in the same manner as the beatup about the starfish itself. It was viewed as a source for research funding from Government bodies, because such an iconic thing as the Reef was made out to be so important in the big scheme of things. So research bodies went to study the problem, and to apply for Government funding, and could a Government seem so unsympathetic as to not grant funds to a body ostensibly looking after this great Australian icon.

That starfish problem still exists, and has stayed relatively stable in the interim. They come they go. It’s the way of nature.

The same happened with coral bleaching. This again drew critical acclaim from the same usual suspects. The bleaching was said to be caused by outflows from the numerous Rivers flowing to the Ocean from nearby Queensland. Those large Northern Queensland areas have perfect conditions for growing sugar cane, one of the bigger industries here in Queensland.
The coral bleaching was put down to the chemicals that those farmers used on their sugar cane crops, leaching into the soil, and the nearby Rivers, and then flowing down those Rivers into the Ocean where the Reef runs down the coastline.

Again, bodies sought ready funding to investigate this, and as you might imagine, they then came out with detailed reports justifying the spending, and also saying that, yes, this was the cause.

Coral bleaching continues. It comes and it goes.

The next target was commercial fishing an industry in itself, with seafood such a staple food here in Queensland. The trawlers going for all the varieties of Prawns and different fish species were accused of stirring up the sea surface sand with their nets and contributing to polluting the pristine waters and the Reef with their oil burning engines.
Again, research bodies got public funding to investigate and produce white papers, again justifying their own funding by producing favourable reports. The end result was that commercial fishing was restricted virtually along the length of the Reef. The end result was that the cost of seafood spiked upwards, (never to return, mind you) because now prawns and all variety of seafood has to be imported from further afield. A larger percentage of prawns now come from Vietnam, where there are obviously no such restrictions.

The next target was pastime fishing for non commercial purposes, you know, just your average bunch of guys going out fishing for the sport, the fun, and as a supplement for their own purposes. This was approached in much the same manner as commercial fishing, producing the same results, and the imposition of huge restrictions on this private fishing, with large areas of the Reef now off limits to fishing, and in fact even boating for pleasure.

Now, this study has shown that Global Warming Climate Change has in fact been the main contributing cause to the decline in growth of the living organism that is the coral itself. This has been happening on a large scale, evidently, and the decline in growth has been traced back a long way. In fact, right back to a date selected by the study’s originators.

That date was 1990.

Gee! Isn’t that convenient?

The growth miraculously started to recede right on the date that the United Nations picked as the target date for its Kyoto protocol. As if by magic, the living coral suddenly proves just how perspicacious the United Nations really were when they selected that date.

You may think I’m being a little cynical, but look at this study alone.
Doesn’t it go a large way towards proving that all those studies that came before were in fact quite erroneous, because what they were all looking at was not the problems they thought, but in fact mainly due to Climate Change, which they didn’t know about at that time, but only now provides them with a convenient new target to shoot at.

No, my cynicism is well founded.
What it does prove is that people will prostitute themselves for any purpose that will justify what they perceive as their job, in order to gain Government funding, and will then come up with a result that will justify what they are doing, and then tell the media just what they want to hear.
This is just another case of people running an alternate agenda for their own purposes.
The problem is that no one is willing to speak out against it because the Great Barrier Reef evokes such emotive responses from every quarter of the vast Australian public, and extrapolated out, to the wider Worldwide community.

It all just adds to the vastly growing snowball that Climate Change has now become.

Like I have said right from day one when I started writing posts about this.

It has nothing to do with the environment. It’s just about the money.