Why the Great Barrier Reef is Threatened

Hi everyone.

Two posts in the one day! Goodness. Lying here in terrible pain has given me time to write a couple of posts it seems – though it is VERY VERY hard on a phone! So it would seem that some good things can come out of bad things 🙂

Anyway a fellow activist in the UK just linked to my previous post (she does this some times when I write something important – which isn’t very often) about the Great Barrier Reef and the threat from dredge spoils , and it reminded me of the power and speed of the blogging/social media networks.

Petrel41

This particular activist/reporter, Petrel41, writes a lot about the environment, the good and the bad.

The reason that she has linked to my Great Barrier Reef blog is that she has just written her own, raising her own concerns and reporting information that she has at hand for her readers around the world.
Australian government threatens Great Barrier Reef

While I have followed some of the activity regarding the embarrassingly idiotic Australian Abbott Government and its attacks on anything environmental, now The Great Barrier Reef, I have been reminded by Petrel41 of some of the issues that were raised with regards to the reef. For instance:

The ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) recently reported that:

…233 scientists have signed a letter to authority chairman Russell Reichelt, urging him to reject the plan. [dumping of dredge spoil in The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park]

“The best available science makes it very clear that expansion of the port at Abbot Point will have detrimental effects on the Great Barrier Reef,” the letter said.

“Sediment from dredging can smother corals and seagrasses and expose them to poisons and elevated nutrients.”

We should note here that the Federal Australian Abbott Government doesn’t work on scientific evidence, as can be seen by the fact that it disposed of the position of Science Minister after winning the last election. the first time since 1931 that there has not been a Minister for Science in the Australian Government.

Then of course the Abbott government axed the Climate Commission and the Climate Change Authority. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation was then instructed to stop making loans for clean energy development and deployment. All programs relating to climate change and clean energy were wiped out by a non-science government. [perhaps that should read non-sense government.]

Newman likes coal, but the environment...

The State Liberal Government in Queensland was reported to have said:

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman told reporters that the government would protect the environment, but not at the expense of the state’s economy. “We are in the coal business,” he told reporters. “If you want decent hospitals, schools, and police on the beat, we all need to understand that.”

From this I would read: Australia considers the mining of coal more important than The Great Barrier Reef with a focus on the need to “Make Money” from mining.

Short term thinking doesn’t lead to long term benefits, but long term destruction of important assets. Such is the limited short term thinking of the idiotic Liberal parties in Australia. Not that the idiotic Labor Party is much better either!

Bridie Jabour - The Guardian AustraliaBridie Jabour from the Guardian has written a good article, where she has assembled a collection of interviews or comments by different spokespeople. Some I note below:

“Federal environment minister Greg Hunt failed to show leadership on this issue,” [World Wildlife Fund Great Barrier Reef campaigner Richard Leck] said. “Mr Hunt could have stopped the dumping of dredge spoil in reef waters instead he gave dumping the green light.

Perhaps we could say that:

Greg Hunt Takes a Dump on The Great Barrier Reef‘Minister Greg Hunt likes to take a dump on The Great Barrier Reef!’

“We wouldn’t throw rubbish on world heritage sites like the Grand Canyon or the Vatican City, so why would we dump on the reef?” said a [Greenpeace ] spokeswoman, Louise Matthiesson.

“Scientists are clear that the potential impacts of dumping the dredge spoil so close to fringing reefs and the WWII Catalina plane wreck are significant.”

While the science might be clear, we have forgotten that the Abbott Government doesn’t believe in science. See above…

Some of the wording in the next section really amuses me:

Among 47 new environmental conditions imposed by the authority with the approval were:

    • Measures to minimise impact on biodiversity, particularly coral. [in other words, there will be biodiversity impacts – ed]
    • A long-term water quality monitoring plan extending [only] five years after the disposal activity is completed. [what about beyond that. It is highly likely that the dredge soil will continue to shift over time. There is after all three million cubic metres of it!]
    • A heritage management plan to protect the Catalina second world war aircraft wreck in Abbot Bay. [so again, another heritage listed icon is at risk, and the risk has to be managed carefully so as to minimise the damage! – ed]
    • Offset measures for commercial fishing in the event of adverse impacts. [this one is a beauty. They are admitting that there could be adverse impacts!!! and not just for fishing – but commercial fishing (money) is all that they care about. – ed]
    • The prevention of any harm to environmental, cultural and heritage values of any areas 20 kilometres beyond the disposal site. [This whole sentence is completely dodgy! How are they going to prevent damage? And what, they are only concerned about damage outside of the 20km zone? for goodness sake! How can they stop the sand, clay and rock from shifting of the next eternity!!! – ed]
    • Environmental site supervision by an authority nominee. [perhaps one of the ones who authorised the dumping. – ed]
    • The establishment of an independent dredging and disposal technical advice panel and a management response group, to include community representatives. [A management response group. Yep, let’s prepare for an error, mistake, spill, smashed reef, contaminated coral, and respond to it when it happens! Yep, perfect preparation, and liability minimisation. No wonder we have so much environmental damage around the world. – ed]

Should we be concerned? Definitely. Is it likely that there will be damage to OUR reef so that the mining magnates can sell some CO2 and make a few billions of dollars for themselves? Yep.

Being as cynical as I am about these sorts of things working out in the best interest of the people or the environment, I expect that there will be some, possibly a lot of, damage to the reef and its inhabitants. Are we likely to manage to stop it, possibly, but I think it is unlikely.

In my opinion, the best that we can hope for is that we make the Australian Government look as idiotic as it is internationally and hope to embarrass them in the eyes of the international community.

The approaches so far have clearly demonstrated that the environment comes a very poor second when money and their God the “Economy” comes in to play. If only they had the brain power to realise that without the environment we cease to exist, and there is NO economy!

Well that is it for me, bye for now.

Time to pop some more pain pills and off to bed!

Greg.

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About Blog of Greg

I consider myself a thinker and I like to discuss everything in life with those around me. Mostly I am serious, sometimes I am funny, and occasionally I am rude. I like to wear my heart on my sleeve and say what I feel, or think! It is important to me to be honest about how I feel and why! I detest pretense, big egos and self importance. I believe that I am no more important than you, and similarly that you are no more important than me! [apparently I should reflect on this more often] This blog is a way of engaging people in different aspects of life; its goal is to present a different view of life and contribute to a broadening of our awareness. While this blog is essentially my opinion, I also understand that there are other opinions out there. Though I encourage discussion, I may “delete” comments that I find are unhelpful, argumentative, or offensive towards myself or another person. Often I write about politics – apparently that is an interest of mine – but I also like to write about other more personal things that affect us in our day to day lives. Along with this blog, I also write to politicians and newspapers; I often present a commentary on my blog about following comments or decisions. That way everyone understands what they have said – and sometimes of course how big a buffoon they are:) Please feel free to comment on my posts, as I would like to hear what you have to say. After all…. Your opinion is just as valid as mine!
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