Great Barrier Reef

Australia's Controversial Adani Coal Mine Gets Final Government Approval

Read time: 5 mins
Students protest the Adani coal mine at the School Strike for Climate

The Adani Carmichael coal mine — one of the most controversial fossil fuel projects in Australia’s history — has been handed its final environmental approval.

Based in Queensland, the Indian-owned mine has been beset by controversy after gaining its first set of approvals back in 2014, sparking a nationwide “Stop Adani” movement and multiple legal challenges.

On Health of the Great Barrier Reef and Case of Sacked Scientist Peter Ridd, Sky News Creates Alternate Reality

Read time: 9 mins
Peter Ridd

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is in some serious trouble, with the latest research in the journal Nature showing the number of new corals has dropped by 89 percent.

In 2016 and 2017, the reef was smashed by back-to-back mass bleaching events and heat stress caused by global warming that killed about half the corals.

Dead corals don’t make babies,” said James Cook University’s Professor Terry Hughes, the paper’s lead author.

We used to think that the Great Barrier Reef was too big to fail — until now,” added colleague Professor Morgan Pratchett.

The paper was just the latest in a steady and, many would agree, depressing parade of findings for the World Heritage icon. And if the scientific papers don’t do it for you, then there are always the pictures.

But the release of the study served as a remarkable contrast to the way the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sky News, furnished with material from climate science denial think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, has been “reporting” on reef science in the past week.

On at least five occasions the channel has interviewed the IPA’s policy director Gideon Rozner, who has been updating the channel on the case of Dr. Peter Ridd, a marine scientist specializing in sediments who was fired in March 2018 from James Cook University.

According to the various interviews, the reef is in great shape, the science is probably wrong, and Ridd is a “world renowned” reef expert in a historic fight for freedom. None of this is true, yet the claims have been allowed to stand unchecked.

Breitbart’s James Delingpole Denies Danger of Great Barrier Reef Bleaching — Again

Read time: 5 mins
Scuba diver assessing coral bleaching underwater

The Great Barrier Reef is experiencing mass coral bleaching for the second consecutive year, ushering in another global round of headlines above images of ghostly white corals and dying habitats.

About a quarter of all the corals on the reef died from the 2016 event, mostly in the pristine north.

What were once dazzling multi-colored homes for myriad marine species are now graveyards of algae-swamped coral.

Now the reef is bleaching again, with corals in the reef's central area, popular with tourists, suffering the most. It’s too early to say how many of the corals will die from the bleaching.

But fear not. Breitbart’s resident climate science denier James Delingpole is on the case. 

Back-to-back Bleaching Has Now Hit Two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef

Read time: 4 mins
Plane silhouette over bleached coral on the Great Barrier Reef

By Terry Hughes, James Cook University and James Kerry, James Cook University

Corals on the Great Barrier Reef have bleached again in 2017 as a result of extreme summer temperatures. It’s the fourth such event and the second in as many years, following earlier mass bleachings in 1998, 2002 and 2016.

The consecutive bleaching in 2016 and 2017 is concerning for two reasons. First, the 12-month gap between the two events is far too short for any meaningful recovery on reefs that were affected in 2016.

Second, last year’s bleaching was most severe in the northern section of the reef, from the Torres Strait to Port Douglas, whereas this year the most intense bleaching has occurred further south, between Cooktown and Townsville. The combined footprint of this unprecedented back-to-back bleaching now stretches along two-thirds of the length of the Great Barrier Reef.

Only Way to Stop Deadly Coral Bleaching Is to Cut Fossil Fuel Burning, Says Major New Research

Read time: 6 mins

Coral reefs across the globe cannot be saved from devastating bleaching events unless rapid action is taken to cut greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning, major new research has found.

Published in the journal Nature, the research finds the world’s biggest reef system — the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in Australia — has been suffering the impacts of global warming since its first mass bleaching hit in 1998.

Now, after two further major bleaching events, the authors says nine out of ten individual reefs that make up the 1400-mile long system along the Queensland coast have bleached at least once.

Were Historical Pictures of Great Barrier Reef Degradation Really Misused, as The Australian Newspaper Claimed?

Read time: 6 mins

The Australian published a convoluted story recently about the Great Barrier Reef and the claims of a scientist over some old pictures.

I've written a few stories about the reef recently - including this piece looking at a recent dodgy editorial in The Australian. But anyway, over the weekend The Australian published a story about Professor Peter Ridd, of James Cook University, who had apparently been disciplined for criticising colleagues and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) for using some old pictures of reef near Stone Island to show how coral cover had declined over time.

The Australian Newspaper Misrepresents Science In Great Barrier Reef Bleaching Editorial, Says Scientist It Quoted

Read time: 7 mins

Almost a quarter of corals on the iconic Great Barrier Reef have died because of record ocean temperatures driven by global warming.

Those are the bare facts, according to the Australian Government’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA).

The coral bleaching that swept across the reef system this Australia summer, hitting hardest the most pristine northern section, affected 93 per cent of individual reefs along its 2300 kilometre stretch (1430 miles).

Scientists have pointed out how those corals that survived the bleaching will be weakened and, to recover, they will need all the help they can get. That means big reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and local pollution.

The news has swept across the globe.  Pretty much every major media outlet in the world has told its viewers and readers about the bleaching and shown them the spectacular and confronting images of bleached white coral. Now, the images show dead coral.

As The Great Barrier Reef Bleaches White, Queensland Government Approves Australia's Biggest Coal Mine

Read time: 4 mins
The Queensland government’s approach to protecting the Great Barrier Reef seems a bit like that of a hypocritical anti-drugs campaigner who preaches the evils of heroin and cocaine while running a meth lab and bong factory in their basement.
 
The state’s left-wing Labor Government has been simultaneously regretting the lack of global action to cut greenhouse gas emissions that damage the reef while granting approvals for the biggest coal mine in Australia’s history.
 

Global Fossil Fuel Companies Running Multiple PR Campaigns Targeting Australians

Read time: 5 mins

Both online and on television, one of the world’s biggest oil and gas producers is telling Australians that it cares more about the environment than energy.

How this message might go down with the shareholders of Chevron is anyone’s guess. But then those people are possibly not the target for Chevron’s “We Agree” campaign. 

The targets of this and other campaigns are Australians who might be thinking twice about the social licence to operate that is currently afforded to major fossil fuel companies.

Chevron’s ongoing campaign has been seen on SBS television and on satellite cable channels as well as featured banner ads on popular websites and in print.

The ads ask readers to “agree” to statements like “Value the environment as much as the energy” and “Make Australian Gas Benefit All Australia.” 

Chevron’s multi-billion-dollar gas projects are in the country’s sparsely populated north west where opposition has been weaker than elsewhere.

But the Chevron messaging is just one chunk of a steady barrage of fossil fuel-funded PR flack being fired at Australians by some of the world's biggest mining companies. 

It appears the fossil fuel industry is feeling the pressure from repeated warnings in the scientific literature about the risks of continuing to exploit and burn fossil fuels. 

World Heritage sites threatened by climate change; UN urged to seek carbon cuts

Read time: 1 min

A United Nations conference has been urged to protect six World Heritage sites, including Mount Everest and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, from global warming. Campaigners hope to persuade the group to reverse last year's decision to reject cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions.

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