Friday, 27 May 2016

Lieberals block UN release of GBReef damage report - said it would "harm tourism"

Coral bleaching caused from climate change

The Turnbull gov has blocked Australia being mentioned in a major report on climate change from the UN. An entire chapter on Australia, particularly about the damage to the Great Barrier Reef was omitted from the report after protests from the Australian gov that it would harm tourism here if it was released.

Astonishing hypocrisy. After pushing for years to mine the Galilee Basin in Queensland, and dredge the Reef for a coal shipping route right smack through the middle of the Reef, now they're suddenly concerned about the tourism industry up there? It just beggars belief.

More likely they're trying to save face in a long election campaign, that after three years of their climate destroying gov Australia's Great Barrier Reef is on it's knees. The actions of the gov in trying to block this report are likened to something out of the old Soviet Union.

Fortunately though, Guardian Australia has obtained the omitted chapter. You may read it here. It's not surprising. Exactly what you'd expect actually.

This from The Guardian about the suppression by the Lieberals of the report:
Every reference to Australia was scrubbed from the final version of a major UN report on climate change after the Australian government intervened, objecting that the information could harm tourism. 

Guardian Australia can reveal the report “World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate”, which Unesco jointly published with the United Nations environment program and the Union of Concerned Scientists on Friday, initially had a key chapter on the Great Barrier Reef, as well as small sections on Kakadu and the Tasmanian forests. 

But when the Australian Department of Environment saw a draft of the report, it objected, and every mention of Australia was removed by Unesco. Will Steffen, one of the scientific reviewers of the axed section on the reef, said Australia’s move was reminiscent of “the old Soviet Union”. 

No sections about any other country were removed from the report. The removals left Australia as the only inhabited continent on the planet with no mentions. 

Explaining the decision to object to the report, a spokesperson for the environment department told Guardian Australia: “Recent experience in Australia had shown that negative commentary about the status of world heritage properties impacted on tourism.” 

As a result of climate change combined with weather phenomena, the Great Barrier Reef is in the midst of the worst crisis in recorded history. Unusually warm water has caused 93% of the reefs along the 2,300km site to experience bleaching. In the northern most pristine part, scientists think half the coral might have died. 

The omission was “frankly astounding,” Steffen said. The Guardian