Posted by: Grant | October 11, 2012

The Great Barrier Reef – NOT

If you were somewhat dubious of the recent claims ( ) that the GBR had lost half its coral, you were right.
It made a good, sensational news item, no balancing comment was sought, and it fails even cursory examination of its authenticity. The more they change the more they stay the same.

Reef Alarmists Jump The Shark
by Walter Starck October 9, 2012

Jumping the Reef Shark In 1977, after several years of high ratings, the popular U.S. TV sitcom Happy Days was losing viewers. To recapture audience attention the writers came up with the idea of having the star, Fonzie, jump a shark on water skis. Since then “jumping the shark” has come to refer to desperate but somewhat silly stunts to regenerate interest in a fading brand, product or activity. It seems that with the level of eco-threats becoming so inflated by climate-change hype, the reef-threat… ”

“…This statement is unsubstantiated and contrary to available evidence… “
” …No evidence exists for this claim…. “
” …There is no evidence of any increase in the frequency or…”
” …No actual measurements of pre-European sedimentation rates exist. These are only estimates and extrapolations from unverified proxies which may or may not… “
” …But this period also coincided with the ending of an extended period of extreme drought and no explanation has… “
” …The assumption that levels of turbidity in flood runoff events are…
” …Still another false statement is that,.. “
” …This is entirely supposition, and the actual result… “
” …Perhaps the claim most likely to raise an eyebrow is the declaration that, “The authors declare no conflict of interest.” All the authors have in fact been beneficiaries of generous research grants to study purported environmental threats to the GBR… “

” ….The high cost of providing a permanent reef holiday
Between the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, James Cook University, the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Queensland Fisheries and the Reef Rescue Program, public expenditure on saving the GBR now totals almost $200 million per year. In the private sector the cost of compliance is comparable or even greater. Much greater still is the ongoing costs and constraints on production, profitability and future development across all primary industries…. ”  

 ” ….If the reef alarmists are right, any “resilience” the reef may have had in the past has not been enough to prevent the loss of half the coral. Now, with even less resilience and an accelerating rate of alleged coral loss, the reef is clearly doomed and we need to face that fact. Continuing to throw massive resources into the ocean to maintain a pretence of “saving” it is both futile and stupid. The reef needs to be put on palliative care with major reductions in expenditure on management and research while maintaining only a modest effort to monitor any further changes in condition.
On the other hand, if the whole business of threats to the reef has simply been grossly exaggerated then it is also time to end the charade.
In addition to rent-seekers there is abundant evidence of a variety of other unhealthy influences being involved as well. These include media sensationalism, political pandering for green votes, postmodern scientific corruption, “noble cause” corruption, ill-informed eco-evangelism and bureaucratic empire building…. “


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