The never-ending battles of the Coral Sea
by Viv Forbes, science writer
For at least 50 years Australian taxpayers and other innocents have supported a parasitic industry in academia, bureaucracy, law, media and the tax-exempt Green Alarm “Charities”, all studying, regulating, inspecting and writing about yet another “imminent threat to Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.”
The Queensland Labor Party Government is about to embark on another reef-runoff onslaught against coastal farmers that is intended to close down farming along the entire coastline, from Cooktown to Brisbane.
It has become the never-ending battle of the Coral Sea.
The threats change, but there is always a doomsday forecast – Crown-of-Thorns, oil drilling, fishing, cane farming, coastal shipping, global warming, ocean acidity, coral bleaching, port dredging, chemical and fertiliser runoff, coal transport, river sediments, loss of world heritage status etc. Every recycled scare, magnified by the media and parroted by politicians, generates more income for the alarm industry, usually at the expense of taxpayers, consumers or local industries.
The reality is that sea creatures would starve in pure water – all marine life needs nutrients, salts and minerals. These come from other life forms, from decomposing rocks and organic matter carried to the sea by rivers, from dissolving atmospheric gases, or from delta and shelf sediments stirred up by floods, cyclones, dredging or coastal shipping. No one supports over-use of toxic man-made chemicals, but well-run cane, cattle and coal companies can co-exist with corals.
Corals first appeared 500 million years ago and have proven to be one of Earth’s great survivors. They outlasted the Carboniferous Forests, the Permian and Cretaceous extinctions, the dinosaurs, the mammoths, the Neanderthals and the Pleistocene cycles of ice age and warming. They thrive in warm tropical water, cluster around hot volcanic fumaroles and survive massive petroleum spills, natural oil seeps, tidal waves and volcanic dust. They have even recolonised the Montebello Island waters devastated by atomic bomb testing in the 1950’s.
The ENSO oscillation of blobs of warm Pacific water which caused recent coral bleaching can be identified in historical records for at least 400 years. Corals have survived El Nino warmings for thousands of years and they will probably outlast Homo Alarmism as Earth proceeds into the next glacial epoch.
See the Supercorals:
Corals do not rely on computer models of global temperature to advise them – they read the sea level thermometer which falls and rises as the great ice sheets come and go.
In the warming phase like the one just ending, ice melts, sea levels rise and the reef that houses the corals may get drowned. Corals have two choices – build their reef higher or just float south/inshore and build a new reef (like the Great Barrier Reef) in shallower, cooler water. When islands sink beneath rising oceans, corals may build their own coral atolls as fast as the water rises.
Then when the cold era returns, ice sheets grow, sea levels fall, and the warm era coral reefs get stranded on the new beaches and coastal plains. Usually the process is slow enough to allow the coral polyps to float into deeper warmer water closer to the equator and build another reef.
This eminently sensible policy of “move when you have to” has proved a successful survival policy for the corals for 500 million years.
Humans should copy the corals – “forget the computer climate models but watch real data like actual sea levels and . . . move when you have to.
The healthy Great Barrier Reef deniers have been caught out lying about coral bleaching and the near-pristine condition of the world’s best coral icon.
Dive boat operators who visit the reef almost on a daily basis taking thousands of tourists on diving expeditions have been telling authorities for several years there is nothing wrong with the reef.
They have warned lying so-called conservation bodies such as the WWF, Wilderness Society, CAFNEC, the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce and the Australian Conservation Foundation their misleading campaigns would harm the Far North tourism trade.
Tourist operators have advised the State Government that coral bleaching is a natural and annual event that can affect small sections of the reef.
Spirit of Freedom dive boat owner Chris Eade told the Cairns Post that reports of coral bleaching along 93 per cent of the 2300 klm reef had damaged the reputation of the $5 billion tourism industry.
“Scientists had written off the entire northern section as a complete white-out,” Mr Eade said.
“We expected the worst, but it is in tremendous condition, most of it pristine, the rest in full recovery.”
“It shows the resilience of the reef.”
Mike Ball Dive Expeditions operations manager Craig Stephen, who conducted a similar survey on the remote reefs 20 years ago, said there had been almost no change in two decades despite the latest coral bleaching event.
“The discrepancy is phenomenal. It is so wrong. Everywhere we have been we have found healthy reefs,” Mr Ball said.
“There has been a great disservice to the Great Barrier Reef and tourism and it has not been good for our industry.”
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority estimated a mass coral white-out of between 50 to 60 per cent, on average, for reefs off Cape York.
Scientists with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies reported about 35 per cent mortality but warned “the final death toll” on some reefs may exceed 90 per cent.
This year the worst bleaching was found at Lizard Island, 180 klms north of Cooktown, where several reefs have shown distress due to fluctuating water temperatures.
Photo: Quicksilver Cruises
Dive boat operators maintain the reef is in near-pristine condition, dismissing the lies of conservation groups
According to the late Professor Bob Carter of James Cook University in an interview several years ago, this is a natural phenomenon that has occurred for several thousand years.
The climate and reef-runoff cults namely the Labor Party, Greens and conservation groups have campaigned to stop sediment runoff from farming areas which they claim is causing coral bleaching and would be doomsday for the entire reef.
The only problem with the Lizard Island bleaching is that no farming or grazing occurs on the entire eastern coastline or hinterland north of Cooktown which includes the nearby mainland opposite the tourist island. The closest farming activities are 180 kilometres to the south.
Never letting the facts get in the way of a fictitious environmental issue, the State Government in June purchased the large pastoral property ‘Springvale’, 50 klms west of Cooktown for $6.7 million ostensibly to prevent sediment runoff from grazing.
If ever the government made an unnecessary land acquisition, this one took the cake. The Government’s own Chief Scientist Dr Geoff Garrett in May released a report clearing the Spingvale/ Normanby River system of any measurable sediment runoff entering the ocean.
ALP sources have advised there are several more property acquisitions from the Cooktown district in the pipeline, which, according to Lakeland district graziers, would be a monumental waste of taxpayers money and would have a severe impact on the district’s economy.
The Labor Government now proposes a blanket World Heritage listing over the entire Cape York Peninsula to pacify the Greens after their planned, savage vegetation management bill was voted down last week in Parliament, thanks to the good grace of the independent Member for Cook, Billy Gordon.
This vexatious World Heritage nomination will be sure to agitate indigenous people and pastoralists who said they would take the fight to the minority ALP government which is teetering on the edge of electoral defeat.