Great Barrier Reef: If the fossil fuel industry made ice cream | Graham Readfearn

Great Barrier Reef under pressure from dredging and climate change despite the TV claims from the fossil fuel industry

If the fossil fuel industry made fancy ice cream, what flavour would it be?

Maybe a dollop of Triple Fossil Ripple with luscious layers of coal, gas and shale oil? How about a bowl of Lignite Wonderland? Anyone for Coal Briquette Cookie Dough?

GBR has been subject to severe disturbances, including COTS outbreaks, mass coral bleaching and declining growth rates of coral due to increasing seawater temperatures, terrestrial runoff, tropical cyclones, and coral diseases…

There is also strong evidence that water quality affects the frequency of COTS outbreaks in the central and southern GBR

It is not scientifically accurate to claim that cyclones are killing off the Reef.

The real issue is to ask, why are reefs away from people still perfectly able to recover from cyclones, as they always have, while polluted reefs nearer to the coast are in rapid decline? Pollution is the culprit, not cyclones which are part of the natural dynamic of the Reef.

 The resilience of the reef is very much in the hands of water quality. The ability of the reef to grow back after COTS events and cyclones is essentially indexed to how well corals are growing.

We already have higher levels of pollutants along the coastline and so the ability of the corals to bounce back is highly compromised.

Various potential water quality issues can arise from port and shipping activities, including those due to: dredging of channels and berths (which can result in short-term turbidity) and placement of dredged material at sea; runoff from land (including stormwater from product stockpiles and partially developed sites); reclamation of habitats (wetlands), with potential implications for runoff; antifouling paints and waste discharge from ships; and shipping incidents and accidents, and marine oil spills.

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