Sunday, March 12, 2017

Scientists alarmed after Great Barrier Reef is hit by a SECOND year of coral bleaching

Note that both the GBRMPA and AIMS below have NOT attributed the event to global warming.  Only ratbag outfits like Greenpeace and WWF have done that.  And there is a reason for that circumspection. Cape Grim tells us that CO2 levels have been plateaued on 401ppm since last July (midwinter)  So anything that has happened in the recent summer is NOT due to a rise in CO2.  And NASA/GISS tell us that the December global temperature anomaly is back to .79 -- exactly where it was in 2014 before the recent El Nino event that covered the second half of 2015 and most of 2016.  So there has been no global warming in the recent Southern summer and there was no CO2 rise to cause anything anywhere anyway.  The claim that this summer's bleaching was an effect of global warming is a complete crock for both reasons.  The data could not be clearer on that

Scientists in Australia have revealed unprecedented damage to the Great Barrier Reef, warning 'we are entering uncharted territory'.

Surveys have shown the coral reef is entering its second year of year bleaching for the first time.

Bleaching happens when algae that lives in the coral is expelled due to stress caused by extreme changes in temperatures, turning the coral white and putting it at risk of dying.

The first aerial survey of 2017 has found shocking levels of bleaching in the central part of the reef, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said.

Marine Park Authority director of reef recovery Dr David Wachenfeld said: 'Mass bleaching is occurring on the Great Barrier Reef for the second consecutive year.

'How this event unfolds will depend very much on local weather conditions over the next few weeks.'

He said not all bleached coral would die, and last year revealed bleaching and mortality could be highly variable across the vast marine park, a World Heritage Site which covers an area larger than Italy.

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 mollusc species, and is the habitat of wildlife such as the dugong – sea cow – and the large green turtle.

Conditions on the reef are part of a global coral bleaching event over the past two years, as a result of unusually warm ocean temperatures due to climate change and a strong El Nino weather phenomenon which pushes temperatures up further.

Dr Neal Cantin, from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), said the recurrence of widespread coral bleaching in back-to-back summers indicated there was not enough time since 2016's extreme heat event for the corals to fully recover.

'We are seeing a decrease in the stress tolerance of these corals,' he said. 'This is the first time the Great Barrier Reef has not had a few years between bleaching events to recover.

'Many coral species appear to be more susceptible to bleaching after more than 12 months of sustained above-average ocean temperatures. 'We are now entering uncharted territory.'

John Tanzer, from WWF International, said: 'What is unfolding before our very eyes is the starkest evidence that climate change is already wreaking havoc on the ocean.

'Coral reefs are a beloved natural wonder but less appreciated is that they also directly support the jobs, livelihoods and food supplies of many millions of people. What will happen to these people as large areas of coral die?'

He called for a major lift in action to bring down carbon emissions, and scaled efforts to reduce local pressures on reefs so they have the best chance of withstanding climate change.

Brett Monroe Garner, a conservation photographer and marine biologist documenting the bleaching with Greenpeace, said: 'I've been photographing this area of the reef for several years now and what we're seeing is unprecedented.

'Just a few months ago, these corals were full of colour and life. Now, everywhere you look is white. The corals aren't getting the chance to bounce back from last year's bleaching event. If this is the new normal, we're in trouble.'


Students at Sydney boys' high 'at high risk of Islamic radicalisation' after the school's top student fled to Syria to join ISIS

Students at a boys' high school were 'at high risk of radicalisation' because one of the top pupils fled to Syria to join Islamic state after he graduated.

Parents have told The Australian students at Canterbury Boys High School in southwest Sydney began the government-funded anti-radicalisation program last year - after their 2013 dux Samir Atwani joined Islamic State.

Punchbowl Boys High School was also reportedly identified as needing the specialist program, but the school refused and principal Chris Griffiths with his deputy Joumana Dennaoui were later dismissed.

The Education Department would not confirm which schools were in the program, saying it would breach privacy and operational rules.

Another spokesperson for the department had said the program, School Communities Working Together, was not a 'deradicalisation program' - but a 'proactive program designed to support students'.

The Education Department said it had conducted an 'extensive appraisal of the school's policies, procedures and management'.

The investigation was prompted by its refusal to participate in School Community Working Together, department boss Mark Scott said.

Staff made a series of serious complaints in 2016.

Women teachers had been prevented from participating in official events such as the Year 12 graduation ceremony, it was alleged.

Daily Mail Australia has approached Canterbury Boys High School and the Department of Education for comment.


Penalty rates a challenge for business

Simon Cowan

The government's response to the Fair Work Commission's decision on penalty rates has been weak. The government has appeared indecisive, yet will wear opprobrium for supporting the decision anyway.

That the unions and Labor would try and mount a campaign against these changes was one of the most predictable things in the world: unions in particular long for another relevance boost like the one they received after Workchoices. The government should have had their response prepared.

And to be clear, the penalty rate cut is not merely a whim of the Fair Work Commission: a lot of work has been done over a number of years to build the economic case for the cut -- not the least by the Productivity Commission. As the CIS has noted before in a number of reports, this change is a good one for the economy.

Yet the political case, the public case, must be made for the changes -- not just the economic one. Government has failed to take the lead here, but they are not alone in failing to act. Business has been even weaker in prosecuting the case for change.

The Liberal party has long despaired that business does not actively campaign the way unions do. By and large, business is correct to stay out of politics -- too many businesses to count have suffered financially from taking political positions.

Yet this reticence by business has now gone far beyond staying on the political sidelines. Business is not defending itself against increasingly aggressive attacks by the left. Business was barely heard in supporting positive changes to company taxation and business leaders are again missing in the fight to cut penalty rates.

The business community is supposedly white hot with anger over the failure of Turnbull to prosecute the case for penalty rate cuts. I say supposedly because you would never actually know that from the debate on the issue.

Businesses have tried making themselves invisible in politics and they have tried appeasing the left by embracing 'corporate social responsibility'. Neither approach has placated the politics of envy. Maybe it's time they start fighting for what they believe in.


‘Thousands’ now backing Bernardi

Less than a month after Cory Bernardi quit the Coalition to form his own ultra-conservative party, his membership list is equal to half the number of Liberal Party members in South Australia and two-thirds of ALP members.

The former South Australian Liberal Party senator yesterday formally applied to register his Australian Conservatives.

In his application to the Australian Electoral Commission, Senator Bernardi said his party stood for limited government, personal responsibility, free enterprise and civil society.

Senator Bernardi told the South Australian Press Club yesterday that plans to run candidates at the next state election, due on March 17 next year, were a “work in progress”.

“There are tens of thousands of people who have registered their interest ... I know many of those people are members of other political parties as well, because they are telling us, and there are also thousands upon thousands of people who have paid to become members of Australian Conservatives,” Senator Bernardi said.

“In South Australia, we already have one half the number of members in the Liberal Party, which is pretty good after a month, and about two-thirds of what the Labor Party has, and that’s just in this state. So we are building from a very strong position.”

Contrasting today’s political reality with the Howard era, ­Senator Bernardi said “we’ve had a lost decade of political non-achievement”.

Australian Conservatives represented “a path forward where principles are put before politics and where policies are more important than personalities”.

Senator Bernardi outlined a seven-point plan to “deliver savings, transparency and accountability”. This included no retirement benefits for MPs until they reached preservation age and that benefits of prime ministerial office be taken only after four years were served.

Senator Bernardi said he would introduce a motion on the resumption of parliament for a pay freeze on MPs’ wages until the budget was returned to surplus. Political donations should come only from individuals and be capped, with above the tax-­deductible threshold amounts disclosed in “real time”.

He warned that there was a “co-ordinated global movement, funded by billionaire activists, to influence local politics”.

All MPs and their offices, along with government agencies and departments, should disclose their spending over a nominal level in a publicly searchable national database, he said.

He said he wanted to reduce duplication of federal and state responsibilities and reform the Senate so the executive government was drawn solely from the House of Representatives to “restore the Senate to its primary role as a house of review”.

Senator Bernardi also proposed term limits for all politicians so that “political service would once again become a public service rather than a political career”.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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