Friday, July 12, 2019

Latest coral monitoring report waves a burning red flag for our Great Barrier Reef

We know from the Peter Ridd affair that these people are blinkered global warmists who are determined to support their beliefs by fair means or foul. In the wake of the Ridd affair, however, they seem to have regressed to more careful statements about the reef.  Their latest report is far more careful than the hysteria below which is said to be based on it.  Here is the abstract of the actual report:

* Coral reefs are impacted by numerous disturbances including outbreaks of the corallivorous crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster c.f. solaris), tropical cyclones and coral bleaching.

* Over the last five years, these collective disturbances have caused declines in hard coral cover to moderate (10-30%) levels across much of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR).

*Reef condition was variable both within and among regions. Reefs in the Northern and Central GBR have sustained impacts from multiple severe disturbances including mass coral bleaching, cyclones and crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks.

* Reefs in the Southern GBR escaped major disturbances from 2009 until 2017, when a severe outbreak of crown-of-thorns starfish began that continued through to 2019.

* In response to these disturbances, average hard coral cover continued to decline in the Central and Southern GBR while stabilising in the Northern GBR in 2019.

* Hard coral cover on AIMS survey reefs in the Northern GBR increased slightly from 11% in 2017 to 14% in 2019, but remains close to the lowest levels recorded by the AIMS Long-Term Monitoring Program (LTMP) since 1985. This reflects the cumulative impacts of cyclones and two episodes of severe coral bleaching over the period 2014 to 2019. To date, recovery has been limited.

* Surveys in the Northern GBR in 2019 may overestimate regional hard coral cover; coral bleaching in 2016 caused the greatest mortality on inshore reefs, but few inshore reefs could be surveyed due to safety concerns.

* Reefs in the Central GBR sustained significant coral loss due to Severe Tropical Cyclone (STC) Debbie in 2017 and due to the continued southward spread of crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks. Average hard coral cover declined slightly, from 14% in 2018 to 12% in 2019.

* Reefs of the Capricorn-Bunker sector in the Southern GBR continued to recover in 2019 while many of the southern Swain reefs suffered large coral losses due to intense crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks. Overall, mean coral cover on reefs in the Southern GBR region continued to decline, albeit only slightly, from 25% in 2018 to 24% in 2019.

* Early indications from additional detailed surveys show that coral juveniles across the GBR occurred at densities favourable for recovery in the absence of further disturbances.

Notice the dog that didn't bark?  There's no mention of climate change or warmer oceans.  The reference to bleaching could be taken as referring to global warming but bleaching can in fact be caused by many things, including fluctuations of water levels.

And the final point is optimistic that the reef will recover if starfish outbreaks and cyclones give it a chance.  There is actually NOTHING in the scientific report to justify the desperate lies from the Marine Conservation Society below.  Pesky of me to read the actual report, isn't it?

So why have they gone cautious?  It might not be because of the Ridd affair alone.  There is a major difficulty in saying that the reef has deteriorated in the last few years due to global warming.  The satellites show that global temperatures have in fact FALLEN in the last few years.  So any reef decline is NOT due to global warming.  Something non-existent cannot have an effect

The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has today released their latest coral monitoring report which waves a burning red flag for Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The latest update to their Long?Term Reef Monitoring Program - Annual Summary Report on Coral Reef Condition for 2018/19 shows coral decline on an unparalleled scale, due primarily to the impacts of climate change.

The report by the country's pre-eminent marine science agency shows that hard coral cover, the foundation of our beautiful Reef, has declined by a whopping 10-30% in the past five years.

It found that hard coral cover in the Northern Great Barrier Reef increased by 3% but notes that this may be an overestimation, as the 2016 coral bleaching caused the greatest mortality to inshore coral reefs, few of which could be surveyed due to safety concerns.

Coral reefs in the northern and central Great Barrier Reef have sustained impacts from `multiple severe disturbances, including mass coral bleaching, cyclones and crown of thorns starfish'.

"The data screams out from this report that climate change is clobbering our world heritage Reef," said Shani Tager, Great Barrier Reef spokeswoman from the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).

"Underwater heatwaves have caused mass coral bleaching. As sea temperatures rise ever upwards, our corals bleach, our cyclones become more extreme and crown of thorn starfish thrive from excess runoff along our coast.

"The Reef is still a dynamic, beautiful place, home to thousands of animals and supporting 64,000 tourism jobs, but it's in serious trouble and we need our Governments to act fast.

"Queensland and Australia are custodians of our beloved Great Barrier Reef, but this report reminds us yet again how out of touch our political leaders are on the urgent need for climate change action.

"Our government should be leading the world on clean, renewable energy. Instead they stagger on with plans to develop more coal mines like Adani and more coal fired power stations, subsidised by Australian taxpayers who have never been more concerned about climate change.

"Australia's top marine scientists are saying that climate change will make it harder for our Reef to recover from more frequent natural disasters and disturbances.

"This is a burning red flag for our Reef and our nation. Australians love our Great Barrier Reef and we must fight to protect its future."


Arrogant climate change protesters hand out vegan biscuits to frustrated drivers stopped from getting to work (and on with their lives) by their peak-hour protest

Furious commuters on their way to work in Brisbane's CBD were met with huge peak-hour traffic delays as climate change activists held a peaceful protest. 

The Extinction Rebellion SEQ group held the demonstration in Brisbane on Thursday morning, demanding action on climate change and the Adani coal mine.

The group held up traffic as they stood on the road with signs and banners while frustrated commuters tried to make their way into the city.

Some activists tried to cheer up angered motorists by offering them vegan biscuits.

The group said protests would be taking place on Thursday, with around 40 activists on Elizabeth Street. 

Other demonstrations were also planned to take on other streets in the city between 7.30am and 10:30am.

'Respectful civil disobedience has been shown to be the most effective form of demanding change,' Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Sergeio told the ABC.

'We cause disruption to society in order to allow our population to consider the climate emergency and what they will do about it.'

Motorists were less than impressed with the planned protest, stepping out of their cars to hurl abuse or beeping their horns.

One motorist was heard shouting at police 'why don't you arrest them?', according to the Courier Mail.

'Why don't they just get a f***ing job?' questioned another fed-up commuter, only to be handed a vegan biscuit in response.

It is the third time this month that demonstrations like this have happened.

The activists described the disruption as a 'minor inconvenience' in comparison to what will happen when Queensland mine officially starts operating.

More disruption is expected for next week when more protests are planned.


Pauline Hanson says she wants police to break up disruptive climate protests

Pauline Hanson says she wants police to break up protests and fine activists after climate change marchers caused traffic chaos on the streets of Brisbane today.

Angry drivers blared their horns at the 40-person group from Extinction Rebellion as they moved between and blocked four key intersections within the city for about 10 minutes at a time.

The small group met at Queens Park at 7.30am before moving down George St, blocking intersections at Elizabeth, Adelaide and Turbot streets.

Frustrated drivers were seen exiting their cars to see what the hold up was, showing their anger through blaring horns.

One protester, Tom Howell, said in a livestream on the Extinction Rebellion SEQ Facebook page that a little bit of inconvenience is necessary in the long run.

"We are going to keep doing this until our demands are met. Brisbane has to get used to this."

The One Nation leader accused police commanders of instructing their officers on the ground not to go near the protesters.

"It's not good enough, I think they should be stopped. Give them a fine," Senator Hanson told Sky News. "The police tend to step back from them. They tend to be told by their masters, the political side of the wing, to actually not intervene and not do anything about it.

"People are sick of these protesters who think they have control and think they can do whatever they want.

"It's not the police, they're being told by their superiors what to do."

Senator Hanson has joined the likes of Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington in condemning today's protests.

Ms Frecklington took to Twitter to call for stronger police action.

"Seriously, these people are becoming serial pests to Brisbane commuters. I have no problem with peaceful protest but this is deliberate disruption. Police should throw the book at them and send them the bill," she said.

Ms Frecklington tweeted: "The clowns are on the loose again. These serial pests need to stop disrupting Queensland commuters and protest in a park."

Queensland Police were unable to confirm to The Australian this morning whether any fines were given out or arrests were made.


Rush to climb Uluru before it’s closed permanently

Climbing the rock is a popular tourist activity.  Closing it off is disgusting pandering to Aboriginal superstitions.  The government does not support other religious ideas.  Why this one?

Tourists travelling to climb Uluru have hit a “historic high” in anticipation of the climb being closed permanently in October.

Three months out from the closure, the tourist influx has sparked claims of trespassing, illegal dumping of rubbish, and disrespect in the rush to climb the rock.

Stephen Schwer CEO of Central Tourism Australia said there has been a massive influx of people in the run up to October 26, when the climb will be closed permanently.

“We are seeing a lot of forward booking for September school holidays so I have a feeling (the influx) will continue until the climb closed,” Mr Schwer told The Australian,

“There is a lot of domestic drive traveller coming for the express purpose of climbing the rock, and a lot of (accommodation) is booked up so we are urging people to plan ahead.”

CEO Voyages indigenous Tourism Australia Grant Hunt said the rush was causing a massive safety concern for those climbing the rock, as well and problems with people disrespecting the land they are travelling on.

“We are under a lot of pressure with the camping and caravanning sector, “ Mr Hunt said.

“Down the highway and on the Aboriginal Trust land … there are people who when they can’t get a booking they are finding themselves alternate locations which in most cases is trespassing and they do not have the same facilities so they are dumping their waste wherever they can,” Mr Hunt said.

“(There are) definitely safety concerns about the amount of people climbing — there are only finite resources and it is closing because it is not safe, I’m just crossing my fingers there isn’t a tragedy before October 26,” Mr Hunt said.

The Anangu traditional land owners and Alice Springs locals reportedly say visitors are leaving rubbish bins overflowing, and illegally dumping human waste on roadsides.

Uluru is sacred to indigenous Australians and the climb has always been discouraged by the park’s traditional owners, who deem it disrespectful due to the sacred nature of the area.

Some tourist operators have discouraged tourists climbing in recent times, both in respect of indigenous wishes and also because of safety factors.


Aboriginal voice in parliament carries the same risks it did two years ago

It's sheer racism to give a huge privilege purely on racial grounds

The principle that all Australians should not be divided on the basis of their race or skin colour is a cornerstone of our freedoms and the rule of law. This clear principle — that race has no place in the Australian Constitution — is being ­undermined by a bipartisan campaign to divide Australians in our nation’s founding document by ­establishing a special body to represent indigenous Australia to be a “voice” to parliament on issues relevant to indigenous Australians.

Yesterday, Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt revealed in an address to the National Press Club that the federal government intended to “bring forward a consensus option” for an indigenous “voice” to be presented at a referendum during the present term of parliament.

This appears to be a different position than the Coalition offered voters before May’s federal election. The Prime Minister did not tell the so-called quiet Australians who elected the Coalition that he supported political and legal rights being accorded to Australians on the basis of their race.

While remaining committed to some form of constitutional recognition, the view of the Coalition was that which was expressed by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who rejected the proposal for a voice in October 2017, saying “the government does not believe such an addition to our ­national representative institutions is either desirable or capable of winning in a referendum”.

The flaws of the proposals are the same as they were then. In practice, the voice could never be confined to issues solely affecting indigenous Australians. This is ­because all major policy issues, such as health, education and ­infrastructure, apply to all Australians regardless of their race. The voice also presents an unprecedented threat to our representative institutions. It is inevitable that a representative body for indigenous Australians would effectively practise a veto power over any policy passed by any Australian parliament. Rather than a formal veto power, the power of the body would be to shame parliaments into agreeing with its advice. The alternative is to oppose the indigenous voice. Conversely, an official, constitutionally enshrined voice that repre­sents one view might crowd out other views in the indigenous community.

The minister is seeking inspiration from the 1967 referendum, which he notes “was the result of tireless advocacy and an extraordinary momentum for change”. It is important to consider what the ­nature of that change was.

In 1967 almost 92 per cent of Australians agreed to “alter the Constitution so as to omit certain words relating to the People of the Aboriginal Race in any State and so that Aboriginals are to be counted in reckoning the Population”. In other words, Australians then overwhelmingly voted to remove references to race in the Constitution. Now both parties are asking Australians to put race back into the Constitution. This is not progress in indigenous affairs, it is a significant backwards step.

Wyatt criticised paternalist policies developed in Canberra. He said “even the most well-­intentioned modern policies and programs have still tended to take a top-down command-and-control approach”. But the solution to the problem he has correctly identified is fundamentally flawed.

Localism should be embraced, which would see communities — indigenous and non-indigenous — given the power to make their own decisions that are appropriate for them. This is a fundamental part of addressing the challenges in indigenous communities, but decentralisation does not require the abolition of the universality of the Australian Constitution.

Unfortunately, a significant problem in indigenous affairs today is the assumption that the types of policies that promote success and human flourishing are culturally contingent. The fundamental building blocks of a successful life — the dignity of work, safe neighbourhoods, stable families and economic opportunity — are the same regardless of one’s ­racial background. Constitutional change is not required to promote these building blocks. Instead, Australian governments should focus on practical outcomes for ­indigenous Australians, such as ensuring more children attend school and more economic opportunity reaches remote areas.

Any proposal to establish a ­special voice for some people and not others is illiberal and a violation of all principles of racial equality. The parliament, which is open to participation from all ­Australians, ­remains the best body to address these needs.

Even just challenging these ideas and asking Australians to divide themselves by race might divide Australia along those lines forever. If the referendum for an indigenous voice wins, Australia’s system of representative government will be up-ended. If the referendum fails, it will be a win for an industry that thrives on stoking ­resentment between segments of the Australian population.

In an age of identity politics, it is a test of the federal government to promote a vision of unity, not further division. If it were to consider ­establishing a voice to parliament, the Morrison government might fail this important test.


Meet champion of the centre: Andrew Wilkie

Andrew Wilkie - Australia's first urban independent to exceed 50 per cent of the primary vote - is genuinely surprised at how many votes he has stolen from all political parties.

"Before this election, I couldn't see where my vote increase could come from; I could not fathom or see any place where there was a surplus to be had," says the independent for Hobart-based Clark, the once safe Labor seat he squeezed into on preferences in 2010.

Voters of all stripes thought differently, with further defections from all three main political parties seeing his primary vote - just 21.26 per cent nine years ago - climb to 50.05 per cent.

Clark is now less a safe seat than a personal political fiefdom. "I've taken about half the Green vote, almost half the Liberal vote and the majority of the Labor vote," says Wilkie, who believes voters have rewarded hard work and a commitment to integrity.

While he did not deliberately target disillusioned party voters, the former spook turned whistleblower turned MP says his success, which he attributes in part to disillusionment with the main parties, offers lessons for others.

"If any independent comes along and just tries to take votes from one party, they probably can't take enough to win the seat, but if you have got an independent who is broadly appealing, that's a different calculation," says the former Liberal Party member and twice Greens candidate.

At the 2007 election, the last before the retirement from politics of Duncan Kerr, the Labor MP who held the seat previously known as Denison for 23 years, Labor won 48.46 per cent of the primary votes. While Wilkie scraped in on preferences in 2010, he has increased support at each poll since. Labor's primary vote at this election fell further to only 20.22 per cent - less than half its pre-Wilkie level. The Liberal vote has almost halved in the same period, from 29.66 per cent in 2007 to 17.37 per cent last month, while the Greens vote has plummeted from 18.6 per cent in 2007 to 9.5 per cent.

Clark is often said to be divided politically and socially along a "flannelette curtain" of Creek Road, north of the city centre. Northward are battling suburbs, where Labor once triumphed, while south lies trendy inner-city suburbs of green-left types, as well as affluent areas where moderate Liberals do well at a state level.

Wilkie, who backed Julia Gillard to govern in the hung parliament of 2010, appears to have succeeded by focusing on issues close to these disparate groupings. Issues he raised during the election lead-up ranged from those of concern to traditional Labor votes - jobs, workers' rights and Centrelink failings - to green-left topics such as the Adani coalmine, live animal exports and the environment. Warnings against the Coalition flirting with Pauline Hanson or Clive Palmer would have appealed to Liberal moderates. "Some people call me a leftie; I call myself a centrist," he says.

His biggest danger may be his own success. Having made his seat so safe, the major parties may bypass it when rolling out the pork barrel. With no hung parliament, requiring government to curry favour with crossbenchers, voters could come to see Wilkie as a barrier to achieving federal funding.

He believes this is unfounded. "It's obviously harder to deliver when you are a safe seat but it's not impossible, particularly when you have a good working relationship with both sides of parliament. I have good access to the PM and all of his ministers. If this (seat) was held by an opposition backbencher, there would be zero for the electorate.

"If you're in the Labor or Liberal parties you're either in government or you're in opposition. But if you're a well-regarded independent in the middle you can have open channels of communication with both parties . Even if you're not in the balance of power, government still likes your imprimatur for controversial policies."

So far Scott Morrison has treated Wilkie and other crossbenchers well, maintaining extra staff provided to deal with past tight numbers in the house and keeping in contact. Wilkie, 58 in November, says this is a sign the government is acutely aware its majority could be lost in the event of a by-election or defection.

He plans to seek re-election in 2022. "Any hopes there might be in the dark corners of the Labor Party are dashed," he says. "I ain't going to give it back to them. They are going to have to come and take it off me."


 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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