Australia’s Bleached Ocean

All mentions of Australia have been removed from a major UN report on climate change at the request of Australia’s Department of Environment, claiming the “facts” would impact tourism in Australia. What is ironic though is the news of Australia removing all mentions of Australia will be the focus of news reports around the world, resulting in an impact on tourism. In my opinion, this is exactly the problem with the government in Australia, instead of fixing the problems we’re causing, they are hiding them. The fact of the matter is, erasing facts from a document does not erase them from reality.

An Australian icon and world heritage site, The Great Barrier Reef is in the worst state it has ever been in recorded history due to climate change. The warmer water has caused over 90% of the reef to become bleached – the worst in the world. Also, massive qualities of the Great Barrier Reef are now dead, with an average of 35% in northern and central regions beyond recovery as a direct result of human-generated environmental impacts. This remains a fact whether you believe it or not, and furthermore, whether it is recorded in a UN report or not. It is astounding that Australia, a developed country and an influential member of the Commonwealth, continue to deny reality in the face of political and social convention.

This is not the first time Australia has removed facts from being reported by the UN in fear of changing the ‘Aussie’ way of life. Less than a year ago, the government lobbied and succeeded in getting the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization to exclude the Great Barrier Reef in a list titled ‘World Heritage Sites in Danger’. In justifying this, the Australian environmental department said they were “concerned that the framing of the report confused two issues – the world heritage status of the site and the risks arising from climate change and tourism.” Two problems which if we continue to destroy the ocean as we have been, will not be an issue because neither will exist.

As long as we have passionate citizens blogging and journalists reporting on these matters, the efforts of the Australian government in sweeping climate issues under the rug will not succeed. Australia bribed their way into the United Nations only to question facts scientists have discovered about the state of our beautiful country. If we continue on our path, our children’s children will have nothing left but a bleached, hot, and drier landscape, run by a corrupt government. We will tell them stories of how the ocean once glowed with color, only to have politics destroy our hope of fixing it. Change begins with acceptance and if the people in charge cannot accept the facts, what hope does our country have.

News Source: The Guardian

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