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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday January 14 2018, @09:14PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the all-about-the-quid dept.

A Queensland tourism representative has blamed a drop in Great Barrier Reef tourism on scientists warning of pollution and global warming risks:

A Queensland tourism representative has called one of the Great Barrier Reef's leading researchers "a dick", blaming the professor for a downturn in tourism growth at the state's greatest natural asset. Col McKenzie, the head of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators, a group that represents more than 100 businesses in the Great Barrier Reef, has written to the federal government asking it to stop funding the work of Professor Terry Hughes, claiming his comments were "misleading" and damaging the tourism industry.

But the Australian Conservation Foundation said tourism representatives and operators like McKenzie should stop blaming scientists for reporting what was happening to the reef and start targeting major polluters to ensure change. Hughes, who serves as the director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, and is considered one of the world's leading experts on the reef, has been warning of the damage rising water temperatures have been inflicting on the reef for years.

While not disagreeing there was work to be done on the reef's health, McKenzie accused Hughes of exaggerating the damage, which he said has been detrimental to the region's multibillion-dollar tourism industry. "I think Terry Hughes is a dick," he told Guardian Australia. "I believe he has done tens of millions of dollars of damage to our reef in our key markets, being America and Europe. You went to those areas in 2017 and they were convinced the reef was dead. And people won't do long-haul trips when they think the reef is dead."

McKenzie said in 2016, tourism growth in the region had returned to pre-global financial crisis levels, before "that growth died" in 2017, which he blamed on Hughes "negative comments".

Also at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by corey on Sunday January 14 2018, @09:25PM

    by corey (2202) on Sunday January 14 2018, @09:25PM (#622274)

    If that McKenzie suddenly offered to donate 50% of the tourism profits tfrom his operators to research on fixing the reef instead, I'd not think he is a total dick. Then again a lot of northern Queenslanders don't believe in climate change anyway. And money is more important than the environment, just look at how much of a debate the ridiculous Adani mine has been.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14 2018, @09:25PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14 2018, @09:25PM (#622275)

    He hasn't done "tens of millions of damage to our reef", this guy's profiteering scheme is suffering a bit. The fact that he calls the tourism industry "our reef" clearly indicates he doesn't care about the actual reef at all! Defunding one of the leading researchers also doesn't exactly suggest you care about the reef either, those might be the people to save it.

    Also, growth is down, so apparently business is still growing, just not as much as it used to.

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14 2018, @09:28PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14 2018, @09:28PM (#622276)

    It's still better to go to Australia and see some dead coral reefs than getting nuked in Hawaii.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14 2018, @09:42PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14 2018, @09:42PM (#622282)

      When WW3 hits, some benevolent power will launch a few nukes at Australia to put them out of their misery.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by realDonaldTrump on Monday January 15 2018, @12:02AM (1 child)

        by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Monday January 15 2018, @12:02AM (#622330) Homepage Journal

        Did you ever see On the Beach? Funny old movie from the '50s.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 15 2018, @10:23AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 15 2018, @10:23AM (#622513)

          I know the Orange Clown doesn't know how to read but for those who can I suggest the original

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Beach_(novel) [wikipedia.org]

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 15 2018, @12:15AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 15 2018, @12:15AM (#622333)

        Israel already has all of Europe in its cross-hairs. Israeli Professor: We Could Destroy All European Capitals [sweetliberty.org]

        It might be that Australia will also be targeted. We do know they have nuclear armed submarines. No human is safe from jewish nuclear weapons.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Sunday January 14 2018, @09:49PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday January 14 2018, @09:49PM (#622287)

      You don't have to go all the way to Australia to see dead coral reefs, they're everywhere these days: http://www.chasingcoral.com/ [chasingcoral.com]

      --
      My karma ran over your dogma.
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by MostCynical on Sunday January 14 2018, @09:44PM

    by MostCynical (2589) on Sunday January 14 2018, @09:44PM (#622283)

    it couldn't possibly be that people don't want to see dead reef, and the fact that not *all* of it is dead doesn't change the fact that half, or more is bleached. No, must be the messenger, not the message!

    http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/half-the-great-barrier-reef-may-have-died-in-last-two-years/news-story/d1a7e2974597f40d04700d7313c9f713 [news.com.au]

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/15/science/great-barrier-reef-coral-climate-change-dieoff.html [nytimes.com]

    --
    Books are a poor substitute for female companionship, but they are easier to find. P Rothfuss “The Wise Man's Fear"
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Sunday January 14 2018, @09:46PM (4 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday January 14 2018, @09:46PM (#622285)

    Going out, making measurements and taking pictures, reporting on what's actually happening on the reef - damn bad for tourism, that is.

    Nothing new, of course, except that the scientists are actually getting the message out now. Back in the 1960s, Fort Lauderdale was hit by a devastating hurricane, and the local police, knowing that photos of storm damage would hurt tourism, actually impounded all the photographs taken by reporters after the storm and kept the photos in a jail cell for years afterwards.

    --
    My karma ran over your dogma.
    • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Sunday January 14 2018, @10:30PM (3 children)

      by Joe Desertrat (2454) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 14 2018, @10:30PM (#622298)

      Industrial tourism has never been about protecting what it is exploiting for profit.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by PartTimeZombie on Sunday January 14 2018, @10:48PM (2 children)

        by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 14 2018, @10:48PM (#622306)

        Which seems to be what Col is complaining about.

        He is annoyed that the growth of the industry has dropped, so more people visited this year that last, and even more will visit next year, but the rate of growth has dropped.

        Col McKenzie is a cunt, and as you say just wants to exploit the reef until it is dead.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 15 2018, @02:26AM (1 child)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 15 2018, @02:26AM (#622368)

          Col McKenzie is a cunt, yes, but he's not actually killing much reef by exploiting it - in fact, he may be helping to save it by churning as many tourists as possible through there, giving them an appreciation for what's being lost.

          If AGW and ocean acidification had hit the reefs 100 years ago, nobody would have even mentioned that they were dying, because nobody knew a damn thing about them.

          --
          My karma ran over your dogma.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 15 2018, @10:53AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 15 2018, @10:53AM (#622522)

            How do you think all those tourists arrive? By air. And that will further global warming that is killing the reef.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by jelizondo on Sunday January 14 2018, @10:45PM (11 children)

    by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 14 2018, @10:45PM (#622302) Journal

    I’m with the reef guys. Some twenty-thirty years ago there were small but splendid reefs around Cancun (Mexico) and now they are totally gone. Not bleached, dead. No coral, no fish, nothing but sand and rocks.

    On the other hand, the reefs around Grand Cayman are very protected and are still there. Slightly off-topic, Cancun is still building hotels while Cayman has declared a moratorium because the load of tourism was straining local resources. A couple of days ago we had a discussion about water running [soylentnews.org] out; same thing: if you build more than can be sustained, why are you surprised at the result?

    Tourism is good for the economy but one must understand that once you kill what tourists were coming to see, well, they won’t be coming anymore. Short term profit against long term profit; myopic grabbing of money right now instead of sensible protection of the very thing that feeds you.

    Somedays I despair of the human race.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14 2018, @11:32PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 14 2018, @11:32PM (#622320)

      It seems that right-wingers everywhere excel at eating their seed corn.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 15 2018, @02:32AM (9 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 15 2018, @02:32AM (#622370)

      In 2011, I wrote some thoughts in a lame blog, and tried halfheartedly to promote the concept: https://5050by2150.wordpress.com/ [wordpress.com]

      In 2016, E.O. Wilson and his organization published the same concept in a book, with much better promotion and credibility than I ever could have managed even if I had won the lottery and devoted my life and my winnings to the cause: http://books.wwnorton.com/books/half-earth/ [wwnorton.com]

      It's still not enough, but the basic message is this: humans need to GTFO of a significant chunk of wild habitat in the oceans and on the land, if we're going to have any wild habitat left at all. The few, rare places where this has been done have made remarkable recoveries and return to their pre-exploitation state, which is much more productive than their "developed, exploited" state has been, if you value bio-diversity.

      Unfortunately, I don't think the majority of people can even begin to wrap their head around the value of bio-diversity, so, yeah, humanity does seem on-course to f-itself over real soon now.

      --
      My karma ran over your dogma.
      • (Score: 2) by jelizondo on Monday January 15 2018, @03:25AM (4 children)

        by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 15 2018, @03:25AM (#622398) Journal

        Thank you for the reply; I will get the E.O. Wilson book.

        Somehow I believe that fundamentalist Christianity and unbridled Capitalism is killing the very world we need to live. They tell you how God made Man (Genesis 1:26) and put him in charge: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

        I always reply with another quote from the Bible (Genesis 2:15) “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”

        We are here to “dress and keep” the garden not only to have dominion over it.

        Then they will tell you that the free-market will take care of it. B.S. The free-market demands instant profit and does not reward long term planning. Profits need to be recorded this quarter, not twenty years from now.

        I always wondered if the psychopath CEO’s of the world have no children and have no desire for their children to enjoy the beauty of this world, as we known it. Why destroy it?

        Crystal Clear Brooks

        When the time comes
        And the last day dawns
        And the air of the piper warms
        The high crags of the old country
        When the holy wind blows
        Like burned paper away
        And wise men concede
        That there’s more than one way
        More than one path
        More than one book
        More than one fisherman
        More than one hook

        When the cats have all been skinned
        And the fish have all been hooked
        When the masters of war
        Are our masters no more

        When old friends take their whiskey
        Outside on the porch
        Raise a glass to their comrades
        Who carry their torches
        We will have done well
        If we’re able to say
        As the sun settles down
        On that final day
        That we never gave in
        That we did all we could
        So the kids could go fishing
        In crystal clear brooks

        -- Roger Waters

        That is all that I wish, that my grandchildren be able to go fishing on crystal clear brooks.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 15 2018, @03:54AM (2 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 15 2018, @03:54AM (#622415)

          It's possible - pretty screwed in a lot of places, one shock I had when we moved to Houston was the ban on eating caught fish... makes sense when you think about it (mostly mercury levels, but other fun stuff around Houston, too...) but, with a little care and preservation, there can be crystal clear brooks 100 years from now.

          The elephant in the room for me is the number of people - that has to cap out somewhere, we can't just keep tripling every 50 years forever. So, what's a good cap? 7 billion? 20 billion? I think 2 billion would be a good target, but I only have one voice out of the current 7B, and not a very loud one.

          If we accept that we can reduce from 7B to 2B, moving out of half the land and sea should be no problem whatsoever, and maybe with the next miracle tech that everybody is depending on fixing everything, we might be able to support 20B in half the earth, but if we go on like today with 7-8B exploiting basically all the earth, we're going to kill it.

          I do have some hope - in the 1970s the Pope couldn't manage to accept condoms, and still can't, but the current Pope is making some very encouraging noises about respecting God's creation by preserving the environment. That whole "dominion over every thing that creeps and crawls" was a comforting bedtime story from a time when the occasional wolf still ate someone. It was harmless, and maybe even appropriate when world population was under 500 million, but we've outgrown that little bit of wisdom, at least as it is normally interpreted. I think the enlightened interpretation would place man as the steward of the wild places and creatures, ensuring they continue to thrive - we've certainly demonstrated the dominion bit well enough already.

          --
          My karma ran over your dogma.
          • (Score: 2) by jelizondo on Monday January 15 2018, @05:05AM (1 child)

            by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 15 2018, @05:05AM (#622434) Journal

            Oh God! I hate Houston. I haven’t been there in some years but it was (is?) full of crazy drivers and always under construction. I lived for a few years in San Antonio and had to go to Houston kind of often, always by car. Hated it.

            You’re quite right, we are too many but we still don’t cover the whole Earth. I have travelled quite a lot and there is a lot of empty land. The problem is that the populated part gets to pollute and destroy even those vast tracts that are unoccupied.

            When I was younger I used to dive and snorkel around a lot and it was easy, even in remote parts, to find garbage in the ocean. I think it is not so much our numbers but our manners which are the greatest danger to the Earth.

            And no, I don’ t have a lot of confidence in this Pope. I was really enthusiastic when he first ascended to Saint Peter’s throne but the Vatican has proven that it is more resilient than we had imagined. The old Curia will have its way always.

            If you look at world statistics, rich and educated countries are below stable populations, as more men and woman either have a single child or don’t have children at all. Poor and uneducated countries still are having babies like rabbits.

            So the solution appears to be found in creating more wealth for more people and educating them better. Still, I find even in rich countries that there is little regard for our daily impact upon the environment. Somehow we learn to love and respect our physical mothers but disregard our ultimate mother: the Earth.

            Luck to you in Houston and drive safely. Oh! And if you get a chance, drink a Shiner Bock to my health, I can’t get that great beer where I am but I remember it fondly.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 15 2018, @05:55AM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 15 2018, @05:55AM (#622443)

              Houston lasted barely 3 years for us, after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina the air really turned foul, tar dust everywhere (around Seabrook), all the time, in addition to the summer ozone that was literally killing people. We're back in Florida now.

              We don't have to cover the whole earth to exploit the whole earth, and I think we're fast approaching a point where we're going to be exploiting 95+% of the productive ecosystems on the planet. There's a point at which exploitation will lead to collapse, that point is very probably > 50%, but do we really need to push our luck and try to exploit 85% when the catastrophic collapse limit may actually be 75 or even 65%? We won't really know until it's too late. Just because most people are crammed into cities doesn't mean that those cities aren't fed by intensive agriculture, trawl-netting, strip mining, etc.

              I'd have a lot more confidence in the "stop the population rise by making everybody rich" approach if we were doing it from a population of 700 million, instead of 7B. As people become more affluent, they also exercise a bigger ecological footprint. In my house we consume about 1.75 liters of fresh orange juice a day, I ran that down to an approximate area of orange grove needed to make that juice for us, and came to right around an acre - damn good deal, actually, the juice costs us about $600 per year, and not only do we get use of the land, but also the whole picking, juicing, packaging, refrigeration, and retail process too. But... if India decides that they want to drink juice like my family does, that would require over 500,000 square miles of citrus farms... or, over 40% of the land area of India, just for juice. That's intensively cultivated land, basically monoculture crops, much of it treated with insecticide to keep away pollinators to reduce seed production, heavy fresh water usage that typically impacts areas outside of the groves, and basically no value to wildlife.. Of course, there's not 500,000 square miles in India that's suitable for growing citrus, perhaps not the entire world, but this is just one example of hundreds where increased affluence leads to increased ecological footprint outside the cities.

              --
              My karma ran over your dogma.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 16 2018, @11:16AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 16 2018, @11:16AM (#623075)

          > I believe that fundamentalist Christianity and unbridled Capitalism is killing the very world we need to live.

          Industrial revolution comes, anticlerical political revolution comes, destruction of the planet begins.
          Coincidence going in the opposite way of your thesis, possibly correlation with man's ability to do damage with pollution.

          Fundamental Christianity cannot be responsible for pollution which breaches the greatest two commandments, plus the "thou shall not steal". Being given dominion over environment implies care taking. "And of which of you that is a father shall his son ask a loaf, and he give him a stone? or a fish, and he for a fish give him a serpent?".

          Real world capitalism always corrupts the state, so it is always effectively unbridled. Of course, let's map pollution on former commie places, I think bad surprises are in store.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday January 15 2018, @01:27PM (3 children)

        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Monday January 15 2018, @01:27PM (#622555) Journal

        What's the solution? Hyperurbanization? Arcologies? Space colonization? Population control? Throwing away modern conveniences? Manufacturing and supply chain refinement (more renewable energy, less resource-demanding industrial and chemical processes, more recycling)?

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 15 2018, @02:02PM (1 child)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 15 2018, @02:02PM (#622566)

          Yes.

          (all of the above, and more, in moderation, combination - no homogeneous solutions)

          And, don't forget to save space for wildlife: http://www.half-earthproject.org/ [half-earthproject.org]

          --
          My karma ran over your dogma.
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 15 2018, @02:06PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 15 2018, @02:06PM (#622568)

            Oops, you threw a ringer in there - throwing away modern conveniences... I don't think the conveniences need to go away, perhaps some of our contemporary extravagances, like regular global jet-travel for all, but if population control can get to a reasonable number (reasonable dependent entirely upon all the other factors), then regular global jet-travel with today's type of jets for something like 500 million people probably could be sustainable.

            --
            My karma ran over your dogma.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 16 2018, @11:38AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 16 2018, @11:38AM (#623081)

          The right solution is pollution taken into account when making prices. Paying for restoration in advance.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 15 2018, @06:32AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 15 2018, @06:32AM (#622462)

    It's not completely unfair, I mean blaming climate people is a problem but oil company scientists are actually to blame

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 15 2018, @10:57AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 15 2018, @10:57AM (#622523)

    Cried the marketing rep in horror and righteous anger.

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