This is a perspective on the bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef shared by a NZ friend who prefers to stay anonymous – a diver and a marine educator, now based in Queensland.
A first-hand account of the Great Barrier Reef bleaching
Before Coral Bleaching in Hardy Reef.
Most of the Great Barrier Reef of Australia is now dead
It seems to me most of Queensland is simply in denial about every environmental issue of genuine concern.
It’s impossible to tell what goes on around the rest of Australia, although things do appear more enlightened in WA – doesn’t help us, though.
Tourist operators and councils here are terrified of the truth as it might scare off visitors and no-one seems to actually link climate change to human behaviour!
Since we are now the authors of our own destiny to a very large degree, not much will alter until more people get a grip on that one. From my experience the outcomes of bleaching are patchy – things are past bleached in some places but do seem untouched in others, depending on where you go. The water has definitely though been much warmer for longer and is only starting to drop off now – there is talk of the stinger nets staying in through May this year.
Media coverage locally is heavily biased, poorly reported and focuses largely on crime and “footy” – the ABC has tended to be much better but is certainly not popularly followed.
Part of the problem within communities here is that “greenism” is not popular, the whole issue of environment is not a priority and many many people never go to the reef.
It’s expensive and unless you have a decent kind of boat, it’s quite a long way off shore – not just on the doorstep. It’s something people take for granted and hey, coal and dredging remain the apparent heart of the economy!