Doomsday talk on Barrier Reef angers tourism operators

I have been reading Australian newspapers for 50 years and cannot remember a time when the reef was NOT "endangered" from something or other. But, with the internet, publicity for the panics is much more extensive now. I suppose I have to mention again the basic fact that corals flourish best where the climate is WARMEST (generally speaking, coral reefs are more diverse the closer they get to the equator), so any global warming would be GOOD for the reef. It is COLD that kills coral, which is why there is little coral in Australian waters South of Bundaberg.

The barefaced lies about all this are an absolute wonder. And should I mention again that corals have been found flourishing in a (warm) place that received a direct hit from a thermonuclear device? A thermonuclear explosion is pretty toasty! It shows that corals are extremely resilient if they are adversely impacted

TOURISM operators reliant on the Great Barrier Reef are battling a new menace they say is as damaging to their businesses as crown of thorns starfish. The north Queensland businesses claim publicity about climate change threatening the health of the Reef system could have an adverse impact on tourism numbers. Peter Wright, owner of Port Douglas-based Poseidon Cruises and director of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO), said that if environmental research continued to dwell on the demise of the Reef, tourism operators might resort to a "come now or it will be too late" advertising campaign. "We've talked about it in the industry but it is a very doomsday thing to say," he said.

Professor Ross Garnaut, the Federal Government's chief climate-change adviser, brought the issue to the fore again last week when he said "the odds are not great for the Great Barrier Reef." Calling for a cut to greenhouse pollution by 10 per cent by 2020, Professor Garnaut said the Government needed to work harder to ensure the longevity of the Reef in the near future.

Mr Wright said while tourism operators were worried about the impact climate change would have on the Reef, they were not convinced it would ultimately be destroyed by greenhouse pollution. "We are absolutely concerned if the predictions are true, because obviously it would damage the Reef experience," Mr Wright said. "But at the moment, where we are, the Reef is not looking damaged at all. The reefs that we go to are in excellent condition."

Mr Wright said media attention given to the starfish outbreaks over the past two decades had often resulted in international tourists contacting Poseidon to see if it was still worthwhile visiting the Reef.

Tony Baker, AMPTO chair and managing director of the Quicksilver Group which owns a range of Great Barrier Reef-based businesses, said that as the world's most well-known reef system, the Reef was open to constant scrutiny and operators had to endure both positive and negative publicity. "There are a lot of people out there who are making comments about the Reef," Mr Baker said. "The reality is there are areas of the Reef that are in outstanding condition and there are areas of the Reef that are affected by things, like the crown of thorns."

Stephen Olle, chairman of Tourism Tropical North Queensland, said tourism operators were currently having to deal with a range of negative issues that were impacting their business, including high fuel costs and the global economic downturn.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

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