Bryce King, aged 11, Rosebank.
Imagine the rainbow turning white.
That’s what is happening to the Great Barrier Reef.
Ninety-three percent of the Great Barrier Reef is bleached which leaves only 7% of the Reef full of life. If we want this beautiful worldwide attraction to be full of life then we need to switch to more renewable energy like windmills instead of burning fossil fuel.
Thirty years ago Australia willingly made the Great Barrier Reef a World Heritage site. That listing was intended to save the reef from anyone trying to hurt this stunning site. There is a lot at stake than just the beauty of the coral.
Coral reefs are extremely important ecosystems. They protect the shorelines from cyclones and reef tourism generates an annual income of $5 billion dollars, and employs nearly 70,000 people.
Global Warming is the consequence of human activity. When carbon emissions caused by human activity enter the air they have dangerous effects on the environment, the economy, and our wellbeing. This is also what is causing coral bleaching. The algae on the outside of the coral are what give coral its beautiful colours, but it is very sensitive to the temperature of the water.
Scientists have never seen coral bleaching to this extent. It is like ten cyclones have whipped through the Great Barrier Reef and left nothing but white, dead, lifeless coral.
Australia’s tourism industry has a longstanding commitment to protecting its most valuable natural asset, the Great Barrier Reef.
The Queensland premier has said that the Government is going to donate three million dollars to the Reef but it’s not enough, if we want the Great Barrier Reef to keep its pristine colours we must stop coal mines and start new solar panel farms instead of burning fossil fuels.
We still have a chance don’t wait till it’s too late.
There are a number issues affecting the health of the Great Barrier Reef [GBR]. The main issues facing the GBR are
• Climate Change
• Poor water quality from land-based runoff
• Impacts on coastal development
• Illegal fishing.
Based on Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
Other than the Climate Change we as Australians do have control over the latter three items. Addressing Climate Change by focusing on our emissions, though worthwhile, I believe is ineffective in relation to the GBR. Australia contributes 1.8% of the world emissions. What I believe is an imminent “Climate Change” threat to the GBR is the Forrest fires in Indonesia [ Sumatra & Kalimantan]. These fires produce more daily emissions including particulates than the entire US Economy. This deforestation changes the weather pattern and being relatively close to Australia must affect our weather. I hope some money is set-aside for research into the effect of these fires and deforestation on our weather pattern. Better still I feel we should assist our neighbour in addressing their environmental challenges. What happens there makes all our climate change efforts practically meaningless.