Could Environmental Issues & a Lazy Government Destroy Another Artifact?

 

Could Environmental Issues & a Lazy Government Destroy Another Artifact?

by Amy Lignor

 

We watch this happen every single day: a river dries up, a land mass is destroyed, animals are found dead because of habitats lost, food sources gone – and all of these things are being caused by
environmental destruction that can be stopped, if only a lazy government would listen. This time around the subject becomes even greater, however, as the world watches the largest “living thing on Earth” head toward complete devastation.

environmental destruction, Great Barrier Reef, climate change, bleaching

Off the coast of Queensland, Australia, lies the Great Barrier Reef: the ecosystem that includes hundreds of islands made of over 600 types of hard and soft coral. Visible from space, the Reef plays home to fish, mollusks, turtles, starfish, sharks, dolphins – the species are too endless to name. Yet, reports now clearly show that climate change will make the Great Barrier Reef literally disappear.

 

More frequent and more severe, the Reef’s bleaching events in the coming years are being seen as tragic. With climate change warming the ocean, we are looking at “an environmental assault on the largest coral ecosystem on Earth.” The pain is evident; reports show that only fifty percent of the impacted corals are expected to survive – in some areas, only ten percent. Yet despite the Australian government agreeing to these reports and willing to speak about how to help halt this injustice, they still refuse to stop using coal.

 

For those who are unaware of what “bleaching” is, the process occurs when water is too warm. As the water gets overly warm, corals expel the algae living in their tissues and causes the reefs to turn completely white. Aerial checks are constantly being made in Australia, with more than 900 reefs along the site already showing ninety percent of coral located north of Port Douglas now white, as well as ten percent of the Reef located south of Mackay. Already losing upwards of fifty percent of coral cover in just the past 30 years, scientist’s show that this most recent bleaching event is the third mass destruction to be seen in just 15 of those years.

 

Although the situation seems too far gone to stop, the truth is that this vital ecosystem can be saved. But not easily. The Great Barrier Reef is one of, if not the, world’s most diverse ocean habitat. Not only does it take care of hundreds of species, it also produces more than $5 billion in tourism revenue. Yet, despite these incredible numbers, the Australian government approved a massive new coal mine in Queensland that will be an added threat to the total destruction of the Great Barrier Reef. With more coal production, the country’s emissions will rise. Only a complete end to coal expansion and exports will allow this nightmare to stop.

 

There is no time left to sit back and “discuss” what happens in the future or how to “attempt” to move towards a fossil-free world. The continued use of fossil fuels will bring about the worst global coral bleaching on record, annihilating an ecosystem that has to be maintained. Scientists are once again screaming at the government to get their message heard. This is not only a famous site on the map, the Great Barrier Reef is a necessity for survival that must be kept intact.

 

But with mass bleaching occurring every two years, by 2034 it looks like the Great Barrier Reef will become a completely “dead” artifact. Unless a government listens and takes action.

Source:  Baret News

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