The inconvenient truth for Reef crusaders
The Great Barrier Reef is dying, coal is finished as a fuel and no Australian politician would ever lie under oath. True or false?
If we are to believe the Queensland Labor Government, sugarcane farmers are evil and are destroying the Reef in their pursuit of greater profits with their use of fertilisers.
To counter this, new regulations are going to be introduced.
These will have the handy effect of allowing the Government to trumpet its environmental credentials while at the same time pandering to the Greens, the latter being an article of faith held dear by Labor governments.
Given this, it was intriguing to hear the head of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Paul Hardisty, concede under questioning before an ongoing Senate inquiry that only 3 per cent of the Reef, the inshore reef, was affected by farm pesticides and that even that 3 per cent was at "low to negligible risk".
This in effect means that 97 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef, which lies 50km to 100km off the coast, is completely unaffected.
It is also worth noting that while scientists regularly shriek warnings that the Reef is dying and in so doing damage the tourism industry, no one has bothered to measure coral growth or the lack of it for the past 15 years.
Marine scientist Peter Ridd, who questioned the validity of claims made regarding the imminent death of the Reef by his peers, was sacked by James Cook University for his impertinence.
James Cook has since spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of university funds pursuing him through the courts.
AgForce reef taskforce chairman Alex Stubbs says cane farmers have been persecuted by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science over the issue of water quality and the health of the Reef.
The proposed legislation, he said, had been cooked up by bureaucrats, was fundamentally flawed and would do untold damage to the sugar cane industry. Guess which political party cane farmers will be putting at the bottom of their ballot papers at the October 31 state election.
If sugarcane farmers are the bad guys, then coal miners are the devil incarnate which is why the State Government keeps stalling approval of a planned expansion of the New Acland mine near Oakey.
There is also the small matter of pandering to - you guessed it - the Greens.
Coal is bad, we are told. Coal kills. It causes climate change, bushfires and if it continues to be mined, will lead to the extinction of civilisation.
The world, we are lectured, is abandoning coal and it's pointless for Australia to keep mining it because nobody wants the stuff.
Companies that do business with coalminers are threatened with consumer boycotts, and cowardly executives acquiesce in the face of the baying of the mob and divorce themselves from coal.
Driven by fear, not reason, they abandon their responsibilities to their shareholders in their desperate efforts to appear to be "woke."
(For the benefit of the unwoke, being woke is a condition manifested by an inability to think individually, a shallow intellect and a desperate need for approval.)
The Chinese, who don't care in the least about being woke, must be more than a little bemused by all this as they continue to build and approve coal-fired power stations at a record rate.
Germany recently commissioned a new coal-fired power plant, Japan has plans to build more than 20, India is increasing its coal-fired electricity generation by more than 20 per cent, while Indonesia, Mozambique, Malawi, Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Philippines, Vietnam and Serbia are all building coal-fired power plants.
The Age of Reason may be dead, but on the evidence it appears that coal is not.
The Reef also stubbornly refuses to fulfil the prophesies of its imminent demise, even when it is forecast by such towering intellectuals as Leonardo Di Caprio, who has never seen the Reef but pronounced it to be near death in 2016, as did then US president Barack Obama when he treated Australians to his ignorance in 2014.
This brings us to politicians. Is it true or false that a person like, let's say Victorian Premier Andrews, would lie after swearing on the Bible to tell nothing but the truth?
Have a guess.
Originally published as The inconvenient truth for Reef crusaders