Monday, March 27, 2017
Greenie writer for hire is full of vitriol but neglects the underlying facts
Graham Readfearn is a "freelance" writer who earns his keep by writing scary stories for Left-leaning publications. And he gets a lot of gravy from "The Guardian". The article below is just one of his typical hit-pieces that treat as gospel all that Warmists have said and sedulously avoids real critical thinking. He criticies James Delingpole only. He shows no signs of critical thinking about what Warmists say. He protects his funding.
So it's all rather a riot below. It sounds great if you don't know what he leaves out. Green/Leftists always leave things out. It is their modus operandi. They take the facts and utterances that seem to support their conclusions and ignore the rest. They would have no case if they considered all the facts. So let me give an example of that. Comrade Readfearn says:
"The Great Barrier Reef has suffered mass coral bleaching three times – in 1998, 2002 and 2016"
That's true as far as it goes but it creates the false impression that those were the ONLY bleaching events. The fact of the matter is that there have ALWAYS been bleaching events on the reef. I grew up in and near Cairns, the main access point to the reef, and for 60 years I have been hearing that the reef is damaged and in danger. Yet the tourist operators are still having no difficulty taking people out to see coral in all its glory. Comrade Readfearn lies by omission. Reef tourism is in fact booming in Cairns.
And here's something else you would never guess from comrade Readfearn's report. It is from a recent report by three prominent reef scientists:
"The bleaching, and subsequent loss of corals, is very patchy."
If the bleaching events were due to global warming you would think that the bleaching would be uniform. Or is global warming sometimes not global?
Such cynicism is in fact well justified. Here are some VERY awkward facts for comrade Readfearn:
Cape Grim tells us that CO2 levels have been plateaued on 401ppm since last July (midwinter) So anything that has happened in the recent summer is NOT due to a rise in CO2.
And NASA/GISS tell us that the December global temperature anomaly is back to .79 -- exactly where it was in 2014 before the recent El Nino event that covered the second half of 2015 and most of 2016. So there has been no global warming in the recent Southern summer and there was no CO2 rise to cause anything anywhere anyway.
The claim that this summer's bleaching was an effect of global warming is a complete crock for both reasons. The data could not be clearer on that. The seas around Northeast Australia may or may not be unusually warm at the moment but if they are it is some local effect of air and ocean currents etc. The warming in NOT a part of global warming
So that takes all the excitement away for comrade Readfearn. He has told us at great length what a bad state the reef is in -- and a few parts ARE apparently stressed -- but his only explanation for it is false
Breitbart's James Delingpole says reef bleaching is 'fake news', hits peak denial
A claim like this takes lashings of chutzpah, blinkers the size of Trump’s hairspray bill and more hubris than you can shake a branch of dead coral at
It takes a very special person to label the photographed, documented, filmed and studied phenomenon of mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef “fake news”.
You need lashings of chutzpah, blinkers the size of Donald Trump’s hairspray bill and more hubris than you can shake a branch of dead coral at.
It also helps if you can hide inside the bubble of the hyper-partisan Breitbart media outlet, whose former boss is the US president’s chief strategist.
So our special person is the British journalist James Delingpole who, when he’s not denying the impacts of coral bleaching, is denying the science of human-caused climate change, which he says is “the biggest scam in the history of the world”.
Delingpole was offended this week by an editorial in the Washington Post that read: “Humans are killing the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, and there’s nothing Australians on their own can do about it. We are all responsible.”
Like the thriving polar bear, like the recovering ice caps, like the doing-just-fine Pacific islands, the Great Barrier Reef has become a totem for the liberal-left not because it’s in any kind of danger but because it’s big and famous and photogenic and lots and lots of people would be really sad if it disappeared. But it’s not going to disappear. That’s just a #fakenews lie designed to promote the climate alarmist agenda.
Now before we go on, let’s deal with some language here.
When we talk about the reef dying, what we are talking about are the corals that form the reef’s structure – the things that when in a good state of health can be splendorous enough to support about 69,000 jobs in Queensland and add about $6bn to Australia’s economy every year.
The Great Barrier Reef has suffered mass coral bleaching three times – in 1998, 2002 and 2016 – with a fourth episode now unfolding. The cause is increasing ocean temperatures.
“Is the Great Barrier Reef dying due to climate change caused by man’s selfishness and greed?” asks Delingpole, before giving a long list of people and groups who he thinks will answer yes, including “the Guardian” and “any marine biologist”.
“Have they been out there personally – as I have – to check. No of course not,” says Delingpole.
Yes. James Delingpole has been out there “personally” to check, but all those other people haven’t. He doesn’t say when he went but he has written about one trip before. It was back in late April 2012. Everything was fine, he said, based on that one visit. I can’t find any times when he has mentioned another trip since.
So here’s the rhetorical question – one that I can barely believe I’m asking, even rhetorically.
Why should there not be equivalence between Delingpole’s single trip to the reef (apparently taken 10 years after a previous severe case of bleaching and four years before the one that followed) at one spot on a reef system that spans the size of Italy [takes breath] and the observations of scientists from multiple institutions diving at 150 different locations to verify observations taken by even more scientists in low-flying aircraft traversing the entire length of the reef?
I mean, come on? Why can those two things – Delingpole making a boat trip with mates and a coordinated and exhaustive scientific monitoring and data-gathering exercise – not be the same?
So it seems we are now at a stage where absolutely nothing is real unless you have seen it for yourself, so you can dismiss all of the photographs and video footage of bleached and dead coral, the testimony of countless marine biologists (who, we apparently also have to point out, have been to the reef ) and the observations made by the government agency that manages the reef.
Senator Pauline Hanson and her One Nation climate science-denying colleagues tried to pull a similar stunt last year by taking a dive on a part of the reef that had escaped bleaching and then claiming this as proof that everything was OK everywhere else.
This is like trying to disprove to a doctor that you have two broken legs by showing him an MRI scan of your head (which may or not reveal the presence of a brain), and then being annoyed when he doesn’t accept your evidence.
It’s as though we’ve reached peak denial.
Last year’s bleaching on the reef was the worst episode recorded to date. The current fourth mass bleaching has scientists again taking to the field.
This month a study published in Nature, and co-authored by 46 scientists, found these three episodes had impacted reefs “across almost the entire Great Barrier Reef marine park”. Only southern offshore reefs had escaped.
Corals bleach when they are exposed to abnormally high ocean temperatures for too long. Under stress, the corals expel the algae that give them their colour and more of their nutrients.
Corals can recover but, as the study explains, even the fastest growing and most vigorous colonisers in the coral family need between 10 and 15 years to recover.
After the 2016 bleaching, a quarter of all corals on the reef, mostly located in the once “pristine” northern section, died before there was a chance for recovery.
In a further blow, the study looked at factors such as improving water quality or reducing fishing pressure and asked if these had helped corals to resist bleaching. In each case, they found they did not (although they do give reefs that survive a better chance to recover).
Essentially, the study found the only measure that would give corals on the reef a fighting chance was to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The lead author of the study, Prof Terry Hughes of James Cook University (who is this week carrying out aerial surveys of the current bleaching episode), told my Positive Feedback podcast:
We can’t climate-proof reefs. Sure, there’s stuff we need to do be doing locally around water quality and fisheries management, but doing these two things alone is not going to protect the reefs in the long term. The elephant in the room here is climate change.
Some commentators have suggested a key cause of the 2016 bleaching was the El Niño weather pattern that tends to deliver warmer global temperatures.
But Hughes says that before 1998, the Great Barrier Reef went through countless El Niños without suffering the extensive mass bleaching episodes that are being seen, photographed, filmed and documented now.
Dr Mark Eakin, head of Coral Reef Watch at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the cause of the modern-day mass bleaching episodes on reefs across the world was the rise in ocean temperatures.
This, says Eakin, is “being driven largely by humans and our burning of fossil fuels”.