Scientists paying for advertisements to get message across

Australian scientists have paid for a full page advertisement in a Queensland newspaper – The Courier Mail – because they felt the newspaper was not covering the coral bleaching of The Great Barrier Reef adequately. Coral biologist, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, is quoted in the Guardian today saying,

One of the reasons we placed the ad in the Courier Mail was that we’ve seen very little coverage of the coral bleaching event in that paper and in fact there was a front-page story that said the coral bleaching event had been wildly exaggerated.

In solidarity with their plight I thought I’d share their advertisement too:

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The Courier Mail is owned by News Corp which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, a well-known climate change denier. It’s pretty depressing when a few rich people have this much power. It’s a bit like returning to the days of rule by monarch but instead of kings and queens Australians have Rupert and Gina.

So what are the scientists saying? This was in my Twitter feed today:

Terry Hughes is the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef StudiesHe says, “Our estimate at the moment is that close to 50 per cent of the coral is already dead or dying.”

Australia has one of the highest carbon footprints per capita in the world. If this wasn’t shameful enough, they’ve also spent the last decade plundering their natural resources for short-term financial gain. The problem with selling all your natural resources is once they’re gone the income generated from their sale disappears too. Now, somewhat ironically, the digging up and shipping of all that coal to China and India is destroying one resource which could have provided an income stream for future generations of Australians: The Great Barrier Reef.

But it’s not all about money. Knowingly destroying The Great Barrier Reef will be one of Australia’s most disgraceful periods in history. I have been snorkelling on The Great Barrier Reef and it is still, to this day, the best experience I’ve ever had. The enchantment, the wonder, and the beauty of it is something I will treasure forever; we are stealing this from future generations. People will look back on this time and on all of us with contempt and rightly so. We have known about climate change and its effects for half a century and done nothing.

What can we do? Write to your local MP and demand they do something. Get rid of your car. Walk and cycle more. Stop eating meat. Avoid plane travel. Switch to a carbon-neutral energy provider. Plant trees. There’s probably lots more too but I have to put my kids to bed now 🙂

Don’t let Rupert Murdoch win. He’s old and will be long gone when the worst effects of climate change reach us.