Thoughts on marriage - or maybe just people who write their own vows
Tony Abbott and the retirement of His Royal Highness the Prince Philip, Knight of the Order of Australia

UN Chief says "time is running out" for our Great Barrier Reef - only $$$$$ to UN can save it

Locals who live and work around the reef have a very different view.  

Great Barrier Reef in near pristine condition: dive boat operators

The healthy Great Barrier Reef deniers have been caught out lying about coral bleaching and the near-pristine condition of the world’s best coral icon.

Dive boat operators who visit the reef almost on a daily basis taking thousands of tourists on diving expeditions have been telling authorities for several years there is nothing wrong with the reef.

They have warned lying so-called conservation bodies such as the WWF, Wilderness Society, CAFNEC, the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce and the Australian Conservation Foundation their misleading campaigns would harm the Far North tourism trade.

Tourist operators have advised the State Government that coral bleaching is a natural and annual event that can affect small sections of the reef.

Spirit of Freedom dive boat owner Chris Eade told the Cairns Post that reports of coral bleaching along 93 per cent of the 2300 klm reef had damaged the reputation of the $5 billion tourism industry.

“Scientists had written off the entire northern section as a complete white-out,” Mr Eade said.

“We expected the worst, but it is in tremendous condition, most of it pristine, the rest in full recovery.”

“It shows the resilience of the reef.”

Mike Ball Dive Expeditions operations manager Craig Stephen, who conducted a similar survey on the remote reefs 20 years ago, said there had been almost no change in two decades despite the latest coral bleaching event.

“The discrepancy is phenomenal. It is so wrong. Everywhere we have been we have found healthy reefs,” Mr Ball said.

“There has been a great disservice to the Great Barrier Reef and tourism and it has not been good for our industry.”

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority estimated a mass coral white-out of between 50 to 60 per cent, on average, for reefs off Cape York.

Scientists with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies reported about 35 per cent mortality but warned “the final death toll” on some reefs may exceed 90 per cent.

This year the worst bleaching was found at Lizard Island, 180 klms north of Cooktown, where several reefs have shown distress due to fluctuating water temperatures.

Photo: Quicksilver Cruises Dive boat operators maintain the reef is in near-pristine condition, dismissing the lies of conservation groups

Photo: Quicksilver Cruises
Dive boat operators maintain the reef is in near-pristine condition, dismissing the lies of conservation groups

ENDS

We should join the US in defunding these UN parasites.

Trump budget: US to stop funding UN climate process

“America First” budget would axe 20% of the UN’s climate body’s funding and $2bn to help developing countries deal with global warming1

The US people need a government that puts "the needs of its own people first," US president Donald Trump said in his budget foreword. (Pic: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

By

In a budget blueprint released on Thursday morning, US president Donald Trump proposed sweeping cuts to US financial support for the global fight against climate change.

The title page called it the “America First” budget. “Our aim is to meet the simple, but crucial demand of our citizens – a Government that puts the needs of its own people first,” said Trump in a foreword addressed to the US Congress.

The budget, which covers the 2018 financial year, is likely to be substantially amended as it goes through Congress.

The State Department section of the budget proposal said the Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI)1 would be eliminated. According to its 2016 budget request the GCCI, which was set up by president Barack Obama, directs money to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the diplomatic and scientific branches of the UN’s climate process.

Through the GCCI, the State Department is a major funder of the UNFCCC, providing €6 million (US$6.44m) each year – roughly 20% of its operating budget.

An official told Climate Home the State Department had not provided any funds appropriated in the 2017 financial year to the UNFCCC or IPCC.

Weekly briefing: Sign up for your essential climate news update

Nick Nuttall, spokesperson for the UNFCCC, said: “We understand that the new US administration today published its first budget proposal. We also understand that approval of such a budget can be a long and complex process and we will follow it with interest.”

The UNFCCC has been deeply unpopular among conservative Republicans, both for its core mission and for its acceptance of the state of Palestine as a full member. The GOP platform for the 2016 election held that payments to the organisation were against a US law that prohibits payments to UN bodies that recognise Palestine.

The GCCI is also a major funder of the Montreal Protocol, which protects the ozone layer from harmful chemicals. It was amended last year to control hydrofluorocarbons, a class of potent greenhouse gases used in air conditioners.

Under the proposed budget, the State Department would also make savings by “eliminating US funding related to the UN’s Green Climate Fund and its two precursor Climate Investment Funds”.

The US has pledged $3bn to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). In one of his last acts as president, Barack Obama sent $500m to the fund, but the total released remains just $1bn.

The GCF is the major international instrument for financing climate-related projects in the developing world. If the US fails to deliver the rest of its pledge it will leave a $2bn hole in the fund’s $10bn balance sheet.2 Developing countries, which are suffering the greatest consequences of climate change but did little to cause it, see this support as a matter of justice.

A spokesperson for the UN secretary-general António Guterres issued a statement in response to the budget in which he said he was ready to hold discussions with the US on how to reform the UN to “create a more cost-effective organisation to pursue our shared goals and values”. But that “abrupt funding cuts can force the adoption of ad hoc measures that will undermine the impact of longer-term reform efforts”.

Guterres said: “The international community is facing enormous global challenges that can only be addressed by a strong and effective multilateral system, of which the United Nations remains the fundamental pillar.”

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