Dbytes #392 (4 September 2019)

Info, news & views for anyone interested in biodiversity conservation and good environmental decision making


“The Great Barrier Reef remains one of the world’s great natural wonders and is the best managed coral reef ecosystem in the world.”
“Based on the condition of the Reef and events over the last five years, the report has downgraded the long-term outlook for the Reef’s ecosystem from ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’.”
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley commenting on the GBR 5-year outlook report

[see items, 1, 2 and 3]

In this issue of Dbytes

1. Great Barrier Reef 5-year Outlook Report 2019
2. 2017 – 2018 Reef Water Quality Report Card released
3. Two commentaries on the Outlook Report and Water Quality Report Card
4. Glider habitat burned down after flawed approval
5. Residents’ climate denial blocking action in coastal areas
6. The Misogyny of Climate Deniers
7. Farmers shape the future of their environmental frontline influence

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1. Great Barrier Reef 5-year Outlook Report 2019

The report finds the greatest threat to the Reef is still climate change. The other main threats are associated with coastal development, land-based run-off, and direct human use (such as illegal fishing). Since 2014, management initiatives and local actions have demonstrated positive outcomes for less complex and small scale activities, such as ports management and tourism. However, achieving outcomes on the ground continues to be difficult for complex and spatially broad threats, such as climate change and land-based run-off. Significant global action to address climate change is critical to slowing the deterioration of the Reef’s ecosystem and heritage values and supporting recovery.

www.gbrmpa.gov.au/our-work/outlook-report-2019

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2. 2017 – 2018 Reef Water Quality Report Card released

Across all Great Barrier Reef catchments, water quality modelling showed a very poor reduction in dissolved inorganic nitrogen (0.3%) and sediment (0.5%). There was also a poor reduction in particulate nitrogen (0.5%).

https://www.reefplan.qld.gov.au/tracking-progress/reef-report-card/2017-2018

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3. Two commentaries on the Outlook Report and Water Quality Report Card
3.1:
The Great Barrier Reef outlook is ‘very poor’. We have one last chance to save it
3.2: ‘Best managed reef in the world’ down the drain


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4. Glider habitat burned down after flawed approval

ACF investigations reveal the federal government authorised the clearing of north Queensland woodland despite the environment department finding it was likely to destroy critical Greater Glider habitat. Around 400 hectares of woodland at Meadowbank Station in north Queensland, including parts of an area set aside specifically to protect greater gliders, has been burned down, sometime between 15 and 20 August. In July, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) asked Environment Minister Sussan Ley to suspend an approval to clear woodland on the property after a field survey by ACF and an independent ecologist found greater gliders living in the trees to be bulldozed.

https://www.acf.org.au/glider_habitat_burned_down_after_flawed_approval

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5. Residents’ climate denial blocking action in coastal areas

Fear that property values would plummet because of the risk of damage from sea level rise engendered a “hope for the best” attitude among residents, and resistance to local government efforts to address the issue. That’s part of the whole issue with climate change, said PhD research fellow at the Newcastle Business School, Dr Vanessa Bowden, who is one of the researchers behind the study. “Even if we accept the science, the question is what will happen and when, that makes it difficult,” she said. Rather than outright denial that climate change was happening, the study identified a collective community scepticism that sea level rise would be severe enough to damage their properties and quality of life.

The Fifth Estate

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6. The Misogyny of Climate Deniers

The idea that white men would lead the attacks on Greta Thunberg is consistent with a growing body of research linking gender reactionaries to climate-denialism—some of the research coming from Thunberg’s own country. Researchers at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology, which recently launched the world’s first academic research center to study climate denialism, have for years been examining a link between climate deniers and the anti-feminist far-right. In 2014, Jonas Anshelm and Martin Hultman of Chalmers published a paper analyzing the language of a focus group of climate skeptics. The common themes in the group, they said, were striking: “for climate skeptics … it was not the environment that was threatened, it was a certain kind of modern industrial society built and dominated by their form of masculinity.”

https://newrepublic.com/article/154879/misogyny-climate-deniers

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7. Farmers shape the future of their environmental frontline influence

Australian farmers are on the frontline of delivering environmental outcomes on behalf of the wider community – owning, managing and caring for 61% of the nation’s land mass. AgriFutures Australia General Manager, Business Development Michael Beer, said given the large amount of land under management by Australian farmers, new initiatives from primary producers had the ability to positively leverage environmental outcomes for the nation as a whole.

https://www.agrifutures.com.au/news/farmers-shape-the-future-of-their-environmental-frontline-influence/

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About Dbytes

Dbytes is a weekly eNewsletter presenting news and views on biodiversity conservation and environmental decision science. For the past decade Dbytes has been supported by a variety of research networks and primarily the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). From 2019 Dbytes is being produced by David Salt (Ywords).

If you have any contributions to Dbytes (ie, opportunities and resources that you think might think be of value to other Dbyte readers) please send them to David.Salt@anu.edu.au. Please keep them short and provide a link for more info.

Anyone is welcome to receive Dbytes. If you would like to received it, send me an email and I’ll add you to the list.

David Salt


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