Great Barrier Reef Threatened by Climate Change, Chemicals and Sediment By MICHELLE INNIS

Summary of Article: Great Barrier Reef, one of Australia's most significant nature areas, is now facing climate change as well as the flow of farm chemicals and coastal sediment into its waters as a significant danger to its survival, according to a government report. This report was initially done to reassure various environmental organizations that the reef was fine and not "in danger" but really does just the opposite. The development of a new coal mine about 200 miles away from the reef is also ignored in the report. The report included that “good progress has been made in the first 18 months of this 35-year plan", referencing the governments Reef 2050 plan. An update on the plan shows that of 151 planned measures, 32 have been completed and 103 are underway or on track to begin and at least one is, for the moment, stalled. But in an introduction to the report, Ian Chubb, former Australian chief scientist and current chairman of an independent panel on the reef, warned that climate change posed the most significant threat.

Originally, Reef 2050 was a response to the Unesco World Heritage Committee’s call for a long-term plan to ensure the reef was in good shape. Last year however, the United Nations warned that the reef’s outlook was poor and asked for an updated report and evidence of the plan’s effectiveness, and then an investment strategy to finance the efforts. The cost of this was estimated at 8.2 billion Australian dollars, or about $6 billion, to be spent over 10 years. That figure was significantly higher than the roughly $1.5 billion the state and federal governments said would be spent over the next decade to protect the reef. It has been reported that about $950 million had already been committed to the reef for the next five years, part of the $1.5 billion governmental commitment over the decade. The report to Unesco said that based on the reef’s scale and resilience, it could recover from the bleaching this year. It said that managing the risks to the reef would be difficult, but that there was a determination to succeed.

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Analysis of Article: This article is noteworthy because it provides an example of the serious effects that climate change and improper regulation of chemicals and sediments that leads to runoff and contamination. Both are serious threats to this planet today and the endangerment of the Great Coral Reef is a prime example of this. It also goes into the lack of resources that the government can and will spend on this type of environmental issue and it is clear that without the government's spendings, they probably will not be able to complete necessary measures to save the Great Coral Reef, even though this could most likely be done with the right resources and funding. The Great Coral Reef is in serious danger and we need to start taking more initiative to address and fix these issues.

My Big Takeaway: My big takeaway from this article is that climate change, which is directly impacted and driven by humans, is having a huge impact upon nature, specifically in this article the Great Barrier Reef. Yet the government doesn't seem to be recognizing this as a serious problem which means they are not taking large enough steps in order to combat climate change and other human-caused environmental problems. The Reef 2050 plan is an example of the government starting to take initiative but then not following up by giving the necessary funds to complete the entire plans's goal. The government needs to recognize this as a greater and more important threat and work with the people to try to improve these problems our environment faces.


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