This year the Reef experienced its second major bleaching event in two years.

How to Save the Great Barrier Reef

If you were the Australian government, and it was your responsibility to save the Great Barrier Reef, what would you do?

A. Pump cold water at it
B. Put umbrellas over it
C. Turn the clouds above it into giant mirrors
D. Take action on climate change

I know which one I’d choose. But that’s obvious because I work for Greenpeace. And you probably know our opinion on climate change, coal and the Australian government’s continued attempts to drive global warming into even more dangerous territory.

Cliffs Notes version: burning coal = climate change. Climate change = warmer ocean. Warmer ocean = bleached coral. Warmer ocean which stays warm 6-8 weeks after bleaching = dead coral. Dead coral = goodbye Great Barrier Reef.

So basically: burning coal = goodbye Great Barrier Reef.

I can see that. You can see that. 97% of climate scientists the world over can see that. So why can’t the Australian government? Why are they even considering giving $1,000,000,000 (that’s ONE BILLION DOLLARS) of Australian tax payers’ money to fund the Carmichael mega mine in Queensland?

A mine which, if built, would be the biggest ever in Australia. It would bring coal ships through the Great Barrier Reef, hugely contribute to global warming and be a grotesque waste of money (economic geeky bit – coal is in structural decline, which means the coal industry is losing money hand over fist).

It would be a disaster.

So yeah, let’s go with option D. Take action on climate change.

Ideas A through to C would be funny, if they weren’t so heartbreaking. That scientists and the tourism industry are coming up with these band-aid solutions shows just how serious the situation has become. They are desperate, and, for some, their livelihoods are at stake. So no wonder they’re looking at any possible option to save this precious wonder of the world. Our Great Barrier Reef.

Imagine if they didn’t have to. Imagine if we had a government who genuinely cared about our Great Barrier Reef. Imagine if we had a government who were serious about climate change and who decided not to fund the Carmichael mega- mine.

It’s possible. Because we can make it possible. Sometimes it may not seem like it, but our government listens to us. If enough people make enough of a noise, they have to.

Did you choose option D? If you did, click here to help stop $1billion being spent on the Carmichael mega mine. If you didn’t, click here anyway. Because our Great Barrier Reef, and our planet, needs all the help it can get.

  • Rod Vance

    Do we really think the reef can be saved? I wholeheartedly support this campaign, I think it is vital to stop corporate handouts for socially and environmentally destructive projects whilst our land’s education and health sectors and other public goods are being systematically run down in the name of economic “rationalism”. I also cannot brook investment in anything that worsens global warming. So I feel therefore feel strongly in favor of this campaign as a matter of principle, but, from what I read about the level of extant global warming and sea acidification, am highly skeptical that the Reef can survive. I would say either come up with evidence that the Reef can be saved, or else I think you need to talk more about this campaign as a deep matter of principle. As I hope is clear, this shift in no way diminishes its importance, indeed the opposite. I fear your opponents would make hay if the Reef dies out anyway after the Adani mine is stopped.

  • Manuela Schwandt

    30 years ago i visited the Great Barrier Reef. I was snorkelling in the biggest and best aquarium in the world. The colours were beautifully iridescent. It is a travisty to see what has become one of Australia’s most iconic and vibrant ecosystems. SHAME. SHAME. SHAME. Now i hear from Greenpeace and other media companies that foreign Indian investment companies are trying to commence coal mining in close proximity to the reef. WTF. I have joined the fight and have become a Greenpeace crusader. JOIN ME NOW…. SAVE OUR CHILDRENS AND OUR CHILDRENS CHILDRENS HERITAGE. TOGETHER … WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.