The badly-misnamed Department of Environment has campaigned to have every reference to Australia removed from a UNESCO report entitled, “World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate,” on the grounds that reporting on the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef could ‘harm tourism.’ Unusually warm water indicative of warming globally has lead to bleaching on 93 percent of the reef.
Said a departmental spokesperson to the Guardian, “Recent experience in Australia had shown that negative commentary about the status of world heritage properties impacted on tourism.” What do they think the effects of global warming are then? The effects of global warming as they appear in coral bleaching will have disastrous consequences for tourism, so we should deal with it by not telling ayone; that must be that superior morality and insight of people in high places I keep hearing about.
Makes you wonder how much this is suggestive of their approach to other endemic problems, ones they don’t get found out about.
Said Will Steffen, emeritus professor at ANU, head of Australia’s Climate Council, and author of one of the axed sections on the barrier reef,
“I’ve spent a lot of my career working internationally, and it’s very rare that I would see something like this happening. Perhaps in the old Soviet Union you would see this sort of thing happening, where governments would quash information because they didn’t like it. But not in western democracies. I haven’t seen it happen before.”
Maybe this raises questions as to what we mean by democracy. The offshore gulag for refugees, the surveillance regime and corporate autocracy are clearly not the only traits we’re developing in common with police states.