We all know the Great Barrier Reef is more or less on its last legs thanks to Australia and the world’s steadfast commitment to not do anything about climate change. Now it looks like the government’s strategy to halt coral bleaching involves doing a lot of stupid shit they’ve been explicitly told not to do by experts.

A report today in The Guardian explores the government’s reef-saving projects, which are allegedly administered by tourism-linked groups who may be keener on protecting their revenue sources than the reef itself. One of these crackpot schemes was to literally install gigantic fans to cool down the water at a cost of $2.2 million. From The Guardian:

In December 2017, the federal minister for environment and energy, Josh Frydenberg, announced that $2.2m would be given to the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre to install giant fans on a small part of the Great Barrier Reef. The project involved mixing cooler deeper water with warmer shallow water, to reduce heat stress and avoid coral bleaching.

According to documents viewed by The Guardian, experts who reviewed the gigantic fan proposal said that it was a major departure from reality” and suggested that rather than cooling down the water it would just pump warmer water into deeper reefs, meaning it’d probably just end up killing more coral. This is some Looney Tunes shit.

Though the review board said that they were keen to try novel and experimental means of protecting the reef, they stressed that “all approaches should be based on sound science”. The big-ass fans did not meet that standard, but the government pushed ahead with the proposal anyway – getting around the recommendation by converting it into a ‘research project’.

Good to know the reef is in good hands! Read the rest of The Guardian’s report here.

Image: Getty Images