The Gov’t Had Our Shitty Record Scrubbed From A UN Report On Climate Change

Hey friends! This is a fun one to start your Friday.

This morning UNESCO published the “World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate” report; one they’ve been jointly working on with the United Nations environment program and the Union of Concerned Scientists for a solid little while now.
The report is largely focused on the adverse effects that climate change has been having on certain world heritage sites and the impact on tourism industries that’s being felt as a result.
It contains case studies on key locations from around the globe, all of which were chosen because of the “robust” evidence of climate change having a significant impact on them.
It’s one of those “VERY BLOODY IMPORTANT” reports in the on-going – and very real – struggle against climate change on a global scale.
Curiously, however, the report contains absolutely no mentions of Australia whatsoever. This, despite naming countries from literally every other continent on the planet.
As it turns out, there’s a reason for our absence: The Australian Federal Government demanded we be scrubbed from it entirely.
Back in January, the Turnbull Government caught wind of the report’s intentions to include a key chapter on the Great Barrier Reef, as well as sections on Kakadu and the Tasmanian forests. The reef, as you’d be well aware of by now, is experiencing a global bleaching event that’s affecting some 93% of the reefs along the 2,300kms of the site, conditions that recent studies have found to be caused by climate change, which is making bleaching events some 175 times more likely than usual.
At around about the same time the CSIRO had just laid off 100 climate scientists due to budget cuts, and portions of the Tasmanian forests were on fire for the first time in recorded history. It was, not to put too fine a point on it, a politically tricky time for Turnbull and co to wade through.
So when a draft of the report landed on the desk of the Department of the Environment, they kicked up an almighty stink; objecting to the inclusion of Australian sites in the report, on the grounds that it “could harm tourism.”
Australia, as a result, is the only continent not specifically named in the report.
No sections about any other country were removed from the report.
When pressed for their reasoning as to why they objected, the Department tersely responded with a statement that read, in part:

“Recent experience in Australia had shown that negative commentary about the status of world heritage properties impacted on tourism.”

In essence, they didn’t want the very real and scientifically proven ill-effects of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef and other natural heritage sites listed, because doing so might have a negative effect on the amount of dollars that tourism brings in.

Give. Me. A. Fucking. Break.
Will Steffan, who was one of the scientific reviewers working on the report, stated that Australia’s objection and omission was “astounding” and reminiscent of the kind of weak crap that a communist dictatorship might pull.

“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.”

This silencing bullshittery comes about 12 months after the Government again whinged to UNESCO about their plan to list the Reef as a “World Heritage Site in Danger,” again because of the perceived immediate risk to the tourism dollar such a listing would carry.

So that’s our freely elected Government at work for you, guys. If only there were some sort of public vote coming up where you could all *ELECT* to tell them how you feel about them…
Source: The Guardian.
Photo: Eye Ubiquitous/Getty.