Legalize Dumping Onto the Great Barrier Reef

“H G Wells observed a century ago that history is a race between education and disaster. Yet all the signs are that, in terms of earth’s environment, no amount of education and information will deter seven billion Homo Sapiens from making decisions which prescribe a more barren and forlorn planet in the years to come.”

This is not about a cartel illegally dumping trash while evading police in a cat and mouse exercise. We see those kinds of negligent behaviors far too often in everyday business activity. An example of this compromise with nature was offered in a Dimidia post about extracting gas from the Marcellus Shale Formation in Pennsylvania in 2011 – Patience, Our Least Costly Option: “State charges local company for dumping wastewater and sludge. Marcellus Shale waste released throughout six-county region.” If that occurrence was a random act, it would not be worth the time to write or read about. However, the description what is being proposed and executed in Australia is mega scale!

This is all about efforts by the Australian government to “…tak[e] environment policy back to the 1950s” by changing “any measures which are socialism masquerading as environmentalism.”

A recent Foreign Policy article (August 18, 2014) was harshly critical of the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s efforts to unlock national, natural resources. Depending on which side of the aisle you sit, his remarks – and subsequent actions – are defiantly reassuring or boldly idiotic.

“Soon after being elected in September 2013, Abbott started making plans to fulfill his campaign promise of removing some environmental protections on Tasmania’s forest and opening it to industry, specifically logging. In March, he invited loggers to Australia’s Parliament House and told them that members of the country’s Green party were “the devil” and that “the environment is meant for man.” The loggers were thrilled.”

Few countries are without sin. As the world demand for energy increases and the global quest for raw materials to fuel consumption accelerates uncontrolled, the world’s resources are being auctioned at an alarming rate to the highest bidder. This short-sighted, need satisfaction cannot continue.

International response to the Australian Prime Minister’s efforts to “remov[e] some environmental protections on Tasmania’s forest and opening it to [the logging] industry” was soundly opposed to this action. This has been designated as a World Heritage Site. In retaliation, Australia’s Prime Minister has now focused his efforts to “dump millions of tons of dredged soil from a coal-port expansion into the Great Barrier Reef.”

This report, The Green Devil: From logging Tasmanian forests to dumping in the Great Barrier Reef, Prime Minister Tony Abbott is the Australian environment’s worst nightmare – will shed new light into the World Down Under. Unfortunately, this too is not an isolated occurrence. Too many countries are willing to sell natural resources to the highest bidder. The justification is always difficult to oppose: jobs.

Perhaps the real question is: Do we care about sustaining life for future generations? – at the expense of our lifestyles today? Maybe that’s not really a question anyone wants to answer.



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