Is the coal industry about to wreck the Great Barrier Reef?


Here’s a conundrum for you: Would it be better to protect Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which is visible from space, attracts more than a million visitors every year, and is home to thousands of species of fish, sharks, and other marine animals? Or would it be better to build one of the world’s largest coal ports near the reef, dredge the area around the port, dump millions of tons of dredged mud and sand into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and then create a coal-shipping superhighway through the reef so thousands of ships each year can ferry coal from Australia to Asia?

The answer is clearly the latter, according to Australia’s conservative government and the coal industry. The government, now under the control of climate-denying Prime Minister Tony Abbott, has just given the coal industry the go-ahead for its proposed project, despite warnings from environmentalists that the coal port and shipping…

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