I recently got the chance to speak with Dr Charlie Veron regarding the launch of his new book, “A Reef In Time : The Great Barrier Reef from Beginning to End”. As I’ve blogged before, Charlie is an expert coral taxonomist with over 35 years of experience, and already the principal author of over 20 books and monographs on corals including the award winning “Corals of the World” and “Corals in space and time“. The central theme, which remains constant throughout, it that the origins, history, diversity, and ultimate fate of Great Barrier Reef – as with all coral reefs – is, and always has been, controlled by global climates. Thinking that the Great Barrier Reef was once impervious to climate change: “Owned by a prosperous country and accorded the protection it deserves, it would surely not go the way of the Amazon rain forest or the parklands of Africa, but would endure forever. That is what I thought once, but I think it no longer.” This is shaping up to be a seminal book (think Silent Spring by Rachel Carson) which will hopefully serve as a wake up call to the worlds reefs.
Update: Australian viewers can watch Charlie Veron on Catalyst this week (Thursday 8pm). I will try and upload the interview from this on Climate Shifts for overseas viewers.
Getting accurate information on the effects of climate change and updates of the science is often tricky, particularly with the campaign for disinformation from the right wing think tanks. Nature magazine, which is in the top two scientific journals in the world, has put together a website which provides a digest of a topical issues associated with climate change. I found this very useful in catching up on some of the complex issues – particularly their new blog “Climate Feedback” which is doing a great job in dissecting climate change science and the wider implications of global warming.
Just spent the weekend reading “High and Dry” – a recent release by a newcomer, Dr Guy Pearse. Pearse is an ex-liberal party member, environmental policy author and speech writer for the former Australian environmental minister Robert Hill, who recently finished his Ph.D at the ANU (and co-wrote the Greenhouse Mafia documentary that aired on ABC’s Four Corners last year). The book deals with the relationship between the the network of lobby groups, industry associations and their influence on the Australian Federal Government’s climate change policies. Altogether a fascinating read for anyone who is interested in politics and climate change in Australia – follow Pearse’s comments on the upcoming election and related environmental issues.