The Hoegh-Guldberg device – shades of Rube Goldberg

From the ocean weather will eat this idea alive department comes a ridiculous bit of wishful thinking from the world’s lead scientist on “the coral reefs are going to die and its all your fault” discipline.

Yes, it is our hot headed buddy from Brisbane, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, with what just might be the wackiest climate change technology proposal ever – it is his blue tarp moment:

20 Aug: Sky News Australia: Shade cloth could save Barrier Reef

Scientists have proposed stringing up shade cloth over coral reefs and sending electric currents through the sea to help marine ecosystems weather the effects of climate change.”

“The paper also discusses the genetic engineering of species to help them adapt better to climate change, and mitigating ocean acidification by adding base minerals to the water.”

Professor Hoegh-Guldberg has pointed out conventional approaches to climate change have so far failed to prevent damage to the reef.”

Here’s the paper: Rau, G., McLeod, E.L. &  Hoegh-Guldberg, O. (2012) The need for new ocean conservation strategies in a high-carbon dioxide world   Nature Climate Change doi:10.1038/nclimate1555

And here’s the money quote:

In particular, various methods for reducing or mitigating thermal stress in corals have been proposed or demonstrated. For example, efforts to artificially shade sections of a reef during periods of thermal stress using buoyant shade cloth have been applied on the Great Barrier Reef. Light exacerbates the effect of heat stress and causes reef-building corals to bleach. Consequently, shading corals can reduce the extent of coral bleaching.

Jo Nova does the math and points out:

The Great Barrier Reef has an  area of 348,000 square kilometers. It’s bigger than the UK, Holland and Switzerland combined. So perhaps we could just cover 1%, that’s only three and a half thousand square kilometers and then ask the water to stay in one spot?

Not to mention the the first storm that rolls through will pretty much blow any tarps, cloths, covers, etc to bits and beyond. Ah, I love the sound of shredded grant money in the morning.

I should apologize for this comparison to inventor Rube Goldberg, who made wacky looking inventions that actually worked. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg’s invention is not only wacky, but unworkable.

Loved this bit from Jo Nova:

Alistair Hobday Research Scientist – Marine and Atmospheric Research at CSIRO said novel solutions are required. “We need to be mature enough to listen to all sorts of arguments.”

To which Jo Nova,  unfunded non government critic said: We need scientists who are mature enough to spot a plan that is bonkers.

h/t to WUWT reader Martin Clark

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August 20, 2012 2:41 pm

Next: Hoegh-Guldberg’s advice on how to to spread coloring fluid onto the Great Barrier Reef to mitigate the bleaching

August 20, 2012 2:50 pm

Maybe they could use the tarps instead to make a giant sail. Then they could sail the GBR to the south.

August 20, 2012 2:50 pm

“Coral reefs are being degraded by an accumulation of stresses arising from human activities. In simple terms, stresses can be grouped by the actions of people extracting material from, and placing materials upon, coral reefs. Over-fishing, pollution and coastal development top the list of chronic stressors.”
“Mass coral bleaching generally happens when temperatures around coral reefs exceed 1oC above an area’s historical norm for four or more weeks. Sea surface temperature increases have been strongly associated with El Niño weather patterns.”

August 20, 2012 2:59 pm

Or maybe run a garden hose out from Cairns and have a climate scientist employed to spray water on the reef when it gets over heated……..

Andrew Newberg
August 20, 2012 3:08 pm

Breaking news: Cloud making ship ingests large shade cloth off the coast of Australia, film at 11…

August 20, 2012 3:12 pm

Not sure how to react. I’m torn between falling down on the floor laughing or banging my head against my desk.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 20, 2012 3:12 pm

I’m told that bleaching and other supposed effects of warming/acidification/whatever are only happening in a relatively few locations. I think what’s needed is a comprehensive survey of the entire reef before making any decisions on mitigating strategies. Data first, then conclusions (or maybe I have that backwards?).
In any case I appreciate this is a large undertaking and if the situation is as dire as Hoegh-Guldberg asserts, clearly we can’t wait decades for a few researchers to survey all the reefs. We need a large group of volunteers to check a really representative sample of the Reef, Sort of like Anthony’s Surface Stations project. It would be a hardship to take so much time off of work, but I volunteer to spend up to three months diving the Reef if the Australian government would just pay my way over and back and provide a modest housing and meal allowance. I can bring all my own gear.
I’m sure other WUWT regulars could make a similar commitment. There’s a fair chance Willis would volunteer to skipper a boat.
Anybody in a position to put together a grant proposal? I hear there’s an initiative “Unlocking Australia’s Potential” which has enough money to piss away, so to speak: see poo power .
Yes it’s a sacrifice, but it’s for science and the environment!

August 20, 2012 3:14 pm

Not enough attention is placed on recent research beginning to point to viruses having a major effect on coral eco-systems.
The massive growth in cruise shipping since the 80’s correlates with increasing bleaching. Cruise ships seasonally work very different parts of the oceans and may transfer microbes with them. Poorly maintained fishing fleets may also be responsible for spreading viruses, benign in one area, to another part of the ocean where it may be detrimental to coral organisms without immunity to this new strain..

August 20, 2012 3:32 pm

@ David says:
August 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm
Not sure how to react. I’m torn between falling down on the floor laughing or banging my head against my desk.
The former would be considerably less painful. And I doubt that self inflicted injuries would be covered under Obamacare – but I could be wrong.

August 20, 2012 3:39 pm

Hoegh-Guldberg said why don’t we cover
The corals with sheeting to smuvver
The hot water to cool
In a neat little pool
But Jo said, “it’s too big, so don’t bovver”!!

August 20, 2012 3:41 pm

From the Australian Institute of Marine Science:
“Monitoring data collected annually from fixed sites at 47 reefs across 1300 km of the Great Barrier Reef indicate that overall regional coral cover was stable (averaging 29% and ranging from 23% to 33% cover across years) with no net decline between 1995 and 2009

View from the Solent
August 20, 2012 3:44 pm

“The paper also discusses the genetic engineering of species to help them adapt better to climate change….”
Because adaptation never occurs naturally. (If we hook up Darwin revolving in his grave at ~50000rpm to an alternator, we will have a sustainable power source)

August 20, 2012 3:45 pm

Aussie Warmists are in deep deep trouble. The coalition between Green & Labor is crumbling as Labor MPs realize that their relationship with Greenie nutjobs is electorally suicidal!
The Gov has just shafted Greens over Immigration Policy and is backpedalling furiously on Carbon Tax (promising to limit damage to the economy etc).
I think the Warmists know that their days in the limelight are numbered and that the show is winding down. Even that ultimate button Greenies press when they’re in trouble down here, the one marked ‘GREAT BARRIER REEF’ isn’t working any more.
Old Ove can howl and squeal and rage as much as he likes, it’s music to my ears – it’s the sound
of the Fat Lady Singing.

August 20, 2012 3:45 pm

Yeah because it’s not like the reef ecosystem depends on sunlight or anything.

August 20, 2012 3:55 pm

It’s a shady business…

Steve Keohane
August 20, 2012 4:01 pm

Forget the tarp/shade cloth. The most obvious solution is to anchor an iceberg(s) from Antarctica, of sufficient mass, up current from the reefs. Replace as needed.

August 20, 2012 4:07 pm

Is there anyone out there who can write an article on the manipulation of measured temperatures by climate scientists, NASA, and various government weather bureaus in places such as
Australia and New Zealand, and write in such a way as to easily understood by anyone with a standard educational level – not a degree in science.
If you look at the actual temperatures recorded since the late 19th. century in Australian towns and cities and then compare then with the actual recorded temperatures today, it would be hard to make a case for any climate change, let alone the catastrophic rise in temperatures being promulagated by people just as Tim Flannery, Australian Climate Commissioner, on TV again today.
Yet if you look at temperature record on the Australian Bureau of Meterologies climate change pages, temperatures have been significanlty altered. A couple of years ago I emailed them to ask
why. The response was in words to the effect of ” Oh, the old instruments (late 19th, early 20th. centuries) had problems and we have corrected them.”
This manipulation of temperature seems to me to be at the heart of the issue. I know Anthony Watts and others have done great work in exposing this issue – the recent revelations about the
temperature measurement in places in California and the UK for instance – but as far as I can see this is not reaching the main stream media nor the politicians who are still promoting that
climate change must be addressed.
Knocking off stupid statements in the media on blogs is not going anywhere, because only a minority of interested people read them. It is like play “whack-a mole” for those who recall this old
arcade game.
We need a simple article, easy to understand by politicians and non scientists, which clearly deals with and debunks this issue. I think they would be a lot of people who would be horrified to
know this. The problem is they don’t read climate blogs.
Who could make this happen? I think sceptics are actually losing the battle.

August 20, 2012 4:11 pm

“The paper also discusses the genetic engineering of species to help them adapt better to climate change, and mitigating ocean acidification by adding base minerals to the water.”
Or maybe those species, I don’t know how, perhaps it’s a miwwacle, already have built into them the ability to adapt to new conditions.
Professor Hoegh-Guldberg has pointed out conventional approaches to climate change have so far failed to prevent damage to the reef.”
Yes, and the reefs are also vulnerable to goblins and orcs and trolls. Conventional approaches have obviously failed to protect the reef from them, too. We must therefore hire druids to smear themselves with woad and dance widdershins about the wabe, chanting their eerie coral protection song. “Oooo-eeee-oooo, gimmeyodo, gimmeyodo…”
Alistair Hobday Research Scientist – Marine and Atmospheric Research at CSIRO said novel solutions are required. “We need to be mature enough to listen to all sorts of arguments.”
You must be mature enough to realize that no tropical troposphere hot spot and 15 years without significant warming means you’ve been had.

August 20, 2012 4:12 pm

” I’m torn between falling down on the floor laughing or banging my head against my desk.”
Me too 🙁
Small correction to the above if I may? The blue tarp stuff. Here at 19 S 146 E, that stuff disintegrates within a month or two, with or without UV “guarantee”. The heavier silver-coated “UV protected” material never seems to last more than a year. Plastic bags (the type all the sea creatures are allegedly ingesting) last about 2 days on land, not much more in seawater.
Shade cloth iscomment image
I have some that has lasted 10 years or more, even new stuff tends to come to bits in cyclonic winds. Chunks of it floating in the water would look a bit like up-rooted sea grass.
Hope the dugongs can tell the difference …
It is difficult enough to get it off lawn mower blades, so it is quite capable of immobilising propellers.

August 20, 2012 4:14 pm

I only skimmed the actual paper.
Didn’t see anything in it showing that temps in the vicinity had changed or by how much. If I missed it, perhaps someone could point it out? I’m really tired of these papers that come out saying X happened because of global warming so we have to do Y, but without any evidence to show that any warming has actually occured in that area.

August 20, 2012 4:17 pm

Ah jeez: “Consequently, shading corals can reduce the extent of coral bleaching.”
Well yes ‘can’ rather than ‘will’. It’s a weasel clause at best, but in either case it’s directly contradictory to the effects of variance in lighting regimes and corals given in Chapter 10 of ‘Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef’. The authors for Chapter 10 being Hoegh-Guldberg, et al.
Nevermind that the entire parade of hand-wringing concern over coral bleaching being an exemplar of simple answers to cure simple doom, as produced for consumption by simple minds. If one has any knowledge of reefkeeping, especially in regards to nano and pico reefs (Aquarium reefs of less than 30 gallons in size) the topic of bleaching is widely discussed.
The conclusions from the hobbyists that keep these expensive and fragile animals is: Don’t startle them. Much like the Tennessee Fainting Goat, corals take poorly to sudden changes in their environment. Apparently a notion too opaque for professionals. But nonetheless, it can be found that nano/pico reefs are kept — and well-kept — without bleaching with lighting and temperature levels considered absurd in the wild. As well it can be found that such reefs are remarkably hardy to shock so long as post-shock returns to equilibrium are measured. Where measured means ‘2 C delta’ in temp per day. And often up to keeping corals near 32 C over all.
And for all the nonsense of temperature dependence — and there is a remarkable predictive link over monthly average temperatures — it is more often the case that the issue at hand for mortality is bacterial colonies that both bleach and destroy the coral skeletons. Or: The only and entire problem everyone has the vapors about.
But given Australia and its current notion of Poo Power, the obvious solution is to ensure there’s more antibiotics in livestock urine draining from the watershed to the sea. Because goodness knows that corals are so fragile that they’ve only been around for 450 million years.

August 20, 2012 4:17 pm

Wait…didn’t someone from the warming camp already claim that coral bleaching was caused by sunscreen wearing beach goers?

August 20, 2012 4:18 pm

Have they not noticed the predicted increase in tropical storms from predicted warming may spread these shade cloths all over pristine beaches. Not thought out well at all 🙁

August 20, 2012 4:21 pm

Here’s just the person to do this 🙂

David, UK
August 20, 2012 4:22 pm

Alistair Hobday, Research Scientist, Marine and Atmospheric Research at CSIRO said novel solutions are required. “We need to be mature enough to listen to all sorts of arguments. Remember how people laughed when I said that moon cheese was the answer to world famine? Well, I showed those immature cretins, yes sir. And so Hoegh-Guldberg will show those childish fools just what can be achieved with nothing more than a government grant, his wits, and a million square miles of blue cheese cloth.”
Meanwhile, Professor Hoegh-Guldberg has pointed out that conventional approaches to climate change – namely, taxing half of the world into poverty, diverting food crops to biofuels and erecting a few thousand windmills – have so far failed to prevent damage to the reef.
“I just don’t understand it,” said a confused Hoegh-Guldberg. “The taxes go up, the biofuels burn, the windmills get erected – and still the coral bleaching continues. My collosus blue cloth is our last great hope of saving the corals.”
Hobday and Hoegh-Guldberg were yesterday unavailable for comment, but this reporter has been assured by Head Nurse that as soon as the morning medication wears off there will be further flights of fancy to come.

August 20, 2012 4:22 pm

I’m calling B.S. on this. I think Ove just got over confident and blew his cover. He is obviously a Koch funded denialist agent working deep, deep, undercover. His true aim is to discredit the warmist position.
Surely that makes more sense.

James Hein
August 20, 2012 4:22 pm

I am a SCUBA diving instructor of some years and I have seen coral bleaching up close and personal. With the exception of damage due to dynamite fishing I have also seen bleached coral ‘miraculously’ (*sarc) recover in all but a very few instances. I suspect that this has been going on for far longer than I have been diving and will continue to do so. The aforementioned scientist has been shown wrong many times over his predictions for the Great Barrier Reef to the point where I don’t think many people listen to him and certainly none of the people who live and work around the reefs thenselves.

August 20, 2012 4:25 pm

First of April. Is it today?
Have I missed something?
Or I may have been time traveling back in time a few months.

August 20, 2012 4:36 pm

Hoegh-Guldberg is being funded by the Big Blue Tarp industry…

August 20, 2012 4:37 pm

Reef-er madness at sea would make a great documentary.

August 20, 2012 4:53 pm

Insanity’s inevitable downward spiral on full display.
Or, if this is all about grant money & he ends up laughing all the way to the bank, then it’s the inevitable downward spiral into absurdity by liberal government on full display.

Almah Geddon
August 20, 2012 4:59 pm

What these ‘researchers’ always fail to note is that the Great Barrier Reef did not exist in its current form less that 20,000 years ago. Sea level back then was about 140m lower than today, so it was a chain of islands. Somehow it managed to cope with global warming / climate change / climate uncertainty / global change (select appropriate tag) and become what it is today. The same can be said of pretty much the entire Canadian ecosystem, which managed to recover from being covered with a couple of kilometres of ice.

george e smith
August 20, 2012 5:01 pm

Well I think it’s a great idea. Just imagine if you spread a big enough tarp on the (deep) waters, how many schools of Dorado/Mahi-mahi/Dolphin you could set up under there. Fly fishermen can have a field day.
And for the shallower reef fishing, the electro-shock technique will save the lives of a whole lot of bait fishes, so they can electro-entrance the denizoans, and then just scoop them out of the water with a net. Could even power the rig by solar green energy so you can fish by day, and let new ones move in over night; simply wunnerful !

August 20, 2012 5:07 pm

The blue tarp; it’s not just to cover your favorite auto up on concrete blocks any more. Cue redneck jokes in 3… 2… 1…..

August 20, 2012 5:09 pm

I’m confused about corals and co2.
When did corals first evolve on planet Earth? What was the level of co2 in the atmosphere?

Theo Goodwin
August 20, 2012 5:11 pm

You are being too hard on this guy. Given the so-called science that governments have funded so far, this idea just might fly. He might get hundreds of millons. His idea has one problem. The color should be green not blue.

Theo Goodwin
August 20, 2012 5:12 pm

‘Millions” instead of ‘millons’. Or maybe ‘melons’.

August 20, 2012 5:13 pm

“Wait, let me get this straight. You have a grant proposal to get paid to sit on a boat in tropical water, in the shade, and drink Mojitas all day? High five!”

August 20, 2012 5:20 pm

Picture if they had the financial backing to actually implement some of these ideas. Then watch them cover a significant portion of the ocean with “tarps” to “correct” the warming/bleaching/whatever only to discover that they’ve wiped out 50% of the world’s plankton and thereby caused CO2 to quintuple or something.

August 20, 2012 5:26 pm

The main diet of corals consists of phytoplankton. Phytoplankton inhabit the photic zone, wherein their photosynthesis relies on CO2 and sunlight. Hence, an increase in CO2 would benefit the phytoplankton, which would benefit the corals as they’d have more to eat.
CO2 increases, therefore, are beneficial to corals.
I wish these “scientists” would actually think once in a while; they’re giving their profession a very bad name.

Ally E.
August 20, 2012 5:30 pm

I think I’ve just gone brain-dead. Something went ffffrzzz. I can’t think anymore. I just stare at the screen, waiting for the madness to end… it will, won’t it? Please?

Greg Cavanagh
August 20, 2012 5:36 pm

It would be so fun to do the math on this proposal. If I wasn’t so busy at work I would.
While the area is 348,000 km^2. The open water between the reefs don’t need to be covered. So we only have 2,900 individual reefs to cover.
I’m guessing the shade cloth will be raised so dolphins, flying fish, turtles ect will not get tangled up. Also boats (with climate scientists on board) may need to pass benieth. So concrete foundations, concrete pilons, stainless steel connectors and cables. And replacing the shade cloth at least once a year. No problem, this’ll work.

Ian H
August 20, 2012 6:00 pm

So he basically wants to cover the coral reef in plastic, zap it with electricity and throw bags of cement on it.

Louis Hooffstetter
August 20, 2012 6:02 pm

So a ‘peer-reviewed’ paper, published in a ‘peer-reviewed’ climate-change journal (Nature Climate Change), seriously advocates:
1. erecting shade cloth over the Great Barrier Reef to protect corals from heat stress,
2. using low-voltage electrical currents to stimulate coral growth,
3. using genetic engineering to help corals adapt to climate change, and
4. adding base minerals to the oceans to mitigate ocean acidification.
Peer-review is obviously effective at screening out crack-pot ideas and bad science. (Sarc?)

Theo Goodwin
August 20, 2012 6:06 pm

Wait a minute! Do I have an idea! Adopt a coral! For 5k you get to ride in a boat, select your coral, and a diver erects a screen over it.

August 20, 2012 6:22 pm

one of the few places he can show his face!
21 Aug: SMH: David Wroe: Al Gore praises inspirational Australia
The Gillard government’s carbon price has already ‘‘inspired the world’’ to press ahead with measures to tackle climate change, former US Vice President Al Gore says.
Labelling Australia one of the ‘‘canaries in the coalmine’’ for the effects of global warming, Mr Gore told a breakfast launch in Canberra of a new Climate Commission report there was much cause for optimism about global efforts to solve the problem.
Speaking via video presentation, Mr Gore said that the Queensland floods and Black Saturday bushfires of recent years showed that ‘‘we must act now’’…
‘‘This year in Australia, for the first time, in a move that has inspired the world – I hear it everywhere – carbon polluters are being held accountable for the global warming pollution they pour in the atmosphere every single day.
‘‘Policy actions like Australia’s historic achievement are beginning to unlock innovative approaches to the climate crisis that will provide new sources of sustainable economic growth and good jobs while simultaneously solving the climate crisis. We’re not there yet, but fortunately we are gaining momentum and we can solve this problem.
‘‘I salute Australia’s strong commitment to solving the climate crisis and I know it’s going to continue to be a crucial player in building a global solution to this global problem.’’…

August 20, 2012 6:38 pm

FEMA roof.
That’s what you get from FEMA after you have lost your roof in a hurricane. They drive by and toss one on the street in front of your home. Well, that’s how it worked where I lived in Medley, FL.
FEMA roof.
Katrina, later: Wilma. 2005. That’s how I know.

August 20, 2012 6:39 pm

Save the reef by electrocuting the marine life. Sounds perfect.

Ray Boorman
August 20, 2012 6:50 pm

Don’t you just love these enviro-freaks. If a ship spills so much as 1000 litres of fuel anywhere near a coastline in the Western world, it is a disaster of immense proportions. Now, we have one of those freaks suggesting that we should spread plastic material over large chunks of a reef to protect it. Did this idiot consider the pollution generated when storm waves come along & rip it to shreds? Did he not consider the damage done to the reef by installing the anchor points which would be needed to keep his covers in place? Will we hear Greenpeace, WWF, etc, pointing out to us that this is an ecologically damaging idea? I bet the answer is NO in each case.

Gunga Din
August 20, 2012 6:52 pm

agimarc says:
August 20, 2012 at 5:07 pm
The blue tarp; it’s not just to cover your favorite auto up on concrete blocks any more. Cue redneck jokes in 3… 2… 1…..
If you’re idea of saving the Great Barrier Reef from human influence is for humans to throw a really BIG blanket on it …. You might be a Green-neck.

John - Brisbane
August 20, 2012 7:04 pm

As quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald article on his paper… “Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said research on even more bizare solutions was needed if the reef was to survive.”
In other words, the message to government is “just send more money and leave the rest to us scientists to save the world”!!

August 20, 2012 7:21 pm

If Labor can cover a playground for $100,000 why not the 387,000 sq kilometres of the GBR

Steve Lohr
August 20, 2012 7:29 pm

Alley E. ” I think I’ve just gone brain dead….”
Reply: Your brain is not responding because of a long running script. Do you want to stop the script?
Click, Yes! Yes! Yes!
I think we have all had enough.

Reed Coray
August 20, 2012 8:19 pm

Gunga Din says: August 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm
If you’re idea of saving the Great Barrier Reef from human influence is for humans to throw a really BIG blanket on it …. You might be a Green-neck.

Green-neck, now that I like. It opens up a whole new world of jokes–ala Jeff Foxworthy–e.g., “If your garden is used to power your car, you might just be a green-neck.”
Anyone else?

August 20, 2012 8:29 pm

Crazy. The blue shade will kill the coral. I grew up near coral reefs and continue to swim on them from time to time. The sun is part of the cycle. Bleached coral recovers, always. The scary part is that some CSIRO Aussie scientists might listen to this craziness, and the Government has such a long history of making bad environmental decisions that they might try and fund this. Scary.

Gunga Din
August 20, 2012 8:54 pm

If your idea of saving the planet is to watch to watch an ice sculpture melt in DC, you just might be a green-neck.

August 20, 2012 8:54 pm

Someone wake up Josh!

Mickey Reno
August 20, 2012 9:00 pm

No, not a floating tarp… Orbital tarp…
To idiot Australian scientist dude: you’re welcome.

August 20, 2012 9:06 pm

My comment on Joanne Nova’s blog

In the previous [JoNova] thread I mentioned the characteristic lack of sense of proportion as a result of their refusal to do arithmetic.
The last time I read a paper from Hoegh-Guldberg, it proclaimed widespread damage to the GBR; from a photographic survey of a total of about 30 square metres of (easily accessible) reefs.
From his suggestion to shade the reef, ignoring the practical scale of the problem, the man shouldn’t even be allowed to dive because he’s apparently ignorant of ocean currents.
As an Engineer, I do have a scaleable solution for shading (aka starving) the reef for a tiny fraction of what it would cost to use tarps: An oil slick. It’s more durable in bad weather and, as we’ve observed in the Gulf of Mexico, it is bio-degradable.

August 20, 2012 9:10 pm

OH sweet jeezus. That is all we need. Eco-nuts running around the ocean throwing debris and electrical fields in to the oceans. Save the reefs by electrocuting fish and killing phytoplankton.
And people wonder why normals are having a problem with scientists right now. This dude is one of them that came up with the brilliant idea of testing syphilis on blacks, or mutilations on German Jews, isn’t it?

August 20, 2012 9:44 pm

If you think we can save people from starving by burning the food, you just might be a green-neck.

August 20, 2012 10:00 pm

If you can bear to listen, here is an interview with Hobday:
There is nothing in his universe which is not governed by global warming. In such a complex field anybody can claim anything and get away with it. It’s about time the hard sciences (Institutes of Physics, say, or Chemistry) came out and denounced the lack of rigour in the climate industry. Snake oil salesmen!

John F. Hultquist
August 20, 2012 10:12 pm

If your compost pile has a higher IQ than you do, you might just be a green-neck.
If you would sign a petition to get all CO2 out of the atmosphere, you might just be a green-neck.

Beth Cooper
August 20, 2012 10:21 pm

HG, keep yer cotton pickin’ fingers of our Barrier Reef !!!

James Bull
August 20, 2012 11:31 pm

Just wondering wouldn’t keeping the sun from shinning on the coral reef kill it or am I missing something here???????????????
James Bull

Clive Bond
August 20, 2012 11:49 pm

Global warming does not heat the oceans. The air in contact with the ocean only warms the top few millimetres which is largely lost to evaporation. The ocean is heated by direct sunlight down to about 100 metres. It has nothing to do with carbon dioxide.

Bill Irvine
August 21, 2012 12:00 am

Passing electric currents through the sea water may play havoc with aquatic fauna sensing systems.
Some will starve because they can not find their prey and some will die because they cannot sense the predator creeping up on them.
Why not breed huge rays? Thousands of them. Millions of them. Their wings will shade the reef and their electricity will do what ever he thinks it will do. There must be a government grant in there somewhere.

Ulrich Elkmann
August 21, 2012 12:48 am

Bright cloth on a resplendent sea – sorry, but Christo was there first. And he sold it as art, not as global first aid. Though I suppose the latter is more handy in grabbing at funds.

August 21, 2012 1:59 am

It appears there may be a particular lunacy in marine scientists. BBC has just shown a program about blue whales, which was mostly just informative and very watchable, but of course they had to get the climate change angle in at the end.
According to the expert, blue whales are dying out because the dramatic warming in the antarctic oceans is resulting in massive reductions to krill, the main food source of the blue whale.
This bit of information was immediately followed, literally in the following sentence, with the “but it not all bad news” section informing us that blue whale numbers had increased significantly since hunting of the blues has been stopped in the last 30 years.
So what is the evidence that the increasing numbers of whales are dying out due to climate change?

August 21, 2012 2:11 am

The Telegraph’s take on the report:

The paper, in the journal Nature Climate Change, says the pace of global warming is unparalleled in 300 million years and has led to temperature rises of at least 2 degrees Celsius and a 60-per-cent increase in surface ocean acidity over the past three centuries.
It’s a worry.

August 21, 2012 2:41 am

The same species of coral inhabit the GBR as inhabit the reefs round Borneo, etc to the north where water is some 10C warmer. They have no problems there! Mass bleachings occur when the symbiot algae die and the corals change algae which can take some time but does not mean that the reef has died. New algae means new life for the coral.

Ken Harvey
August 21, 2012 2:44 am

jorgekafkazar says:
August 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm
“The paper also discusses the genetic engineering of species to help them adapt better to climate change, and mitigating ocean acidification by adding base minerals to the water.”
“Or maybe those species, I don’t know how, perhaps it’s a miwwacle, already have built into them the ability to adapt to new conditions. ………………..”
It’s gonna take a few miwwacles for a zillion species to adapt to all that shade cloth.

August 21, 2012 3:59 am

Yeah, yeah! Great! Make the sun shades out of those blue
tarps! Ideal material! It will last only six months (or less!).
Leave that stuff out in the sun in the southern hemisphere summer
and it is UV rotted, breaking up, and shredding within 4 months.
(I have personal experience!).
Most plastic goods left out in the sun down-under are embrittled
and ruined within 3 years—but those tarps must be made of a
really inferior material as they go within one summer—really fast.
(Some plastic goods manufacturers like using the line “Tested in
the Arizona desert …” If it was tested in the Ruapehu desert—AND
it survived—it would be good tough stuff indeed! :-).

August 21, 2012 4:15 am

guess Gore n the Liar are a team, both psychopathic liars.
and he will have something invested making money outta aussies I bet.
the gravy train will screech to halt when labor is removed in a landslide loss sometime soon.
with luck ALL of the prowarmist liars will be removed from their positions of trust which they have abused shamelessly.

whalehunt fun
August 21, 2012 4:20 am

You’ve got to watch this discussion between Andrew Bolt the journalist and Professor Hoegh-Guldberg the ‘scientist’ It’s a few years old and I vaguely remember Andrew coming out on top.I have just watched it again and Andrew doesn’t just come out on top,he comprehensively demolishes the poor sap from the word go.By the way ‘Bolta’ is Australia’s top columnist,a prodigous blogger,has his own tv show and is one of the best counterpunches in the business.
Second item down on the index

August 21, 2012 6:21 am

Did he explain how to deal with this issue from NOAA? “Most reef-building corals contain photosynthetic algae, called zooxanthellae, that live in their tissues. The corals and algae have a mutualistic relationship.”

Karl Koehler
August 21, 2012 7:50 am

It occurs to me that coral reef bleaching may well be similar to the beetle kill epidemic that’s ravaged forests in west – a natural, cyclical renewal of the ecosystem. No need to panic.

August 21, 2012 8:04 am

“To which Jo Nova, unfunded non government critic said: We need scientists who are mature enough to spot a plan that is bonkers.”
But when you have a consensus, and all agree that you have a consensus, then you have given up the critical attribute of skepticism (what a dirty word). When you have given up skepticism, you don’t look at all sides of an issue and you don’t fully consider risk/benefits of proposals. Is it any wonder that such people come up with proposals that are bonkers?

August 21, 2012 8:13 am

This idea of using shade cloth to protect the coral was proposed by Marine Biologist Russell Hore in November 2006. He conceded it was impractical to shade the entire Great Barrier Reef.
RUSSELL HORE: I don’t think we would ever consider shading the whole reef. Logistically that would be an impossible thing to do, but what we are trying to prove at the moment is the fact that there is a relationship.
If you can reduce two of the major factors that cause coral bleaching, one of them being light intensity, one of them being temperature, that you can help to reduce the levels of coral bleaching occurring.
Source – “AM – Shadecloth might protect Great Barrier Reef from global warming”
Link at –

David Ross
August 21, 2012 8:35 am

Not sure about electricity giving a boost to living coral. Sounds a bit Frankensciency -It’s alive! It’s alive! But completely artificial reefs built with electricity have been proposed.
Seacrete (or Biorock), a substance formed by electro-accumulation of minerals dissolved in seawater, was invented by Prof. Wolf Hilbertz, an architect by training. There were even plans to use the technology to build a new nation on shallows in the Indian Ocean, which sounds a bit Bond villainy. Hilbertz’s new neighbours were not amused.
Or the Aussies could use titanium net and a boatload of money to protect a tiny bit of their reef
A tiny island in the Philippine Sea
In order to prevent the island from submersion caused by erosion and maintain the claim to the EEZ, the Japanese government launched an embankment building project in 1987, and Higashikojima and Kitakojima were surrounded by concrete. Japan has encased the reefs with $280 million worth of concrete and covered the smaller one with a $50 million titanium net to shield it from debris thrown up by the ocean’s waves. In fact, the Japanese government has spent over $600 million fortifying the reefs to prevent them from being completely washed away.

China was not amused.

Les Johnson
August 21, 2012 9:20 am

So, this genius wishes to put a sunshade over the reef? I suspect that this would kill the coral, as the symbiotic algae that lives in the coral depends on photosynthesis. Taking the sun away will kill the algae, and thus the coral. (as has been pointed out by others, I see).

Andrew Parker
August 21, 2012 9:52 am

I do not support Mr. Hoegh-Guldberg’s views generally, but, low-voltage stimulation of coral growth has been successful in several locations. You can review the technology here:
I think that such a method could be useful in repairing small areas of the GBR that may need some help to recover from severe damage, but I do not think it would be economically viable to apply it to large areas.

Reed Coray
August 21, 2012 11:54 am

If the centerfold of your favorite magazine is Michael Mann, you might just be a green-neck.

Gunga Din
August 21, 2012 12:52 pm

If your recently approved grant proposal was originally a story rejected by the SyFy Channel as being “to bizarre”, you might be a green-neck.
If you’ve ever considered wearing a gas mask to capture your own CO2 emissions, you might be a green-neck.
If you’ve replaced your black-velvet portrait of Elvis with a black-velvet portrait of Al Gore, you might be a green-neck.

August 21, 2012 1:21 pm

Genetic engineering can extend the life-span of humans. It can be used for good or evil purposes, many of which we are not presently aware. It will change every aspect of our culture. In scientific research when you open one door of discovery you find many more doors across the threshold. I wrote an ebook mystery novel on the subject titled BLOODGUILTY which is available on KINDLE bookstore by RAYMOND THOR.
Click here:

August 21, 2012 11:41 pm

It was found that the compounds in sunscreen cause reef organisms to die (even in astoundingly small amounts). So who’s going to be spreading that tarp? And will they be using sunscreen?
I think it would be more effective to tell all the sunscreen covered “scientists” to stop diving on the reef… rather like the ones that were traipsing around studying frog deaths … and spreading the fungus that was causing frog deaths in the process…
I think we’re entering a new era of “Studied to Death”…
348,000 sq km is 1000 x 1000 m2 x 348,000 or 348 x 10^9 sq m. At one mm thickness, that’s 348 x 10^6 cubic meters of petroleum product. (Plastics…) or about 348,000,000 TONS of plastic to be floated onto the ocean… That is, at 6.5 bbl / ton; about 53,538,000 bbl of oil and would cost roughly $5,353,800,000 just for the oil. That’s over $5 Billion of oil.
Then you get to make it into plastic, transport and deploy it, and haul it out whenever a storm approaches. Oh, and keep it in place.
Now, being 1 mm thick, it will not be very strong. So you either get to juice those numbers up by 4 x to 5 x or you get to do the same thing all over again each and every year…
Sounds to me like the kind of “stupid” you get when a “climate scientist” starts trying to pretend they are an engineer…
I’ll leave the “how to deploy and retrieve” 348 Mega-tons of plastic in a couple of days when a storm develops and the cost of the massive fleet and staff as an “exercise for the student”…

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