Murder on the Reef (Slected for Screening)

Murder on the Reef follows the hotly debated issues surrounding the world’s largest living structure, the Great Barrier Reef. But is it too late? Many scientists now believe as much as fifty percent of the corals in the Great Barrier Reef have died. Through a complex mix of voices from locals, to scientists and indigenous spokespeople, this documentary traces the many culprits including water contamination, crown-of-thorns starfish and dredging. But the elephant in the room is climate change and some of the exhausted scientists believe the fight is futile.In 2016 a massive bleaching event rendered much of the coral in the northern end of the Great Barrier Reef lifeless and colourless but no-one predicted another event would occur the following year. This back to back bleaching was unprecedented and took everyone by surprise including scientists, who had studied these events for many years. While a classroom full of university students wept watching aerials of the devastation, in Canberra, politicians supported by big coal continued their assault on the science.Australia is the largest exporter of coal which is the largest contributor to emissions and one of the biggest financial contributors to political parties. Banks have stopped funding coal mines in Australia. But the government continue to support these ventures going so far as to brandish a lump of coal on the lower house floor imploring colleagues to see its virtues. “Don’t be afraid of coal” one yells. This is mild compared to the mudslinging that has become commonplace in a parliament more divided and dirtier than ever before. Meanwhile, once vibrant corals are turning white, and the reef is becoming an indicator for what will happen globally.
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