2 June 2016, YALE Climate Connections, U.N., UCS Point to Risks to World Heritage Sites. Australia concerns lead to holding-back case study on Great Barrier Reef, so Union of Concerned Scientists posts it independently. Climate impacts seen posing risks to sites . . . and to tourism. Sometimes, too often in fact, it’s not what’s included in the text of a report that captures the attention. It’s what’s omitted from that report, often not mistakenly. That’s a lesson learned and re-learned in the public policy field, but apparently not really absorbed in many cases. Those who internalized the lessons from the early-70s Watergate scandal that led to President Nixon’s resignation know well that it’s the cover-up, more so than the initial offense, that is the real crime. Only slightly more recently, the original “Jaws” in 1975 taught a similar lesson, as the fictional Amity Island town council sought to silence the truth in an effort to protect its tourism financial interests.
News Analysis and Commentary Advance now to a new report, “World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate,” released May 26 by two United Nations agencies and the Union of Concerned Scientists, UCS. In a somewhat dual-personality report that at times seems as concerned tourism as with impacts of climate change, the report paints a dire image of 31 natural and cultural World Heritage sites in 29 countries around the world. Around the world, that is, save for Australia and its, ahem, rather important Great Barrier Reef (GBR), by any practical measure a worthy entry among top-ranking heritage and tourism sites. And clearly one with observed and serious impacts from rising ocean temperatures, increased acidification, and continuing carbon dioxide emissions. It ends up that the Australian government prevailed on the U.N. and its United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and United Nations Environment Program to omit any reference to GBR. Those Sydney folks must never have seen “Jaws.” Read More here Also access missing chapter here