I have just been snorkelling over the Great Barrier Reef. (Not all of it: it's 1,600 miles long). And I can now officially confirm that it's doing just fine. The fish and corals are in excellent shape. Not one of the bits I investigated showed any signs of a) overheating due to global warming, b) dissolving due to ocean acifidication or c) collapsing in despair at man's selfishness, greed and refusal to amend his lifestyle.
Who'da thunk, eh?
But this didn't, of course, stop our snorkel guide slipping in global warming, as a matter of course – a bit like when in the old days Christians used to say grace before dinner – into his introductory talk. Nor did it stop the craft on which we travelled, spewing, to the reef bearing signs from the Queensland park authorities claiming that ocean acidification is real.
Why do they expose us to this alarmist drivel? Because, like the polar bear (but unlike, say, the snail darter), the Great Barrier Reef is big and impressive and captures the public imagination. If somehow it can be co-opted by the eco-loons into their ongoing campaign to destroy the world economy and ensure that as many parts of the globe as possible become virtual no-go areas for humans, policed by brown-shirted enviro-zealots, then co-opt it they will.
Take it from me: the Great Barrier Reef is going to survive a hell of a lot longer than Catastrophic Anthropogenic Warming Theory.