The CAFNEC Marine Response Team decided to send a letter to The University of Western Australia regarding the proposed creation of the Tony Abbott-backed Lomborg ‘consensus centre’ . Here is the text of that letter.

cropped-MRTLOGOwith-textcrop10001.jpg27 April 2015

Chancellery – Dr Michael Chanley
The University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Highway

Dear Dr Chanley,

We at the CAFNEC Marine Response team are bitterly disappointed at the University of Western Australia’s’ decision to support the Australian Consensus Centre. We believe it is wrong for institutions to deliberately delay action on reducing anthropogenic carbon emissions. The idea of a respected academic institution such as UWA supporting these sorts of bodies is even more atrocious. Our concerns include the effect of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) on the Great Barrier Reef. The reef is threatened by many human activities, but human sourced Carbon Dioxide emissions and associated ocean acidification must be one of the most fundamental threats.

As you are probably aware approximately 50% of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions are currently absorbed into the oceans. CO2 then reacts with water and carbonate to form acid. This reaction removes available carbonate from the water column. Carbonate is what calcium carbonate organisms, like corals, use to form their skeletons and shells. Acid also blocks the shell forming process further and at higher concentrations acid can dissolve existing shell. Calcium carbonate organisms include planktonic organisms which form the basis of food chains for most marine organisms.

An Australian Consensus Centre run by eminent climate scientists that represents the true “consensus” of scientific opinion and the fundamental laws of physics and chemistry would be applauded by our group. But one run by Bjorn Lomborg, a man who is well known for spreading misinformation, doubt and unscientific cherry picked data is just plain wrong.

For the sake of the future of the reef, please review your decision and open a centre that truly represents the massive scientific majority.

Yours sincerely


Josh Coates
CAFNEC Director
(On behalf of the CAFNEC Marine Response Team)

CAFNEC Marine Response Team: Conservation action for our Far North Queensland marine environment. We are volunteers, not-for-profit, and all about taking action and informing community. See or more information.