You may remember Andrew Bolt’s campaign to persuade us that Chernobyl wasn’t that bad, and that clouds of nuclear radiation hardly caused any problems whatsoever… well, he’s back this week with, of all things, an attempt to minimise concerns over the oil slick threatening the Great Barrier Reef.

It’s the great slick of hype that’s the real threat

To what? Lax regulation and monitoring of enormous tankers and cargo ships cutting corners by going much closer than is safe to a unique, fragile and irreplaceable natural wonder? The right of the world’s corporations to take crazy risks with our natural heritage in order to save a couple of bucks?

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If that’s what Bob Brown’s worried about, then Andrew wants more of it!

Bolt then quotes a controversial report that unbelievably claims there were hardly any long-term effects from the Exxon Valdez disaster, apparently in an effort to convince his readers that they shouldn’t really worry about the Great Barrier Reef – it’ll be fine. Covered with oil.

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As harmless as Chernobyl: And that’s why Andrew is moving his family to the nearest oil spill to Pripyat.

Can even Andrew Bolt can convince his readers that radioactive clouds and oil slicks are anything other than dangerous, repulsive things to be avoided? Does his advocacy on behalf of these industries, and for these sorts of outrageous polluters, actually persuade anyone, or does it in fact harm his credibility with these readers? Or does it do neither – do they just ignore these posts and concentrate on the easy ones (refugee-bashing, greenie-bashing, lefty-bashing) that don’t tax their brains?

UPDATE 14/4: Those darn Greenies at News Ltd continue the hype:

However, a large section of Douglas Shoal has been affected by antifouling paint from its hull.

“An optimistic estimate would be, if there were no chemical contamination at this site, that it would take (the reef) 10 to 20 years to recover,” Dr Wachenfeld said.

“That paint is quite likely to have heavy metals in it.

“That would really put a much longer timeframe on recovery because that paint would be stopping any plants and animals from recolonising.”

They even include a photograph of some of the damage the ship caused as it gouged through the reef. Have they no shame?

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