We are, of course, in the midst of a ‘climate emergency’ and the ‘sixth mass extinction’ of life on Earth. It is just that one of the iconic victims doesn’t seem to be playing ball just at the moment. As recently as May, environmentalists were warning that the Great Barrier Reef, the 1,500-mile coral structure off the coast of Queensland, was being doomed by warming seas. It was reported to be suffering a ‘mass bleaching’ – where the plants which live on the reef and provide food for it die off. The blame was put on warmer seas. Worse, this was the first mass bleaching event to occur in a ‘La Niña’ year, when the seas off Australia are supposed to be going through a cyclical cooling phase. A gloomy David Wachenfeld, chief scientist of the Great Barrier Reef Authority, told the Guardian at the time that ‘unexpected events are now to be expected.