Fight against coal to become “the fight of our time”

First some good news: Australia’s dirtiest power station, Hazelwood, has closed down. And it is the ninth and largest coal-burning power station to close in the past five years in Australia.

However, there are 20 coal power stations remaining in Australia, and we urgently need a plan to phase them all out. For even a moderate chance of keeping to Australia’s Paris commitments and doing our bit to avoid the worst impacts of global warming, we need to close one Hazelwood-sized power station every year from now on. That is not going to happen unless we, the Australian voters, make a very loud and clear bang in the table, saying enough of the greed, the hypocrisy, the lying and the ignorance that allows this madness to continue.

Australian coal exported one billion tonnes of CO2 and local emissions amounted to 560 million tonnes in 2016 alone.

The World Meteorological Organisation reports about unprecedented heat across the globe, exceptionally low ice at both poles and surging sea-level rise as a result of our burning coal, oil and gas – and coal is by far the most polluting of the three.

The Arctic Death Spiral: March 2017 average volume: 19,632 km³, another record low. Last year it was 21,559 km³, previous record was in 2011: 21,421 km³

Coal doesn’t just melt the arctic ice. Coal means death. Coal-induced climate change causes water and food shortages, drought and extreme weather events which trigger conflicts, wars over water, large groups of displaced people, destruction, more and more deaths. Millions of deaths. The most pessimistic climate models foresee the end of civilisation as we know it. » Figures and more on this

Coal emissions result in warmer ocean temperatures that are killing our Great Barrier Reef, but in total disregard and disrespect, the country’s biggest banks are happily continuing to fund it.

This is the absurd setting, the background and reason for the #StopAdani campaign.


“If the government approves this monstrous mine it will be committing environmental treason against every Australian who values our farmers, our coasts, our bush and our way of life.”
Hamish McKenzie


“Research published last year by four Oxford economists and scientists concluded that to keep climate change to below 2°C, no new coal plants can be built after 2017 unless they have zero emissions.”

“Climate models give a glimpse of the Australia we are creating. They show the nation’s wheatbelts, from Esperance to the Wimmera, dried to a crisp. They show the Queensland coast being thrashed more relentlessly by fiercer storms. They show a rash of summer bushfires that make Black Saturday look like candles on a cake. But they do not show the reef. By the end of the century, we will have boiled it to death. This is the Australia we are creating. Even more, it is the Australia we will have to accept if the Adani mine is approved.”


» The Guardian – 17 April 2017:
Adani is not just another coalmine, it is a turning point for the nation

“The Australian government’s stubborn support of the Carmichael mine is beyond comprehension. It defies logic on so many levels: environmental, political and financial.”
The Climate Institute



How the coal industry sees it

“We cannot let minority interests deny the job-creating benefits of this project’s mine, rail and port projects to our region, our state and our country.”
Patricia O’Callaghan, Townsville Enterprise chief executive


» The Australian – 6 April 2016:
Adani Carmichael coalmine opportunity ‘must be protected’

“You’re seeing the revival of the Australian mining companies.”
Neil Fisher, Rockhampton Councillor, in January 2017


SBS news


Coal in decline – for good, and for good reasons

Coal means death, and we have known this since 1912, but still in 2017, politicians in areas with coal in the ground for one reason or the other refuse to acknowledge that this means we can’t burn any more of it.

Restrictions, regulations and eventually a ban on burning coal is inevitable. So then, at such times, to be in the process of raising $21.7 billion dollars – $21,700,000,000 – to invest in the construction of a new, mega-sized coal mine in Queensland is not just incredibly stupid and wrong, it is directly evil. It is a blatant crime against humanity.

“Australians have had enough. The vast majority of people across the nation agree – climate change is a priority and that Adani’s climate catastrophe cannot go ahead if we want a liveable future.”
Isaac Astill, 350.org Australia, referring to a March 2017 poll commissioned by the Australian Marine Conservation Society


 
Whose jobs?
Record-breaking temperatures are pushing our planet into uncharted territory and we have already sent the Great Barrier Reef to death row as a consequence, affecting the livelihood of more than 10,000 people who stand to lose their jobs within the Australian tourism and hospitality sector.

The continued coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef could see international and domestic visitors to the region plummet by more than a million people a year, researchers from the Australia Institute warned last year. Holiday visitors currently spend $3.3 billion to reef regions each year, supporting between 39,000 and 45,000 jobs.

How can the Premier of Queensland along with eight local mayors and the federal government be supportive of constructing such a coal mine on the grounds that it would create a few thousand jobs in the mining industry? If the same amount of money was invested in renewable energy plants, wouldn’t that be creating jobs just as well?

The politicians are not only supportive, they even want to throw public money – $1.2 billion – into constructing a railway line between the mine and the harbour, so that the coal can be shipped to India. If that amount of public money was given to renewable energy projects, it would possibly generate private investments of ten times a much.

As of last month, more than 87 per cent of Queensland was officially in drought. Yet the Queensland state government is going to allow the Adani company unlimited access to groundwater, pumping up millions of litres of water every day.


Letter writer in The Age pointing out the economic and existential lunacy of taxpayers being forced to fund the Adani coal mine

“For the Queensland Premier and the Prime Minister to suggest that this project helps Australia economically and in the context of employment is just an outright lie.”
Geoff Cousins, president, Australian Conservation Foundation


Biggest protest movement in Australia ever
This project makes so little sense that it stinks. We are obviously not being told the full story. What would make a Premier betray her own election promise – one she had repeated several times – of not giving taxpayers money to Adani for its rail line?

Until that one day when it is revealed what really happened behind the scenes in Australia’s parliamentarian coal-circus, an army of environmental NGOs are currently preparing to reject and resist the construction of this coal mine with all the recourses, ingenuity and committed man power they’ve got. Mobilisation meetings and training workshops with thousands of Australians involved are taking place around the country already.

Two groups are quietly training and mobilising Australian activists for peaceful resistance in the shape of a blockade at a scale which Australia hasn’t seen the like of since the Franklin Dam Blockade in 1982, where a total of 1,217 arrests were made, and nearly 500 people were imprisoned.

Another – supported by former Franklin blockade leader and former Greens-leader Bob Brown – is the #StopAdani Roadshow which travelled the country from 27 to 31 March with renowned speakers from around the world with the aim of “building an unstoppable movement to end the polluting influence of the fossil fuel industry and protect our climate.”

“We are creating the biggest movement in Australia’s history to stop Adani’s mine and create a pollution free future for Australia,” wrote Kelly O’Shanassy, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Conservation Foundation in a newsletter on 22 March 2017.

In Canberra on 22 March 2017, leaders of 13 key environment groups – representing 1.5 million Australians – launched the Stop Adani Alliance, an unprecedented alliance of Australian NGOs such as the Australian Conservation Foundation, 350.org, GetUp!, and Australia Youth Climate Coalition, vowing to build “the biggest movement Australia has ever seen” and to “stop the dangerous Adani coal mine in its tracks.”


“Adani’s mine is a clear and present danger to life. We can’t let them dig up this coal and fuel dangerous global warming.”
Kelly O’Shanassy, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Conservation Foundation



While the Queensland Premier and eight mayors from regional Queensland were on an expensive junket to meet Adani in India, ACF president Geoff Cousins and a delegation of Australians crashed their party and made international headlines. They delivered a message from 90 prominent Australians including cricketing legends Ian and Greg Chappell, author Tim Winton and musicians Peter Garrett and Missy Higgins to Mr Adani: “Australians want clean energy not a dirty new coal mine.”

In Melbourne, 1,500 people gathered on 31 March 2017. Photo by Julian Meehan

Australians are not going to just lean back and watch their common future being wrecked. The #StopAdani Roadshow tour was attended by over 4,000 people over four days in packed out city halls and convention centres along the Australian east coast, with another 40,000 watching online. Sold out in every location. It was a sight to behold. As one journalist put it: “Adani must be terrified”.

People came together to draw inspiration from one another and kick off an unbeatable strategy to #StopAdani and move Australia beyond coal. Since then, over 100 new action groups have launched – getting active in their communities to stop this climate bomb in its tracks.


Missy Higgins introduced audiences with this eight-minute video during the sold out #StopAdani Roadshow. It is worth watching.

» Read more on www.stopadani.com



Radio interview with Danny Kennedy

Danny Kennedy, who spoke on the StopAdani Roadshow, is “an advocate for sunshine online” and a climate solutions seeker, cofounder of Sungevity and Powerhouse, and the managing director of the California Clean Energy Fund – a private equity and venture capital firm specialising in direct and fund of fund investments. This was what he told The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse on 5 April 2017 (as he was on his way back to California):

» Transcript of the interview






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“For the first time in history, Australians have the opportunity to take climate change arguments to our country’s highest court.”


Help take the fight to the High Court

“You care about the Reef. You care about the future. We urgently need your help to take climate change to the High Court. Represented by the experienced non-profit lawyers at Environmental Defenders Office Queensland, we’re going to the High Court to ask it to hear arguments about the climate change impacts of coal mines for the very first time.”
~ June Norman, Coast and Country member, and Queensland grandmother


For the first time in history, Australians have the opportunity to take climate change arguments to our country’s highest court.

The campaign started on 30 March and will end on 29 April 2017. On 4 April 2017, 388 supporters had so far raised $27,742 of the $60,000 target – with 25 days left.

» Chip in – on www.chuffed.org

June Norman elaborates:
“It’s taken us years to get to this point. And we can’t do it without your urgent support, as our funds have been exhausted. Our application for special leave has been filed with the High Court to appeal the Court of Appeal decision with respect to the climate change impacts of the Alpha coal mine.

If we win, it will confirm that decision-makers in Queensland have to consider the environmental harm from large coal mines on our climate and the Reef. Please, help us take Australia’s first climate case to the High Court by making a tax-deductible donation to EDO Qld today.

Your donation goes to Environmental Defenders Office Queensland, not to us. If your generous donations exceed the funds needed for this case, they will go towards the other climate legal work of EDO Qld. As a community legal centre, you’ll get the most from every dollar you donate.”

“All around the world courts are accepting science, and overturning government inaction on climate change. But legal actions are time consuming and costly. Without your urgent support this case cannot continue.”
~ Sean Ryan, Principal Solicitor of Environmental Defenders Office Queensland

» See more and chip in on www.chuffed.org


“This is intergenerational theft of unprecedented proportions. Not only does it jeopardise the future of our children and grandchildren and their land, fresh water and clean air, this mine risks destroying the Great Barrier Reef.
And we, the Australian public, will all pay this suspect Indian company for the privilege of doing so. There is no clearer demonstration of how our governments are selling us out to business interests and multinational companies at the expense of our future.”

Judy Cashmore Glebe

» Sydney Morning Herald – 5 April 2017:
Giving water to coal mine a bitter betrayal


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Guarding the Galilee

“It’s the biggest challenge facing global humanity. Someone needs to be doing it, and – why not me?”



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Ten reasons why the Adani coalmine must be stopped

“The consequences of going ahead with the mine are almost incalculable. This is not simply because of the emissions it will produce, but from the fact it promotes and normalises the insanity that coal can still be “good for humanity”. Here’s my list of the ten most-absurd things about the Adani mine.”
David Holmes, Senior Lecturer, Communications and Media Studies, Monash University

1) As the largest coal mine in the Australia when completed, Adani will legitimise the idea of mining all of the coal in the Galilee Basin. If extracted and burnt, this will get the world one-third of the way toward 2°C of global warming.
The Adani mine alone will see up to 2.3 billion tonnes of coal extracted from an area five times the size of Sydney Harbour over 60 years. This is equivalent to putting out 7.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases. The global budget is now less than 500 billion tonnes in order to have an 80% chance of keeping global average temperature rise to less than 2°C.

2) The mine lies adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef. The heaviest risk to the reef’s future is a continued increase in greenhouse gases.
You couldn’t invent a greater insult to the beloved reef than begin mining operations that amount to an affront to those who have begun to mourn for its imminent death.

3) After years of bashing renewables as unviable without government subsidy, contemplating a $1 billion subsidy to the mine by the Turnbull government is quite perverse.

Fossil-fuel companies already receive $2,000 in rebates and subsidies for every $1 they donate to Australia’s major political parties. So, this additional subsidy makes a mockery of any serious attempt to tackle climate change.

4) With climate-change-induced extreme weather events exacting billions of dollars of damage across Australia, and especially in Queensland, the idea that public money would be used to increase these damage bills by injecting even more energy into the world’s climate system by accelerating greenhouse gas emissions is absurd.
Cyclone Debbie – a category-four cyclone – actually impacted on the areas of the mine itself, and delivered more peak rainfall than Cyclone Yasi, which was a category-five cyclone only six years ago. Since 2006, insurers have paid more than $6.8 billion in cyclone- and flood-related claims in Queensland alone. Debbie is expected to add another $1 billion.

5) That the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund could be used to subsidise the mine is in contempt of any claim to responsible climate – and financial – policy. That such a fund could be so directly controlled by so few people and have such enormous impact on greenhouse concentrations is a travesty.

6) The argument that the royalties from the mine would benefit Australia are not supported by the recent revelations that Adani has set up an elaborate network of subsidiaries and trusts which are ultimately owned and controlled from the tax haven of the Cayman Islands.

7) That the Queensland Labor government could buy into a jobs campaign around the mine when renewable technologies can carry the promise of even more jobs, and without risk to the Great Barrier Reef that is threatened by the dredging associated with the mine, and therefore is a danger to the tourism industry, is outrageous.
Adani’s own consultants have suggested the mine would produce fewer than 1,500 full-time jobs. This amounts to a public subsidy of $683,000 per job.

8) Adani’s argument that somehow the mine will be lifting Indians out of poverty is a PR disguise for a company that has been accused of blatant human rights abuses.
This argument, invented by the now-failed Peabody Energy and most famously popularised by Bjorn Lomborg, has also been a favourite of Coalition MPs. This argument is thoroughly patronising – not simply because India itself has declared renewables to be more important than coal, but because it is the oppressive legacy of colonialism that under-developed third-world countries in the first place.

9) The desperate plea by Resources Minister Matt Canavan, mounted in the face of a greater lunacy, that the coal Adani would export is “clean coal” that would actually cut emissions, has been dismissed by analysts at the International Energy Agency.

10) To commit to a mine that it supposed to run for 60 years as the price of coal continues to be devalued in the face of investment moving to renewables is business suicide.

It does not even take account of what the world’s climate will be like in 35 years. With the equator in a permanent heatwave and so much more storm-feeding energy in the system, coal won’t just be the new tobacco. It will become the grim reaper we see in our rear-view mirror.”

» The Conversation – 12 April 2017:
Australia’s climate bomb: the senselessness of Adani’s Carmichael coal mine



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MORAL RESPONSE:

Open letter from religious leaders

In April 2017, 11 religious leaders sent an open letter to federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg, saying: “Given the climate emergency that the world now faces, it is morally irresponsible for Australia to allow the building of any new coal mines, coal-fired power stations or other fossil fuel infrastructure. It is furthermore incorrect to promote ‘clean coal’; no coal is clean. We are particularly concerned about the proposed Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. If built this would be one of the largest coal mines in the world. It would lock us into 25 to 60 years of more coal mining. Not only is this bad economics it ignores the concerns of farming and tourism industries precisely at a time when Australia ought to be leading the way in investment in renewable energy.”

» ABC Religion and Ethics – 28 April 2017:
Government Support for Adani’s Giant Coal Mine is Scientifically and Morally Unjustifiable
“For Australia to embark on a new and enormous coal project flies in the face of science which tells us we are in a climate emergency, and the world cannot afford any new coal projects.” By Stephen Pickard and Thea Ormerod




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Questions to opposition leader Bill Shorten (ALP)

Jane Routley wrote on Facebook on 20 March 2017 at 09:15: “I sent this letter off to Bill Shorten last night. I’m working my way through the rest of the Labour Party today. Perhaps you would like to join me in asking these questions?”

Dear Mr Shorten
I was deeply angered by the sight of Queensland Premier Palaszczuk in India courting the Adani coal mine.

Why is she supporting a mine which will only worsen climate change when 90 percent of her state is in drought and the coast is about to lose thousands of tourism jobs because of the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef? Surely a couple of hundred jobs in Townsville is not worth the damage.

Is this what we can expect of the Federal Labour Party when they are in power?

What is Federal Labour doing to support Queensland Labour to move away from the coal mine?

What is Federal Labour’s policy on the urgent issue of Climate Change?

Can Federal Labour pledge not to support this ill-advised mine?

Yours sincerely
Jane Routley
3058


Bill Shorten “hopes the mine became a reality”

Opposition leader Bill Shorten said on 19 April 2017 he hoped the Adani mine became a reality, reported Sydney Morning Herald:

“I want to see more jobs in Australia, I want to see more jobs in regional Queensland, but it has got to stack up commercially, it has got to stack up environmentally. But I can’t for the life of me see any good reason why Australian taxpayers should be underwriting a billion-dollar loan to a giant billionaire Indian mining company.“
Bill Shorten, opposition leader, Labor

» Sydney Morning Herald – 12 April 2017:
Labor resists pressure for $900 million loan: ‘Adani coal mine should stand on its own two feet’

» Sydney Morning Herald – 22 April 2017:
Labor fossil fuel policy: Lobby group’s push to leave coal in the ground



Australian government’s case for coal sales to India collapses

The Australian government’s case for coal sales to India collapses as Adani’s plans for low quality exports are exposed

As India intensifies efforts to boost renewable energy, the Australian Government’s case for it being an economic and moral destination for Queensland coal is falling apart.

Along with vast sums of taxpayer money being handed to Indian energy giant Adani being bound for tax havens, the Government talking point about Australian coal being the ethical choice for India as it is less polluting than other sources has collapsed with the news that Adani plans to send poor-quality high-ash coal to India while exporting the marginally less polluting variety to better markets in Asia.


“When people think about coal power stations causing pollution, most think immediately of China. But here in India, pollution causes more than 3,000 premature deaths every day – with the pollution spewed out from coal power stations one of the leading causes.”

“I’ve come face to face with some of the world’s worst companies, but at the top of that list is mining giant Adani, which wants to develop one of the world’s largest coalmines in Australia. The company says it is to meet a demand from India, but the communities I work with patently do not want Adani and they do not want its coal.”
~ Vaishali Patil, an activist who fights for environmental justice and the rights of rural women in India


» The Saturday Paper – 8 April 2017:
Exposing Adani’s environmental and labour abuses


“First the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, and now the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, have betrayed both the reef and the trust of the Australian people by snivelling across the seas, pledging allegiance to the Carmichael coalmine. All too often, the rest of big business is complicit in the crisis by explicitly or tacitly supporting the coal industry. Financial institutions such as CommBank continue to invest in the fossil fuel projects that are bringing disaster to the reef.”
~ David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific


» The Guardian – 10 April 2017:
Australia’s politicians have betrayed the Great Barrier Reef and only the people can save it
“The big lie propagated by government and big business is that it is possible to turn things around for the reef without tackling global warming”

» The Guardian – 6 April 2017:
Adani mine railway loan would breach government’s policy, says legal group
“Complaint lodged over prospect of Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility partially funding 400km rail line”

» Sydney Morning Herald – 4 April 2017:
‘Barbaric’: Farmers rattled as Adani coal mine granted unlimited water access

» Sydney Morning Herald – 4 April 2017:
Adani’s giant coal mine granted unlimited water licence for 60 years

» ABC News – 3 April 2017:
Adani plans to export low quality, high ash coal to India, court told
“The ABC has unearthed previously unreported evidence that shows Adani plans to export a low-quality coal product to India — coal with a high ash content that could cause deadly air pollution.”

» News.com.au – 3 April 2017:
Is this the worst mistake Australia could make?

The world’s biggest coal exporter has a problem. Demand for the dirtiest fuel is on the wane. The International Energy Agency — which has tended to overestimate coal production, and underestimate renewables — doesn’t expect consumption to regain its 2014 levels until 2021. Investment in new mines is “drying up,” according to its latest market forecast.


» Bloomberg – 2 April 2017:
Coal’s Dirty Secret


“A good person will resist an evil system with his whole soul. Disobedience of the laws of an evil state is therefore a duty.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948)





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The cyclone-link to coal

“The more coal we burn, the more intense extreme weather events like Cyclone Debbie will be. People will suffer.”
~ Adam Bandt, Greens MP

Some straight talking on coal and climate from Lower House Greens MP Adam Bandt when he linked building a new coal power station to asbestos and cigarettes, saying more people will die from extreme weather and cyclones:

“Building a new coal fired power station now is like knowing cigarettes cause cancer but starting your kids on a pack a day, or knowing asbestos kills but building your family home with it anyway.”
~ Adam Bandt


“Matt Canavan, who hails from the state that this cyclone is hitting, is calling this ‘an investment’ when it’s just a straight-out subsidy for aging and dangerous technology. This is a reprehensible move that takes money from schools and hospitals to prop up a declining industry that’s threatening our way of life,” Adam Bandt was quoted by Canberra Times as saying.



Action to StopAdani


“We shut it down! They had to close up way before finishing time. The CEO had to address the issue. Their VIPs got a shake up (read the article for the line up!) And their feature artist Neil Finn – after seeing the #StopAdani Street Party – is considering donating the money he got from the gig to #StopAdani! But, they still haven’t ruled out funding for Adani. Onwards!”
~ Isaac Astill



» The Australian – 9 April 2017:
Westpac’s 200th anniversary celebrations marred by coal protests
“Westpac has prided itself on winning awards for sustainability but its refusal to specifically rule out funding the Adani project has made it a target for activists.”


Direct Action Grandparents to #StopAdani



A group of Galilee Blockade grandparent activists occupied the office of Queensland’s Deputy Premier Jackie Trad: Eleven Hour Occupation. Three Arrests. One Message. Prepared with food, bedding and a camp toilet, the grandparents vowed to occupy the office until Jackie Trad signed a legal letter stopping our money going to Adani. ‘Cayman Islands’ was the theme: Gautam Adani holidaying with a billion dollars of public funds.

» Get involved on www.galileeblockade.net

» Read more


Arrests at occupied rail freight company Aurizon

“This (THIS!) is what grandparents, students and ordinary people do when faced with a situation that is just SO WRONG. They turn up to advocate and protest, to help protect future generations from run-away climate change. Feeling humbled by your commitment!”
~ Sharon France


» Takvera – 23 March 2017:
Aurizon Brisbane HQ occupied by #stopAdani climate protestors reports @takvera
“Rail freight company Aurizon Headquarters in Brisbane was occupied by Adani protestors today. Aurizon have put in a funding application to the Northern Australian Infrastructure Fund (NAIF) to build the coal freight railway line from the Galilee basin to the coast at Abbot Point.”









“On the one hand, we use government money to go out to the world and promote the great qualities of the Barrier Reef as the Number One tourism attraction in the country, on the other hand these governments look to support a project that at the very least must increase the risks to a Reef that is already a sick patient.”
Geoff Cousins, president, Australian Conservation Foundation

“The Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail project is expected to operate for 60 years and will produce up to 60Mtpa (million tonnes per annum) of coal at its peak.”

» Minerals Council of Australia – 22 March 2017:
Stop Adani Alliance a futile vanity pose
“The formation of the so-called Stop Adani Alliance by a group of environmental organisations is a futile and cynical attention-seeking gesture. The Carmichael coal mine project is going to proceed. That is a good thing for Central and Northern Queensland as well as the broader national economy. It is also very good news for tens of millions of people in India who will have access to energy for the first time as a result of the project.”





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Labor Premier visits Adani in India

Why on earth is an Australian Premier suddenly travelling to India with a 25 member delegation? To visit Adani and spruik his mine of mass destruction. On 19 March 2017, Palaszczuk stood side by side with Adani and said:

“Most of the approvals are in. There is no approval pending from my government. Some legislations are currently before the federal parliament. I don’t believe there will be any obstacles for that final piece of legislation in the federal parliament and the environmental conditions have been attached as well.”
~ Anastasia Palaszczuk, Queensland’s Premier, as quoted by MoneyControl.


» MoneyControl – 19 March 2017:
Adani hopes to start Austalian coal mine project by August
“Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani, whose USD 22 billion Carmichael coal mine and port cum railhead project in Queensland is being opposed by some people, says he is hopeful of starting it by August this year.”

“Providing 10,000 local jobs through direct and indirect value creation…”

» www.adaniaustralia.com


» Queensland Government – 6 December 2016:
Premier secures Adani commitment on regional Queensland jobs










“In north Queensland and central Queensland people are hurting and are desperate for jobs and business opportunities that projects such as the Carmichael Mine and Abbot Point port expansion bring. We can’t all be sports stars, we can’t all be corporate executives or novel writers or investment bankers. Some people have to work hard just to make ends meet and these elitists are doing their utmost to ensure that that work is just not available for them.”
~ Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen interviewed by Daily Mercury’s Emily Smith


» Daily Mercury – 16 March 2017:
MP lashes out at ‘elitist wankers’ opposed to Adani mine



“The Adani mine is this generation’s Franklin River. People power can stop it.”
Bob Brown, 24 March 2017


“A recent wave of blackouts and near misses and the proposal of the biggest coalmine in the world – the Adani Carmichael mine in Queensland – has created tinder-dry conditions that only needed one spark to go up in flames.”
Bill McKibben, American climate activist and author, 350.org

This mine is that line in the sand

“Backed against the wall, the coal lobby and Turnbull’s fossil fuel-obsessed colleagues have gambled everything on the construction of the Adani coalmine. This mine would be the largest coalmine in history and, if constructed, it would do much to push the planet beyond 2°C of warming.

The politics of coal are changing and this mine is that line in the sand.

Last week a historic alliance of environmental groups representing more than 1.5 million people launched the largest climate movement in Australia’s history.

Led by Bob Brown, who I had the honour of meeting last year, the battle to stop Adani is shaping up as the most important environmental fight ever down under, the likes of the Tar Sands battle we’ve seen in North America.

People are engaged and will take action to preserve the climate, the Great Barrier Reef and the rights of the traditional owners whose land will be destroyed by this mine in ways that hasn’t before been seen.

In my many visits there, I have found Australians to be obliging and deeply passionate about protecting their unique environment. Never has the contrast between the fossil fuel present and the clean energy future been in such stark relief. I now implore all Australians to take a stand – for the sake of the world’s climate – to ensure this mine never goes ahead.”
Bill McKibben

» The Guardian – 27 March 2017:
In the battle for the planet’s climate future, Australia’s Adani mine is the line in the sand
“Australians must decide whether they continue to support coal or whether the future is renewable. Without a doubt, Malcolm Turnbull will be left on the losing side”



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Coal kills

75,000 people die annually from pollutants from the burning of Australian coal exports, and it is estimated that a further 13,000 people will eventually die each year from the burning of proposed Adani Australian coal exports – with 500,000 people, mostly Indians, dying thus from the lifetime operation of the proposed Adani coal mine that also threatens Australia’s desperately ill Great Barrier Reef.

Seven million people die globally from the long-term effects of air pollution each year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), including about 1,000,000 Indians – half from coal burning for power.

200,000 Americans, 10,000 Australians and 9,000 Londoners die from air pollution each year, with several million people dying annually from the long-term effects of coal burning pollutants.

DARA estimates that 400,000 people presently die from climate change annually, but this may be a huge under-estimate because 17 million people already die avoidably each year from deprivation in tropical or sub-tropical developing world countries (minus China) that are already disproportionately impacted by man-made climate change.

Presently 20 million people are facing famine and mass starvation in war-, climate change- and drought-impacted northern Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.

Dr Gideon Polya, Melbourne, writes that two top climate change scientists have estimated that as few as 500 million people will survive this century if climate change is not requisitely addressed, this translating to a climate genocide involving the untimely deaths of about 10 billion people this century.

“It is now too late to avoid a catastrophic plus 2 degree Centigrade temperature rise, but decent people are obliged to do everything they can to make the future “less bad” for future generations e.g. by urging and applying boycotts, divestment and sanctions against and voting out ecocidal and homicidal climate criminals,” Dr Polya says.



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Adani executive appointed to run state-owned coal port

“Listen to the story and you will be amazed at how wrong this is.”

“It is shameful that this involves the Queensland Labor Government of Annastacia Palaszczuk, who promised before the last Queensland state election that Labor would stop the Adani Carmichael Coal Mine from going ahead. I guess she wasn’t able to resist the lures of Gautam Adani and his relentless history of corruption and environmental vandalism.

In September 2015 the Queensland Government appointed a former Adani coal company director – Brad Fish – the ultimate boss of the Abbot Point coal port, as the Chairman of the state-owned North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) responsible for the ports at Weipa, Mackay, Hay Point and Abbot Point.

Six weeks after his appointment he resigned his position on the Adani board, but was actually for that time sitting on a board that wanted to get as much coal out through Abbot Point as cheaply as possible at the same time as being chair of a board that overseas and “protects” the port. Adani runs the only operating coal terminal at Abbot Point, north of Bowen.

Sometimes when you cover stories you are amazed. I’m numb with shock hearing this story which the ABC broke today on the radio programme The World at Noon.

Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt confirmed that it knew of Fish’s directorship and that he “disclosed potential conflicts of interest prior to his appointment”. But the directorship WAS NOT DISCLOSED PUBLICLY by Pitt’s office or the North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation at the time of his appointment.”
~ One Term Tories



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protectthereef-billboard-truck560





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Short tons of coal consumed per person: Australians stand out as the world’s most coal-addicted

» Source: www.next10.org

Measured per person, Australians are the largest carbon dioxide emitters in the world

» Source: Climate Change Authority, World Recourses Institute 2011 via www.abc.net.au

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Public opinion polling shows most Australians want Adani to fund their own infrastructure and not rely on a $1 billion loan of public money from the Northern Australian Infrastructure Fund.

A ReachTEL survey of 2,134 people found that 63 per cent of Australians agree or strongly agree that “the best thing for Australia would be for Adani to invest in large-scale solar power stations, rather than a new coal mine”. Only 12 per cent disagree or strongly disagree. It also found 72 per cent would prefer a Queensland delegation also visiting India, led by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, to seek out renewable energy project investment compared to just 15 per cent favouring coal.


“In 2016, work [on new coal-fired projects] was frozen at more than a hundred sites in China and India. In January 2017, China’s energy regulator halted work on a further 100 new coal-fired projects, suggesting the trend was not going away.”


» The Guardian – 22 March 2017:
Coal in ‘freefall’ as new power plants dive by two-thirds
“Green groups’ report says move to cleaner energy in China and India is discouraging the building of coal-fired units”


» SBS News – 22 March 2017:
Indigenous youth join coalition in last ditch effort to stop Adani coal mine
“Indigenous Youth Climate Network, Seed, and former Senator Bob Brown have joined forces with 12 other key environmental groups to launch the ‘Stop Adani Alliance’ campaign to stop the development of the $1.2b coal mine in Queensland.”


» ABC News – 22 March 2017:
Adani facing growing pressure on fears investors may have been misled
“Adani refuses to reveal which company in its complex corporate web has applied for a $1 billion subsided loan from the Australian Government, amid fears investors may have been misled.”


» BuzzFeed – 22 March 2017:
Coal In “Freefall”: The World Is Suddenly Building A Lot Fewer Coal Plants
“But the Australian government still wants to subsidise a mine that scientists say will kill the Great Barrier Reef”


» Bloomberg – 21 March 2017:
Adani’s $16.5 Billion Coal Mine in Australia Faces Fresh Wave of Protests
“A new environmental campaign to stop the development of Adani Group’s $16.5 billion coal mine in Queensland will be launched Wednesday with the high-profile backing of former Australian Greens party leader Bob Brown.”


» Vox – 21 March 2017:
The global coal boom finally seems to be winding down
“There may be hope for the climate after all.”


» The Australian – 20 March 2017:
Work on Adani coal mine in Queensland set to start in August, says Gautam Adani
“We need just about three months from there to actually begin the work on the mine. Which means we can kickstart work from August this year, Mr Adani told The Press Trust of India.”


» ABC News – 17 March 2017:
Indian fishermen warn Australia against Adani mine environmental impact
“Fishermen in India say a local Adani project is harming them and killing off sea life, warning Australia to be wary as Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk prepares to decide whether to proceed with the Carmichael coal mine.”


» ABC The Business – 14 March 2017:
A loophole that could turn Adani’s coal into gold (video)
“If the project does go ahead, the Adani group will be able to shift up to $3 billion in revenue from the Carmichael Mine into a company ultimately owned in the Cayman Islands. It’s the outcome of what one critic calls a “third world pyramid structure” that allows the family-controlled Adani group to shift assets at will.”


» Sydney Morning Herald – 15 February 2017:
The coal war: Inside the fight against Adani’s plans to build Australia’s biggest coal mine
“It’s the fight that has become a proxy war between forces for and against the coal industry in Australia and it’s entering its fiercest round.”


» The Guardian – 6 December 2016:
Opposition to public funding for Adani rail link outweighs support, poll finds
“Poll commissioned by the Australia Institute finds 41% oppose funding the link between the coalmine and port in north Queensland while 26% support it”





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“Unlike any movement I can think of, environmentalism is a science-based movement.”
~ Denis Hayes, president of the Seattle-based Bullitt Foundation who as a Stanford law student helped organise the first Earth Day in 1970.


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Tell Westpac to stop funding fossil fuel projects

Westpac is the only major Australian bank to remain silent on whether they will fund the Adani mega coal mine. So now the climate activist group Market Forces have created a clever, powerful – and honest – advertising campaign for the bank. It’s ready to roll out just in time for Westpac’s 200th birthday in April. But… they need your help to make it happen.

Market Forces wrote in their newsletter on 19 March 2017:

“Westpac invests a huge amount of money into their brand, and spruiking their “sustainable” credentials. What they don’t advertise is their multi-billion dollar lending to fossil fuels in recent years, which vastly outweighs their renewable energy support. And while over a dozen banks have said no to funding Galilee Basin coal export projects, Westpac is the only major Australian bank to remain silent on whether they will fund the Adani mega coal mine.

So we thought – what if Westpac’s advertising looked more like their loan portfolio?

Reef and farmland destruction, shipping dirty coal, drought, and dirty air. This is what Westpac supports when they lend money to fossil fuels.

Which ads do you want to see plastered on street corners in our cities? Help us get the new ads up and running and you can decide! Pick your favourite – or the one you think will annoy Westpac the most!

Yes, I’ll chip in and tell Westpac to stop funding fossil fuel projects causing global warming and warmer oceans. 

Yes, I’ll chip in and tell Westpac to stop funding fossil fuel projects causing longer, harsher droughts through climate change.

Yes, I’ll chip in and tell Westpac to stop funding fossil fuel projects causing health problems through polluted air.

Yes, I’ll chip in and tell Westpac to stop funding fossil fuel projects that ship coal through our waters.

Yes, I’ll chip in and tell Westpac to stop funding coal seam gas, putting farmland at risk.

This is about more than just rebranding Westpac. It’s about changing their behaviour, and getting the bank to rule out funding new fossil fuel projects, starting with the Adani mega mine.

Westpac is currently updating their climate change policy. If we put enough pressure on, we can change their climate policies to rule out funding new fossil fuel projects like the Adani coal mine.

To do this, we need your help to get these ads on our streets in the faces of Westpac executives and customers.

Please help us raise the heat on Westpac, not on our climate.

Thanks so much for your help,
Julien, on behalf of Market Forces

P.S Westpac’s brand is their most valuable asset. The more we can call out their hypocrisy and expose what they really stand for, the more likely it is that they will be pressured to act. Please chip in and help us roll out a new honest advertising campaign for Westpac.



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Sign the petitions

Stop Adani

Westpac: Don’t fund corrupt Adani to destroy the Great Barrier Reef SumOfUs
Tell Westpac to rule out funding Adani’s mega-mine and help save the Reef
» Sign here: www.actions.sumofus.org
 

Stop Adani’s Carmichael coal mineAustralian Conservation Foundation
Send your MP the Adani Brief. Tell them support for Adani means no support from you.
» Sign here: www.acf.org.au/mp_adani_brief
 

Stop Funding Coal!Australian Marine Conservation Society
Send Prime Minister Turnbull an email making it clear that Adani’s Carmichael coal mine, Abbott Point coal terminal and rail link are a threat to our Reef and should not go ahead.
» Sign here: www.marineconservation.org.au
 

Australia’s epically stupid plan – Avaaz
The Australian government wants to give a $1bn loan to a toxic coal complex in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Let’s put this reef-killing deal in a global spotlight with a million person petition and a massive campaign in the Australian media.
» Sign here: www.secure.avaaz.org
 

We will not let this coal mine go ahead350 Australia
Tell Minister Canavan that you won’t accept taxpayers funding the Carmichael Coal mine at a time when we need to keep all fossil fuels in the ground.
» Sign here: www.act.350.org
 

Premier Palaszczuk, special treatment for Adani must endEnvironmental Defenders Office Queensland
Please Premier, stop giving Adani special treatment, and stand up for Queensland.
» Sign here: www.edoqld.nationbuilder.com
 

 

Stop Adani to protect our Reef

Malcolm, keep your promise! Don’t give Adani $1 billion to wreck our reef!GetUp
Prime Minister Turnbull, during the election you said there would be no public funding for Adani. Adani’s Reef-killing coal mine is not public infrastructure. Don’t waste taxpayers’ money on it.   
» Sign here: www.getup.org.au
 

Our Great Barrier Reef needs renewable energy, not dirty coal – Australian Marine Conservation Society
Petitioning Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to tell them that the future of the Reef relies on a rapid transition to renewable energy.
» Sign here: www.change.org
 

Coal or the reef?The Australian Greens
Call on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to reject the reckless expansion of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal.
» Sign here: www.grns.mp/coal-or-reef
 

Put the Reef first: No new coalGreenpeace
Call on Prime Minister Turnbull to protect the Great Barrier Reef from the devastating impacts of climate change by implementing a ban on new coal mines in Australia.
» Sign here: www.act.greenpeace.org
 

Help make Australia’s energy 100% renewable and save our precious Reef – 350 Australia
Pledge to divest from fossil fuels to stop the Big Four banks funding climate destruction
» Sign here: www.change.org
 

Protect our Great Barrier Reef: fast-tracking industrialisation is not ok – WWF
Petitioning Queensland Premier Anna Palaszczuk: Immediately revoke special permission to ‘fast track’ approvals for the Carmichael coal mine project.
» Sign here: www.wwf.org.au
 

Renewables for the ReefAustralian Marine Conservation Society
Tell the Queensland Government that Australia needs the Reef and renewables – not more coal mines and more carbon pollution.
» Sign here: www.marineconservation.org.au

 

 

Stop digging up coal

CommBank: Stop funding new coal – Greenpeace
Petitioning CommBank CEO Ian Narev: Coal is polluting our world and threatening irreplaceable wonders like our Great Barrier Reef. I call on CommBank to help protect our Reef and power a renewable energy future by immediately committing to stop funding new coal projects.
» Sign here: www.act.greenpeace.org
 

Save the CEFC – The Greens
Petitioning Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg: Subsidising coal through the green energy bank is like pouring money from the the health budget into asbestos. Don’t use the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to fund dirty coal-power.
» Sign here: www.greens.org.au/save-cefc
 

Beyond coal: replace coal with clean energy – The Greens
Call on State, Territory and Federal governments to work together on a plan for the retirement of all coal-fired power stations and a just transition for the workers and their communities.
» Sign here: www.beyondcoal.com.au
 

It’s time to come clean about the economics of coalThe Australia Institute
Add your name to the open letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asking for some straight answers.
» Sign here: www.nonewcoalmines.org.au
 

End tax break for fossil fuels – Greenpeace
Demand that parliament holds an inquiry into the fossil fuel subsidies costing us billions
» Sign here: www.act.greenpeace.org
 

Tell your bank to ditch fossil fuels!  Australian Youth Climate Coalition
Petition calling on the big banks to keep warming at a safe level by ditching funding for fossil fuel projects like Adani’s.
» Sign here: www.putourfuturefirst.org.au/gameon
 

Keep the ABC coal free – GetUp!
Malcolm Turnbull just appointed Australia’s chief coal lobbyist to the Board of the ABC. Keep the ABC free to report truth, science and facts, not fake news or industry propaganda.
» Sign here: www.getup.org.au
 

Tell Turnbull not to fund ‘clean coal’ – Australian Wind Alliance
Add your signature to tell Turnbull not to misuse the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to invest in coal.
» Sign here: www.windalliance.org.au

 

 


“Already the desert is extending, waterways are drying, Arctic ice is melting at an alarming rate. We are standing on the threshold of an ecological apocalypse. Climate change is an atom bomb waiting to explode.”

“We are gathered here today not against ISIS terrorists. We are gathered here against economic terrorists and ecological terrorists.”
~ Charles Bo, cardinal of Myanmar, speaking to 132 participants of a religious conference in Yangon on 27 February 2017




“A brighter, better future, powered by sun, wind and waves, is just around the corner. But it requires a unified movement, determination and most importantly, the support of people like you.”

~ Kelly O’Shanassy Australian Conservation Foundation


“The populists ask us to back fossil-fuel technologies that either are, or soon will be, more expensive than most of ours. These technologies will not help the poor in the long term, they will only enrich an elite few in the short term, and then only temporarily.”
~ Dr Jeremy Leggett, executive chair, SolarAid

We must fight for a solar civilization

How can renewables help to create a better civilization?

By Dr Jeremy Leggett

I speak today about the wider context of all the wonderful innovation and creative disruption we are hearing about from around the world at this inspiring event, [the Start Up Energy Transition Tech Festival in Berlin].

My message is about how to maximise its impact, in the singular times in which we live. The first is to inspire allcomers with what that civilization – let us a call it a solar civilization – looks and feels like. The second is to fight as hard for that vision as fossil-fuel diehards fight to keep alive their ruinous status quo.

We bring alive the solar civilization with every kind of renewable and/or efficient carbon-reducing installation we develop, finance, and construct. Each one – whether as small as a watt-scale solar lantern or as large as a gigawatt-scale renewable-energy park – increases climate resilience, air quality, prosperity, health, community, and common security, among other things. We need to instal more and more of them, faster and faster.

We must fight for a solar civilization by recognising the malign forces that are gaining ground in modern liberal democracies and confronting them with our vision. These forces – of nationalist, populist demagoguery, often led by aspiring despots – tend to back fossil fuels, and are often financed by diehard fossil-fuel interests. They tend to make no secret of the fact that they see us as their enemies, and we in return should not seek to appease them.

The business case for refusing to normalise these forces, never mind the social case, is absolutely clear today. The populists ask us to back fossil-fuel technologies that either are, or soon will be, more expensive than most of ours. These technologies will not help the poor in the long term, they will only enrich an elite few in the short term, and then only temporarily.

The duty to shareholders is increasingly clear. The populists ask them to take impossible risks of wasting capital and stranding assets. 

The duty to wider stakeholders is axiomatic. When the vast majority of scientists warn the populists that their actions risk the very liveability of the planet, they exercise perverse denial, reject and mock expertise, and deploy what they call alternative facts and we call lies.

SolarAid will be seeking to collaborate with any and all who agree with these sentiments in the battle ahead. We would love to hear from you if you think like us.


Dr Jeremy Leggett is author of the book ‘The Winning of the Carbon War’ and executive chair of SolarAid.

» www.jeremyleggett.net

» www.solar-aid.org



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» More about Activism: Fight of our time

» Our coal fired power stations: Shut them down!


“I will NOT be silent. I am #TheResistance.”

» Twitter newsflow: #StopAdani

» See also: #PriceOnCoal   #NoMoreBadInvestments   #Resistance   #Breakfree2017   #PeoplePower   #ActOnClimate   #ChangeClimateChange   #ClimateAction   #ClimateSolutions   #StandUpForScience   #Science   #ClimateScience   #Renewables  



4 comments

  1. Response from Westpac Group

    Thank you for your email regarding Westpac’s position in financing mining and infrastructure projects in Northern Queensland. As Group Head of Sustainability I have been asked to respond directly to you regarding your raised concern and I would like to apologise for not responding to you earlier.

    We value your feedback and consider the views of all our stakeholders on an ongoing basis as we continue to refine our approach to these important issues.

    Over many years Westpac has developed a strong track record in sustainability and carbon solutions. We have a long history of being recognised for our leadership and in 2016 were assessed as the most sustainable bank globally by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third year in a row. We take our sustainability credentials very seriously. Our focus has always been on anticipating emerging environmental challenges for our business and our customers and developing practical products and services in response.

    Westpac is committed to operating both directly and indirectly in a manner consistent with support an economy that limits global warming to below two degrees. In line with this commitment, we have taken action on a number of fronts – through our lending and investments, in our operations and through engagement with our stakeholders.

    · In 2008, we were the first Australian bank to publish a position statement on climate change, and our approach to this important issue is set out in our Climate Change and Environment Position Statement and 2017 Action Plan. This can be found on our website and includes our commit to preparing for a two degree economy, the first such public commitment by an Australian bank.

    · We recently updated our Position Statement on financing a sustainable energy system. This confirms the Group’s intention to actively reduce the emissions intensity of its exposure in the power generation sector over time and target involvement in transactions which support the development of the most efficient power generation solutions.

    · Since 2011, we have increased the proportion of renewable energy financing from 45% to 59% in our total electricity generation portfolio. This includes an increase of more than 12 percentage points in funding provided to new clean energy technologies such as wind and solar, with the remainder lent to the hydro sector.

    While Westpac does not comment on matters relating to specific companies or projects we do want to emphasise that we take a great deal of care to ensure that any projects we support within the natural resources sector comply with appropriate environmental controls.

    All large scale infrastructure projects are subject to comprehensive review under Westpac’s Sustainability Risk Management Framework. This would include assessment against the Equator Principles framework, a best practice voluntary environment and social risk assessment framework, of which Westpac was a founding member globally in 2003.

    As part of Westpac’s approach, we commission independent due diligence on high impact projects and work with our customers to ensure that environmental risks are identified and mitigated. If we are not comfortable with the risk profile of a project, we will not proceed with the transaction.

    We will continue to monitor the ongoing UNESCO World Heritage process regarding the Great Barrier Reef and associated discussions on a negotiated way forward for managing infrastructure development along the coastline in a sustainable manner.

    Westpac are determined to play a constructive and positive role in the transition that is needed and will work with all of our customers to make this happen. I hope that this is helpful in providing you with additional perspective on our views and approach. Please do contact me again if you have any further questions or concerns.

    Kind Regards,

    Siobhan Toohill
    Group Head of Sustainability

  2. Stopping Adani is vital. If that mine were to go ahead, and the railway and port expansion that goes with it, it would open up the Galilee Basin to a further five six other planned mines. That would be an absolute disaster. All those investors would have even more to lose than they already do. It would lock in coal dependency for another 50 years to recoup their money.

    We know that coal is going to be gone before long anyway, but we need it to happen fast and we need to minimise the environmental harm and economic chaos that is going to ensue as best we can. Calling out the government’s tacit and overt pushing of coal is also a vital part of it. Eventually, however reluctantly, they are going to have to start backing away from coal due to the force of public opinion and also economic reality.

    Stopping coal and gas expansion is only part of the problem though. We also need to start campaigning hard to save the forests we still have left, and make reforestation and sustainable agriculture a priority for government policy. As it is they are still going in the completely opposite direction on those issues as well. Fracking farmland, Gina Rinehart and others getting into feedlots, etc. etc.

    It’s important to focus on promoting solutions as well as stopping things.

  3. Black lung, merely more collateral damage of a truly toxic industry or another nail in its coffin? Our choice.

  4. Coal AGAIN. The most unfriendly substance if burnt!!!
    Do politicians actually care?
    I suppose they are too busy enjoying their expense accounts, enjoying being celebrities and feathering their nests.

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