Australia’s precious place in the coal industry’s  world

Social, legal and health issues related to unrestrained expansion of coal mines in Australia.

Australia’s precious place in the coal industry’s  world

Postby HVPA_research » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:43 pm

Australia’s precious place in the coal industry’s world
Speach by Gue Pearse, Research Fellow,Global Change Institute,University of Queensland. This speach was originally presented at the Climate Camp 2010, Lake Lidell Recreation Area, NSW on December 3, 2010.
(read more in HVPA archive: )

A very courageous review of Australian coal exports. Provides statistics, arguments and references.

This afternoon I want to talk about Australia’s precious place in the coal industry’s world---and specifically our coal exports—this country’s biggest contribution to climate change by far. It’s not that I don’t care about the emissions that occur inside Australia—I do very much. But, the more I watch our coal export emissions grow, the more absurd it seems to me that they are not considered ‘our problem’. Australia now exports over 270 million tonnes of coal annually which equates to around 730 million tonnes of CO2. That’s about a fifth more greenhouse pollution than is currently emitted within Australia’s borders.
The 5 million tonnes of coal we export weekly produces the roughly the same amount of CO2 as a million Australian households do yearly.i As Hunter residents will know, coal exports are set to double over the next 10-15 years with enthusiastic bipartisan political support. On average, that involves increasing coal exports by another million tonnes every fortnight—the CO2 equivalent of adding nearly 50,000 cars every single day.ii We often hear about China building a new coal fired power station every week or so, but few of us realize Australian coal exports effectively add a new coal fired power station or steel mill somewhere in the world every 3 or 4 weeks.iii

Further presentations:

Guy Pearse to speak at Toowoomba Forum
‘Australia’s precious place in the coal industry’s world’

2pm Sunday 7 August
Allison Dickson Lecture Theatre, University of Southern Queensland

Guy Pearse, author of High & Dry: John Howard, Climate Change and the Selling of Australia's Future (Penguin--2007) and Quarterly Essay 33, Quarry Vision: Coal, Climate Change and the End of the Resources Boom (Black Inc--2009) is speaking at a public forum at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba on 2pm Sunday 7 August 2011.
Guy Pearse is a former political adviser, lobbyist and speechwriter for the Howard Government. He was a member of the Liberal Party for 19 years and worked for various Liberal politicians including former environment minister, Robert Hill. He came to national prominence in 2006 when he featured in a Four Corners program which exposed the influence of what he called “the greenhouse mafia” on Howard government policy. He had been researching the influence of the carbon lobby on the Howard government as part of his doctoral research and uncovered admissions by lobbyists that they were writing cabinet submissions and ministerial briefings that ought to be written by public servants. Having raised his growing concerns about this influence and the direction of Australia's greenhouse response with senior figures in the Howard government to no avail, Guy resigned his membership of the Liberal Party and his plans for a political career came to an unexpected end.
Guy Pearse is now a Research Fellow at the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland where he continues his research on the coal industry.

Guy’s speech will be followed by brief presentations from local community groups fighting coal and gas developments in Toowoomba’s region such as the Toowoomba Coal Mine Action Group and the Western Downs Alliance. There will also be time for questions.
The forum is co-hosted by Lock the Gate Alliance and the Rural & Regional Greens.
You are invited to join us for refreshments in the foyer following the forum.
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