Coalmining is a 'rogue industry': US activist

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

Coalmining is a 'rogue industry': US activist

Postby HVPA_research » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:49 am

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Denis Wilson

7:40 PM (5 hours ago)

to Post, Rivers, Coal
Apologies for cross-postings but this raises an important issue - as to whether or not Australia ought be moving away from Coal as an industrial resource. This is a live issue with RiversSOS (although I missed the last meeting). I believe we do need to take a stand on this, however unpopular it will make us.

We know the Governments will reject this approach out of hand, but ultimately, the facts of carbon in the atmosphere need to be addressed, and the best way is to leave it in the ground.

Lets all tell Chris Hartcher (in NSW), and whoever has replaced Martin Ferguson in the Federal Ministry.


Denis Wilson

Date: Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 9:00 AM
Subject: Coalmining is a ‘rogue industry’ : US activist

Ben Cubby Peter Hannam

Australian coalmining has become a ‘‘rogue industry’ ’ and must be phased out, according to prominent US environmentalist, Bill McKibben, who is about to join a campaign against coal exports.

The nation is on a collision course between large-scale coal use and cutting emissions, with the federal government planning to reduce Australia’s greenhouse output by 80 per cent by the middle of the century.

Many major coal projects, and coal infrastructure projects in Queensland, are expected to run for decades and are only now gaining approval. Australian-mined coal burned overseas currently generates about 711 million tonnes of COa year, but when new mines are taken into account, that total will reach up to 1431 million tonnes in 2020, and 1738 million tonnes in 2025.

‘‘ If the world ever takes climate change seriously, that coal simply has to stay in the ground,’’ Mr McKibben said. ‘‘ There’s no physical way to burn it, or Canada’s tar sands, or Venezuela’s shale oil, and not go over the red line that almost all governments , including Australia’s , have drawn at two degrees.’’

Mr McKibben, author of the first mainstream book about global warming, The End of Nature, will visit Australia in June to galvanise local campaigns for action against climate change.

It comes as the independent Climate Change Authority is finalising an issues paper as part of its first review of Australia’s carbon targets and emissions trajectory . That review will examine carbon cuts to 2020 and the best way to achieve them, with draft recommendations due in October, after the federal election.

‘‘ Emission reductions don’t end in 2020,’’ Erwin Jackson, the deputy chief executive of the Climate Institute, said. ‘‘ We’re going to have to keep reducing them.’’

The authority said the review would recommend caps up to 2020 and also seek input on how much guidance it should provide the government on emissions reductions efforts beyond this decade.

The government and the Coalition both have targets to cut carbon emissions by at least 5 per cent on 2000 levels by 2020.

Mr McKibben is travelling to Australia with, the group he helped found in 2008. ‘‘ At this point the fossil fuel industry is a rogue industry,’’ he said. ‘‘ It wants to burn five times the carbon that the most conservative governments on earth say is safe. They’re not outlaw against the laws of the state ... they’re outlaw against the laws of physics. If they carry out their business plan, the planet tanks.’’

Copyright © 2013 Fairfax Media

Thanks to Maria Riedl for forwarding this.

Denis Wilson
If you're not pissed off with the World, you're just not paying attention.
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