Behind the Coal Curtain

by Des Menz posted in Three Fossils Coal-Oil-Gas

"Jobs and growth, jobs and growth, jobs and growth”. That’s all we seem to hear belching from the mouths of politicians today. We’re in a time of recklessness beyond the understanding of any rational human. It doesn’t matter what the political colours are of the government of the day, there’s an insidious sameness about them whenever it comes to coal mining in this country.

Adani gets mining lease approval 

The Queensland Labor government has given the green light to the massive Carmichael Coal Mine. It defies logic in every conceivable way. 

In Truth About Carbon Emissions I described how Australia does account for the greenhouse gas emissions that are exported when coal is burnt in countries that buy Australia’s coal. This is the big deception, and it is as much about “jobs and growth” at any cost as it is about greed, bi-lateral trade deals, and Australia selling off globally damaging natural resources.

This Adani deal neglects the impacts on future generations ; it negelcts the appalling environmental degradation that will continue to occur in India; it neglects the huge additional health costs that people in India will suffer as a result of greater atmospheric emissions; and it denies the law that exists in Australia today.

The sham law

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act is a federal law without application. In other words, politicians and bureacrats ignore their duty of care, they ignore the rights of citizens, they ignore environmental and ecosystem impacts, and they are prepared to gamble with the notion that their decisions today will have no adverse impact on the environment or on future generations.

Secret backroom deals, marginalisation of people and groups who object to government decisions, the irresistible lure of mining royalties, the preparedness to sacrifice the health and sustainability of groundwater systems, are all commonplace issues today. 

In the eyes of the Queensland state Labor government, environment protection laws have no relevance today. Jobs and growth! Jobs and growth! So the mantra goes, on and on. 

This government has continued the same line that former Prime Minsiter Tony Abbott is much noted for - that “coal is good for humanity”. But not so for the indigenous Wangan and Jagalingou people, nor for the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. They don’t matter.

Premier Palaszczuk … “Up in Cairns, there’s jobs on the reef. Out here, there’s a big project which is going to generate jobs and the two can coexist”.

So, it’s all about jobs. The rest is expendable. 

What absolute rubbish spruiked by Ms Palaszczuk. Remember, she said this at the very time, right now, when the Great Barrier Reef is experiencing the third coral bleaching event since 1998. Marine scientists have concluded that coral bleaching is a result of global warming and higher ocean temperatures, and has not occurred on the Great barrier Reef before the late 20th century, 

Shameful leaders and the mining industry

Global warming, as is now known, is caused by burning of coal and the consumption of other fossil resources. What does Premier Palaszczuk think?
No, this is not the case, let’s keep mining more coal, exporting it, and burning it. The future will take care of itself. This has been the view of previous Queensland state governments, and it is the view of the Queensland Resources Council. 

Of course it is, it’s the QRC’s reason for being. Here’s what the QRC says (actually it’s what the acting CEO, Greg Lane stated) in response to the Carmichael Mine/Galilee Basin approval;

What you won't hear from those (anti-coal) activists is the fact that India has a huge need for coal to satisfy its energy requirements and that the world is much better off having that demand for coal being met by Queensland’s lower-emission coal, which has nearly double the energy value of Indian coal

There you go, lower emission coal! 

But does a need for coal instantly imply that it should be made available knowing that there will be global harm?

No rational government, no rationally-minded person, would agree with this assertion. Certainly the IPCC does not. And yet there are people making very big decisions that will ultimately contribute to adverse impacts on human lives and planetary ecosystems. This is the ultimate shame, the ultimate denial, and the ultimate disgrace. These decision-makers want collapse to happen, because that is what is looking to be the future scenario for the Great Barrier Reef and its dependent ecosystems.

What about that “lower emission coal”?

This detailed Fact Check describes what “cleaner coal” is all about. But really, there’s no such thing as clean coal. It has a cocktail of pollutants.

The Australian economy is locked into coal mining to which it is unable and unwilling to extract itself. It is complicit in adding significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, and climate change.

It does not matter what Australia says it is doing domestically to lower greenhouse gas emissions. It is all a deceit, and political and industry leaders know it. They choose not to accept the truth

One of the most significant yet concealed problems in Australia is the damage caused by opportunistic mining. State economies, whole communities, and families get bound up so much in mining, that it becomes a most dominant force. The separate economies that are created at these levels are very brittle, and when the big decline comes along, as has happened in recent years, all that flows are tears in the dust.

So, what is really happening in India?

This is not what Adani or the Queensland government or the Australian government would choose for the world.

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Cochin International Airport in Kerala, India, is going all in on solar. Wait, what? Yep, 46,150 solar panels are powering the airport.

Posted by AJ+ on Saturday, October 3, 2015

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