Friday, 18 May 2012

The march of coal and CSG

Since moving to Queensland I have been both moved at the beauty around me but also by the scale of the environmental threats which seem to be most acute in this part of Australia.  Not only is there a threat to now 'endangered' species like the Koala from urbanisation,which I see regularly on my walks on the 'island' of Mt Gravatt, but there is a large and dark shadow looming over rural Australia extending its reach to the Great Barrier Reef: Open cut Coal and Coal Seam Gas (CSG) mining.  This video just released by GetUp! explains some of the threats from mining in a simple and accessible way:
Having now seen the Bimblebox documentary at a UQ screening I feel so motivated to try and take action and I couldn't resist to make a blog post about this.  So, what to do?! Well, besides GetUp!, Lock the Gate campaign is raising public awareness, particularly in rural areas, of the potential impact this will have (particularly CSG) on physical, social, environmental and economic wellbeing.  The strange law in Australia that one can own what is on the land's surface but the state retains rights to what is below (and so can transfer those rights literally from under the farmer to mining) is something that is making it easier for mining companies to put a lot of pressure on farmland and nature reserves.   I feel that just because it is there, does it mean we have to mine it? - surely there is a better way!  Beyond Zero Emissions is another worthy campaign that aims to provide a solution and blueprint to guide Australia to reduce emissions 'beyond zero' within a timespan of 10 years. I would love to see some of the big bucks from mining, defence etc. go into the shrinking budgets of our universities and scientific institutions to really crack the renewable energy problem and address other issues of sustainability like global food security.

I feel these 'grassroots' campaigns are beginning to make some ripples in the perception that Australia has boundless resources.  But is it too little too late?  Please wake up Australia to what is happening in your backyard... !

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the cause.
    It really is growing day by day.
    And now we have a rudderless ship floating inside the Great Barrier Reef. Still not being controlled by Tugs or anything?
    If Curtis Island goes ahead (and it has been approved) there will be many more "incidents" like this. I refuse to call them "accidents".