Adani Coal Mine
‘In the battle for the planet’s climate future, Australia’s Adani mine is the line in the sand.’ Bill McKibben, The Guardian March 27 2017
It is stupid, short sighted and as the Guardian reported 5 days ago, ‘a perfect storm of factors are simply making coal a bad investment.’
Unfortunately there are many more lines in the sand, climate change and the health of the Great Barrier Reef are important, but so too is the ongoing loss of biodiversity, worldwide loss of soil health; air, water and soil pollution; acidification of the oceans, deforestation (and only today news broke that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has written to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews with an offer of immediate access to protected forests and a review of the Leadbeater’s Possum’s endangered status).
Biodiversity is a huge issue: ‘It seems unlikely, given the current overall poor status and deteriorating trends in biodiversity and the high impact of increasing pressures, that overall biodiversity outcomes will improve in the short or medium term. Our current investments in biodiversity management are not keeping pace with the scale and magnitude of current pressures, and we are increasingly needing to adapt to a potential reduction or shift in the ecosystem services we rely on.’ State of the Environment Report 2016. [And it’s more than ‘unlikely’.]
But back to Adani: On February 2, 2016, the Queensland State Government gave the final approval to the Carmichael Mine. This coal mine will be situated in the northern part of the Galilee Basin and will destroy the majority of the best remaining habitat for the Black-throated Finch. The Bimblebox Art Project was begun in 2012 by artist Jill Sampson who continues as co-ordinator. It is a wonderful project centred on 153 birds that will be affected – see here.
Back to Climate Change
‘If we want our planet’s climate system to experience only a modest warming by keeping atmospheric CO2 concentration below 450 ppm, we cannot afford to add more than 110 petagrams of carbon, net, into the atmosphere in the next 100 years, period.
If we continue to emit carbon into the atmosphere at this pace for the next 26 years, we will introduce an additional 260 petagrams of carbon into the atmosphere. Luckily, the ocean and land vegetation absorb about half of that CO2, so the net increase in atmospheric carbon will be about 130 petagrams. Nevertheless, this is enough mass to increase atmosphere’s CO2 concentration to 459 ppm.’ Dennis Baldocchi, professor of biometeorology[Yes but ocean acidification is already at dangerous levels for maintaining health oceans]
Back to biodiversity – local
‘Our native forests are vital to the survival of many endangered species of plants and animals and our forests play a vital role in reducing the effects of climate change, such as the record heatwaves that hit the Mid North Coast this summer. The Greens stand with locals calling on NSW Forestry Corporation not to log in Kalang’s biodiverse headwaters where the land is steep and prone to erosion.
This area of old growth eucalypts and rainforest is rich in biodiversity. It should be preserved as part of a new Great Koala National Park, not logged for a short term profit.’ Greens MP Dawn Walker, 21 March