Sep 10, 2009

Politics has failed — time for civil disobedience

The protesters who expect to be arrested this weekend in the campaign to close down Hazelwood power station may break the law, but they have justice on their side.

The protesters who expect to be arrested this weekend in the campaign to close down Hazelwood power station may break the law, but they have justice on their side.

With scientists predicting runaway climate change unless we take drastic action in the next five years, and the manifest failure of our democratic system to respond adequately to the overwhelming threat posed to our future, it is legitimate to step outside the usual boundaries of protest.

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17 thoughts on “Politics has failed — time for civil disobedience

  1. Roger Clifton

    The establishment of an International Law on Crimes against the Environment would help our lawyers argue the righteousness of green activists charged under local laws.

    It will also stiffen the spine of advisers to government to know that some recommendations would constitute an International Crime against the Environment, regardless of the sentiments of the current legislature.

  2. Tom McLoughlin

    I feel a Rod Qantock ‘Jeff has won’ moment coming on.

    A campaign to change our genetics Clive. Admirable, good luck with that.

  3. mtats

    I find the comparison between the emissions of a single plant over the next 21 years, with the total emmissions of all plants in a single year, odd, to say the least.

  4. Frank Campbell

    Hazelwood should have been shut down years ago for many reasons, before AGW appeared on the horizon. Gas is the obvious alternative.

    So we have Clive Hamilton asking for civil disobedience. What then are the ethics of ramming useless wind turbines on defenceless people? What are the ethics of wind spivs who secretly sign up rentiers and gag them contractually? What are the ethics of failing to disclose noise levels, bird kills and puny, irregular and very expensive power production? What are the ethics of government denial about the deleterious effects of wind turbines and the absence of proper planning controls and compensation? Where is the admission that wind in Europe has been a corrupt farce, with turbine-saturated states admitting GGas emissions have increased not to mention the rapid expansion of fossil fuel power stations?

    People aren’t fools. Civil disobedience is spreading at the very time GG reforms are struggling to be accepted by entrenched industries. The credibility of AGW is undermined by the brutal imposition of wind turbines. Big windfarms cover hundreds of square kms. The footprint is vast. The regional economic effects serious. It isn’t “development”, but a driver of disinvestment. Solar meanwhile has been strangled at birth.

  5. meski

    Odd? It demonstrates rather vividly the level of pollution that that particular plant puts out, MTATS.

  6. D. John Hunwick

    Just as I start to query my membership of Crikey something of the quality of Clive Hamilton’s article comes alng to remind me tha tthis sort of input NEVER occurs in the papers I would otherwise have to buy. Great. As for the diatribe about wind farms- it is hot air to suggest that they cover hunddreds of square kilometres – here on Eyre Peninsula farming continues beneath them, no worries. The bird stike question is real, but with good prior inv estigation can produce the siting of wind towers where any chance of impact is considerably reduced. I would rather many more wind farms than the continuation of Hazelwood. It is always much better to be half right on time than to have the whole truth too late (Aristotle?). If it takes civil disobedience to counteract thos blooy mining lobbyists – count me in

  7. mtats

    Actually MESKI, it doesn’t without letting us know the total number of coal fired power stations that there are in Australia. I’ve no idea how many there are, if there are 100, then yes, it would be bad. If there are 10, then, not so bad.

    Just found it curious.

    Couldn’t Clive have just let us know that keeping power station so-and-so open for the next 21 years will increase greenhouse gases by X%?

  8. Liz45

    Thanks Clive! Living in NSW I wasn’t aware of this situation until now. I support the protest and civil disobedience. I’m angry that this is necessary. What’s the point of having elections if those elected speak out of both corners of their mouth at the same time? How can they carry on about climate change and allow this sort of filth to be pumped into the environment. The time for talking is over – it’s action now!
    Good on all those brave people who’ll be protesting – if I lived closer I’d be there too! For every one protestor, there’ll probably be hundreds if not more there in spirit.
    If we don’t take action soon, my grand kids future looks pretty shot – and yours and yours too!

  9. AR

    MTATS – 350M tonnes over 21 yrs = just under 17Mt pa so if all electricity generation in 2007 is 200M then Hazelwood produces <1/12 or <8%…. jes sayin'
    The mice all agreed that it would be a good idea to hang a bell on the cat but… after you Clive.

  10. AR

    MTATS – 350M tonnes over 21yrs = <17Mt pa so, if all electricity generation produced 200M then Hazelwood puts out <1/12 or <8%… jes saying.
    All the mice agreed that it would be a good idea to hang a bell on the cat but… after you Clive.

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