Jul 28, 2014

A Pyrrhic victory for miners as Moylan gets suspended sentence

Jonathan Moylan deserved the sentence he got -- do the crime, do the time. But the bigger lie is the one spread by the coal industry -- that we can continue to rely on fossil fuels.

Paddy Manning

Crikey business editor

Non-violent protest against coal is not going away, and the miners cannot win, no matter how much money they spend pushing doubt and reaction or how many newspapers are on their side. In fact, every victory they notch up — defeating the mining and carbon taxes, securing vast new coal mine approvalsĀ — only ups the ante and ensures a stronger retaliation down the track.

What else do they imagine? People will give up? Let our safe climate, on which all life depends, get wrecked, just so we can put off a switch to renewables a while longer? Save a few pennies sticking to a dirty old form of electricity generation while shelling out billions on climate damage?

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13 thoughts on “A Pyrrhic victory for miners as Moylan gets suspended sentence

  1. klewso

    What did the indolent lotus eating media – that reported without checking – get?

  2. Roger Clifton

    Readers concerned for the greenhouse can avoid being caught up in the propaganda war between Big Coal and Big Gas. A little thought shows that it is carbon that is the main enemy of the greenhouse, not just coal, so gas should be limited as severely as coal. The IPCC’s Copenhagen Diagnosis said we need to have eliminated 80 to 95% of our recent emissions by 2050 on our way to near zero before the end of the century, so there is no room for gas in our power supply.

    Neither is “renewables” the antonym for “carbon”. We know that the world has many times more coal and gas than the greenhouse can suffer. So the use of the word “renewables” is a red herring. What we want is “non-carbon” power.

    If it is true that wind and solar can provide 100% non-carbon power, then let’s do it. But we cannot let Big Gas sneak in on the pretext that it is cleaner than coal. You can detect its authorship in the treacherous phrase, “low-carbon”. No, what we need is “non-carbon”, and that cannot include carbon from any source.

  3. JohnB

    What Roger Clifton said.

    It is worth reading twice, if not memorising.

  4. Daly

    Great article and yes, what we want is non carbon power! Thanks to both of you.

  5. John Taylor

    Still waiting for the prosecutions of bank employees who intentionally rip off investors – I hear some of these “rogues” have been promoted.

  6. MJPC

    Great article and the lies keep coming as it said.
    Last week we heard various sources waxing lyrical about “clean coal” technology, nothing like clean pollution to stuff the planet.
    Then today, AGL pushing the lie that more CSG mining in NSW would result in a drop in gas prices in the regions of 13% (I think that was the percentage). This after a weekend report of the Santos debacle in Queensland with water pollution found in two bores on adjoining farming sites. So it’s not only increasing CO2 emissions, but the carboneers want to ruin the water supply in farming areas.
    A revolution is needed now.
    And let’s not get on to base load power lies.
    Yes, Roger, all renewables can supply all the power we need, don’t be swayed by the capitalists who would rather destroy the planet for profits that realise their power sources are at the end of their days.

  7. fractious

    Thanks Paddy. That piece in The Saturday Paper (the continuing and worsening attack on NGOs that dare criticise the government) is a distressing read – the thing with civili liberties is that once they’re gone, they’re very difficult to reinstate. One minor quibble: I think “Moylan deserved the sentence he got” is better rendered as “Moylan got the sentence he deserved”, but that’s splitting hairs in a way.

    Climate issues aside, projects like Maules Creek (and the gigantic Carmichael project) destroy – permanently – entire catchments, not to mention critically endangered ecosystems and habitats, many of which are the last vestiges of half-decent woodland in otherwise decimated landscapes. They are – in their own ways – as valuable as the GBR, and just as irreplaceable.

  8. fractious

    Roger #2, good point re: the PR about gas – it’s ‘greenwashing’ at its insidious worst.

  9. graybul

    Well said Roger!

    1. Adopt a generic terminology ie Non Carbon or (my preference) Carbon Free!

    2. Engage Social Media to identify / reward major Companies adopting, moving to, Carbon Free Energy!!

  10. Roger Clifton

    I hope that I will never encourage, either by my silence or my donations, any young hero like Jon Moylan, to risk his career to obstruct an existing coal installation if it only means a new installation of gas.

    The greenhouse does need protection by the young, as they will inherit it. They have power when they march together, they have power when they vote, they have power when they rethink the assumptions of their elders. As elders, we can help by calming their hotheads and listening when they question our beliefs.

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