Crack dealers aren’t particularly popular folks (except perhaps to crack users). Maybe the same attitude needs to be taken towards Australia for the misery and death it doles out.
It won’t happen as there are just way too many addicts for our drug too – coal – which is also quite legal.
We are the “lucky country” on many fronts; but we’re also a filthy country thanks to coal and other resources beneath our feet – and we have plenty of the stuff.
Australia used to be the world’s largest exporter of coal and soon will be again. Mega-coal mine projects are on the cards over the next few years that will restore us to being the king of the coal heap. It’s bad news for the entire world.
But really, how much can a few more mines add to the world’s atmospheric greenhouse gas loading?
A lot it seems.
According to a new Greenpeace report, the world is heading to a point of no return when it comes to emissions and climate change – and Australia is going to help it get there.
It appears our nation is the second biggest offender in a list of 14 mega coal projects to be developed in the near future.
Should all those projects go ahead, they will increase global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels by 20% in 2020 and keep the world on a path towards 5°C to 6°C of warming – which of course would be catastrophic.
Australian coal exports on their own will push associated carbon emissions up by 1,200 million tonnes over 2011 levels annually when that coal is burned.
Greenhouse gas emissions aside, the burning of coal is accompanied by all sorts of nasty pollution. For example, it’s the no.1 source of atmospheric mercury and soot from coal has helped kill millions.
Coal’s effects have unleashed a plague of biblical proportions and we’re still not reacting to it like we did when SARS bowled over a few unfortunate souls.
So next time someone is tch, tch’ing about those terrible “developing countries” spewing emissions (countries that supply a huge quantity of goods to “developed” nations); tell them to spare a tch for Australia.
Tell them the problem is global, not local – we all play a role; whether we are creating the emissions ourselves, paying someone else to do it, exporting the means to create them, or buying and using the stuff that does.