Despite the massive weight of scientific evidence showing that our addiction to fossil fuels, by increasing carbon emissions, is exacerbating climate change and threatening the survival of our planet as we know it, we keep on producing and consuming more and more of the stuff!
And in north Queensland we not only consume more and more of it, we help others to develop and feed the habit. North Queensland has the shaming 'honour' of being the world's largest coal exporting region. (Australia is not the world's biggest producer but is one of the largest exporters and, as of 2009, Hay Point, Abbot Point and Gladstone between them were already shipping nearly 60% of the total.) Over the last decade, perhaps in a desperate rush to make as much money as possible before the world wakes up to alternative (clean) energy, mining companies vastly increased the rate of exploitation.
At the same time, Queensland's farms and towns are facing the onslaught of the race to exploit coal seam gas regardless of its known dangers. Fortunately, CSG is not a big industry in our region, while the February 2016 decision by AGL (a major CSG producer 'down south') to pull out of CSG and coal fired power stations is a huge win for the conservation movement.
The continuing fall in the price of coal (as of February 2016, forecast to stay at around $43/tonne through until 2020) is leading to slow- and shutdowns in this industry worldwide as reported in the SMH. Nevertheless, the push to stop extraction and use of fossil fuels cannot afford to slacken off and NQCC continues to campaign strongly to this end. Click here for our most recent posts relating to Coal and Coal Seam Gas, and visit the separate Abbot Point Update page for details of NQCC's legal action against the coal terminal from June 2014 onwards. There are a few more blog posts on the topic in our archive, at this link.