Author: tjonescan

Coal Swarm: All Our Coal Industry Info In One Place

One of the calls we heard most often at the Keep the Coal in the Hole Summer Festival in January 2012 was for the creation of a website or wiki that held all our knowledge of New Zealand coal mines, planned coal projects and the coal industry in one place, so people all around the country can find out about projects that will affect them if they go ahead; mines and projects elsewhere; and about the climate, environmental, health, social and economic effects of coal mining. Now, thanks to a great deal of hard work by many people, kicked off by Cindy Baxter and Bob Burton and then taken up by Jane Young, Jane Mountier and Jeanette Fitzsimons, such a resource has been developed to the point where, although it’s certainly not comprehensive, it is ready for use. Introduction This new information source is a New Zealand section of the international Coal Swarm site, which is like a wiki on the coal industry from an activist perspective. At the heart of these pages are the lists of operating coal mines and of proposed coal projects – but there also pages about the major players in the coal industry, opposition to coal mining, and a number of other topics. As you’ll soon see, the New Zealand section of Coal Swarm isn’t finished – indeed, it will never be finished, at least until we have completed the transition away from coal. Therefore, changes and additions are going to be needed. Our preference is that these changes be handled by Jane Young,...

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Papatuanuku Is Not For Sale

This is a guest post by Gary Cranston of Climate Justice Aotearoa. Aotearoa has been up in arms over asset sales, the privatisation of our state owned assets. In reasserting their claims to fresh water and geothermal resources, Maori have thrown a massive spanner into the plans. Meanwhile, the latest government changes to the emissions trading scheme seems to have woken a whole lot of people up to the fact that the scheme has been destined to fail from the start. An intense debate over the ownership and guardianship of natural systems is just beginning in Aotearoa. Despite its inability to address climate change carbon trading has inspired a whole new range of copycat ‘ecological services markets’ as they are called. Next on the agenda for Aotearoa is most likely to be soil based emissions trading and horribly enough, the development of biodiversity offsetting and trading. I won’t get into the details here, but take a minute to imagine what could happen if species become “valued”, commodified and traded on a global market. The supporters of such made in the U.S.A. free market environmental approaches live in a bubble of relative wealth and comfort compared to the 1.6 billion people of the world without access to electricity and the 1.5 billion small scale farmers who feed 70% of the world’s people. Following the deregulation of financial markets, many people...

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Coal Action Network Aotearoa Newsletter August 2012

Kia ora koutou, Don Elder pulls down $1.4 million per year as CEO of Solid Energy – about 51 times the average Kiwi income – well paid for his role in the destruction of our planetary civilisation. So it must be galling for him to have to explain why his company is under-performing so badly.  But it’s galling not only for us, but for the climate,  to look at how he is prioritising his review of the company’s operations. Our full analysis of the latest events at Solid Energy is now up on the blog.  Please read it and share in your communities.  Meanwhile, all around Aotearoa, people are putting spanners in the works of Don and his mining, drilling and fracking mates. In August alone: A major gathering of opponents of the Government’s mining agenda took  place in Rotorua An Australian activist toured the country helping tangata whenua and landowners to lock their gates against the mining industry: A BERL report, commissioned by WWF-NZ, shows that Southland would benefit much more by NOT mining lignite. And that’s just in August. This newsletter also carries announcements of a major conference of youth climate activists in Auckland in December, and the second Summer Festival in Southland in January 2013, organised by Coal Action Murihiku. Not everything went our way this month: in a decision which once again shows the absurdity...

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Ka Nui! Enough! Protest the NZ Petroleum Summit: 19th September, Wellington

Ka Nui! Enough! Join a coalition of local groups at a protest outside the NZ Petroleum summit 2012, and say “Ka Nui, Enough!” to the oil and gas industry. Industries are literally counting down to this event, where the Energy Minister will speak on the government’s planned expansion of oil and gas extraction in New Zealand. At a time when we should be transitioning towards clean energy and a sustainable and more equitable society, this government continues to push its “mine it, drill it” vision for Aotearoa New Zealand. This government is supporting an oil and gas industry which pollutes communities and our rural environment while bullying those who resist; all for the profit of a tiny minority. With many in local communities across Aotearoa locking their gates to get oil and gas out of their back yards, it’s Wellington’s turn to show our support for the communities affected by the expansion of the oil and gas industries in Aotearoa New Zealand. Sustainable future not climate chaos! Clean waters not toxic oil spills! 5pm, Wednesday 19th September Outside the Amora Hotel, Wakefield St, Wellington. Please bring banners, placards, and noisemakers if you wish. Facebook event: Family friendly. Join us afterwards for a koha dinner and discussion. The poster is below – if you are able to distribute these to friends/family/workmates/classmates or in local shops or libraries, that would...

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WWF-NZ: New economic report set to ignite debate around lignite alternatives

The WWF-New Zealand commissioned report A View to the South: Potential Low Carbon Growth Opportunities for the Southern Region Economy (PDF, 1.07 MB) is being launched tonight in Invercargill at a reception for business leaders, small business owners, councillors, politicians, residents and local environmental groups. Report author and chief economist Dr Ganesh Nana, speaking at the report’s launch, says: “The Southern region has a wide range of economic development options available. The four different scenarios BERL modelled – forestry, horticulture, manufacturing and engineering, and education and training – build on the region’s known competitive advantages and land-based economy, and have the potential to be low carbon. “What we found was that with greater investment, all four sectors present opportunities for greater employment and GDP beyond the business as usual outcome. “Greater investment in forestry and wood processing, for example, could create 1,180 full-time jobs within the next 15 years, over and above business as usual growth. It could add $190 million of GDP to the Southern region economy.” You can read the full release at the WWF-NZ website, and download the BERL report there...

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