A few years ago, I took some time to travel through Australia. While there I made friends with a number of Aussie climate activists and did a bit of organizing with them. They are beautiful people doing brilliant work.
Australian coal amounts to about 30% of the emissions coming from coal worldwide. They are selling it like crazy to East Asia. Australia is also deeply impacted by climate change (drought, rising sea levels etc).
Aussies realize the dangers of runaway emissions and the construction of new generations of coal plants locked in for decades. Hence, the immediate signing of the Kyoto Protocol by new PM Kevin Rudd.
In the past few years, Australian activists have seriously stepped it up on coal and climate. Newcastle in New South Wales is home to the largest coal port in the world. It’s also home to Rising Tide Australia. Rising Tide Australia organizes and regularly does actions against Big Coal in their country. This week, they are having a climate camp to bring together activists from all over Australia and the Pacific to do some even more about coal fired climate change.
Last week, 27 activists from Greenpeace-Australia were arrested while blockading the Eraring power station on the New South Wales Central Coast. Eraring is Australia’s most polluting coal-fired power station.
On the other side of the continent, activists from the CIA (Concerned, Independent Activists) locked onto a conveyor belt at the Mula coal plant near Perth and 2 were arrested.
They are not taking it sitting down and haven’t been for years.
Last week, American’s with Blue Ridge Earth First! blockaded the HQ of utility Dominion Resources on the day Dominion began construction on a new coal fired power plant in Virginia. We’re definately following in the footsteps of our Australian cousins.