Saturday, April 15, 2017

Coal Kills

According to the World Health Organization (WHO),  air pollution kills 7 million people worldwide each year and that pollutants from the burning of coal contribute to this appalling carnage  Pollutants from burning Australian coal exported from the proposed Adani coal-mine are  estimated to kill 13,000 people annually and 500,000 people over the lifetime of the coal mine. Most of the coal will go to India and thus most of the victims will be Indians.

According to the World Coal Association, global production of coal was 7, 823 million tonnes  in 2013 of which 336 million tonnes  were Australian coal exports. At a present-day price of about $100 per tonne of coal, the 60 million tonnes of annual Adani  Australian coal exports and  2,300 million tonnes of lifetime Adani Australian  coal exports will be worth $6 billion and $230 billion, respectively.

Environmentalist opponents of the Adani coal-mine have advanced many arguments against this development.

  1. Massive use of scarce water resources (Adani has been promised up to 9.5 billion litres of water every year,  a huge threat to water quality and availability for agriculture. The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has protested the planned massive land clearing and massive diversion of  two rivers by an Australia company  to provide water for Galilee Basin mining operations.
  2. Major environmental  damage (through stripping the land and damage by climate change, huge water use, endangering  species and impacts  on an already devastated  Great Barrier Reef.
  3. Specific threats to the adjacent iconic Great Barrier Reef through coal dust, other pollutants, spillage, hugely increased shipping, impacts of coastal loading facilities  and, of course, climate change.
  4. Threats to  Indigenous  Australian Native Title rights (the Wangan and Jagalingou Indigenous Traditional Owners  strongly object to the Adani coal mine threat to their land and their culture.
  5. Threats to endangered wildlife species.
  6.   Promised jobs will disappear with largely robot-based  mining and transport operation. Adani have stated their intention to automate the entire project “from pit to port.” They’re intending to use remote-controlled or robot-controlled trucks, trains and loaders. Their stated intention is to reduce the amount of employment involved in this project.
  7. Massive addition to Australia’s already disproportionately huge contribution to global greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution  and to Humanity- and Biosphere-threatening global warming (Australia with 0.3% of the world’s population has a Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution equivalent to 4.4% of the World’s total. – the Adani coal mine will raise this.

In the United States, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt on Thursday hailed a new era of environmental deregulation in a speech at  Consol Energy mine in Harvey, Pennsylvania, which in 2016 was fined $3 million for sending millions of pounds of toxic materials into tributaries of the Ohio River from 2006 to 2015. Pruitt's vision for the EPA and the Trump administration's proposed budget would make it harder to hold polluters like Consol accountable in the future. It will leave companies like Consol with a license to pollute and even local citizens would lack legal recourse to stop illegal pollution of water.

We need to stop burning dirty coal for the future of the planet. Pruitt said adhering to the global climate treaty would cost America jobs, a claim which is wrong. Not having a liveable planet will cost jobs and it will cost lives.



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