Stop T4 march, Newcastle, Australia: Photo by Lucy Alcorn / Coal Mine Action GroupUp to 1500 people attended a rally in Newcastle today in opposition to a fourth coal loading terminal being built, nicknamed T4. Gathering at Customs house at 10am, people marched to Civic Park, chanting 'our water, our health, more precious than your wealth' and 'one two three four, no to T4'. Protestors are concerned with the impact of coal mining on agriculture and water resources, coal dust pollution risks to public health, environmental concerns, and contribution to global climate change. Newcastle is the world's largest coal export port.
My favourite photo from the protest (see Photos on Flickr) is a placard saying "The reason you want another coal terminal is that you are fucking Greedy" which perhaps states the obvious...but sometimes the obvious needs to be put in such blunt terms. Already China is indicating it wants to cap it's coal consumption to 4 billion tonnes per year, not much higher than it's current consumption. Much of the recent coal expansion in NSW and Queensland, and the development of other unconventional fossil fuels like CSG, has been driven by the increasing prospect of restrictions placed on fossil fuel extraction due to carbon emissions and the threat of global warming. These companies want to rip as much as they can out to make their profits before community outrage forces them to stop.