some of you may have flown over or driven through the Hunter Valley in the past few years. If you haven’t, you might take time to look at it through Google Earth.
You have seen or will see some of the extent of wreckage of this Valley by coal mining. Most of the product goes for export to profit mainly multinationals and the NSW Government.
I have been involved in fighting against the resulting environmental and social damage bequeathed to us and future generations for many years, and keep trying to make more people aware of what is happening. It is not just our problem.
The attached was published as a letter in the Singleton Argus a few weeks ago, and a similar one to the SMH was binned – probably too long or too passionate or too poorly written.
So, I’m resorting to a different approach, and you are one of many friends and others to whom I’m sending this. You may be interested enough to read it and, perhaps, pass it on.
Here are John's two letters in full:
Ian Hedley’s challenging advertorial (Argus 27 March) was a welcome antidote to disappointment that the recent forum on the future of Singleton generated little in the way of new ideas. As Mr Hedley’s contribution has amply shown, there is probably nothing more important or urgent for our Shire.
I am posting this blog from Oliver Tambo Airport, South Africa where the government that Tambo struggled and fought for enshrined in legislation
- Coal is South Africa’s major primary energy source. More than 90% of our electricity, approximately 30% of the liquid fuel, and an estimated 77% of total energy are produced from coal, and current indications are that it will remain the base resource of South Africa’s energy mix for at least the next 15 years, even if this mix becomes more diverse.
- Coal mining and related activities have significant negative impacts on biodiversity, land, air and water quality; causing potentially irreversible and often large scale habitat loss, at times in areas important to the provision of important ecosystem services such as the delivery of potable water. These environmental impacts affect other development options including agriculture and tourism, wildlife and human health. These impacts are concentrated and expanding; in Mpumalanga 61% of the province was under mining or mining rights or prospecting applications in 2014, and new areas have been approved for mining in Limpopo.