Friday, May 26, 2017

Coal story

As we passed Hay Point, just south of Mackay, we saw a shocking sight.

Many huge coal ships anchored, waiting to take on board coal and ship it out the world to be turned into CO2 and contribute to climate change.

AIS image of Nimrod picking her way through the ship-park

We counted 43 ships in the queue.

Looking into the Australian coal industry, the numbers are colossal.

'Coal exports from Queensland - one of the world's biggest suppliers to China - hit record levels for the third year in a row in 2016.

The state's coal shipments - accounting for 60 percent of Australia's coal exports - reached 221 million tonnes last year, eclipsing 2015's record by 1 million tonnes, says the Queensland Resources Council.'

'The Port of Hay Point is one of the largest coal export ports in the world and is located about 40 kilometres south of Mackay.

The port comprises of two separate coal export terminals: Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT) which is leased from the State Government by DBCT Management Pty Ltd and the Hay Point Coal Terminal (HPCT) which is owned by BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance and operated by Hay Point Services. Together, these coal terminals service the mines in the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland.'

Public Relations document from the Minerals Council of Australia 'Coal Hard Facts'. It smells of panic to me. Astonishingly, I couldn't find any reference to one obvious 'coal hard fact', viz; how much greenhouse gas is released into the atmosphere from coal, globally and from Australian coal in particular.

See this article from the radical greenie rag 'The Financial Times'. 

The Big Green Bang: how renewable energy became unstoppable.

Various unexpected people are tolling the bell for the end of coal.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Republican governor of California. "Saying you'll bring coal plants back is the past. It's like saying you'll bring Blockbuster back, which is the past. Horses and buggies, which is the past. Pagers back, which is the past."

Top Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn: ‘Coal doesn’t even make that much sense anymore’ 

While the Australian federal government looks ridiculous. Scott Morrison brings coal to question time: what fresh idiocy is this?

And the Queensland Government vacillates. Queensland drops plan to give Adani Carmichael coalmine royalty holiday

Australia is putting a lot of its eggs into one basket, a basket with some fragility at a time of global climate change, and an accelerating shift towards renewable sources of energy.

1 comment:

  1. I thoroughly agree; however, we have friends who have just moved their family up that way - their livelihood will be governed by the employment brought by the mines - the difference between working their guts out for a subsistence vs better. Makes it hard to be absolute about it....