Activists shut down world’s biggest coal port
5:30am, Sunday 26th September 2010:
Global warming activists have shut down operations at all three coal terminals in the Port of Newcastle, Australia, the world’s largest exporter of coal.
At dawn this morning, teams of people entered the three coal terminals in Newcastle. The activists climbed to the top of large ship loading machines, and abseiled part-way down structural cables that suspend the loaders over coal ships. The ship loaders can’t be operated without endangering the climbers, who are determined to stay there for as long as possible.
Annika Dean, spokesperson for the protest organisers, Rising Tide Newcastle, explained the group’s motivations: “We are staging an emergency intervention into Australia’s number one cause of global warming.”
“Around the world, the early impacts of unabated global warming are beginning to emerge. 2010 has been a year of tragic weather disasters.”
“Thousands of people have died this year due to flash floods in Pakistan and China, and fires in Siberia. Millions of people are facing starvation due to a devastating drought in west Africa. These are the impacts of global warming that scientists have been warning us about for decades. Global warming is happening now, and it is killing people.”
“Australia is a major contributor to this crisis, due to the massive volumes of coal we export. We are exporting global warming to the world. With the support of both Labor and the Coalition, Australia’s coal exports are booming. Here in Newcastle, already the world’s biggest coal port, multinational mining corporations are planning to triple exports over the next decade. It’s a similar story at all coal ports in the country.”
“Urgent action against global warming is needed. We have been forced to make our dramatic protest today because the Federal government is failing to take any action.”
“We call on Prime Minister Gillard to step up to the challenge of global warming, put an immediate moratorium on the expansion of the coal industry, and begin to replace this outdated industry with the renewable industries of the future,” concluded Ms Dean.