The NSW government has just approved plans for two, 2000-megawatt power stations, one near Lithgow, the other in the Hunter Valley. If coal is chosen as the fuel source NSW's greenhouse gas emissions will increase by 15.1%. If gas is chosen the increase will be 7.1%. It's likely the government will go with coal.
Given the urgent need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions — 36% of which in Australia are from burning coal — these plans are utterly insane. It shows the influence the "greenhouse mafia" has over governments and the ALP's unwillingness to take them on in the interests of people and the planet.
In the meantime, climate campaign group Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) has just released a summary of a plan of how Australia can transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2020. The plan incorporates only proven and commercially available technologies, relying on cutting edge solar thermal and wind technology.
The plan will cost the equivalent of 3-3.5% of gross domestic product over 10 years. Sound expensive? Not really, when you consider the future of humanity is at stake.
Who would you rather have making the decisions regarding our energy production in the future: the coal-addicted major parties, or a mass, grassroots climate movement that includes groups such as BZE? Green Left Weekly knows which side we stand on.
But it will take a powerful people's movement to put these decisions in democratic hands. One that's strong enough to challenge the power of the coal lobby and the "greenhouse mafia".
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