Bylong Coal Mine approval climate insanity

Date published: 2019-03-10

There is something particularly wrong with the NSW "Independent Planning Commision" - IPC , if they really need to be asked to reflect the latest climate science, when assessing cases for new coal and gas mining, in the context of everyone on this planet having a desperate need to rapidly cut all global carbon emissions. If they are truely independent, why do they need to be asked?

The NSW Greens know where the climate science is at, as they have repeatedly asked the NSW government to act as if climate change is real, while Australia continues to export it to the world. The Greens  have asked NSW government should update the terms of reference to the IPC to take this into account. After all, a recent Environment Justice Court Case specifically cited "climate change considerations", as a good reason to reject a new mine. So should the IPC. 

the Rocky Hill coal mine would increase global greenhouse gas emissions "at a time when what is now urgently needed ... is a rapid and deep decrease in GHG emission.   --- Justice Brian Preston

IPC assessors are known to act as if they have been given specific instructions to ignore any and all volumes of coal and gas from new mines that are to be exported from Australia. Exports do not (yet) get accounted for in Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions. It is as if Australia has been given a singular blank cheque global carbon exemption, to allow foreign corporations to export large quantities of carbon to be burned, earn some part of this as resource income, pay no carbon tax on it, and is allowed to spend it on imports of  goods, that also required a lot of burning of coal, oil and gas, also in foreign countries, free of carbon tax. This means the rest of the world gets to pay for every Australian's "free carbon permits lifestyle".

It is also not a good long-term economic basis, bad management even,  to run a nation only on income from raw material exports, while paying large amounts to import the value added from foreign nations. We ought to be exporting more "value added" products as well. Otherwise large amounts of land need to be sacrificed for resource mining, just to keep up with the currency payments.
Australia has a mindset as being just one huge land of open-cut mines, where anything else with none-raw-resource value can sacrificed whenever required, to serve foreign trade interests. 

IPC needs to be instructed Australia signed global climate change treaty in Paris, and is having great difficulties to bring down still rising total greenhouse gas emissions, and have a sense of global justice, instead of a need to get state government revenue from mining. There is such a thing as "Net global common good", and it is absolutely negative for new coal and gas mining. The IPC does not seem to be able to factor this in.

Don't worry, we get to keep paying for it in much more sinister, indirect, and cruelly random ways, as heatwaves, bushfires, long term drying of southern Australia, collapse of food production, floods and storms, and long term sea level rise, more deaths and disease. And everyone else around the globe, and future generates will keep on paying even more for it. Most cruel, the biggest impacts are on people in the "Global South", whose personal lifestyle contributions to global atmosphere greenhouse gases have been very low, compared to the centuries of extractivist, resource-robbing and fossil-fuel burning of the "Industrial North".