Australia’s Adani Carmicheal Coal – Another Win For Economics – Another Disaster For Humanity

Coal_mine_in_Dhanbad,_IndiaWhy is everybody getting so upset about Australia’s Adani Carmicheal coal mine approval?  It’s important.  One of the biggest coal mining projects in the world, just waiting to become reality.  I just don’t see what all the fuss is about.  I mean, 2,300,000,000 tonnes of almost pure carbon that was stored deep in the earth over millions of years will be dug up and burned (released into the earth’s atmosphere) over the next 60 years.  Big deal!

I know some killjoys will point out that this will add catastrophically to the intolerable CO2 burden that we’ve already released into our atmosphere and that is already causing climate change.  But we can easily counteract this additional carbon.  All we have to do is plant a new forest of roughly 2 million hectares, get it fully mature within the next sixty years and then ensure that it is never, never, ever cut down or burned.  OK, so we lose a couple of million hectares of land that can never, ever be used for any other purpose.  There’s always plenty of land, somewhere, right?  That will cancel out the CO2 emissions created by this one particular mine operation.

Although the Adani Carmicheal mine will be massive … one of the largest on the planet … its output still only represents a small portion of the total coal that will be burned and released into the atmosphere in the immediate future.  What is one more mine, after all?

And there are extra benefits to the Adani mine.  Once its establishment is underway, that will apparently create a ‘climate’ that will encourage the establishment of lots more coal mines in the Galilee Basin, providing orders of magnitude more CO2 to release into the atmosphere, thus providing even more incentives for growing lots more forests of beautiful trees.

People need to realise that these kinds of activities create jobs.  That will keep Australians (or lots of imported foreign workers) employed for the foreseeable future (sixty years max) and enable them to provide greater material benefits to their children.  The science doomsayers reckon that mankind will suffer a cataclysmic global extinction due to climate change, overpopulation, pollution and resource depletion within the next few generations anyway.  So I reckon we should party while we can!  Material wealth in the short term ….. a fun and fulfilling life and a comfortable lifestyle …… These things are far more important than some global catastrophe that might not even happen.  ‘They’ will probably find a way out of it anyway.  And if they don’t, that’s hardly our worry.

Sixty years of ongoing economic benefits is not to be sneered at, no matter how vague and fuzzy they might actually be, or how uncertain the truth behind the assumption.  We can’t be expected to forego real economic rewards today, just for the benefit of a whole lot of humans who aren’t even born yet.  And if we don’t get around to planting all those trees, we won’t be here to suffer the consequences.  Let the next generation sort out their own problems!

Andrew Caddle  2015-10-17


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