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New Zealand is dramatically increasing coal production and exports at the same time it tells the world it can do nothing to reduce its carbon emissions, the Green Party said today.
“The whole world is in Copenhagen looking for ways to avoid climate disaster while we’re cranking up our coal industry and saying we can’t do anything to reduce our emissions,” said Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei.
“We can do more and the science says we have to. We need leadership from our government instead of denial.”
While New Zealand’s Prime Minister is due in Copenhagen at climate change negotiations this week, state-owned Solid Energy has launched plans for a lignite processing plant in Southland and the Port of Lyttelton is nearly doubling its coal stockyard.
Solid Energy recently shipped 500 tonnes of lignite to North Dakota to test a water-extraction process it plans to use in Southland. The Solid Energy plant would process up to 100,000 tonnes of lignite annually from an open cast mine near Mataura, converting it to briquettes.
The Lyttelton port meanwhile is seeking resource consent to almost double its coal capacity to nearly 5 million tonnes each year. The increase is to handle growing exports from Solid Energy and Pike River Coal.
“The tired old arguments about clean coal and economic growth don’t wash,” said Mrs Turei. “Science tells us catastrophic climate change threatens the world. Dealing with rising sea levels, droughts and severe storms will cost us a lot more than we could possibly earn from coal exports. The Government’s approach is short-sighted.
“We should instead encourage Solid Energy’s innovation into renewable energy sources such as wood waste.”
Mrs Turei noted that the Government had also launched a review of national standards for air quality which may delay the standards’ introduction: “We’ve been talking about phasing out coal burners in people’s homes over a10 year period but now the Environment Minister Nick Smith is considering extending that timeline. How long does it take to do the right thing?”
Solid Energy has said that it may also use its new lignite processing plant to serve the home market, acknowledging that while open fires and old burners cause “significant air quality and health issues in many of our towns and cities,” it plans to stay in the home market until the Government introduces air quality standards.
Solid Energy’s Lignite Project
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There is no "climate disaster." The Climategate e-mails have shown that global warming fearmongering was based upon a vast fraud. The police are involved and prosecutions will follow.
There is a very good interview with Dr Tim Ball regarding the e-mails and related information here.
I think the point is being missed by the climate change skeptics. Whether or not there is climate change, having a worldwide goal to clean up the world's environmental behavior is crucial to everyone's health and the long term sustainability of the planet.
If we keep polluting the air, water and the earth with poisons which kill us, and essential parts and species of the global ecosystem, then there will be no where left to live.
Would you rather live in a clean beautiful world or a sewerage pond? All I suggest is we put the earth, which gives us life, before our own greed and desire to manipulate others to fulfill our will.
If climate change was proved to be a fraud tomorrow, would it then be considered acceptable to start pumping poisons and pollutants into the environment without any forward thought to the harm they may be doing us and other inhabitants of the planet? Or would we keep saying we want to live in a clean sustainable world and hold those polluters accountable? No amount of fruad or spin could make anyone want to live in a world of our own waste.
Lets be smarter than yeast!
"Man-made global warming" has been proven to be a fraud. The e-mails from the University of East Anglia show that. Phil Jones at the CRU wrote that it was cooling and they were writing about having to hide the decline in global temperatures.
You are assuming burning coal causes pollution. "Clean coal technology" describes a new generation of energy processes that sharply reduce air emissions and other pollutants from coal-burning power plants.
If people are worried about pollution, why not target the depleted uranium that is being dropped by the tonne in the Middle East, which has a half life of 4.7 billion years or GE, or nanotechnology.
The production of coal in NewZealand is but a drop in th ecean compared to the production of other countries. Coal is used particularily in steel production so it can be burnt to produce items such as railway lines, cars, trucks and building materials.
Coal mining in New Zealand is a significant employer and important to the new Zealand economy.
New Zealand needs good resource management, not resource protection.
burning wood also produces emissions to the atmosphere as the the burning of focil fuels of which our economies have become dependant.