8 March 2012  –Comment: The miners and other megarich one percenters in our society are outraged by the Treasurer Wayne Swan’s attack on their influence and unparalleled political sway on the nation.

Now they are personally hurt and traumatised by a Greenpeace secret plan to disrupt coal mining.

How times have changed. Remember when the mere notion of stopping coal mining would have caused hysterical laughter instead of the hysterical headlines in the business press of late?

And a secret plan by Greenpeace would have remained, well…secret.

But Greenpeace is no longer alone.

In today’s newspapers influential business and political figures have come out swinging in defence of the anti-coal action.

  • See more headlines on the issue below

Former Rothschild Australia chief executive Peter Martin, today said: “The hysterical comments by politicians and companies are clearly self-serving.”

“If you think that mining companies spent $30 million to knock off Kevin Rudd and the mining tax, the $6 million proposed for this campaign is pocket change – they would spend it on a round of drinks – yet they are whingeing about community groups, most which have no money,” he said in comments to The Australian Financial Review.

“They [green groups] are just trying to protect the interests of future Australians from exploitation,” Martin continued.

“The mining companies have got their own agendas, their own play books.

“They play very tough and they know as soon as communities combine to work together, it makes their life tougher.”

He’s joined by The Ainsworth family, radio broadcaster Alan Jones, NSW independent MP Tony Windsor and Wotif founder Graeme Wood, all chipping in to support the national plan to derail new coalmines.

Tony Windsor said: “We’ve got proposed mines on the Liverpool Plains which are a billion tonnes. I don’t think people understand the magnitude.

“I don’t see the great rush . . . this mega-rush to get mega-mines. Do we need to be in that big a hurry? We need to work out the environmental and social impacts before we just rush in willy-nilly.”

Mackay Conservation Group co-ordinator Patricia Julien said coalmines in central Queensland’s Galilee Basin would be the biggest in the world, producing up to 60 million tonnes a year of coal exports.

“It means more dredging, pollution and shipping impacts on the reef from huge new coal ports at Abbot and Dudgeon Points,” Ms Julien said.

The was one thing missing in Swan’s mighty broadside on the influence of the one percenters: their impact on the environment.

Why?

Because Swan in these past days has proved just how influential these people are. He has threatened to remove Greenpeace as a charitable organisation because of its plan.

So Swan can’t get the miners to pay decent tax; maybe he can succeed with Greenpeace.

The coal seam miners have won Round One in NSW too; with a ridiculous two kilometre exclusion zone around “prime” farmland; as if nature and the connected impacts of nature can respect a boundary on a map.

Otherwise, the O’Farrell Government has thrown open all but a tiny percentage of the state for this dangerous mining.

There’s the predictable environmental impact statements, which can be obtained ­– then on with the job.

Imagine if all that money and effort was directed to by passing coal and gas – and searching for solar energy solutions.

Such as intellectually advanced countries such as China are doing, in the knowledge that the sun is one energy source that won’t be threatened in terms of supply and won’t threaten anyone in terms of impact.

Ah, except the rich giant dinosaurs who won’t adapt.

Following are some headlines on the Greenpeace and coal issue

From The AFR

Anti-coal groups face tax crackdown

08 March 2012

Green groups face tax crackdown

Environmental groups supporting the anti-coal push should be reported to the Tax Office if they abuse their status as charities, federal Treasurer Wayne Swan says.

Qld coal projects likely Greenpeace campaign targets

08 March 2012

Greenpeace is expected to frustrate the development of the Gladstone Harbour and a rail line linking new coal mines in the Galilee Basin with ports off the coast.

Revealed: Coal under green attack

07 March 2012 | Matthew Stevens

Updated | Greenpeace is spearheading a campaign by green groups to raise up to $6 million to disrupt and delay new coalmines and infrastructure in a bid to make some unviable, according to a funding proposal obtained by The Australian Financial Review.

The Treasurer has literally lost the plot

Editorial | The federal Treasurer’s focus should be on preparing Australians for a tough May budget, not indulging in a belligerent rant against the nation’s entrepreneurs.

Land use plan upsets all players

07 March 2012  Land use plan upsets all players

It would be too easy to condemn NSW’s draft decision to create a new seam of complication in mining and onshore gas approvals.

Business and unions join forces

07 March 2012

Unions and business have been quick to criticise the Greenpeace-led campaign against the coal industry.

Swan slams coal threat

07 March 2012

Swan slams coal threat

Mining companies are investigating legal options to hit green groups with claims for millions of dollars over plans to use litigation to delay coalmines and infrastructure projects.

Questions over charities’ role in action

07 March Questions over charities’ role in action

Most of the groups funding or assisting the anti-coal push are charitable and research institutions that receive generous tax concessions.

Funds scarce for anti-mining campaign

07 March 2012 | Funds scarce for anti-mining campaign

While it was started by a small grant from one of America’s oldest private charities, organisers of a proposed campaign against coalmining have found it tough raising money in Australia.

Business outraged by anti-coal campaign

06 March 2012 |

Major business groups have reacted angrily to revelations green groups are planning a massive co-ordinated campaign against proposed coal projects.

Revealed: Coal under green attack

06 March 2012 |

Greenpeace is spearheading a campaign by green groups to raise up to $6 million to disrupt and delay new coalmines and infrastructure in a bid to make some unviable, according to a funding proposal obtained by The Australian Financial Review.

Coal faces dangerous attack

06 March 2012 |

Coal faces dangerous attack

Bogged down by rain and industrial action, miners contemplate the consequences of a campaign of sophistication and financial muscle.

From The Australian

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From Fairfax newspapers

DAVID DAY

Miners might not dig a coal delay, but it makes sense

Greenpeace’s suggestion of a mining slowdown should be welcomed, not decried.

POLITICS,CONTRIBUTORS | DAVID DAY | THU MAR 08 03:00:00 EST 2012

Charges dropped over Greenpeace coal protest

Queensland authorities have dropped charges against Greenpeace over a protest that brought one of Australia’s busiest coal export terminals to a standstill.

CLIMATE CHANGE,ENVIRONMENT | WED MAR 24 16:22:10 EST 2010

Activists paint coal carrier in Gladstone reef protest

Greenpeace activists have painted “reef in danger” on the hull of a coal carrier in Gladstone ahead of a visit by UN officials.

QUEENSLAND | WED MAR 07 10:49:30 EST 2012

Swan questions green groups’ tax-free status

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has questioned whether groups such as Greenpeace should retain their tax-free status if they are actively working to disrupt and delay major coal projects.

POLITICAL NEWS | WED MAR 07 17:34:37 EST 2012

Fishermen tell UN of Gladstone grief

The sick fish of Gladstone Harbour are a taste of problems to come along the entire Great Barrier Reef, an international delegation auditing the environmental management of region has been told.

QUEENSLAND | PATRICK CARUANA | WED MAR 07 18:53:10 EST 2012

Emerson brands anti-coal activists ‘reckless’

Environmentalists are living in fantasy land if they believe coal mining can be easily terminated with a litigation blitz, federal Trade Minister Craig Emerson says.

POLITICAL NEWS | TUE MAR 06 14:15:48 EST 2012

Reef ships to increase tenfold

International officials told Great Barrier Reef could have to cope with a tenfold increase in bulk ship traffic as coal and gas exports boom.

POLITICAL NEWS,NATIONAL | ADAM MORTON | TUE MAR 06 03:00:00 EST 2012

Coal protesters detained by NSW Police

Four activists have been arrested by police over a coalmine protest in which a man locked himself inside a steel box on a train track, Greenpeace says.

CLIMATE CHANGE,ENVIRONMENT,NSW | WED JUN 08 16:03:20 EST 2011

Coalmine a ‘threat to global warming target’

THE development of coal ”mega-mines” in central Queensland such as the massive China First project will destroy the world’s chance of keeping global warming to 2 degrees, Greenpeace says.

CLIMATE CHANGE,ENVIRONMENT | DAVID WROE | MON DEC 19 03:00:00 EST 2011

Greenpeace urges Facebook to ‘like’ green energy

A handful of Greenpeace activists was outside Facebook headquarters on Wednesday, calling on the social network to “unfriend” coal energy for powering data centers and other operations.

BREAKING NEWS TECHNOLOGY,TECHNOLOGY | GLENN CHAPMAN | THU APR 14 06:51:49 EST 2011

Greenpeace wants Facebook center off coal fuel

Greenpeace said about 500,000 Facebook users have urged the world’s largest online social network to abandon plans to buy electricity from a coal-based energy company for its new data center in the U.

BREAKING NEWS TECHNOLOGY,TECHNOLOGY | ARTHUR MAX | THU SEP 02 00:57:36 EST 2010

Greenpeace protesters fined over coal protest

Fifteen Greenpeace activists have been fined over a protest that brought one of Australia’s busiest coal export terminals to a standstill.

QUEENSLAND | TUE APR 27 13:08:50 EST 2010

Greenpeace four charged over ANZ stunt

Four Greenpeace activists have been charged for a sky-high stunt in which a banner was unfurled down ANZ Bank’s HQ in protest over coal-fired power stations.

BREAKING NEWS NATIONAL,NATIONAL | THU OCT 21 10:01:27 EST 2010

Greenpeace in court over coal terminal protests

Environmental group Greenpeace and the captain of the Esperanza, Vladimir Votiacov, are due to face a north Queensland court today over dramatic protests at two coal terminals.

ENVIRONMENT,QUEENSLAND | MON MAY 10 06:55:40 EST 2010

Greenpeace off the hook over coal protest

Queensland authorities have dropped charges against the Greenpeace organisation over a coal port protest.

CLIMATE CHANGE,QUEENSLAND,ENVIRONMENT | WED MAR 24 13:09:30 EST 2010

Greenpeace activists fined over protest

Fifteen Greenpeace activists have been fined over a protest that brought one of Australia’s busiest coal export terminals to a standstill.

BREAKING NEWS NATIONAL,NATIONAL | TUE APR 27 12:23:46 EST 2010

Greenpeace protesters stop work at coal terminal

Greenpeace protesters have spent 36 hours chained and dangling from the top of a Queensland coal terminal to highlight climate change inaction.

QUEENSLAND | DAVID BARBELER | FRI AUG 07 06:09:00 EST 2009

Banks put on notice over coal power

Australia’s banks have been put on notice over the financing of coal-fired power stations after a Greenpeace action in Sydney’s banking district.

BREAKING NEWS NATIONAL,NATIONAL | TUE DEC 07 08:57:22 EST 2010

From Google News

Greenpeace attacks coal sector tax-free?

The Australian – 9 hours ago?GREENPEACE and other activist groups attempting to smash the coal industry will remain exempt from normal tax laws despite being accused by both sides of Greenpeace rejects Swan’s attack over coal? Sydney Morning Herald

Miners might not dig a coal delay, but it makes sense? Brisbane Times

Greenpeace rejects Swan’s attack? BigPond News

Herald Sun

all 39 news articles »

BigPond News

Greenpeace leads war against coal?

Macedon Ranges Weekly – 7 hours ago?ANTI-COAL groups led by Greenpeace are calling for the biggest environmental campaign in Australian history in a bid to disrupt and delay the expansion of Greenpeace Leads Campaign to Stop Australian Coal Export Boom? International Business Times AU

Greenpeace targets Australia mining? Outcome Magazine

Greenpeace defends leaked anti-coal campaign? ABC Online

Business SpectatorSudan Vision

all 82 news articles »