The Rise of the Green Activist – the New Australian Hero

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photo (c) Des Pensable    –  the New Australian green activist comes in all ages from all parts of our society.

tags Environmental Activism, ‪#‎BentleyBlockade‬, #leardblockade, Greenpeace Australia, politics, society.

By Des Pensable

Australian men and women were represented at all the major wars across the globe last century in support of our British and American allies fighting for freedom and democracy. Many lost their lives to defend their friends, their families, our country and our “fair go for all” way of life. We cherish their memories and sing their praises as heroes of this great land.

Another world war has started. This war will be the war to end all wars because if we lose the war it is a good bet that most life on Earth will perish. If we win it will likely mean significant changes in our society and our way of life.  The war is about Global Warming.

In past centuries wars were often fought over land or other resources. The current war is no different but the combatants are different. They are not so much countries or ethnic groups but the shadowy manipulators and controllers hiding out of sight behind corporate logos. The new war is with the world’s super wealthy elite called Plutarchs and oligarchs, the robber barons of the modern world that own the banks and multinational companies. The war is for the control and exploitation of the world’s resources and you and I are already a part of the war.

These robber barons don’t fight with soldiers but with platoons of specialists. They surround themselves with silver tongued business men, tacky lawyers and robotic accountants. They have mottos like “greed is good” and “might is right”. They have no morals or empathy for any living creature be it human, animal or plant. They consider themselves above normal humans, they believe they are the top of the food chain, the alpha wolves and they have a divine right to have anything they want.  They are also adept at using, force, corruption, deception and coercion to get it.

The world population of over 7 billion people is using the world’s resources at an ever increasing rate, the resources are running out, many will run out over the next few decades and to maintain their wealth and life style the robber barons want the biggest share of what is left.

The biggest prize of all is seen to be the fossil fuel sources, oil, coal and natural gas. These energy sources fuel our civilization. They drive industry not only by supplying energy but also the raw materials for the plastics, chemicals, fertilizers, drugs, cloth and much more. Fossil fuels have allowed us the freedom to travel and to transport goods around the globe. They have allowed us to create a global village but there is a down side, they could possibly cause the demise of our civilization or at the very least a radical change in direction.

Thousands (97%) of the world’s climate scientists from over 100 countries are in agreement that we have a serious world problem. They have presented very strong evidence to prove that burning massive amounts of these fossil fuels gives off a gas called carbon dioxide which causes the Earth’s atmosphere to trap heat and warm up the world’s air and the oceans causing abnormal Global Warming. This is fact.

This abnormal warming is already causing the sea level to rise, more destructive storms, more extreme weather, more bush fires, more drought and more destructive floods. Last year in Australia and many other countries it was the hottest winter and summer ever recorded. This is fact.

The scientists and economists have also calculated that we must leave 80% of all the know fossil fuels in the ground to avoid dangerous global warming which in reality means a global catastrophe. This is also fact. Logically this means that we should cut back and eventually stop using fossil fuels and start using other renewable sources of energy which don’t cause global warming such as wind , wave and solar power. This is possible, it’s economically feasible and many of the more enlightened European countries are doing this.

The problem with this logical course of action is that the robber barons already own most of the fossil fuel resources. How do the ordinary people of the world ask them to stop burning fossil fuels and keep 80% in the ground. To ask them to stop using fossil fuels means that they will lose some of their investments in fossil fuel industries. Very few, if any of the robber barons are likely to willingly give up any of their wealth for any reason. They will fight to keep their wealth and keep using fossil fuels. In fact that is what is happening.

Australia has been called the lucky country as it is endowed with large amounts of coal and gas. That makes Australia a natural target for the robber barons. They would like to dig it all up and sell it to add to their wealth. The problem is these robber barons did not get rich and powerful by letting ordinary people stop them from doing whatever they want to do.

Australians are generally well educated and aware of global warming. They are also fiercely protective of their own backyards. So when foreign or even local robber barons want to dig up their backyard to loot and pillage the land for its fossil fuels then there is likely to be a confrontation. That confrontation is happening right now.

The robber barons who own the fossil leases and mines will not concede that global warming is even happening and have spent vast amounts of money on misinformation to try and convince some of the our population that there is no Global Warming problem. They bombard the public with propaganda through glib radio jocks and false and misleading articles in the commercial media.

Their army of dodgy ex-politician and journalist lobbyists have convinced some of the more gullible politicians to take little or no action to slow down global warming. They have also corrupted others within both of the major political parties into helping them plunder the country’s fossil fuels for a quick profit most of which (86%) goes to the foreign robber barons. When it comes to corruption Australians think the two most corrupt groups in the country are the commercial media and the political parties.

These robber barons have no sense civic duty or empathy with anyone living in Australia. They are quite happy to flout environmental laws, corrupt government ministers, make a terrible polluted mess where they mine and walk away leaving the locals with huge toxic health disasters to clean up. This is not what the majority of clear thinking Australians consider to be fair and just. In fact 92% of Australians stated that they do not tolerate corruption. They expect more from their politicians and do not accept foreign or local super wealthy sociopathic robber barons ruining their backyards.

In truth the world is a small place and since it is the only world we have to live in it belongs to all of us. Global Warming is a world problem and affects every person in every country. We cannot fight the war everywhere but we can fight it in our backyard where it occurs on Australian soil. This in effect means stopping the construction of any new coal or coal seam gas mines in Australia.

In previous wars the government has called for volunteers and they have marched off proudly to fight for Australia in foreign countries and came back as heroes. In the Global Warming War the Australian government has NOT called for volunteers. Instead it has cowardly surrendered to the robber barons allowing them to loot our fossil fuel reserves and pollute our farming land at their whim.

People are not born heroes, they become heroes when they stand up and fight for what they believe to be fair and just. Tens of thousands of Australians around the country have already stood up and have become green activists in groups like Lock the Gate to fight for what they believe to be fair and just an end to the cause of Global Warming.

They are fighting for a future for their children and their grandchildren. They are fighting for the animals and plants on our land and in the oceans. They are fighting for our Great Barrier Reef, for Australia and for the survival of humanity itself.

These people don’t use weapons of any sort. They fight non-violently. They are mothers and fathers with their children, grandparents and pensioners. They are farmers, tradesmen and business men, lawyers, teachers, doctors and students of all ages. They are the ordinary citizens of Australia. You will find them at the front line action camps every day putting their bodies on the line to defend all of us. On occasion they willingly get arrested by the police. They are our new heroes.

At Bentley in NSW, they recently made a stand, a blockade against the blight of coal seam gas (CSG) mining which pollutes the land, and the bore water which farmers rely on during droughts. It also causes serious health problems to those that live near the wells.

Thousands of green activist heroes were on call ready to leave their daily jobs to protect the blockade. Thousands vowed to stand up to the NSW government who threatened to send in several hundred police to remove them. At the last minute the government backed down referring the company to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) but the fight is not over. The looter and polluter company wants to continue the fight as it doesn’t care about the health of the community or Global Warming it craves only profit.

At the Leard State Forest in western NSW there is a different fight. A company funded by the robber barons wants to destroy the huge forest, over two dozen endangered species and hundreds of other bush inhabitants to create a giant open cut coal mine. This monster mine will produce 12 million tons of coal per year for the next 30 years, massively adding to the Global Warming problem. Hundreds of the new green activist heroes have been using non-violent methods to slow the destruction while trying to stop the project legally through the courts.

Other robber barons hiding behind multinational companies are attacking other locations all over Australia. In parts of Queensland there is already massive devastation and the sociopathic puppet state government controlled by the mining industry wants to create much more, including destruction of parts of the Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of the world.

Ninety one (91) new coal mines are planned in NSW and Queensland alone and more in areas all over Australia and 56% of the whole country, an area the size of Europe is covered by coal seam gas mine licenses. Australia is a global war zone. We are facing an ecological disaster of biblical proportions but it can be stopped if we all act together.

The war has only just begun both here and in many countries around the world. In part the war is against ignorance, complacency and fear as many people especially those who are more conservative are confused and scared. They say “It’s not my problem” or “I’m too busy” or “I simply don’t care.” When does it become their problem? When will they care? When will they stop being victims?

There are no superheros but there are green activists who are everyday heroes standing up to the robber barons to save Australia and the world from the spectre of a Global Warming catastrophe. They believe that it is their problem. They are not too busy and they do care about the future of their children and this beautiful country we call home. Are you one of them?

Will you join them and help them vote in a sensible green government devoted to mitigating Global Warming and stopping the robber barons from their psychotic ecocidal path towards global catastrophe through fossil fuel exploitation on Australian soil.

There are dozens of local green groups dedicated to fighting local global warming related issues near you such as Lock the Gate, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Australian Conservation Society, No CSG Sydney and elsewhere. Join one or more and become a green activist hero and I’m sure your future grandchildren will be full of pride at your courage and you will have the satisfaction that you refused to be a victim, you cared, you fought and the world won.

Well worth reading to help understand the problem.

Meet Bill the 92 year old activist.

So You Want to Change the World? Better Read This First

The New Abolitionism

The Emperor Wears No Clothes – Bentley Blockade

The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate

Other Environmental articles by Des Pensable can be found here.

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Activism Intensifies After Red Alert on Leard State Forest Destruction

 

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photo Des Pensable – protest action at Whitehaven mine,  4th June 2014

Des Pensable (c) 2014.

I was one of many that received a red alert about a changed situation at Leard State Forest near Boggabri in western NSW two weeks ago. My partner and I had been at camp Wando at Maules Creek over Easter and I wrote a report of our time there called “Adventure in Wando land”, so we set off on the long trip from Sydney again as I was interested to see for myself what had changed.

The red alert had been called because Whitehaven, the company who wants to destroy the forest to dig a massive open cut coal mine adding to our already dire Global Warming problems had broken its environmental agreement not to bulldoze the forest during the winter while the native animals were in a state of near hibernation.  In doing this they would be more likely to kill the animals that resided there rather than allowing them a small chance to escape and move elsewhere.

The first thing we noticed as we approached camp Wando was the increased number of police stationed about a kilometre from the entrance. There were about ten of them. We were stopped, I had my driver’s licence examined, I was questioned about where I was going and our car searched.

I asked why and was told that this wasn’t a road block and I was only being searched for “safety reasons”. As they don’t do this anywhere else in the state I might be forgiven if I thought that this might be termed harassment or perhaps they were just bored. After all, guard duty on a remote country road for a private company is not what they were trained or are paid for.

We were welcomed into the camp as warmly as on our first visit a few weeks earlier. I expected that it might be a bit tense at the camp as the previous week there had been stories in the news about spies being caught in the camp. Idemitsu, one of the shareholders of Whitehaven had admitted they had hired various companies to spy on the leaders and activities at the camp so that they could plan counter strategies to neutralise the protests at the camp.

Of course, if they were doing that then it showed that the camp’s activities were effective. After setting up our tent we joined the camp for dinner around the camp fire to find out the plans for the next day. There were lots there from the Bentley blockade, local farmers and lots of normal everyday people that normally didn’t protest about anything. The discussion was open and all had a say. The mood was of urgency and everyone present was keen for an action the next day.

The camp organisers were happy to assist but there was to be one change. Only the action organiser would know the location of the target. This was for security against leaked information as every new person at the camp was now a potential spy for Whitehaven.

The next day about two dozen of us were up early ready to leave at 8 am after a freezing night in the tent. The scene was familiar with dozens of people jostling for a better position around the camp fire all holding cups of coffee or tea getting their early morning caffeine fix before the action.

About 25 of us set off in a convoy but only one person in the front car knew the destination. We were stopped by the police at what was “not a road block” and the cars searched and we were asked where we were going. The answer was of course, we had no idea or sightseeing or a picnic somewhere.

We moved on, retrieved the banners and masks that had been hidden in a secret cache along the road to avoid them being confiscated by the police which term them “safety hazards” and continued onto the target which in this case was the gateway entrance to one of the Whitehaven mine areas. We blockaded the road and stopped all traffic to and from the mine until the police arrived and after an hour of negotiations finally left without any arrests.

The police captain was very patient, conciliatory and almost apologetic for having to move us on. I suspect he was thoroughly disgusted with having to waste his team’s time and tax payers’ money protecting a looting and polluting company like Whitehaven but had to do his duty. It was almost as if it he was sick of the stupid part that the police had to play in the grand scheme of one of our corrupt politicians itching to plunder our national wealth for their own benefit.

That evening everyone was in a good mood. Elation, there had been two actions, one that I had been on and another elsewhere that had resulted in a person camping in a tree that had stopped the bulldozers and both had been successful. We had a general meeting of the camp and I had the privilege to be able to perform some of my environmental poetry. The poems were enthusiastically welcomed and my poem “Locked On” which was about a protest action we did in May, was greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.

After the poetry we had a detailed discussion on the ecology of the Laird forest and overview of the Whitehaven’s Environmental Impact Statements. The professional ecologist pointed out all the weaknesses and corners the company had cut to get their plan accepted by the NSW government. Several other independent ecologists had also pointed out problems and errors in the EIS to the government but were ignored. It might be added that certain politicians currently appearing before the ICAC on corruption allegations were involved in the approval process.

The next day we were in action again. This time the bulk of the people in the camp went to Boggabri and protested outside the Whitehaven offices for World Environment day. The police came and moved us on. No arrests; back to camp; another double action day; another action that stopped the bulldozers. Everyone had a part to play. The demonstration outside Whitehaven offices may not have stopped the bulldozers but it diverted the attention of the police and the company causing them to fragment their resources allowing us to penetrate their defences.

My partner and I left the next day to return to our home just as a large convoy set off from Sydney to continue the good work that the activists in the camp were doing to slow and hopefully stop the desecration of the beautiful Leard State forest from the immoral mining company and their corrupt political backers.

We are many and if we act together we can stop mountains from being moved and forests being destroyed. I urge you take up the fight to save our land from those that would destroy it to line their own pockets. It’s our common wealth… not theirs. Thanks to all our friends at Maules creek both old and new.

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photo Des Pensable – protest action at Boggabri outside White haven offices , 5th June, 2014

see also

‘Green-type’ mining protesters a saviour for farmers

Farmers in court seeking urgent injunction to stop work on winter clearing in Leard Forest

Maules Creek protest reach fever point, trees planted in clearing as ‘unlawful’ bulldozing continues

How to halt a bulldozer army while overcoming a fear of heights

A love letter to all who fight at #leardblockade from Maules Creek farmer eco-warrior Ros Druce –