In the Christian community we are trained to rehearse the multitude of reasons why we should live a life of thankfulness, when in reality one reason should be enough.
On rare occasions a situation presents itself as the mirror opposite. An idea, event, strategy, or vision emerges, so alien, that it must be resisted. Many reasons for this resistance can be mustered, but one would be enough. Such is the situation with the proposed Adani mine.
The more we learn about the mine and the consequences associated with its development the more horrified we should become. Indeed, horrified enough to engage in legitimate civil disobedience. Civil disobedience should rarely be invoked, but it is a legitimate right of protest when legislation legitimises harm to the community.
The mine presents a tangible threat to the health and well being of the Great Barrier Reef, a world heritage listed treasure that is already under considerable strain because of factors related to global warming. This danger should be enough to stop the mine.
Tourism is arguably the most significant employer of people in central and northern Queensland both now and into the future. Jobs associated with tourism are always going to be greater than even the grossly inflated approximation of jobs issued in the propaganda associated with the mine development. Any threat to these jobs should be enough to stop the mine.
Adani has asked for an injection of 1$B in tax payers money to build the necessary railway link. 1 billion dollars invested anywhere, in anything, will generate jobs. Investing 1 $B of tax payers money into a privately owned enterprise, without which it presumably is not viable should be enough to stop the mine.
It has been revealed that the Adani family have a complex network of funds and trusts, finding their way into the tax haven of the Cayman Islands. It is clear this enterprise will minimise the value of a common asset for the common good, in Australia or India, while maximising the benefit for one very wealthy and powerful family this should be enough to stop the mine.
It has been recently revealed that the Queensland government has inexplicably granted Adani unlimited access to water. This water will be partly drawn from the surface when it is available and partly from the Great Artesian Basin. This news has sent shock waves of horror into the farming community who will necessarily have their water security put at risk; and by those in proximity to the mine, who risk being effected by vast quantities of contaminated water. How such an arrangement could have been made is inexplicable and this should be enough to stop the mine.
It is accepted by environmentalists, scientists, economists and many in the business community that the age of coal is over. Coal will continue to make its contribution for decades, but will decline in significance as transitioning to a low carbon future accelerates. Now is not the time to commence a massive enterprise based on 20th century technology that for its viability needs to envisage its life decades into the future. The planet simply cannot take the added density of green house gases that this and other fossil fuel enterprises generate, without severe consequences. It is morally reprehensible to commence one of the largest fossil fuel projects in Australia when the mine’s potential contribution to global warming and its attendant costs is well understood. This should be enough to stop the mine.
The poor of the world must be empowered. Readily available energy is a significant component to this empowerment. Australia’s ballooning power prices should be enough to demonstrate that providing coal to a multi-national company, or cartel, is no guarantee that the poor will be able to afford the power connected to them in this manner. The poor need to be able to access and control their own energy production. Various sustainable energy technologies give the poor this capacity, as I know first-hand from the life of my sister in Ethiopia’s Danakil desert. The poor can enjoy many of the benefits of 21st century’s digital economy through simple, low cost renewable energy technology, over which they maintain control. This should be enough to stop the mine.
The Adani mine proposal is a very serious breach of trust. Its potential to misuse public resources in the present, let alone contribute to a far more dangerous future is enormous.
It is my contention that this proposal will harm Australia, its people, our environment and contribute to the destabilising of life on this planet. For this reason I advocate that it is morally appropriate, even a moral imperative to engage in actions of civil disobedience in relation to the mine’s development, should it finally be given the green light, as long as those actions do not put life in danger.