Friday, June 13, 2008

coal on the rocks

In August last year Al Gore said

I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozersand preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants


Here we go.

Two weeks ago there was a mass trespass on the proposed site of a new open cast coal mine in Derbyshire.

This week the Camp for Climate Action announced that its big day of action on August 9th will aim to shut down Kingsnorth power station in Kent.

Kingsnorth is due to have a new coal power station - the first in decades in the UK - built. Those wild anarcho-primitivist radicals in the House of Commons Environmental Audit Select Committee laid into the plan last week.

(The Guardian, however, decided that their Climate Change Summit's lead sponsor will be Kingsnorth's owners E-on. Be interesting to see how the Guardian cover the Camp for Climate Action.)

This morning a train taking coal to Drax power station - the UK's largest single source of CO2, most countries emit less - was halted and occupied. The protesters have hung a banner saying Leave It In The Ground from the train. They have supplies for several days and are unloading the coal with shovels. As the train is blocking the line, no more coal can get into Drax.

Drax have responded with their stuff about being the cleanest coal-fired power station (once again, I say that's like bragging about being the least murderous serial killer), and say they're 'not all bad' because they plan to burn around 10% biomass.

They don't mention where this biomass will be grown; will it involve clearing virgin forest? Or will it be on existing crop land (thus somewhere down the line meaning someone will cut virgin forest for new crop land)?

As it's a huge area involved, equivalent to about 2% of the UK, it's a question that wants answering.

And the biomass thing is a red herring anyway. Drax is physically incapable of using less than around 85% coal. Which means that if we want to tackle climate change, we need to shut it down.

For more on the Drax and other protests, see The Coal Hole.

1 comment:

Jim Bliss said...

... ain't no big surprise.