Earth First! | 26.10.2009 11:08 | Climate Chaos
Liz Cartmel, a protester at the site said “We recognise the important role coal mining has played in the local economy in the past, but at a time where our future survival hangs in the balance we need to work towards a future without climate destroying coal. Our only way out of the climate crisis is to reduce consumption and to use renewable energies such as wind and solar.”
Andrew Kirkman adds: “As local people can attest, the handful of jobs that opencast coal mining provides hardly compensate for the noise, traffic and pollution that we have to suffer. Local people fought long and hard against the this mine, not just for our sakes but also for that of our children.”
A recent study into the health impacts of opencast mining shows that it is not only bad for the environment but also human health. Published in August 2009 the Coal Health Study found a much higher incidence of heart and respiratory diseases in areas blighted by opencast coal mining, than in the general population. (3)
This action is part of an upsurge in protests against new coal. Last week saw a 1000-strong blockade at Radcliffe-on-Soar power station near Nottingham. In South Lanarkshire a protest camp, complete with treehouses, tunnels and other defences, is resisting coal extraction at Mainshill opencast mine – the sixth to open in the area. Protesters are currently preventing felling of woodland. On 5th October Ravenstruther coal rail depot was shut down for the day as protesters blockaded lorries from unloading coal onto trains destined for Drax power station in Yorkshire.
Press phone 0845 458 9595
Phone on Site 07722 727 065
Notes to the editor
(1)The principles behind Earth First! are non-hierarchical organisation
and the use of direct action to confront, stop and eventually reverse the
forces that are responsible for the destruction of the Earth and its
inhabitants. EF! is not a cohesive group or campaign, but a banner for
people who share similar philosophies to work under.
(2)Shipley opencast mine hit the headlines last year when activists squatted a derelict house on the site to resist the opening of the site. The eviction lasted for nine days and raised the profile of UK Coal's activities in Derbyshire as well as their project costs.
(3)Details of the research can be found at www.coalhealthstudy.org