The first week of January has seen unprecedented temperatures throughout Australia with many records being broken. At the end of that week the Climate Commission released a report: "Off The Charts: Extreme Australian summer heat" which clearly links the events of that week with climate change. Unfortunately it recieved little or no mass media coverage. Read it here: http://climatecommission.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/CC_Jan_2013_Heatwave4.pdf
As Australia is battered by the heat of our changing climate, what better way to start the year than with a piece of street theatre to put the heat on those fuelling the global warming fire? Quit Coal in Melbourne gathered in the city to creatively call out the ANZ bank for it actively financing companies expanding coal exports from Australia including Centennial Coal, BHP, Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Whitehaven.
Dressed as the casualties of climate change (including Global Food Security, 35% of all species and The Amazon), the coal-dusted victims painfully “died” on the floor to the surprise of unsuspecting customers and officious managers, while comedian Rod Quantock preached to passersby the moral of this sad saga – If we wish to have any sort of a future, our big banks cannot be financing the expansion of the coal industry.
Of course, we didn’t come up with this stunt out of the blue – it was inspired by the action taken by Newcastle anti-coal advocate Jonathan Moylan.
On Tuesday January 8th, Jonathan successfully pulled off a hoax against Whitehaven Coal Limited. Moylan issued a fake media release on behalf of ANZ saying that the bank had pulled its $1.2 billion loan from Whitehaven Coal on ethical grounds. His action has invited public scrutiny on the practices of one of Australia’s leading banks who, since 2010, has been involved in loans totaling over $18 billion to companies looking to expand coal mining and export in Australia.
If you haven’t already, you can sign on to a petition asking ANZ to withdraw their loan from Whitehaven Coal.
Thanks to Justin Butler - FoEM
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