Giant Xstrata Coal Mine Challenged Over Climate Change Impacts

Wed, 2011-08-24 10:49Graham Readfearn
Graham Readfearn's picture

Giant Xstrata Coal Mine Challenged Over Climate Change Impacts

Xstrata test pit being dug near Wandoan, Queensland

A GIANT mine planned in Queensland, Australia, is facing a court challenge over the impacts that burning its coal will have on rising sea-levels, global temperatures and ocean acidification.

The Swiss-owned mining company Xstrata wants to extract about 30 million tonnes of coal a year for the next 30 years from the mine next to the small township of Wandoan.

According to figures from Xstrata, once all emissions are counted for the life of the mine - including the burning of the coal - some 1.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases will be released into the atmosphere.

The mine would be the state’s largest and one of the biggest in the southern hemisphere in a country which is already the world’s leading coal exporter. The mining lease covers 32,000 hectares (123 sq miles).

Environment group Friends of the Earth Brisbane is challenging the mine’s lease and environmental authority, already granted conditionally by the Queensland State Government, in the state’s land court.

As the case started, FoE spokesperson Bradley Smith said the case was one of “David v Goliath”. 

Taking on a billion dollar monolith like Xstrata is no mean feat, however it’s a fight worth having.  The slow creeping impacts from climate change will have a significant impact on Australia’s future; establishing new mines and burning more fossil fuels is a backward step for our country.

Ten local landholders are also objecting to the mine on several grounds, including the effects of dust, vibration, potential water contamination, effects on cattle and health.

Xstrata is defending it’s applications to mine the site, saying it takes its responsibility to reduce it’s climate chnage footprint “seriously”.

Several high-profile key witnesses are scheduled to appear on behalf of FoE, who will argue the mine’s impact will be measurable on a global scale.

A statement already filed to the court comes from Dr Malte Meinhausen, a leading climate researcher from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne.

The statement says emissions from the single mine will be enough to flood an additional 23,000 homes around the world by the year 2080. 

Because the mine is focussed on exporting the coal to burn in power stations in Asia, FoE points out the emissions are not counted against Australia’s greenhouse accounts.

Dr Meinhausen’s statement says the emissions from the mine are equal to about three years of emissions from the entire country.

Another expert witness, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, is currently a co-ordinating lead author for a chapter on the impacts of climate change on oceans for the next Inter-government Panel on Climate Change assessment report.

Prof Hoegh-Guldberg’s statement to the court says the mine’s emissions will impact the Great Barrier Reef, in terms of raising global temperatures and increasing ocean acidification.

The environment group wants the court to recommend the state Government refuse the mine’s lease and the environmental authority, which have already been conditionally granted.

The FoE climate change arguments are set to be heard in court on week two of the hearing, which is scheduled to conclude on 2 September.

Pic: Xstrata media library.

 

Previous Comments

It doesn’t matter where the coal is shipped to & burned, as long as it’s burned under the same roof ( our planet) it affects us all. The only way it wouldn’t is if was burned on another planet or 100% sequestered. Neither is possible at present.

Good thing it will be burned here too. That much CO2 will help a small bit in replentishing out pathetically thin CO2 content and help to increase food production.

And since it will have unmeasurably small effect on tempertures, it is a definate win win for everyone.

Of curse the court case will only result in wasted time and money so … Three cheers to the mine owners….

And thank you for helping to Green our planet.

Your kidding, right?

Fossil fuels are a wonder. They can dig this stuff up with heavy equipment and ship it thousands of miles in massive ships - expending huge energy at every step - and yet it provides abundant and cheap power along with associated wealth.

Leaving it in the ground doesnt seem to be an option.

Of course, you’re shrieking about a 0.12% increase in worldwide CO2 emissions. What amount of planetary temperature increase does that correlate to, according to your magic computer models?

My guess: not even measurable.

Meanwhile, unemployment in the US is close to 10%. Good that you fools have your priorities in order.

“What amount of planetary temperature increase does that correlate to, according to your magic computer models?”

Mmmm, about 4 degrees as it currently stands.

For people who don’t have a clue, that is meaningless. For people who do, there are many implications.

A2,I can always count on you for some good comedy and you dont disappoint this time either.

As I said “about 4 degrees”. I didn’t say, 6 or 10 or 20 or any other figure outside the range of expected rises in temps. I was within the range that you clearly pointed out yourself.

“by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) as likely to be in the range 2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C. Values substantially higher than 4.5°C cannot be excluded”

OMG it was within the range, it’s a sinister lie! Get a grip.

Oh Magoo, you’ve done it again. Lol

“FilluhM, again shows just how analysis challenged, and Dunning-Krugerish, he is.”

Wow, A2, get some originality. Your need to ape is disturbing.

“Remember my point was that his claim 4C could not be achieved by a POINT ONE TWO PERCENT increase in CO2 from the burning of all that coal.”

Errr, I’m not working with your phony figures. I’m simply stating the predicted rise stated by most of the authorities on the matter.

“The average surface temperature of the Earth is likely to increase by 2 to 11.5°F (1.1-6.4°C) by the end of the 21st century, relative to 1980-1990, with a best estimate of 3.2 to 7.2°F (1.8-4.0°C)”

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/futuretc.html

“The IPCC predicts that increases in global mean temperature of less than 1.8 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 3 degrees Celsius) above 1990 levels”

http://climate.nasa.gov/effects/

“New estimates accounting for recent emission trends indicate that by 2030, CO2 emissions may be 17 to 52 per cent higher than estimated by the IPCC in 2007.

This means that a global warming of 0.8 to 1.5 ºC by 2030 is likely to be unavoidable.”

http://www.csiro.au/resources/Climate-Change-Continues–ci_pageNo-2.html

You can make up whatever figures you like to build your strawman. I’m simply repeating the facts.

Maybe you could see about getting on the next IPCC. Let me know how that goes.

‘FilluhM, here’s some more grist for your catastrophism, extremism mill:
Global Coal Consumption Jumps Almost 50% – Yet Global Temps Drop!
From here: http://notrickszone.com/’

Sheesh! You guys do like to cite non-science sites.

NoTricksZone=ClimateRealists=WUWT=BishopHill
=HockeySchtick=CO2Science=JoNo(f’ing idea)va.

All set up and run by climate criminals.

So. Let me see and play you at your own game but do my own thing at W4Trees and see if you can spot why the cherry pick of dates and the cherry pick of temperature series at NTZ:

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/to:2011/mean:12/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/to:2011/trend:2011/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1980/to:2011/mean:12/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1980/to:2011/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1980/to:2011/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1980/to:2011/trend

Go on, you can play around over there at your hearts content. Maybe the truth will dawn. But I am not holding my breath.

And on the tricks of the likes of they at NoTricksZone (Hah! They do like their Orwellian monikers) the comments here are informative:

I’ll start calling them skeptics when they start being skeptical …

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/07/ill_start_calling_them_skeptic.php

Your are not Toby by any chance? Similar bunkum feed.

‘FilluhM, here’s some more grist for your catastrophism, extremism mill:
Global Coal Consumption Jumps Almost 50% – Yet Global Temps Drop!
From here: http://notrickszone.com/’

Now I have noticed this tack from elsewhere on the blogosphere.

Perhaps your are not Toby but Jay.

Now be clear about:

were the temps have dropped and why,

why such is related to a short time effect whereas the effect of CO2 additions is long term and cumulative.

Also consider that temperature is only a measure of sensible heat.

You may like to go and sit it out in Texas or Oklahoma or on the East Coast of the US right now and then try to convince people that the world is cooling still. Good luck with that!

“Perhaps your are not Toby but Jay.”

He was very determined to post under the name anonymous2 while accusing others they were anonymous because they used a pseudonym.

Despite multiple explanations & a request to provide proof that he uses that name on other blogs he refused & continued with troll techniques.

Posting under a name like Toby or Jay would mean we could track his comment history across the blogosphere. Clearly he had something to hide.

And the doctor told him that 0.12% percent of the cells in his body were cancerous and he was going to die if he didn’t do as he was told… “oh well never mind” he said, “I will be just fine, I’ll just ignore the cancer experts, just like people ignore climate experts”, I’ll be just fine, it’s all a big conspiracy, a big lie.

He was DEAD wrong… how inconvenient.

Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. Sometimes a slow cancer is better left alone.

and become experts who actually know what they are talking about.

Are you a Medical oncologist, Radiation oncologist, Surgical oncologist,are you medical in any way shape or form Rick, if not why are you making statements about cancer?

This “It’s only a tiny percentage of the whole” is absolute drivel, and shows the total and utter gall of those who push it and their ability to confuse those who don’t bother to fact check.

Similar

* He wasn’t driving drunk, he just had a trace of blood alcohol; 800 ppm (0.08%) is the limit in all 50 US states, and limits are lower in most other countries).

* Don’t worry about your iron deficiency, iron is only 4.4 ppm of your body’s atoms (Sterner and Eiser, 2002).

* Ireland isn’t important; it’s only 660 ppm (0.066%) of the world population.

* That ibuprofen pill can’t do you any good; it’s only 3 ppm of your body weight (200 mg in 60 kg person).

* The Earth is insignificant, it’s only 3 ppm of the mass of the solar system.

* Your children can drink that water, it only contains a trace of arsenic (0.01 ppm is the WHO and US EPA limit).

* Ozone is only a trace gas: 0.1 ppm is the exposure limit established by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends an ozone limit of 0.051 ppm.

* A few parts per million of ink can turn a bucket of water blue. The color is caused by the absorption of the yellow/red colors from sunlight, leaving the blue. Twice as much ink causes a much stronger color, even though the total amount is still only a trace relative to water.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/CO2_is_a_trace_gas.html

‘Of course, you’re shrieking about a 0.12% increase in worldwide CO2 emissions.’

Ah! The curved ball that started the torrent of nonsense here from A2 & co.

What does that 0.12% increase refer to? I think your statement is from a confused state of mind.

“So many censored comments!

d’Smogblog is in a censorship frenzy again.

What are they trying to hide?”

Trolling that you admitted to.

“Why do people come here?

To laugh in your face and rub your nose in it, that’s why.

Compared to what you idiots have got coming to you, it’s really nothing, considering the irreparable economic damage your fraudulent shennanigans have caused.

Expect more of it, and worse.”

http://www.desmogblog.com/sp-downgrades-planet-earth-citing-unbalanced-carbon-budget-reckless-political-debates-and-role-deniers#comment-721720

You didn’t expect that to bite you on the arse did you? So what I said in reply:

“Great! So you admit you are a troll, here for no other purpose but heckling & harassment. So if you are banned (again), it won’t be a surprise to you & your usual statement of “what are desmogblog trying to hide?” will have some true meaning for you then. They are trying to hide the shit.”

Doesn’t sound so silly now does it? You guys are here for trolling & have no constructive arguments, except for maybe Rick James & a couple of others. But A1 & A2, you guys are trolls.

Sorry Guys….

All of the above comments about CO2 causing silly amounts of warming are now confirmed to be nonsense.

The CERN Cloud experiment report was published today and …. well…

IT’S THE SUN STUPID!!!

game set and match.

just google it.

Oh yes…
And before you say it… Phil!

yes the warmist blogs are desperately trying play it down and feverishly looking for some way to discredit Svensmark again.

it won’t work of course, the truth is out.

that Svensmark is still wrong.

The problems with Svensmark’s expectations of GCR and cloud formation correlation are manifold and include the facts that when recent data is considered the correlation falls away and also when higher latitude, where GCRs are more prominent, data is considered there is also a failure in the correlation. This new paper does nothing to counter that.

as John Cook has it at:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/ConCERN-Trolling-on-Cosmic-Rays-Clouds-and-Climate-Change.html

<–quote–>

Moreover, we can examine the claims made by Svensmark, Shaviv, and others who proclaim GCRs drive climate and see whether or not they hold up. They don’t:

<–endquote–>

Now for more on this visit:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/08/the-cerncloud-results-are-surprisingly-interesting/

and http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/10/taking-cosmic-rays-for-a-spin/

“The CERN Cloud experiment report was published today and …. well…

IT’S THE SUN STUPID!!!

game set and match.”

If you get your news from the right wing fox news/WUWT yes. If you look at what the scientists actually had to say in their summary instead of inventing your own conclusions, it’s an entirely different matter.

Why is it that when one goes to the source, we find something completely different to what a denier interpretation?

Here is the CERN summary for the press:

http://press.web.cern.ch/press/PressReleases/Releases2011/downloads/CLOUD_SI_press-briefing_29JUL11.pdf

“It is now urgent to identify the additional nucleating vapours, and whether
their sources are mainly natural or from human activities.”

“This result leaves open
the possibility that cosmic rays could also influence climate. However, it is premature to conclude that cosmic
rays have a significant influence on climate until the additional nucleating vapours have been identified, their
ion enhancement measured, and the ultimate effects on clouds have been confirmed.”

You seem to experience an alternate reality.

‘You seem to experience an alternate reality.’

I am beginning to think Plant Food is a clone of Babbling Bob:

Bob Carter’s climate counter-consensus is an alternate reality http://theconversation.edu.au/bob-carters-climate-counter-consensus-is-an-alternate-reality-1553

“Bob Carter’s climate counter-consensus is an alternate reality”

Lionel, it’s funny how you can go to numerous blogs like the conversation, or climate shifts http://www.climateshifts.org/ or real climate & actually ask or engage with the actual scientists responsible for much of the research & ensuing policy, but few skeptics do.

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, as Graham points out, is a lead author on the next IPCC assessment report & mans sites like climate shifts & the conversation in his spare time to answer questions & debate the science………but very few skeptics choose to take the challenge. The door is open for debate but no one is knocking. Instead they create blogs with their own unique interpretation without any reseacrh or papers of their own to back their assertions. Or as Delingpole puts it, an interpreter of interpretations.

“the multi Billion dollar AGW industry ”

Where exactly does these billion dollar agw industry or any of their owners sit on the forbes rich list or richest companies? I can’t quite find their names or see their companies for all the fossil fuel companies & owners in the way.

http://www.therichest.org/business/the-worlds-biggest-companies-2010-2011/
http://www.forbes.com/wealth/billionaires#p_1_s_arank_-1__-1

For the readers that can’t be bothered pasting the link into their browser.

1) Walmart
2) Shell
3) EXXON
4) BP
5) TOYOTA

Plant Food: “Quick everyone, look over there!!”

RE: “about 30 million tonnes of coal a year for the next 30 years” and their statement that all this extraction, processing, transportation and burning will release 1.3 billion total tons of carbonic acid gas (CO2) indicates that this company is lying through their teeth.

Please note the relationship of carbon dioxide to carbon is 3.66. Coal is mostly carbon. Not to mention all the diesel fuel burning for mining, etc.

So who cares….

It’s a non-issue now that CO2 is once again just harmless plant food..

See above CERN comment

‘See above CERN comment’

I am becoming increasingly conCERNed that you are allowed to persist with this non-argument.

Plant food, how did the extra CO2 help Texas? What if we had 10,000 PPM, how much would have helped them?

All the extra CO2 means nothing without water. Maybe they should adapt & just all move to where there is water.

Rick, do you feel the need to pick up the troll baton now that anonymous plant fool & A2 are not around anymore?

“No wait - we could get the brainiac climate scientists to figure out ”

Maybe we could get armchair experts like yourself to give us their opinion based on their journal of hearsay & opinion. You guys seem to be successfully under achieving in every other facet of society so why not this? Oh wait……you already do. So how is that extra CO2 benefiting Texas? Maybe you could apply to be an emissary to Texas on behalf of EXXON & let them know not to fear, the extra CO2 will allow their plants to grow faster. Just sayin.

“Phil Asks; What if we had 10,000 PPM, how much would have helped them?

Do you have any idea how we could possible get that much CO2?
I don’t.”

It was a hypothetical…hello?!

“With some luck we might be able to reach 800 ppm if we all contribute a bit more.”

Ok, so at about 392 PPM now & that has helped Texas how? How will 800 PPM help them if there is NO WATER!