Photo c/o ABC
In the news this week it seems the unions are taking sides with the right. The Australian ran storys today telling us “Rival unions unite in push for mine deal” explaining the complexity of the politics calling to let the new coal mines come. The issue of coal mines really has exploded the bun fight between the left, right and middle of politics.
I’m sure all sides of politics really do want to protect jobs and the livelihood of whole regions that would be impacted if coal mining were to be stopped, be it for the good of Australians, or for votes and ideology.
I think the politicisation of climate change is the issue here.
It seems pretty clear to most now that global warming and climate change are real enough, and that to conquer them, we do need to stop burning coal, at some stage. But of course Australian business interests do not want to give up the handy resource we have so much of. Nor do they look forward to a transition. That’s where the politics comes in.
Clearly it couldn’t change overnight anyway, so continued coal mining is a given.
But for the good of all Australians it would be better for the unions and for all sides of politics to switch their concerns from the opening up of new mines – which quite frankly must have a limited future – to helping people transition to the thousands of jobs in the industries that must inevitably, if unfortunately take coals place. The good news for unions is that there are apparently many more jobs possible, especially if we can latch onto storing and exporting our seemingly unlimited sun and wind resources.
Tom Hunt 3/8/20