Stop Kingsnorth: no to new coal power

This blog has now moved to www.stopkingsnorth.org

1 April 2008

Live from the Coal Hole

Fossil fools aren’t in short supply these days. Today they’re being uncovered all across the country, and we decided to go straight to the source of the problem. Ffos-y-Fran opencast coal mine in south Wales will produce 10 million tonnes of coal over the next 15 years – which when burnt will release over 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Today we decided to make a stand for just leaving coal in the ground.

Over thirty protestors have entered the mine and occupied some of the enormous digging machines that are scraping out the coal hole. Another group have decided to block the front gate, and are stopping anyone getting in and out of the main compound. Yet more energetic activists have scaled the largest building on site – the coal washery – and are wrestling with an ambitious 36 metre long banner which declares: “Coal, the black hole in UK climate policy.”

Ffos-y-Fran (pronounced fors-ur-vran) is a potential monster, which will spread itself over 1000 acres, the area of a thousand football pitches – a 200 metre deep monster, just waiting to belch forth coal across the country, and coal dust across the town of Merthyr. It’s taken us in the climate change movement a long time to catch up with locals who have been opposing the mine, and others like it, for decades. In a short film on the website www.thecoalhole.org, local resident Alison is keen to make the links between local and global:

“I know that a lot of the climate groups are listening to us now – they’ve been shocked to hear about the scale of this scheme. When you think about it, Aberthaw [power station, in Swansea] is the largest polluter in Wales, and we’re feeding the largest polluter in the country. It doesn’t make sense.”
For coal, stopping Kingsnorth is the end of the line - the last chance to stop the carbon getting into the atmosphere. Ffos-y-Fran represents the beginning of the line. We know from the timidity of our government on climate issues that once the coal is out of the ground, it will probably be burnt. Al Gore said that he couldn’t understand why there weren’t rings of young people stopping bulldozers from building new coal fired power stations. Good thought Al, we’ve got to stop Kingsnorth. But today, we decided to take you at your word a few steps up the supply chain.
Pictures, videos, updates and more at www.thecoalhole.org
Flickr pictures of the protest

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