A Trip Down The Rabbit Hole: Rosemary Penwarden Reports From The Fonterra Studholme Expansion Resource Consent Hearing

Rosemary Penwarden spent a day in the fantasy world of “Business as Usual” opposing Fonterra’s ten-fold expansion of its South Canterbury Studholme milk drying plant. Find out what it feels like to take a trip down the rabbit hole:

http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/380579/fonterra-has-no-future-do-we

 

It’s Time To Break Free From Fossil Fuels

From May 4-16, 2016, a global wave of mass actions will target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects — to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground and accelerate the just transition to 100% renewable energy.

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In Aotearoa, there will be actions in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. All of the actions will adhere to a strictly non-violent kaupapa and will be accessible for all with different levels of involvement available.

When it comes to the future of our planet, it’s fossil fuels or us. So we encourage everyone who can to get involved in these actions. You can sign up for actions here: https://nz.breakfree2016.org/ and you can also join each action on Facebook:

Auckland: https://www.facebook.com/events/1133726439991775/
Wellington: https://www.facebook.com/events/159524387777137/
Christchurch: https://www.facebook.com/events/1702837439985045/
Dunedin: https://www.facebook.com/events/1066761856715041/

Fonterra’s coal-fired climate folly

by Jeanette Fitzsimons

Why would Fonterra spend several million dollars on a process lasting nearly a year, seeking planning consent for a huge new milk drier that it knows will never be built?Perhaps that’s not a lot of money to them – after all, one million is only three months’ salary for their CEO.

Fonterra’s proposed Studholme project, just outside of Waimate in South Canterbury, would see two new spray driers powered by two immense coal boilers – one 65MW, the other 50.

 

one lump or twoThis is the biggest new coal burning project in the country, with the hearing happening just as our Minister for Climate Change is about to travel to New York to sign the Paris agreement where we undertook to reduce our greenhouse emissions a totally inadequate 11% below 1990 levels. (It’s even more inadequate when creative accounting turns this into more like +10%).

Fonterra is already the second biggest coal burner in the country and grew its coal use by 38% between 2008-2013. They pay lip service to climate change but in practice are totally wedded to coal.

This new plant, if it is built and runs at capacity, would produce some 100,000 tonnes a year of greenhouse gas emissions (similar to its Darfield plant), plus the much more global warming potential of the methane and nitrous oxide from nearly half a million new cows that would be required to supply the milk. Continue reading

From Edendale to Auckland, They Came With One Message: Fonterra, Quit Coal

We think this is the first-ever political protest in the small Southland town of Edendale

An unambiguous message outside the massive Fonterra plant in the small Southland town of Edendale. Great work by Coal Action Murihiku.

On Monday 4 April, as Fonterra launched its bid for resource consent for a massive coal-fired expansion of its Studholme plant in South Canterbury, which if consented and built further worsening greenhouse gas emissions at a critical time for the climate, ordinary New Zealanders up and down the nation took action in their local community. There were many voices, but one message: Fonterra, quit coal.

Fonterra responded with greenwash, claiming that they were on our side, and that their new Studholme boilers would, if built, use 20% biomass. But in fact their resource consent application documents say the boilers would use up to 20% biomass, and admit that “up to 20%” is mostly likely to mean “0%”.

It’s time to stop the spin, Fonterra. Actions speak a whole lot louder than words. You must take real, measurable, progressive steps to get off coal and onto renewable sources of energy.

Outside a Fonterra distribution plant in Christchurch

Outside a Fonterra distribution plant in Christchurch

Outside Fonterra's Brightwater factory near Nelson

Outside Fonterra’s Brightwater factory near Nelson

Auckland Coal Action sends the message loud and clear

Auckland Coal Action sends the message loud and clear

 

Outside Fonterra's flash HQ

Outside Fonterra’s flash HQ

Poster placed in an Auckland window

Poster placed in an Auckland window

A Tale Of Two Hospitals

Christchurch is rebuilding two hospitals – the central one and one at Burwood. One is installing state-of-the-art waste wood boilers, the other plans, bizarrely, to move two existing coal boilers on to the site, costing millions of dollars just to shift in some dirty energy.

Climate and health conscious people around the country and particularly in Canterbury have been vocal about the insanity of this and now there is a glimmer of hope. The tender documents were withdrawn last year and have been reissued. The wording is such that it could be possible to avoid coal.

Jeanette Fitzsimons gives the background and explores the arguments in The Press last week: http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/77738911/why-a-hospital-should-not-be-burning-coal

Amid NZ coal mine closures, layoffs, do we need two new mines?

Last week was a bad week for coal mines on the West Coast.

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Work on the Denniston Plateau has now stopped.

Early in the week Solid Energy announced 24 workers would lose their jobs from the Stockton mine, and by the end of the week Bathurst announced that it is putting the Denniston mine on hold, laying off 12 workers.

Terrible news for those workers and their families.

At the heart of this is the same issue that sent Solid Energy under: plummeting coking coal prices – a price that has continued to fall, and was again cited as the reason for Solid’s new layoffs.

Over on the Denniston Plateau, Bathurst’s woes have stemmed, in the first instance, from the long-signalled closure of the Holcim plant in Westport, its biggest client. Bathurst has had to seek domestic buyers for its high grade coking coal, because of the low international price.

Continue reading

The Grand Round: Dr Briary Crawford Zachernuk Speaks On Climate Change And Health

Climate change is a public health emergency – the biggest health threat of the 21st century, but also the biggest opportunity to improve health. Dr Briary Crawford Zachernuk recently told Kew Hospital doctors in Invercargill what that public health emergency will mean for the medical profession, and what they can do in response, and you can listen to her excellent talk in four parts here:

https://soundcloud.com/briary-crawford-zachernuk/introduction

https://soundcloud.com/briary-crawford-zachernuk/direct-impacts

https://soundcloud.com/briary-crawford-zachernuk/ecosystem-mediated

https://soundcloud.com/briary-crawford-zachernuk/human-system-mediated-impacts-cobenefits-what-you-can-do

Briary is a member of OraTaiao, the NZ Climate and Health Council, and you can find out much more about their vital work on their website.

Briary also provided doctors with these links explaining how we know climate change exists, and is caused by humans:

http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report/our-changing-climate/introduction

http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/human-contribution-to-gw-faq.html#.Vrl2w1L81dg

http://climate.nasa.gov/faq/