On Monday the 16th of May I went in to the Darwin City mall to document this fun, theatrical protest by young activists from community group Climate Action Darwin. The protest was a response to recent figures released by the INPEX GAS Environmental Impact Statement which has measured the expected carbon footprint of the project to be in the range of 5 million tonnes a year – the equivalent of 1 million cars on the road every year for the next forty years!
While NT politicians are falling over each other to lure INPEX and it’s money to our community, it is important for us to question what the environmental impact of such projects will be. Natural Gas is often touted as a ‘transition fuel’ from petrol to whatever electric dynamos we will be driving into the future with, but it still has a huge greenhouse footprint – and in the case of the massive LOCK THE GATE campaign in NSW and QLD the processes for extracting it can also be incredibly harmful to the environment. Basically it’s not actually that clean…
As part of the day I decided to do a quick vox pop of people in the city and what they thought of it. Local MP John Elferlink who had set up his sandwich board down the road from the protest also gave his Liberal opinion – that basically economics trumps ecology – oh, and the local Liberals are still ‘revisiting’ their climate policy right now… Sorry mate, that’s not very convincing. The young people I interviewed in the city felt very differently, and mark the generation gap in this kind of topic.
Surely, if we are aiming toward a carbon neutral economy, we can’t let off major industrial projects that continue to increase our greenhouse emissions far into the future – that’s exactly the kind of thinking that has created the climate change issues that we are now having to face.
So far, the NT Government has only suggested that the carbon offset schemes for the project are voluntary… They claim they need to wait for a price on carbon to be delivered from the Federal Government so we can all get on with restructuring our economy for the next industrial revolution.
Bring it on!
Thanks to Damn Moroda who volunteered their song ‘To Stop Me’ for the backing track to the video.