The Coal Lobby’s Latest Threat: Ditch Us And You’ll Never Have Cold Beer Again

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In case you haven’t noticed yet, coal is getting a clean-up.

You might currently associate the mineral with global warming, the pollution of the atmosphere, and the destruction of vital farming land. But Australia’s mining lobby is working hard to bring you around to another way of thinking.

Coal is good for humanity, says Prime Minister Tony Abbott. How exactly? This is the mining lobby’s latest response.

Yes, that’s right – if we don’t keep pumping our power stations with those little black fossils you can say goodbye to cold beer. The ingenious thing about this line of argument is it plays off the fact that, in our substantially warmer future, where fossil fuels have contributed to a significant increase in global temperatures, a well-chilled tinnie is going to be all the more valuable a commodity.

Cook the planet with coal, then pump up the power to the fridge and sink a cold one while the world (in many ways literally) burns.

The above image is courtesy of the NSW Minerals Council, and is just the latest in a string of attempts by the mining lobby to get its message out through the press and social media.

Earlier this month the Minerals Council of Australia tried to do the same, taking out advertisements in mainstream media and dropping memes on social media.

In this bizarre clip, the lobby group talks up coal’s ability to produce lower emissions, taking us inside a piece of the rock. The sweeping shots of the illuminated insides result in a scene that bares a striking resemblance to what most people imagine hell to look like. Somewhat predictably, that campaign didn’t go down too well.

 

 

The problem the mining industry – and particularly coal producers – have is that Australians like renewables and want the government to back them.

This was demonstrated in a recent Essential poll with a survey commissioned by the Climate Institute also showing a strong general desire for Australia to lead on climate change as well as support renewables.

Perhaps that explains some of the responses the NSW Minerals Council got on its Facebook page when it shared the beer meme.

 

As the mining lobby ramps up its efforts to rehabilitate the image of a rock doing more than its fair share to change the planet’s climate for the worse, you can be sure our coal-loving PM (or whoever is leading the Liberal Party by the time we return to the ballot box) will be receiving some solid support from the industry.

With mining companies able to deduct the cost of lobbying from their tax bill – to the tune of around $20 million per year all up – it’s a win-win for them to try maintain their influence in Canberra, even if they fail to win the rest of the country over with the threat of warm beer.

Max Chalmers

Max Chalmers is a former New Matilda journalist and editorial staff member. His main areas of interest are asylum seekers, higher education and politics.

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