Religious leaders join NSW coal mining protest

Priests join lprotest

A Buddhist monk, a Catholic priest and Uniting Church ministers were at Maules Creek in NSW last week supporting local protesters trying to stop the expansion of mining in the area, reports The Newcastle Herald.

Thea Ormerod, president of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, said that though many believed religion and politics shouldn’t mix and such action might be seen as radical, they were following a well-worn path for people of faith.

She said leaders of major faiths had, at various times, issued statements holding that the Earth was precious, and exhorting followers to act either individually or communally to combat climate change. These traditions are rich with teachings about protecting the vulnerable and the relative unimportance of material wealth to human flourishing,' she said.

'Analysts warn that we can only burn up to one-fifth of the world’s known reserves of fossil fuels before creating an unacceptable risk of exceeding 2 degrees of warming. If we continue with business as usual, in just 15 years we would reach this limit.'

She said the moral requirement to address climate change had become urgent, yet current plans included doubling coal and gas exports over the next 10 years. 'Hubs for this development include areas such as the Galilee Basin near the Great Barrier Reef and Maules Creek in north-western NSW. Then there are local impacts.'

Photo: Church leaders have gathered at Maules Creek to protest against mine expansion

FULL STORY  Maules Creek mine protesters keep faith (The Newcastle Herald)

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