Perth geologist Ric Davies participated in a Greenpeace-organised event called “Acts of Courage”.
I’m scared of heights – tall buildings, cliff tops and lifts. Glass lifts really get my blood pumping. Even the thought of it makes me nervous. But I’m fine with aeroplanes and helicopters, which kind of sounds a bit contradictory.
On Saturday, I faced my fears and made my way 50 metres up to the top of the main mast on the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior to show my support for a responsible resources industry.
Did I mention I’m also a geologist and I work in, and support, the resources industry? We all use natural resources extensively in our daily lives, from the moment we wake up in fact. The fact that toothpaste contains mineral sands really spins me
The products of the resources industry are everywhere – cars, phones, computers, houses, hospitals, transport, power, even money. All of these come from the ground, from mineral resources and human ingenuity. There’s a saying that “what’s yours is mined’ which, when you think about it, is very true.
But that’s not to say it should be open slather for mining.
At a global level it has been widely acknowledged that some areas should be off limits – Antarctica, for example. In Australia it has long been recognised that there are some areas that should not be mined, such as our National Parks. The Western Australian government also recently banned coal mining in the Margaret River. So we agree, mining in some areas is not a responsible thing to do.
In this context and looking to the future we know we have to drastically reduce our carbon emissions. And as United States President Barack Obama has said, “We don’t have time for a meeting of the flat-Earth society”.
The reality is that coal is going to be gradually replaced by other sources of energy. Coal usage will reduce, and the resources industry will adapt, as it always has.
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