Press Release No 6: 23.8.13

Independent Candidate in Gippsland Opposed to CSG

The only Independent candidate in the seat of Gippsland, Peter Gardner, has spoken out strongly against any development of Coal Seam Gas (CSG) and other fossil fuel developments.

Gardner pointed out that any methane leakage from wells was one hundred times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and rather than being a clean energy source was actually worse than coal. Obviously methane leakage will make climate change worse.

“As such I am a close ally of all the community groups opposed to CSG, tight gas and shale gas exploitation at Sale, Seaspray, Longford, Mirboo North, Morwell, Glengarry, Briagolong and other places. These include “Lock the Gate” groups at many of these locations. CSG exploration licences extended as far as Marlo and covered most of Gippsland,” he said.

Gardner noted that we had only burned about 10% of the earth’s fossil fuel reserves. According to the most reputable of climate scientists James Hansen, “our governments are working for the fossil fuel industry” and “if we burn all the fossil fuels more than half the planet will become uninhabitable… We are already experiencing more extreme events like floods and droughts but the long term consequences are far worse.”

In a similar vein Prof. Steven Sherwood of the University of NSW stated in the  New Scientist (17.11.12)“… if we fully ‘develop’ all of the world’s coal, tar sands, shales and other fossil fuels we run a high risk of ending up in a few generations with a largely unliveable planet”.

Jobs are always touted by developers as a major benefit for projects such as CSG but renewable energy projects provide far more employment without destroying or disrupting valuable farmland. The choice should be clear –  business as usual means humanity has no future. Choosing to develop renewable energy instead of fossil fuels gives humanity a chance.

Gardner made a plea for politicians to serve the public faithfully rather than pursuing personal ambition, for all parties to take climate change much more seriously, for them to jettison climate change deniers from their ranks and to once more take on a constructive bipartisan approach to this huge problem.

“Does the National Party represent the mining companies or does it represent the farmers and ordinary citizens of Gippsland?” he asked.