Generic photo of Macarthur Coal's Coppabella Mine southwest of Mackay. Source: Macarthur Coal Ltd. via Bloomberg News EDITOR'S NOTE: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVING.
Generic photo of Macarthur Coal's Coppabella Mine southwest of Mackay. Source: Macarthur Coal Ltd. via Bloomberg News EDITOR'S NOTE: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVING. Supplied

Gympie horror at push for new coal fired generation

Letter to the Editor

I AM horrified by news reports that a group of Australian politicians are pushing for new coal fired electrical generations.

CLICK HERE: The MPs fighting the PM on coal-fired power stations

In contrast, Gympie Community Solar Association in encouraging households and businesses to install solar systems on their roofs to reduce fossil fuel emissions. Why the politicians are wrong is explained below.

The IPPCC ARC5 report in 2014 is the current collected knowledge from data based scientific work with contributions from all nations.


Generic view of the Stanmore Coal's Isaac Plains mine.
Generic view of the Stanmore Coal's Isaac Plains mine.

The Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report Summary Chapter for Policy makers summarised the key findings on Climate Change and provides guidelines for policy and adaptive strategies to mitigate its adverse impacts. These reports are available at for anyone to access.

The report is very clear that human activity, especially fossil fuel (coal, oil and gas) use has caused the rapid rise in atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases, causing the planet to warm by nearly 1°C above pre-industrial revolution levels. Since the 1950's, these are the primary cause of the climate changes we now experience.

These human induced changes have resulted in:

Atmospheric and ocean warming, snow and ice has diminished and sea level has risen

Decreased cold temperature extremes and increased warm temperature extremes are recorded and

Increased extreme sea levels and extreme precipitation events in some regions.

In Australia a number of events have occurred that are worse because of global warming:

Bushfires are more frequent and more severe leading to the new classification, catastrophic

Ocean warming has caused serious coral bleaching on east and west coasts

Weather events are more severe, cyclones in the north, droughts throughout the country broken by high intensity rainfall causing floods and damage to infrastructure and agricultural lands, threatening food production and causing periodic high food prices of some items, and

Ecological changes with wildlife and crops shifting to the south to find new living or growing areas.

Modelling the impacts of CO2 emissions indicates where our planet is headed in terms of global warming.

These results are so ghastly, the Paris Accord of 2015 recommended trying to keep global warming below 1.5°C rather than leave thing as they are now.

The more the global temperature rises, the more severe and extreme all the points above will become. The IPCC report found that human caused greenhouse gas emissions are mainly driven by population size, economic activity, lifestyle, energy use, land use patterns, technology and climate policy.

Politicians need to address all of these urgently to help minimise the adverse impacts we have created by use of fossil fuels.

Politicians who advocated for more new coal fired electrical generation are stealing the future prosperity from future generations for their current political agendas.

As the modelled results show in the report, decisive action now, difficult as that is for our society, is essential to minimise the future impacts on the world and this is the least expensive option. The report outlines many policy objectives to mitigate climate change but the essential key is reduced emissions.

To help in this, Gympie Community Solar Association is encouraging all households and business to adopt solar systems on their roof tops as this will reduce fossil fuel emissions.

This is low cost electricity about 5 cents per kWh, despite the up front capital required. GCSA will analyse your power consumption and compare this to a range of solar options and demonstrate the financial effects and emissions saved by going solar.

Generally the pay back period is only four years for your solar investment. As GCSA does not sell anything other than the idea, we will direct anyone interested to the local installers. Contact us at 

Murray Keys,

President GCSA