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Coal sponsorship perverse, says Professor

Coal sponsorship perverse, says Professor; health effects worse than tobacco

Press release for immediate use – Auckland Coal Action
Saturday 17 November 2012

Tonight Auckland Coal Action (ACA) highlights the immorality of coal with a picket at an NZSO concert sponsored by national coal-miner Solid Energy.

Auckland University Professor Dr Klaus Bosselman comments, “Enjoying music thanks to Solid Energy’s coal operations is perverse and embarrassing and today unworthy of a cultural nation.” ACA spokesperson Alex Winter-Billington adds, “The NZSO should be fully state funded.”

According to the World Health Organization, “The effects of climate change on health will impact on most populations in the coming decades and put the lives and well-being of billions of people at increased risk.”1

“If we keep burning coal, the health effects of climate change will be bigger than AIDS, than heart disease, malaria -- bigger even than cancer,” Winter-Billington says.

Burning coal releases more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere than any other fossil fuel.

The air and water pollutants in coal-mining communities cause significantly higher rates of heart attack, stroke, cancer, birth defects, kidney, liver and brain damage and worsening of pulmonary diseases. 2

“Coal is by far the dirtiest form of energy in terms of climate and air pollution,” Winter-Billington continues, “and it’s worse for people’s health than tobacco ever was; but not just for the people using it, it impacts everyone alive and everyone who’s going to come after us: our children, our grandchildren, everyone.”

“Like tobacco companies in the past, Solid Energy is trying to make itself look like the ‘good guy’ through association with one of our national treasures. That’s not ok. They’re clearly not the ‘good guy’,” says Winter-Billington.

“Coal is today’s tobacco and we don’t tolerate tobacco sponsorship,” she concluded.

ENDS

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Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

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As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

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