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Heads in the Sand protest this Sunday

Written By: - Date published: 7:11 am, December 7th, 2014 - 25 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, global warming, john key, national - Tags:

From the Coal Action Network

On December 7, people at beaches across New Zealand will put their heads in the sand in a collective tribute to the Key Government’s lack of action on climate change, and its ongoing threats to the New Zealand environment from mining.

The action is to coincide with the UN climate talks in Lima, Peru, which Climate Change Minister Tim Groser will attend this week.

“While the rest of the world is taking action on climate change, New Zealand’s emissions are set to go through the roof. Ministers are wining and dining oil industry leaders and offering them opportunities to develop our fossil fuel resources for a song,” says Jeanette Fitzsimons of Coal Action Network Aotearoa.

#HeadsInSandNZ will see similar events from Invercargill (Oreti Beach) to Auckland, and a small NZ team at the UN climate talks in Lima will be doing the same at Miraflores Beach.

The event, organised by Coal Action Network Aotearoa, has support from Oil Free Aotearoa groups, Generation Zero, 350.org, Greenpeace, Forest & Bird, ECO, Auckland Coal Action, Coal Action Murihiku, Climate Justice Taranaki, and Action Station.

Auckland: 11.30, Mission Bay
West Auckland: 10.00, Bethells Beach
Waiheke: 12.00, Little Palm Beach
Taranaki: 16.00, Oakura River Mouth (Corbett Park)
Wellington: 11.30, Oriental Bay
Nelson: 11.30, Tahunanui Beach
Christchurch: 12.00, New Brighton Pier
Dunedin: 12.00, St Clair Beach
Invercargill: 11.30, Oreti Beach

Lima (Peru): a small team of Kiwis will carry out this action on Lima’s Miraflores beach.

National Facebook page for Heads in the Sand:www.facebook.com/events/1542095289341789

25 comments on “Heads in the Sand protest this Sunday ”

  1. Tracey 1

    shared on facebook with friends. Cant make it myself

  2. batweka 2

    Should get some good visuals.

  3. Maui 3

    I was just wondering how you’re meant to breathe. Bring a long straw?

    • Potato 3.1

      I think you’re meant to dig a largish hole and if needed, line the bottom. Then at the right time just bob down in the depression not actually bury your whole head 🙂

  4. coaster 4

    Not sure that this is the best way to protest anything, not a good look, heads in a hole, bums in the air.

    as a westcoaster and having seen our regions economy destryed over the last few years, the reduction in mining fossel fuels needs to be managed or you destroy peoples livelihoods.

    • The Al1en 4.1

      Mining of fossil fuels needs to stop. People should not be expecting to have long term careers in coal mining in NZ.

      • Clean_power 4.1.1

        No, you would not be saying that if you live near the West Coast. Very easy to say from the comforts of Auckland or Wellington.

        How do you propose the replace the jobs around coal mining? Tell me, please.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          The issue is far bigger than jobs on the Coast. In the next 20 years, this civilisation will begin to seriously run out of affordably exploitable fossil fuels. Although they are at serious risk, there are going to be far more jobs lost than just coal mining jobs. In the mean time however, China is still taking massive amounts of coal when really, we should be saving these energy deposits for ourselves.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          It’s a valid question, “How do you propose the [sic] replace the jobs around coal mining?”

          Most wingnuts would say that the problem is best left to market forces, so they’d simply ban coal extraction and close the mines, and leave the market to figure out what to do with all the human resources.

          Myself, I think the community has a responsibility to those workers and their families, so I think the Treasury department (perhaps the IRD too) had better be relocated to Greymouth.

          • millsy

            The simplest solution is for the royalties gained from private mines on the west coast, and for the profits from Solid Energy’s mines there to be placed into an investment fund for the West Coast community, for when mines close. And they will close, climate change or not.

        • The Al1en

          I would because global warming is far more important than keeping miners in dying dirty industrial jobs.

          I don’t propose to replace the jobs as I’m not a politician, but as long as self interests like the miners are put before the fate of the world then the whole thing is fucked anyway, so yes, Mining of fossil fuels needs to stop and west coasters should not be expecting to have long term careers in coal mining in NZ.

          • Naturesong

            It’s not the miners themselves that are generally the problem, it’s the mining companies and those who grant them the rights (NZ Govt).

            Dividing the working class (is there anything more working class than a coal miner?) from their natural allies appears to be as simple as telling miners that “the other lot want to destroy your jobs, your livelihood”.
            And telling the miners natural allies: “the miners are destroying the planet, and will fight you for threatening their livelihood”

            The thing is, although mines provide employment for the miners, there is no love lost between miners and their employers.

            Mines are not just dangerous places to work, they are toxic, and the pollution from them affects significant areas around the mine and communities living near mines experience significant negative health effects. Children in particular.
            Opencast mines like Denniston-Escarpment are the worst.

            What is needed is a credible alternative for the communities to thrive (jobs being only one part of this).

            • The Al1en

              Nobody is dividing the working class by suggesting miners can’t mine any more for the sake of the planet, it’s a common sense approach to global warming and the futility of fossil fuel consumption.

              I don’t know what the answer is as far as the miner’s future employment, but there isn’t a thing stopping them from re-training or up-skill right now and getting a head start.

              • I would suggest that every politition who stands up in the west coast and says (paraphrase);
                “Those nutter greens want to take away your jobs, your livelihoods.
                For Labour to govern, they need the Greens, who will demand the closure of the mine that employs this community!
                They don’t care what happens to you.”


                “We understand you need better conditions and pay, better saftey.
                Yes, realistically we would need the Greens, but make no mistake, no mines will be closed under a Labour government.
                West coast communities are the backbone of manufacturing in New Zealand.
                Rest assured, the only ministry the Greens will get is Minister of generating another useless report – they’ll be kept well out of it”

                In any case, as well as figuring out how to ensure these communities thrive after mine closures some thought needs to be put into countering/convincing all the families within the community who derive their position and power in the community from the mine.

                • The Al1en

                  Miners are on the wrong side of climate change. That’s the simple fact of the matter. Pandering to them and keeping on digging fossil fuels out of the ground to make work while the world burns is just so small minded it could be act policy. Thanks for shitting on the kids and grand kids, but as long as west coast man can buy his beer and fags and pay the bills it’s okay. Not small minded but crass.

                  Any politician who protects and/or promotes coal is a bloody tool.

    • Murray Rawshark 4.2

      The way I see it, the coasters went underground and risked their lives for years when we needed coal, so we owe something back to them. Not to the mining companies, but to the men and women of Blackball and other mining towns. We have to stop extracting fossil fuels, but we can’t just abandon the coast.

  5. coaster 5

    Im not saying there should be life long jobs in coal mining, im asking what do the people here now do?.

    The numbers of doc workers have been cut, resulting in tracks being very poorly maintained which is a real negative for the low wage seasonle tourism jobs.

    we do have a huge amount of non fossil fuel minerals under the west coast that could be mined, we may find as 3d printing becomes enormous that we will become a supply for the resources required for this.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      Reinstating the DOC workers (on twenty-five year contracts, in the spirit of the National Party’s kick-backs to its owner/donors) is an obvious start.

      • Maui 5.1.1

        I’m sure a lot more could be leveraged out of tourism on the coast. The country there is so unique and unlike the rest of NZ, that has to be a massive selling point. Taking advantage of tourists on guided walking tours could be a start.

  6. goodsweat 6

    To make steel iron ore is heated to make pig iron. Currently there is one way to smelt iron from ore, high grade coking coal. This is the type of coal that is in Pike, it represents 60% of our mining company Solid Energy’s production. It is the most expensive coal money can buy and we export it to the highest bidders who represent the globe’s mega foundries. Dairy is about a third of our exports.

    I don’t think any of us would enjoy a world without steel or the many other metals refined in this manner. The insulating plastic on a wire is made with oil, it’s metal core with coal. Before plastic electrical wires were insulated in a woven cotton sheath. Perhaps, yet another use for hemp. That fibre is so tough. We will find other ways, as fossil fuels become rarer they will become more expensive. Then, as it always has in the past, necessity and opportunity will drive alternatives.

    About a hundred years ago one of the major concerns for the city fathers of London was the huge amount of covered space taken up by stables. If the city kept growing at the same rate, there would be no room for people, only stables. The future was bleak with no solution in sight. Henry Ford said “If I gave the people what they wanted I would of given them a faster horse.”

  7. The Real Matthew 7

    I wonder what emissions this event caused?

    Everyone had to travel to and from the various venues somehow.

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