Solid Energy co-opts kids to push coal

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, March 11th, 2010 - 13 comments
Categories: climate change, Conservation, Mining - Tags: , , , ,

Solid Energy has been caught out commissioning future leaders to pen fantasy stories in school hours. The company is inviting high school students in key coal-mining areas to submit an essay on: ‘The role of coal in sustainable energy solutions for New Zealand‘.

The lucky winner gets a trip to China, New Zealand’s biggest coal export market.

Coal as a sustainable energy solution? An oxymoron. A greenwash. Hell, a brainwash. Any way you look at this, this contest is wrong. WWF’s Peter Hardstaff: “Rather than restricting entry to kids living in coal mining areas, we suggest Solid Energy embrace a broader perspective. They should open up their competition to high school kids living on the low lying Pacific Islands”.

The competition page links to the World Coal Association and the Australian Coal Association Gerry Brownlee’s grails perhaps, but not necessarily good fodder for young minds.

Meanwhile, what of the Government’s plans to mine conservation land? It was due to go public with its Schedule 4 butcher at the end of February, but after focus groups revealed widespread public contempt for the plan, they’ve scuttled back behind closed doors, presumably to figure out how to give Gerry and his mates what they want without completely alienating most of the country.

13 comments on “Solid Energy co-opts kids to push coal”

  1. vidiot 1

    “The role of coal in sustainable energy solutions for New Zealand’.

    So what’s to stop a student writing an essay saying that it doesn’t have a valid role and these are the reasons ?

    a) Nothing

    So instead, bag the idea, call them puppets, call it brain washing, rant like usual, oh and have a nice day 🙂

    • A Nonny Moose 1.1

      No, nothing to stop them at all.

      But it will
      a) Not win them a sausage
      b) get them the contempt of their teachers
      c) and if they’re in Greymouth, for example, it will get them the contempt of the community and their families.

      So, harp on cynically about “brain washing” all you like, but this is how it rolls.

  2. Clarke 2

    If Solid Energy were a little more honest in their motivations they might have entitled the essay “How to use oxymorons in your schoolwork”.

  3. Tigger 3

    Next up: American Tobacco and their sponsored essay contest “How to smoke responsibility”. Winner gets to go to the races and blow cigar smoke in the eyes of anyone who complains about the smell.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    “The role of coal in sustainable energy solutions for New Zealand’

    Coal is unsustainable simply because we will run out of the stuff. Then there’s the negative effects that it has upon our environment like Anthropogenic Climate Change that it contributes to.

    Sustainable = renewable. Anything else is bollix.

    Quoting Article in post

    Key says a discussion document would be finalised in the next two weeks which would look at which parts could be removed from protection.

    “We’re not going to have massive open cast mines,” he says.

    Really? Considering that it’s the cheapest method of mining and this is the NACTS then I’m pretty sure we will.

    “But a bit more could be taken out…in the end, if we do this and the country makes money, it provides better education and health services.”

    And what happens when it’s all gone? Damned delusional NACTS – do they really not understand that taking all the resources out and selling them doesn’t make the country richer? It makes the country, in the long term, poorer. I’m sure that they’ll get their cut though.

  5. How much does the NZ public Don Elder to keep doing stupid things and to undermine NZs climate policies and environmental integrity?

    Don Elder needs to go, the sooner the better.

  6. ‘The lucky winner gets a trip to China, New Zealand’s biggest coal export market.’

    Japan used to be NZs biggest coal export market, the largest is currently India (hence Tim Groser wanting a free trade deal with India), not China.

    Solid Energy stats are in their reports:,128,0,0,html/Publications-and-Resources

    ‘Solid Energy’s environmental objective is for the cumulative result of all the activities we undertake will have a positive net effect on the New Zealand environment.’

    Happy reading.

    PS is burning coal in China a ‘net positive benefit’ or a ‘positive net effect’? I wonder if Gerry Brownlee and Nick Smith have a defination of what one is.

  7. not stupid 7

    @ vidiot

    well Solid’s hardly gonna publicise/award first prize/send to China to promote coal to someone who doesn’t see a future for coal in NZ’s energy mix.

    is this LEGAL for an SOE?

    i’m told Solid coughs up loads of money for Sth island schools, so a pushback from them unlikely.


  8. It’s like asking what a concrete life-jacket’s role is in water safety.

  9. Ari 9

    Well, to be fair, it’s more like asking what concrete’s role is in water safety.

    ie. at best, it’s a bridge. 😉

  10. Bill 10

    Anybody been through to the ‘useful’ links that Solid Energy supply for use by the school kids?

    Absolute poison.

    And I’m not saying that because I disagree with the coal industry (although I do), but because if it was some weird anti science Christian entity being given the same access to kids in school rather than a weird anti science corporate entity and they were pushing the same level of sophisticated untruths at them there would be a bloody up roar.

  11. Jenny 11

    In the interests of fairness and balance;

    I think that Greenpeace should be allowed to run an essay competition in the same high schools. The first prize, being a trip to the Peoples’ World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth’s Rights to be held from 20th to 22nd April 2010 in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

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