Thursday, December 06, 2007

ITV wales news report- Undercurrents images used

Undercurrents reported from a protest against the planned second largest open cast mine in Europe.Our images were used in BBC and ITV reports.
Watch the report here

I filmed on my new JVC HD100 camera and Hamish with the smaller Sony HC7.
Climate campaigners from all over Wales (2) joined with local people from Merthyr Tydfil to evade police and security before taking over the 1,000 acre site on a hilltop near Cardiff. They have chained themselves to bulldozers and other heavy machinery to prevent work on the mine and have unfurled large banners. They’ve pledged to prevent work on the site for as long as they can by climbing onto, and chaining themselves to the 1,300 horsepower yellow diggers. The leading environmentalist and author, George Monbiot, is amongst their ranks.

Climate Protestor, Tim Helweg-Larsen, from Machnynlleth, said:

“Gordon Brown’s officials this week jet off to Bali for UN talks on cutting carbon emissions but at home they’re trying to drag us into a new coal age.”

He added:

“Coal is the filthiest fuel known to man and projects like this mine could destroy all our chances of tackling global warming. The battle over this hilltop in Wales is a fight for the stability of the global climate and it epitomises this government’s hypocrisy on climate change.” (3)

Merthyr resident, Leon Stanfield, explained:

“We’ve protested this mine in all the conventional ways. Now we’re turning to direct action as a last resort. This project is wrecking both the local and the global environment and is putting the health of our community and its children at risk.”

Over 10,000 local people petitioned against the pit.


(1) Background about the mine is here:
Miller Argent is the consortium digging this pit. They are mining for 11 million tonnes of coal from the site. When this is burned, it will emit more than 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. The edge of the mine pit will be just 36 metres from people’s homes.

(2) Activists are from the group who organised the Camp for Climate Action outside Heathrow during the summer.

(3) The government has convened a UK coal forum to “bring forward ways of strengthening the industry, and working to ensure the UK has the right framework to secure the long term future of coal fired generation.” (page8)


Cath said...

Nice one Hamish.

Thanks heaps for coming along.

Love Cath
and the other Machtivists :)

Paulo said...

When we got to the steps of the ladder up the side of the second big digger (pictured) it was being guarded by 2 security guards. As my friend approached them, one said "If you touch me, I'll put you in St Charles'". A blank stare from my friend then elicited the further comment "that's the hospital".

Oh riiIIGHT!

After he realised we were not there for a fight, and noticed that the rest of us had walked around the back and were climbing up the bucket onto the digger, he got in his landrover and drove off, leaving us with the departing comment "You people - what will you tell your kids in ten years time?".

We looked at each other and thought "Hey - that's supposed to be OUR line!"

I guess he was, in his inimitable grunting way, referring to future energy security in the UK. I wonder what we could do if we put the £20 billion that the government intend to put into new coal before 2020 into renewables instead? And what about diverting the £multibillion funding for trident while they are at it?

I heard another windfarm got refused planning here in Wales recently... Meanwhile, opencast coal mine schemes such as this one are subject to... no planning guidance at all - the planning note for coal mining in Wales has been "delayed" so that developers can do more or less whatever they want to.

So now our intrepid leader Gordon Brown is off in Bali wagging the finger at China and India, while the CO2 from the coal from this opencast mine will equal the sustainable emissions of 60 000 000 people. Go back to bed citizens, your government is in control.

Paulo Mellett
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