Approaching Cullen Bullen - recent photo
The little town of Cullen Bullen is surrounded by coal mines, including the hubristically named Invincible Colliery, all of which are leaving a trail of environmental destruction as they blow up mountains and destroy water systems in their quest to excavate the last remains of ancient swamps.
The coal in this area is a result of eons of photosynthesis by giant plants which stored vast amounts of carbon dioxide in their cellular structure and later in the earth under pressure. This is coal - a mineral dated at around 300 billion years old. Reversing the process of photosynthesis by digging up the coal and burning it releases the carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. The problem is that this is being done in a matter of generations as opposed to the millennia it took to create. When the carbon was laid down there were no humans on the planet. Today we are over 6 billion of us pumping out 90 million tonnes of CO2 each day! And about half of that is from coal fired energy generation.
Species such as humans, which took over 100,000 years to evolve, cannot adapt to the radical changes we are making to our home planet. Coal kills. So why do we insist on persisting with this outmoded industry?
There are many of us fighting to turn the tide. including the Blue Mountains Conservation Society which has launched a campaign for at least one of the proposed coal projects around Cullen Bullen to be stopped in its tracks. Click below to read about it in the Lithgow Mercury: