Meg Pickup, Ballina
How can Australia, the driest inhabited continent in the world, continue to mine and burn water-guzzling coal?
Australian coal corporations consume 383 billion litres of water annually, the same amount as that used annually by all Sydney siders or every Queensland household. Coal uses 120 times more water than wind or solar to produce the same amount of electricity.
Water is vital to sustain life, yet Australian government policy plays Russian roulette with this increasingly scarce resource. Inaction on climate change condemns Australia to a vicious cycle of reduced rainfall and more frequent droughts. If in the age of the coronavirus we are to spend public money to create a more resilient future for Australia, governments are obligated to choose sustainable energy over coal. Our choice is stark – continue on the same destructive path with the inevitable outcomes of more periods of drought, increased climate damage and permanent water restrictions, or change course and create a better world where people, waterways, the environment and wildlife thrive. Our future is in our hands.