OPINION

Clayton Barr: Raising the Barr |

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Clayton Barr says unless countries agree to stop burning fossil fuel, retaining the use of Hunter coal may be the best thing we can do for the planet.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Clayton Barr says unless countries agree to stop burning fossil fuel, retaining the use of Hunter coal may be the best thing we can do for the planet.

There are a range of views out there about coal and the future of thermal coal.

The conversation about coal has been driven by climate change concerns and the related issues affecting the environment.

But here is something that we can hopefully all agree on - some of the last thermal coal burnt on planet Earth should come from the Hunter, if we care about the environment.

Hunter coal is some of the cleanest and purest.

When it is burnt, it is able to generate the necessary heat using much less coal, which overall means that you don't need to burn as much for the same result.

Emissions then, per kilo of coal burnt, are lower.

By contrast, coal from other sources is much dirtier, less efficient and creates more emissions.

In many countries they continue to build brand new coal-fired power stations, each with a life of 35-plus years.

Each of these coal-fired power stations, along with the already existing ones, will require coal to fuel them in the years ahead.

So, where will these power stations source their coal from?

Well, they might get it from other countries, or other parts of Australia, buying dirtier and less efficient coal that requires more to be burnt and hence creates more emissions.

Or, they might get it from the Hunter and burn less, creating fewer emissions.

The one certainty is - they will be buying coal from somewhere.

If we genuinely care about the environment, and if we accept that coal-fired power stations are going to exist based on decisions made by international and interstate governments, outside of our control, then Hunter coal is the best decision for all.

And it looks highly likely that this will continue to be the case for the next 30 or 40 years, at least.

COVID GIVES US SOMETHING TO SMILE ABOUT

Distribution of the COVID Vaccine has led to some interesting protests in the US.

One of the "concerns" of anti-vaxxer types is that the vaccine has a microchip in it that will allow Government and big business to track our every move.

Scary stuff right?

But consider this; what if someone invented a product, that contained a microchip that could be constantly monitored, and that we as individuals in a society decided that we would buy these products.

Not only that we would pay a monthly use fee and even upgrade these devices as the technology (tracking) improved.

Why would anyone bother with a microchip in a vaccine when the great majority of people already carry mobile phones?

Vaccines have been one of human-kinds great inventions. Millions and millions of lives have been saved thanks to vaccines.

Over the coming months there will be much discussion about public spaces and peoples workplaces in relation to the COVID vaccine.

It may well be that some areas ban entry or attendance by non-vaccinated people.

If this eventuates, citizens will simply have to make a choice about being in or out.

Clayton Barr is the State MP for Cessnock. Contact his office on (02) 4991 1466 or via claytonbarr.com.au. You can also email him at  cessnock@parliament.nsw.gov.au or call into his office at 118 Vincent Street (PO Box 242), Cessnock 2325. His website is at www.claytonbarr.com.au

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