poem: Coal Hole Oz

Coal Hole Oz

 

Don Horne called us the lucky country, full

Of crass, dim-witted clods, and that was long

Ago.  You’d think we’d come of age by now,

But t’other day I learned about our coal

Exports.  They make us look both mad and bad,

A mix of greed, stupidity and oh

So dirty.  It’s our filthy secret, it’s

Our global warming shame:  our coal exports

Are booming, tripled since the nineties, now

Big Coal has plans to double that.  Dark rock,

It seems remote, but burned to give us power

For all those modern needs.  We make one third

Of all the seaborne coal trade, feed power plants

And furnaces for steel in India

And China, dirty ones contributing

The most of new greenhouse emissions.  Talk

About hypocrisy!  We like to think

We’re turning green, but flog the filthy stuff

To careless nations; profits made are huge.

 

Negates by many times our own attempts

To mitigate the crisis, also locks

In coal exports as economic  gold

In face of world opinion.  Times must change

And leave us much the poorer.  Droughts and floods

More frequent now, the Reef is failing, due

To acid seas, and burning coal the big

Contributor.   And look, there’s more:  the mines

Are mostly foreign owned, so profits go

Offshore, the workforce tiny if compared

To workforce overall.  And driving up

The Aussie dollar, that’s what mining does;

This damages the sales of other goods

Like wheat and wool to markets overseas.

 

The head of NASA summed it up:  To kick

Our coal reliance would to life on earth

And future generations be the one

Big thing, great gift, Australia could bestow.

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