#AustraliansForCoal is the latest sign of an industry in values freefall | David Ritter

Without a functioning moral compass, the coal industry has become mired in a sea of ridicule of its own making

During the second world war, my dad performed his war service down the coal mines in the UK. The work cost him his sense of smell, but gave him a profound sense of camaraderie and regard for the men he served with down in the coal pits. Until the end of his life, my dad was proud of his modest contribution to the peoples war against fascism.

Seven decades later and, sadly, coal mining is no longer a noble endeavour. Once upon a time, coal miners justifiably believed they were building Australias prosperity. Today, such a belief is no longer credible. The problem for coal is that it is the single greatest driver of climate change. Professor James Hansen calls coal the single greatest threat to civilisation and all life on our planet. The IPCCs latest report has simply underlined the overwhelming existing scientific and economic case for rapidly shifting away from coal and other fossil fuels.

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