Tuesday, May 28, 2019

This is what the destruction of social licence looks like

When the mining industry arranged its annual conference for Dunedin and booked the mayor to speak at it, they probably expected a nice quiet clubby meeting in which to plot the destruction of the planet for private profit. Instead, they've been blockaded by protesters and denounced to their faces by the mayor:

The mining industry was left in no doubt that Dunedin's council is not welcoming it here and is on notice to figure climate change strategies into their operations.


When Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull spoke he grabbed the immediate attention of the delegates.

"So to be clear, if you're promoting fossil fuel exploration, extraction and exploitation and especially its expansion, then understand you are at odds with this community and my council that represents it,'' he said.


"We don't have any right to trade in our children's and grandchildren's futures just to make a quick dollar now,'' he said to the silent audience.

He said the protestors outside, "however impolite and disrespectful'' were expressing the "overwhelming view of this community and my council''.

This is what the destruction of an industry's social licence looks like. The mining industry is neither socially nor environmentally responsible. A large part of Cull's city is going to be underwater thanks to the environmental destruction of this industry, and its clear he feels no need to pretend any longer that they are anything but climate criminals. And hopefully they'll get the same treatment next year, and the year after, and the year after that, wherever they go.