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Big Coal

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Australia's dirtiest habit is its addiction to coal. But is our dependence on it a road to prosperity or a dead end? Are we hooked for life? And who is profiting from our addiction? Former lobbyist and political insider Guy Pearse, media and politics commentator David McKnight and environment writer Bob Burton cut through the spin to expose the underbelly of an industry whose power continues to soar while its expansion feeds catastrophic climate change. They dissect the charm offensive (and muscle) the coal industry uses to get its way, and reveal the myth of `clean coal' - and the taxpayer-funded PR machine behind it. They chart the stratospheric rise of a new generation of coal barons (some high-profile, others faceless). And they lay bare the desolation in regional communities as prime farming land and much else is strip-mined along with the coal. Most contentiously of all, they explore how Australia can break its dirtiest habit and move towards a prosperous, sustainable-energy future. View the table of contents here. Listen to Guy Pearse interviewed on Radio National.
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About the Author

Guy Pearse is the author of Greenwash: Big brands and carbon scams, High & Dry: John Howard, Climate Change and the Selling of Australia's Future and the Quarterly Essay Quarry Vision: Coal, Climate Change and the End of the Resources Boom. David McKnight is the author of Rupert Murdoch: An Investigation of Political Power as well as Beyond Right and Left: New Politics and the Culture War and Australia's Spies and Their Secrets.Bob Burton is the author of Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry.


"Australia must make some fateful decisions. If it ramps up its coal exports, there's no way the planet can forestall climate change. This book helps explain that simple truth and shows the country has other paths to take."" --"Bill McKibben, author, "Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist" "At last a book that demonstrates the industry's bogus claims of environmental and economic responsibility." --David Suzuki, environmental activist

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