Greenpeace Australia Pacific BLOG

Waking Up 50m Above Ground

Posted on August 06, 2009 by Greenpeace Australia Pacific

It’s been over 24 hours since 10 activists locked on to a coal loader at Hay Point in Queensland. By dusk yesterday, four remained, suspended with safety equipment. When the sun rose this morning, the four were still there.

I spoke with one of them by phone at 7 am this morning.

So how are you going up there?

We’ve been here for 24 hours now and the team are starting to get a bit tired. We didn’t get much sleep overnight because the wind was relentless and it was freezing. But what an incredible way to wake up – Moon setting and sun rising! And its great to start warming up!

We’re hanging about 5 metres down from the cables and 10 metres from the top of the tower. We have a little device which keeps us attached. We have little hammocks to sleep in. You’ve gotta be comfortable.

So what’s for breakfast?

We’ve got muesli bars and some fruit. But I’m hanging out for a decent coffee!

And how long are you staying there?

We’ll stay here for as long as it takes for our Prime Minister to wake up to the reality that he can’t keep on expanding the coal industry and pretend to take action on climate change at the same time. We’re here in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Pacific who are on the frontline of climate change.

What is the view like?

To my right are atleast 30 coal ships, and the coal terminal itself is ahead of me. To my left is Queensland coastline … pretty nice. The sun has just peeked out.

Are the four of you close together?

Yeah, we’re only a couple of metres apart. And we’ve been speaking to each other to keep company and check that each of us is ok.

Below are some photos from the scene at dawn this morning. © Greenpeace

Four activists occupying a coal loader at Hay Point coal terminal near Mackay, Queensland. If only Prime Minister Rudd was as committed to addressing climate change as these activists.

Four activists occupying a coal loader at Hay Point coal terminal near Mackay, Queensland. If only Prime Minister Rudd was as committed to addressing climate change as these activists.

Four activists occupying a coal loader at Hay Point coal terminal near Mackay, Queensland. If only Prime Minister Rudd was as committed to addressing climate change as these activists.

Four activists occupying a coal loader at Hay Point coal terminal near Mackay, Queensland. If only Prime Minister Rudd was as committed to addressing climate change as these activists.

Four activists occupying a coal loader at Hay Point coal terminal near Mackay, Queensland. If only Prime Minister Rudd was as committed to addressing climate change as these activists. Four activists occupying a coal loader at Hay Point coal terminal near Mackay, Queensland. If only Prime Minister Rudd was as committed to addressing climate change as these activists. Four activists occupying a coal loader at Hay Point coal terminal near Mackay, Queensland. If only Prime Minister Rudd was as committed to addressing climate change as these activists.

Four activists occupying a coal loader at Hay Point coal terminal near Mackay, Queensland. If only Prime Minister Rudd was as committed to addressing climate change as these activists.

Four activists occupying a coal loader at Hay Point coal terminal near Mackay, Queensland. If only Prime Minister Rudd was as committed to addressing climate change as these activists.

Blog post by: Greenpeace Australia Pacific
Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses non-violent direct action to expose global environmental problems and to force solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future.
All blogposts by Greenpeace Australia Pacific
  • Chris

    You so rock!

  • rebecca bliss

    great work guys!! the photos look amazing! I feel for you. must be freezing and very uncomfortable up there! takes an amazing bunch of people to stick out the cold and stay there as long as you have. keep it up team!

  • Lyndel Robinson

    Great to see you brave young people doing your best to show us what’s going on and trying to stop what Australia does to increase climate change. Reminds me of Switzerland. Known to be a neutral country but made a heap of its money from selling weapons to the rest of the world – and plenty of other dirty dealings too. I’d rather live in an ethical country living within its means than a country rich on the back of world destruction.

  • Nic Denshire

    Awesome,
    You guys are so inspiring. Keep up the good work.
    Nic

  • Ronetava R

    awesome work guys..feel for you and totally behind you

  • poss masterman

    Well done human flying foxes.. you rock! Brave action, take note Kevin.

  • Max

    Awsome and very brave!

  • http://facebook Api

    bravest bunch of people I’ve ever met….totally awesome!! you guys are HEROES!!

  • mikey v

    you guys are wickd good . big up love your work

  • Dave York

    Well done you guys – way to make a statement for all of us.

  • Mackay-ite

    Idiots!
    You will have to come down sooner or later.
    No sympathy from the police – they’re not going to feed you.

  • kathy

    I hope your incredibly stoic action gets a desirable result. As part of the ‘boomer’ generation, its time we started to realize our ‘super funds’ will be worth little if we don’t have a benign climate for us and grandchildren to enjoy. Stay safe

  • Brad

    Fantastic work
    I hope you get your message through to Kevin and his cronnies and give the people of the Pacific and others from low homelands a chance a life on the own lands.
    When will people wake up and realize that we can not keep polluting the world

    keep up the good work you speak for most of us

  • paul

    Ay, fantastic action. Very inspiring to see you guys up there standing (or hanging) for what is right. More power to you.

  • Yulanji Bardon

    Hooray! Well done gang – solidarity to yas

  • Warren

    You idiots

  • Crystalyne

    Thank you Greenpeace! Great work activists =)

    Warren is the real idiot.

  • Paul Grillo

    glad your still hanging around!

  • http://yahoo harsh

    it’s really very great job….you guys are source of inspiration for youth …..all the best …

  • Maiana

    I now feel more optimistic about a bright future for us, Pacific Islanders with people like you guys taking a stand.What an inspiration ….. and a wake up call for those who take for granted what we have…

    …Vinaka vakalevu na gone dina ni vuravuraqo.

    Remember “The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.” ~Ross Perot

  • Mouse

    Sometimes it takes radical actions to get people to notice the hypocrisy of the government’s policy- Rudd has been such a disappointment & has proven to be no better than Howard. Well done guys

  • http://globalclimatechangeaction.org AnneEmu

    This comment makes me ashamed to be an Australian.
    Lyndel Robinson wrote “I’d rather live in an ethical country living within its means than a country rich on the back of world destruction.”
    TY Greenpeace, may the big moon and my admiration for your activists keep their young hearts safe and warm tonight.

  • Leah

    Sending your way the gratitude of all Pacific Islanders.
    Take care out there

  • Fane

    Shame on you Rudd!!! How can you stand by and claim to be supporting the Pacific Islanders whilst signing their death warrants through coal??????????????????????????

    GO GREENPEACE!!!

  • Richard Dudley-Smith

    Absolutely fantastic. How long will it take the Australian media to wake up and give you some air play. Haven’t heard or seen anything on TV or radio. Hopefully it will be picked up in Europe or the US and they will shame Australia.

  • Laura Brown

    Were supporting you all the way, im glad that finally this may wake the government to the harm there doing to our environment. Keep it up : )

  • http://tomeagherdodo.com.au Roy

    BRAINLESS idiots. Yeh….congratulations on costing the decent tax payers of Australia in excess of 1 million dollars. Go and hug a tree!

  • Jo Neath

    Take no notice of Roy – obviously a “real man”…….. not!
    You guys are awesome – thanks for putting your arses on the line, literally :)

    xx

  • Jason (formely ass clown)

    Look nobody likes Rudd, but this is not affecting Rudd… he will be comfortable and sleep at night… this is only affecting tax payers and members of our community… and a company that is doing more for climate change than all the greenpeaces put together… so next time u guys wanna do this expect a reaction from people who’s lives you put at risk without their consent…. these idiots sitting up there putting their own lives at risk, don’t think about the people at the terminal whos lives are put in danger… i say charge these idiots with attempted manslaughter, Acts of terrorism, tresspassing, unlawful entry, unlawfull use of a motorvehicle, causing a public disturbace… and many many more charges.. i say at least 10 years each in jail with no parole…. that’ll teach these idiots a lesson

  • Rebecca Murphy

    You guys are my heros. I’m only 15 but my life goal is to become a greenpeace activist. You guys are awesome :D

  • Emma

    Jason, if you think they’re putting people’s lives at risk, what about these companies who are throwing their weight around to make sure Rudd doesn’t actually do anything to stop climate change? What about politicians who are putting profits before people’s right to a safe future? How many lifetimes in jail should that be worth?

  • Gail

    Yes, this may be extreme and costing taxpayers money but why is does it take this sort of dangerous action from a few, to help change policies which will affect us all?
    Why does it always have to get to this before someone will do something for the environment we all live in??

  • hugo

    Comment 27 & 29, you are very short sighted. If the people hanging on those wires never existed, then you’d get your cashflow until you or your children realise you’ve pushed this unsustainable coal practise over the edge & then we’ll all suffer. They are trying to stand up for EVERYONE & the FUTURE – far more important than your income in a country with all your needs avaliable for pittance.

  • will

    i don’t think anyone’s lives were put at risk. all of the climbers have undergone extensive training and know very well the dangers involved in what they’re doing. it is a calculated risk. if its lives being put at risk you are worried about jason, maybe you should be critiquing the coal industry, one of the most dangerous industries on the planet. imagine how much safer it is for workers to maintain and construct solar panels and wind towers than it is to work with the heavy machinery involved in coal mining and distribution. and what about the lives of people killed as a result of natural disasters etc. caused by climate change. 10 years each in jail, haha. these people are breaking the law to try and help the planet, not to profit or harm others. they are making sacrifices in the hope that it will benefit your children and their children. i think they are incredibly selfless.

  • Miranda

    Thanks for costing the tax payers more money, good way to get some attention. Have you looked at the big picture of what you do; the danger you continually place on people of the public and the emergency services who have to protect your interests and usually yourselves. There has to be a more mature way of conveying your information. In stead of hurting struggling families and causing detriment to the communities you visit, go hang off the trees in Canberra where the decision makers live. I love the smell of coal in the morning, it smell’s like victory.

  • Arunesh

    Good work guys…..

  • will

    hi miranda, did you know that the fossil fuel industry is among the most heavily subsidized industries in australia? i’m not exactly sure what you mean by greenpeace costing the taxpayer more money. the amount of tax paid by the average australian to cover the retrieval and processing of activists is virtually negligible, while the amount of tax paid by australians to subsidize the fossil fuel industry is massive. i love the smell of toast and hot chocolate in the morning, not really sure about coal. maybe you should move to gladstone.

  • http://tomeagherdodo.com.au Roy

    You proud greenies wont make the “slightest dent” in the coal mining industry. You can rattle on about statistics till the cows come home and throw in a typical copy cat, text book comment in support of these highly smelly “fruit bats” and the effects coal will have on the environment in years to come. At the end of the day, the wheel keeps turning. Those ships are still in line waiting to load. These brave “friut bats” and their “big steel mother ship” have not altered a thing, they have just delayed the inevitable.

  • Jaden

    Great work guys, feel for you, it must be freezing at night, keep it up and take note kevin!

  • Melanie Hubbard

    Thank you the people of Greenpeace for your fantastic work, especially these souls putting their bodies on the line. I so appreciate your dedication and willingness to get out there and to this. Great work.

  • tony michel

    Hi Guy’s Makes me proud to be a 51 yr old Australian knowing your efforts can change for the better and we can have a cleaner future for all young Australians – WE JUST NEED TO CHANGE OUR WAYS OF THINKING. So many businesses and jobs can be created from other forms of energy.
    Wishing I was there with you – I am in spirit!

  • Marstella

    Roy and Jason, your reactions are indeed expected and welcomed. You should know that your kind, the deniers, have been given a new label “CONTRARIAN” by NZ award winning journalist Chris Barton. So Mr. Contrarians, I hope you do sleep well at night knowing that the science doesn’t support your positions. And before you sleep, please do plan to watch the premier of the new movie “The Age of Stupid” on August 19th at the Sydney theater, or if you are not in AUS, the global premier is scheduled for September 21, 2009. So do come out and join us. We welcome your kind!!!

  • Emma

    Roy, it’s not Greenpeace who’s delaying the inevitable – the world is going to have to wake up to the fact that we can’t keep burning fossil fuels sooner or later, because they ain’t going to last forever. The difference between ‘sooner’ and ‘later’ in this case however is the difference between the world as we know it and triggering an unprecedented global catastrophe. The evolution to new energy sources is inevitable – but the stakes for delaying have never been so high!

  • David Marsh

    What the pessimists do not grasp because of the fat paypackets they pick up each week, is that the oil/ coal is going to run out and the alternatives are not even accepted as the next technology. Wind farms and tidal power are given free we only need to focus on developing the equipment to harvest its potential, now, so we are ready when the inevitable happens.
    Maybe the pessimists in the mines and the oil fields want to live houses on stilts with thier fat wallets.
    The rest of do not!

  • lava lover

    u guys are gay!

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