At 11am on Saturday, 22 November, at Eraring Power Station (next to Lake Macquarie, a couple of hours North of Sydney) 150 people gathered to protest the continued burning of fossil fuels. The gathering was organised by Rising Tide and supported by a range of groups and individuals.

The plan was to hold a nine day vigil from the 22nd until the first day of International talks in Poznan. Unfortunately the weather and aggressive police tactics conspired to put a stop to these plans. As the largest point source of Greenhouse Gases in NSW and the equal worst in Australia, Eraring was the perfect example of what we need to change in order to combat climate change.

Eraring’s environmental legacy is not only the global impact of continued carbon intensive electricity production, but also the local impact on flora and fauna in the lake (Australia’s largest salt water lake) as Lake Macquarie’s waters are sucked into the cooling system of the power station, wreaking havoc on the Lake’s aquatic populations.

With residents and community members united in peaceful protest it would seem the writing is on the wall for such deeply destructive and unpopular power plants such as these. People left their messages and images of what the world stands to lose if we do not address climate change, on the chain link fence erected by the police to keep the community out of Eraring. This created a powerful image of hope in the face of bureaucracy, a view of the future, through a fence circling our past. Just as steam revolutionised technology, renewable energy can revolutionise our future and save us from further emissions.

It was inspiring to see placards such as this “I am a coal miners daughter and I say stop.” being proudly displayed on the day, together we can change the future.