Locking the Gate on Coal and Gas
In this chapter we move out of Australia’s capital cities to the nation’s rural towns and farms to examine a surprising alliance formed in 2010, evocatively called Lock the Gate. Similar to its environmental predecessors, Lock the Gate is grass-roots-based. Yet, unlike earlier elements of the movement, almost 100,000 environmental activists, farmers, Indigenous people and, as contemporary politicians refer to them, ‘mum and dad Australians’, are united in their stance against ‘unsafe coal and gas mining’ (http://www.lockthegate.org.au/about_us). We examine the way the leaders of Lock the Gate constructed environmental issues to attract rural landholders to the alliance in its early years. Although the alliance attempts to prevent the expansion of key causes of anthropogenic climate change, our research findings raise questions about its willingness to publicise global warming as a key environmental issue.
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