Save Druridge Bay from open-cast coal mining!

“Let it not happen with our meek acquiescence!” – Dr David Golding, CBE

Please sign the petition which has already attracted more than 10,000 signatures. Let’s add to that! Go to:

AND EMAIL THE PLANNING OFFICER at Northumberland County Council (doesn’t matter where you live!):

COPY AND PASTE this address into the ‘To’ box of a new email – you can’t just click on it, since it’s not a web address:

State your name, postal address, postcode and email address.

Say something like:

“I write to express my opposition to the proposed open-cast coal mine at Highthorn, near Druridge Bay and draw you attention to the Briefing statement prepared by North East CALL TO ACTION. In particular…” [mention one or two features of the statement]

Copy and paste the Briefing statement (below) into the body of the email (DON’T send it as an attachment), and conclude with the usual courtesies.


Sign the on-line petition; email the Planning Officer; AND come to our peaceful, law-abiding protest outside County Hall in Morpeth, on Tuesday 5th July at 1.00pm! [Details to follow.]


With every good wish,


Dr David Golding CBE (Development Coordinator)


The proposed new surface mine at Highthorn, near Druridge Bay ‘a desecration’, locally and globally

A Briefing by North East CALL TO ACTION


“People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations [perpetrating] the injustice of climate change.”(Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

The application by Banks Mining for permission to create a new, surface coal mine at Highthorn, near Druridge Bay, should be rejected. The evidence for the likely adverse impacts on the tourist industry, the quality of life of local residents, and wildlife, is overwhelming – indeed such a development would constitute a ‘desecration’ of this gem of an environment, according to the naturalist, Bill Oddie.

However, the extraction of three million tonnes of coal would also constitute a ‘desecration’ of the global environment! This is on account of the scale of the atmospheric pollution which would result from the combustion of this most polluting of fuels. Climate change is already causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of poor people, and ruining the lives of millions – and it threatens to become a crime against humanity surpassing all others. We must not needlessly ‘add fuel to the flames’!

Instead we all have a responsibility to promote the rapid decarbonisation of the economy, in order to fulfil the commitments made on behalf of the whole of humanity at the UN’s Climate Conference, in Paris in December.

Clear and unequivocal opposition to this new mine has been voiced by eminent climate and environmental scientists, as summarised below, and their judgements are an accurate reflection of the overwhelming scientific consensus on this subject worldwide. We call for this concert of expert opinion to be given its full and deserved weight.

Professor Sir John Lawton FRS CBE, Chair of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution until 2010:

  • “This application is deeply disturbing… We have to stop burning coal and other fossil fuels as rapidly as possible, or face catastrophic climate change.”

Professor Sir Tom Blundell FRS, Sir John’s predecessor as Chair of the Royal Commission:

  • “I am happy to give my full support [for your position].”

Professor Sir John Houghton FRS CBE, Sir Tom’s predecessor as Chair of the Royal Commission, and former Chair and Co-Chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – and arguably the greatest climate scientist of his generation:

  • “… New sources of fossil fuel [for] burning should not be allowed. This applies with particular force to coal, since it is the most carbon-polluting, by far… “

Professor Phil Taylor, Siemens Professor of Energy Systems, Director of the Institute for Sustainability at Newcastle University, and Leader of the newly announced EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration:

  • “This proposed coal mine is non-progressive, unnecessary and environmentally damaging… Coal is one of the most polluting sources of energy and there are many lower carbon alternatives available.”

Professor Chris Kilsby, Professor of Hydrology and Climate Change at Newcastle University:

  • “Just as it was confirmed that April 2016 is the seventh month [it’s actually the 13th!] in a row to have broken global temperature records, I heard of the proposal to dig up and burn 3 million tonnes of coal in Northumberland. This is simply insane(sic)!

Professor Hayley Fowler, Professor of Climate Change Impacts at Newcastle University, and Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award Holder:

  • “The last two years have been the warmest on record and 2016 is set to be warmer still… Digging up and burning another 3 million tonnes of coal will… more worryingly, to increases in extreme events – floods and droughts. We need new clean energy sources, not more coal.”

The statements in full by the above six eminent environmental scientists, commenting specifically on the proposed new mine, with contact details, are available on request.

“I urge governments, development and environmental organisations to work together to find sustainable solutions to avert a catastrophe that will exacerbate human suffering to a magnitude that perhaps the world has not yet seen.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 2004)


David W. Golding CBE PhD DSc DCL

Development Coordinator, North East CALL TO ACTION

on global poverty and climate change

June 2016

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