Pollutants From Australia’s Adani Coal Mine Will Eventually Kill About 0.5 Million Indians

Under a climate criminal Coalition Government Australia is lurching towards an environmental and human catastrophe represented by the huge, Government-approved Adani Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin of Queensland.

Pollutants from burning Australian coal exported from the proposed Adani coal mine are estimated to kill 13,000 people annually and 500,000 people over the lifetime of the coal mine. Most of the coal will go to India and thus most of the victims will be Indians.

Science-informed, humane, environmentalist opponents of the Adani coalmine have advanced many cogent arguments against this development, including the following dozen propositions:

(1) Massive use of scarce water resources (Adani has been promised up to 9.5 billion litres of water every year,  a huge threat to water quality and availability for agriculture [1]. The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has protested the planned massive land clearing and massive diversion of  2 rivers by an Australia company  to provide water for Galilee Basin mining operations [2]).

(2) Major environmental  damage (through stripping the land and damage by climate change, huge water use, endangering  species and impacts  on an already devastated  Great Barrier Reef [3]).

(3) Specific threats to the adjacent iconic Great Barrier Reef through coal dust, other pollutants, spillage, hugely increased shipping, impacts of coastal loading facilities  and, of course, climate change [3].

(4)  Threats to up to 60,000 jobs and a $6 billion annual  tourism income associated with tourism linked to the Great Barrier Reef (Free The Reef says: “Tourism on the Reef is an annual $6 billion industry and supports over 60,000 jobs. With mining, around 83% of the profits go overseas” [4]).

(5) Threats to  Indigenous  Australian Native Title rights (the Wangan and Jagalingou Indigenous Traditional Owners  strongly object to the Adani coal mine threat to their land and their culture [5] ).

(6) Threats to endangered species (the Adani Carmichael coalmine site is home to the largest known population of the endangered southern Black-throated finch (Poephila cincta cincta) [3],  other species are threatened by connected river diversions  [2] and the huge species diversity of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened [5] ).

(7) Diversion of scarce financial resources from vital areas such as vital health, education and infrastructure through a proposed concessional $1 billion loan to Adani (in 2017  Australia has a gross debt of about $552 billion and the annual increase in the Federal Budget Deficit  is about $40 billion  [6]);

(8) Concerns that promised jobs will disappear with an adumbrated largely robot-based  mining and transport operation (Rod  Campbell of The Australia Institute : “ The 10,000 job estimate comes from a modelling exercise that Adani itself disowned in court. They knew it wouldn’t stack up in court, so they brought in another economist to do a different kind of modelling, and his estimate was a little under 1,500. Adani have stated their intention to automate the entire project “from pit to port.” That’s their words. They’re intending to use remote-controlled or robot-controlled trucks, trains and loaders. Their stated intention is to reduce the amount of employment involved in this project”[7]).

Image result for adani coal mine

(9) Adani’s bad compliance record in India and elsewhere and concerns that very little of the profit will remain in Australia and that much will be diverted to the Cayman Islands [8-10]..

(10) Diminution of Australia’s international reputation through construction of the world’s biggest coal mine when scientific experts say “keep it in the ground” (the proposed Adani coal mine will be the biggest coal mine in the world at a time when Australia has used up its “fair share of the world’s Terminal Carbon Pollution Budget that must not be exceeded  if the world is to have  a 75% chance of avoiding a catastrophic 2C temperature rise [11, 12]).

(11) The possibility of international blow-back by sanctions and green tariffs in response to this latest Australian environmental vandalism [13].

(12) Massive addition to Australia’s already disproportionately huge contribution to global greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution  and to Humanity- and Biosphere-threatening global warming (Australia with 0.3% of the world’s population has a Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution equivalent to 4.4% of the World’s total. – the Adani coal mine will lift this outrageously disproportionate percentage to 4.5% [11, 12]).

However a key consideration that is religiously ignored in look-the-other-way Australia is that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO),  air pollution kills 7 million people worldwide each year and that pollutants from the burning of coal contribute to this appalling carnage [14].

As amplified below, it is estimated that pollutants from the burning of exported Adani coal will have a long-term deadly impact, killing about 13,000 people each year and about 0.5 million people from the life-time operation of the  Adani mine. For detailed statistics,  calculations and documentation see  “Stop air pollution deaths” [14] and the scroll down this alphabetically-ordered website to “Air pollution deaths by country and region” and thence to areas of interest  such as “Australia”, “India” and “London”.

Assuming that Outdoor air pollution deaths are about half of the total of 7 million air pollution deaths annually,  and notionally assuming that burning of coal is responsible for 50% of these Outdoor air pollution deaths, then we can estimate that coal burning pollutants are responsible for about 7 million/4 = 1.75 million air pollution deaths each year.

According to the World Coal Association, global production of coal was 7, 823 million tonnes  in 2013 of which 336 million tonnes  were Australian coal exports [15]. We can modestly assume that pollutants from the burning of this coal  for energy or metallurgy were associated with about 1.75.million Outdoor pollution-related deaths annually.

From this information we can crudely estimate that  the burning of  Australia’s  annual coal exports of 336 million tonnes would be ultimately associated with 336 million tonnes Australia coal  x 1.75 million deaths / 7,823 million tonnes annual global coal production =  75,000 deaths annually.


A key caveat to this argument is that coal burning pollutants do not kill immediately – as with the effects of pollutants from cigarette smoking, the deadly outcomes may occur decades later. However carbon fuel burning  has been remorselessly increasing globally as reflected in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels that have been steadily  increasing at an ever-increasing rate  as measured by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at Mauna Loa in Hawaii since 1960.  The atmospheric CO2 is now a record 406 parts per million (ppm) and increasing at a record 3 ppm CO2 per year [16]. Accordingly, the present 7 million air pollution deaths annually may under-estimate the eventual future annual death toll due to present air pollution.

The Adani Carmichael coal mine is expected to export 60 million tonnes of  coal each year and 2,300 million tonnes of coal over the lifetime of the mine [17]. Accordingly, given the  estimate of 75,000 deaths annually from  Australia’s 336 million tonnes of coal exports annually we can crudely estimate that burning Adani’s 60 million tonnes of annual exports will be associated with 60 million tonnes annual  Adani coal exports x 75,000 deaths annually / 336 million tonnes total annual Australian coal exports = 13,392 or roughly 13,000 air pollution deaths each year.

We can similarly  crudely  estimate that burning  the 2,300 million tonnes of lifetime Adani  coal exports will be associated with 2,300 million tonnes of total Adani coal exports x 75,000 annual deaths/ 336 million tonnes of annual Australian coal exports = 513,392 or about 500,000 air pollution deaths. as a result of the lifetime operations of the Adani coal mine.

Australians, and especially the most-justifiably much-maligned Australian politicians, have a horror of numbers that put Australia in a bad light. Thus Australian media ignore the estimate from the prestigious and expert  US Just Foreign Policy organization that 1.5 million Iraqis died violently as a result of the illegal US, UK and Australian invasion of Iraq in 2003 [18]. Yet on the occasion of the US withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 the ABC (Australia’s equivalent of the UK BBC) asserted that “tens of thousands” of Iraqis had died [19]. However Iraqi deaths in 2003-2011 from violence (1.5 million) and from war-imposed deprivation (1.2 million) total 2.7 million  [20, 21]. In stark contrast,  when it comes to sports betting odds, a miniscule increase in a home mortgage interest rate from 5.60% to 5.65% , or national hero Don Bradman’s Test cricket batting average of 99.94, the average  Australian suddenly becomes a mathematical and statistical whiz obsessed with numerical precision.

Climate economist Dr Chris Hope of 90-Nobel-Laureate Cambridge University has estimated a damage-related Carbon Price in US dollars of $200 per tonne CO2-equivalent [22]. Using estimates from Professor James Hansen  (a leading climate scientist from 85-Nobel-Laureate Columbia University) of national contributions to Historical  Carbon Debt,  and assuming a damage-related Carbon Price of  $200 per tonne CO2-e,  the world has a damage-related Carbon Debt of $370 trillion that is increasing at $13 trillion per year,  and Australia has a Carbon Debt of $7.5 trillion that is increasing at $400 billion per year and at $40,000 per head per year for under-30 year old Australians [23]. Unlike conventional debt – that can be variously expunged by default, bankruptcy, printing money or the debtor running away to a secret new life – Carbon Debt via a damage-related Carbon Price is inescapable e.g.  if future  generations do not build sea walls, coastal cities will be submerged by increasing sea levels from global warming.

At a present-day price of about $100 per tonne of coal, the 60 million tonnes of annual Adani  Australian coal exports and  2,300 million tonnes of lifetime Adani Australian  coal exports will be worth $6 billion and $230 billion, respectively. However the damage–related Carbon Price at $200 per tonne coal will be twice those amounts, or $12 billion and $460 billion, respectively, to be paid by future generations – gross intergenerational inequity and intergenerational injustice to which the young (when properly informed) must surely respond with Climate Revolution (peacefully, of course).

However there is an even greater Carbon Debt from the Adani coal mine relating to the pollution-related deaths. Assuming that “all men are created equal” and a US risk-avoidance-based Value of a Statistical Life (VSL) of $7 million per person [24], then the cost of the estimated 13,000 deaths annually and 500,000 deaths from the life-time operation of the Adani coal mine will  be $91 billion and $3,500 billion, respectively.

Australia with 0.3% of the world’s population has a Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution equivalent to 4.4% of the World’s total [11, 12] . However,  the Adani coal mine will lift this outrageously disproportionate percentage to 4.5%.

Coal kills and most of the victims of Australia’s huge coal exports are Asians. Since most of the Adani coal is destined for India one supposes that most  of the eventual 500,000 dead from mine-lifetime Adani coal exports from Australia will be Indians. The Elephant-in-the-Room-ignoring 80%  of Australians who give their 2-party-preferred vote for the pro-coal, pro-gas, pro-fossil fuels,  pro-highways, pro-Adani Lib-Labs (the governing Liberal Party-National Party Coalition and the opposition Labor Party) should ask themselves after the fashion of present African-Americans protesting African-American deaths at the hands of police: do Indian lives matter? Do Asian lives matter?

However for all their present earnest political correctness, Australians are actual politically correct racist (PC racist) and don’t give a damn about Asian deaths as demonstrated by their bipartisan enthusiasm  for the Adani project that will kill 13, 000 Asians annually,  their world-leading coal exports that kill 75,000 Asians annually,  and their world-leading  gas exports that together with their coal exports and huge Domestic GHG pollution make Australia a world leader in annual per capita GHG pollution [11, 12] and  second only to Saudi Arabia for climate change inaction [25].

This profound and continuing  Australian contempt  for non-Europeans (albeit carefully hidden these days by political correctness) dates from the initial invasion in 1788 and the subsequent Aboriginal Genocide and Aboriginal Ethnocide in which 2 million Indigenous Australians have died untimely deaths from deprivation, disease or violence (0.1 million from violence) [26]. Of 350-750 Indigenous languages and dialects in 1788 only 150 remain today, of which all but 20 are threatened by racist government policy [26]. White Australians largely excluded non-Europeans, especially Indians and Chinese,  from Australia in the 19th century by regulations and deportations. Australia’s first Prime Minister Edmund Barton put the racist White Australian position succinctly  in supporting the 1901 Immigration Act (the Commonwealth Immigration Restriction Bill, 1901) commonly known as the White Australia Policy: “The doctrine of the equality of man was never intended to apply to the equality of an Englishman and the Chinaman” [27].  Indigenous Australians were only finally “counted” as Australian citizens after a Referendum in 1967 . The White Australia policy was eventually removed in 1974 by the Whitlam Labor Government that was itself removed in a US CIA-backed coup in 1975.

The White Australia policy lives on in regulations discriminating against non-Europeans seeking visas to visit Australia (regulations that are studiously ignored by PC racist Australian Mainstream media), in Australian  participation in genocidal US wars,  and in the homicidal greed of Australia’s disproportionate GHG pollution, fossil fuel exploitation,  deadly coal exports and  climate change inaction.

Of course the ultimate in racism is invading and devastating  other countries.    Australians have invaded s UK lackeys or US lackeys Australians have invaded 85 countries as compared to the British 193, France 82, the US 72 (52 after WW2), Germany 39, Japan 30, Russia 25, Canada 25,  Apartheid Israel 12 and China 2  [28-33] .History ignored yields history repeated [27] and look-the-other-way Australia is consequently now into its Third Syrian War and its Eighth Iraq War of the last 100 years. 30 of these Australian-complicit invasions have been genocidal but are , of course, utterly ignored by the “official” “The Cambridge History of Australia” [34]. By withholding food from its huge wartime grain stores, Australia was complicit in the 1942-1945 Bengali Holocaust (WW2 Indian Holocaust, WW2 Bengal Famine)  in which the British deliberately  starved 6-7 million Indians  to death for strategic reasons [27, 35-37].. Australia produced 24 million tons of wheat during WW2 but most was stored in huge temporary granaries and as little as 0.3 million tons went to India in the worst famine period of 1943 – 1944, noting that India needed to import 1-2 million tons of grain annually before WW2,  but Indian grain imports during WW2 totalled (in tons) 30,000 (1942), 303,000 (1943), 639,000 (1944), and 871,000 (1945) [27].

After December 1941 Australia switched from being a UK lackey to being a US lackey and has been involved in all post-1950 US Asian wars, atrocities associated with 40 million Asian deaths from violence or war-imposed deprivation [29]. As a US lackey Australia has been an enthusiastic partner in the US War on Terror (in reality a genocidal  US War on Muslims)  that has, so far, been associated with 32 million Muslim deaths from violence, 5 million, or imposed deprivation, 27 million, in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government’s  9-11 false flag atrocity [38, 39]. However all of this is dwarfed by Australia’s disproportionate involvement in the worsening Climate Emergency and Climate Genocide that is set to kill 10 billion people this century in the absence of requisite climate change action [40].

This brief history of genocidal Australian racism indicates that the adumbrated  mass murder of about 500,000 Indians via the life-time operation of the Adani Carmichael  coal mine is merely par for the course for remorselessly greedy, genocidally racist and neoliberal Australia.

However ordinary Australians are not safe from the homicidal, neoliberal greed of their ostensibly democratically-elected masters in Plutocracy, Kleptocracy, Lobbyocracy, Corporatocracy and Dollarocracy  Australia in which Big Monev purchases people, politicians, parties, policies, public perception of  reality, votes and hence more power and private  profit for the overwhelmingly dominant One Percenters. Pollutants from the burning of coal and other carbon fuels are also estimated to kill nearly 10,000 Australians each year as determined from comparison with fellow Anglosphere countries Canada and New Zealand, the breakdown being 2,200 from vehicle exhaust, 4,600 from, coal burning for electricity and 2,800 from other carbon burning [14].

By way of comparison with these estimates for Australia, UK air pollution experts from the Environmental Research Group at Kings College, after taking the impact of nitrogen oxides into account, recently estimated 9,400 annual deaths from air pollution in London [41, 42].

To put these 10,000 annual Australian air pollution deaths into a wider context, some 85,000 Australians die preventably each year, the breakdown (involving some overlaps) including  (1) 26,000 annual Australian deaths from adverse hospital events, (2) 17,000 obesity-related Australian deaths,  (3) 15,500 smoking-related Australian deaths, (4) 10,000 carbon burning pollution-derived Australian deaths, (5) 4,000 avoidable Indigenous Australian avoidable deaths, (6) 5,600 Australians die alcohol-related deaths, (7) 2,100 Australian suicides, (8) 1,400 Australian road deaths, (9) 630 Australian opiate drug-related deaths with 570 linked to US restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry, and (10) 300 Australian homicides (80 being of women killed domestically) [43].

By way of stark comparison, since 1788 there have been zero Australian deaths ever in Australia by jihadi organizations and only 2 Australian deaths ever in Australia at the hands of lone wolf jihadis. Yet US-confected terror hysteria means that US lackev Australia spends circa $10 billion each year on terrorism-related domestic security and terrorism-exciting wars [44].

The blame for the extraordinary Australian  myopia over pollution related deaths lies in (1) an entrenched  look-the-other-way culture (perhaps from Australia’s  convict past and guilt over the Aboriginal Genocide), (2) a culture of resolutely ignoring embarrassing and unpleasant realities, and (3) entrenched Mainstream media fake news through lying by omission – massive deception of decent Australians by the  neoliberal, mendacious, oligopoly and  largely US-owned  Australian media [45, 46].

Of course, the veritable Herd of Elephants in the Room ignored by look-the-other-way Australians is the worsening Climate Emergency and Climate Genocide [40].   The ideal target of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference of no more than a 1.5 C temperature  rise will be exceeded in 4-10 years. The plus 2C temperature rise  (that all nations  except for anti-science, idiot-ruled Trump America regard as catastrophic)  is now unavoidable leaving  Humanity with the limited goal of doing everything it can to make the future “less bad” for future generations [47, 48] – and that means cessation of net greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, cessation of fossil  fuel exploitation and a return of atmospheric CO2 to the pre-Industrial Revolution level of circa 300 ppm CO2 ASAP [49-51].

Presently, about 7 million people die each year from air pollution [14] and about  0.4 million people die from climate change [52], noting  that the latter figure  may be a considerable  under-estimate because 17 million people die avoidably each year from deprivation in tropical or sub-tropical Developing World countries (minus China) that are already disproportionately  impacted by man-made climate change [29]. Presently 20 million people arte facing famine and mass starvation in war- and drought-impacted northern Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen [53].  Top climate change scientists  have estimated that as few as 0.5 billion people will survive this century if climate change is not requisitely addressed , this translating to a Climate Genocide in which these estimates translate to a climate genocide involving deaths of 10 billion people this century, this including roughly twice the present population of particular mainly non-European groups, specifically 6 billion under-5 year old infants, 3 billion Muslims in a terminal Muslim Holocaust, 2 billion Indians, 1.3 billion non-Arab Africans, 0.5 billion Bengalis, 0.3 billion Pakistanis and 0.3 billion Bangladeshis [40]. Indeed the Indian Government has constructed a huge Wall    to keep out an expected future flood of tens of millions of Bangladeshi climate refugees [54].

In summary, the horrible “coal kills” realities   that Australians must face up to are that (1) there is a neoliberal, homicidal, Australian-killing and  climate criminal Lib-Lab (Coalition and Labor) consensus on long-term domestic fossil fuel use and  unlimited fossil fuel exports, (2) 7 million people die globally from air pollution each year, (3) 75,000  people die annually from pollutants from the burning of Australian coal exports, and (4) a further 13,000 people will die annually from the burning of Adani Australian coal exports with 500,000 people, mostly Indians, dying thus from the lifetime operation of the Adani Carmichael coal mine. Science-informed Australians who utterly abhor the prospective mass murder of about 500,000 Indians by the Adani coal mine will utterly reject the climate criminal, Asian-killing and Australian-killing Lib-Labs (Coalition and Labor), vote 1 Green and put the COALition last. A desperate World may be forced to act against  the worst climate criminal nations [11, 12] by Boycotts, Divestrnent and Sanctions (BDS), legal actions under International Law,  and by application of Green Tariffs.


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[2]. Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), “River diversion plan is environmental vandalism”, 20 January 2015: https://www.acf.org.au/river_diversion_plan_is_environmental_vandalism.

[3]. April Reside, Bonnie Mappin, James Watson, Sarah Chapman and Stephen Kearney, “Four environmental reasons why fast-tracking the Carmichael coal mine is a bad idea”, The Conversation & ABC,  2 November 2016: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-02/fast-tracking-adani-carmichael-coal-mine-a-bad-idea/7988116.

[4]. Free The Reef:, “Frequently asked questions”, 26 June 2016: http://freethereef.org/frequently-asked-questions/.

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[54]. Jared P. Scott, PBS International, “The Age of Consequences”, 20 March 2017: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2017/03/20/4637278.htm.

Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/australian-complicity-in-iraq-mass-mortality/3369002#transcript) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/  ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/social-economic-history/listen-the-bengal-famine  ;  Gideon Polya: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/home  ; Gideon Polya Writing: https://sites.google.com/site/gideonpolyawriting/ ; Gideon Polya, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_Polya) . When words fail one can say it in pictures – for images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/.

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