Who can forget the image of Scott Morrison, as federal treasurer, juggling a lump of lacquered coal in parliament on 9 February 2017? Appearing pretty chuffed with his own antics, Morrison urged people not to be afraid. Eighteen months later, the jester is now prime minister. His ascension results from one of the most undignified and ill-conceived political coups in Australia’s political memory. The Liberal Party clambers from the rubble of its bitter internal ruptures with the same foot soldiers of big coal even more prominent.
In Adani and the War Over Coal, Quentin Beresford provides detailed analysis of each policy switch and deal struck by politicians and mining corporations to advance the coal industry. Politicians with personal interests vested in coal radically deploy the power of their office to smooth and broaden the reach of resource corporations. Pugilistic audacity and naked entitlement characterise a war conducted on behalf of big coal against Australian citizens and environments.