Archive for climate change

Money and Mining Men

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2012 by Weary Hobo

Download, listen and rate our new song ‘Mining Man’ free here!

The last year has been great for us as a band with highlights including a baby(!) and new album and performing at Woodford Folk Festival. For me this last one was a dream since I first went there in 2004.

Devastatingly in the lead up we started hearing comments from friends about a Coal Seam Gas (CSG) company financing the festival. Santos is a major Australian oil and gas company that has been pushing CSG hard. Here is a map of CSG in NSW and Australia showing areas affected.

This was a dilemma. We want to play for the people. We don’t want to pay to play nor accept money from greenwashing miners. This has happened at a different small regional festival and the money we earned we gave to an environmental group to campaign against the miners.

So, either we boycott and no one hears our songs up there or we play and take money from a CSG company? We figured we’d find out what was going on up there, play it by ear and drove up there in our silly yellow van with partners, friends and a new baby.

At the festival we saw “Artists against CSG” stickers and heard others talk about the problem on stage including a great poem from Peggy Seeger (here). Eventually it was our turn and we got up and played a new song called ‘Santos’. Our song encouraged people to Lock the Gate and got a great reception! It is always a massive relief when the audience sings along to a new song.

The festival directors decided to put the funding from Santos on hold. In my opinion this was because of community members who went to the sponsorship meeting and were vocal about these concerns. The hold period was set till June 2012 to make a decision about whether or not to keep it. Do you know what happened at the meeting in June? I’m still

Since Woodford the CSG problem is not leaving us without a fight so we’ve kept on playing the song and recorded it for you. It’s a little different to the original performances but pretty true to form. If you want to hear it on triple j we need your help!

Visit the site and listen, download and rate this song. Here is what ‘Cozzabags’ said

Another great track from the Lurkers – still my favourite band in this style of music!” Cozzabags 


Weary, Rat, Rocky and Pretty

Quit Coal takes over the Premier’s Office

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2012 by Weary Hobo

Photo: Concerned community members from rural Victoria and Melbourne locked on to protest against brown coal exports.

As I write there is a great protest against exporting brown coal going on with padlocks and chains in VIC Premier Ted Ballieu’s office. I learnt about this from call from a friend who is part of the Quit Coal group who asked me to sing a song for them over the loudspeaker. I feel hugely grateful to you for putting yourselves on the line in such an important battle.

The struggle for the climate and against coal is now greater than ever. Get involved! 

If you are from Victoria and want food bowls over coal quarrys call Ted (03 9651 5000) and ask him to explain his failed election promise to take action on climate change or contact Quit Coal.

Yours lurkfully, 

Weary and the Lurkers.

Historic Day

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on October 12, 2011 by Weary Hobo

The moment to remember happened today. In case you missed the Clean Energy Bill passing the lower house I’ve captured the moment for you.

I was so excited I wet my pants twice then recorded a guitar backing track the The World Today’s story about the event. See below:



Rising Tide Action

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2011 by Weary Hobo

Action by Rising Tide in Newcastle on August 5th, 2011 to highlight coal’s contribution to Somalia’s famine

Rising Tide Australia is a grassroots Newcastle group taking action against the causes of anthropogenic climate change and for equitablejust,effective, and sustainable solutions to the crisis. We are committed to the principles of Non-violent Direct Action. We are part of the global Rising Tide climate justice movement. We live in the biggest coal port in the cosmos.

In this action, the activists were calling for coal companies to donate some of their profits to the hundreds of thousands facing starvation due to the terrible climate change driven drought in East Africa.

“Coal is recognised globally as the biggest contributor to climate change. Yet, while climate disaster ravages East Africa, coal companies operating here in Australia are planning to massively expand their coal production, ignoring all the negative impacts.” Spokesperson Naomi Hogan

Climate change is affecting the poorest first. It’s easy for politicians to say “we don’t have enough evidence” speaking the lines that come from minerals councils and lobby groups. The West Australian State Liberals want us to wait for yet another report. A Royal Commission in fact. It is infuriating to people still using these stalling tactics. It is important that we stand with Rising Tide in their actions.

It is not just Australia that battles with the mega-rich resource multi-nationals. Here is a little idea from Canada to address an issue creatively – No Tankers Oil Poster


Tim DeChristopher gets two years and a $10,000 fine

Posted in Activism with tags , , , , , , , on July 28, 2011 by Weary Hobo


26th July, 2011 outside the Federal Courthouse in Salt Lake City, Utah. 26 people arrested in support of Tim DeChristopher, Climate Activist.

This was the trial where Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to two years imprisonment  and a $10,000 fine. This was for his non-violent civil disobedience action in 2008 at the end of the Bush Administration. Tim disrupted a federal oil and gas auction of $1.8mil worth of leases which would have been mined for oil, gas and coal.

Before his sentencing, Tim noted the squalor of his childhood home state, West Virginia, where he said his mother worked through the legal channels to fight mountaintop-removal coal mining, but to no avail.

In good news, Mantle Mining has abandoned plans to explore for brown coal in South West Victoria after a campaign by residents. Yeew!

W. H.

Padlock and chain

Posted in Activism, Anarchism, Climate Camp, Climate change, Folk music, Police, political music, politics, radical art with tags , , , , , , , on December 17, 2010 by Weary Hobo

Dear Lurkers,

Two weeks ago, I was one of the people who locked-on to a coal track in a protest against the building of a new coal-fired power station. I don’t break the law regularly. Don’t even have a speeding fine. Two days ago I sat on a coal track to stop the trains and refused police requests to move. Over the past seven years I have tried a variety of ways to participate in the growing climate change movement including:

  • changing my light globes and lobbying my parents ; )
  • local campaigning, lobbying and protest at Macquarie University and in the community with ASEN and Climate Action Newtown and at work,
  • national lobbying of politicians and corporations, campaigning and creative actions with AYCC,
  • international actions with Youth of the United Nations NGOs, and
  • making activist climate music with The Lurkers

It is important that there is variety in the way we address an issue like climate change because it is an issue unlike any faced by the globe. I sincerely believe that all of these actions listed above help in small and large ways and congratulate you if you are doing any of them. On the weekend I took the further and less common step.

I did this because I reflected on what is effective. I don’t have cash to donate. I do climate unfriendly stuff like drive a car. I work and have fun. When I looked at what needs to happen in our community to get traction and what I can offer, this action fitted the spot. If you want to know more about Bayswater check out this site. As the UN negotiations to respond to climate change continue past their sixteenth year our planet continues to heat up due to coal burning and other fossil fuels. As our leaders talk about the difficult decisions without acting, the time to act is here.

In Copenhagen last year young people were asked by Kumi Naidoo from Greenpeace International to give their lives to solve climate change. He asked us to act, not out of desperation or fear but to act out of love for the world. Climate camp at Bayswater was overflowing with this love.

So that Friday, I went along to Climate Camp in the Hunter Valley and on Sunday I participated in civil disobediance with 130 other people. They were people from the local area including indigenous people, local farmers and city folk like me. I locked-on to seven other people making it impossible to be moved by the police while causing no property damage.

I was hooked up with carabeenas and rope to my old friend Erland as well as four sixteen year old girls from northern NSW. We had a huge amount of support and care from friends and activists who gave us sunscreen, water and food. We sat in the beating sun and heavy rain singing, dancing, telling stories and playing music for seven hours. There was even a radical marching band!

Police took us away in the paddy van and we sat in the holding cell for a few hours chatting and were out by 10:00pm. The under-age protestors got a lecture from the police and were let off without any charge! My court date is set for 21st February, 2011. Me and Erland will be heading back up to Muswellbrook on that Monday and might be let off the charge of ‘tresspass and remain’ and ‘ locking on’ with a Section 10 if we can show we are of ‘good character’.

The action was a coordinated, peaceful demonstration of the community’s frustration about expansion of coal-fired power stations in NSW. It was successful and positive. I feel proud to have been involved, even as someone who was not brought up to be politically active. Climate change is something that I think we can beat if we act in substantial ways now and continue to. I have not written this to convince you to lock-on but to explain my story.

When we were locked on we sang a lot of songs. One song by David Rovics resonated with lots of people. Here are the lyrics and here is a video of David singing it for some people arrested in the Copenhagen demonstrations.

So much gratitude to the Climate Camp organisers for creating such a wonderful event.


Weary H. and the lurkers

They’re keeping a file on me

Posted in Anarchism, ASIO, Climate Camp, Climate change, Culture, Hazelwood, Music, Police with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2010 by Desert Rat Shorty

It was nice to see so many fans with video cameras when we played at the Switch off Hazelhood protest last month.  Hazelwood power station is the most polluting power station in Australia.

At gigs, and even when we’re busking, people invariably take photos or videos.  I always wonder where on earth those dodgy videos end up…

I can only presume these coppers were desperate to show their mates back at the station the awesome Lurkers gig they missed out on.  Because if it was for ASIO, what the hell are they gonna do with a recording of The Lurkers playing Environmental Evangelism Makes no Friends?! 

Then again, maybe they were genuinely afraid of the protesters.  I know that nothing strikes fear into my heart quite like a papier mache globe.

There  so many cops at the protest, they had to get creative about their modes of transport.  We saw dirt bikes, helicopters, inflatable boats, 4WDs, horses. 

In fact I think the only transport mode missing was the elegant bicycle.  I guess that would have been too environmentally friendly for the occasion.

If you feel like doing something to save us all from the impending doom cause by climate change, join us at Climate Camp this weekend. 

If we’re in luck, we might even get a few cops turing up to The Lurkers songwriting workshop this Friday.  Cause nothing threatens the state quite like a rhyming couplet.