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Ending the Fossil Fuel Era$
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Thomas Princen, Jack P. Manno, and Pamela L. Martin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262028806

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262028806.001.0001

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Slowing Uranium in Australia

Slowing Uranium in Australia

Lessons for Urgent Transition beyond Coal, Gas, and Oil

(p.193) 8 Slowing Uranium in Australia
Ending the Fossil Fuel Era

James Goodman

Stuart Rosewarne

The MIT Press

If keeping fossil fuels in the ground requires a perceptual shift from viewing them as highly valued, net beneficial resources to seeing them as costly, planetary threats, then Australia’s relationship with uranium mining illustrates both the possibility and the difficulty of making such a shift. James Goodman and Stuart Rosewarne describe the cultural pendulum of legitimization, delegitimization, and, more recently, the possible relegitimization of uranium. They trace the history of ideas and actions of anti-uranium peace activists, labor unions, farmers, and Indigenous peoples who succeeded in convincing the Australian people and their government to impose a moratorium on uranium mining in the mid-1970s, a ban that lasted for almost thirty years. Australia’s action demonstrates that a nation can choose to reject at least some of the enticing promises of easy wealth that can be had by taking stuff out of the ground, and do so based largely on nonmonetary ethical, spiritual, security, health, and human rights grounds.

Keywords:   Uranium Moratorium, Anti-uranium Movement, Ranger Environmental Inquiry, Friends of the Earth, Australian Conservation Foundation, Australian Council of Trade Unions, Nuclear Boosterism, Revalorization of Uranium, Indigenous peoples, Fukushima

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