Such protest should be a commonplace - as acceptable as protest about job security and conditions, the availability of affordable child care, or safer level crossings - but coal protest has been blackened in the eyes of ordinary people.
In some cases we might even imagine "fortunate" households sitting atop their own coal reserves. To the choking airborne particulates - implicated by medicine in cancer, heart attack and stroke - to the carbon emissions driving climate disruption, those "resource-rich" individuals could then add the ground-water pollution and environmental damage of mining itself - coal or coal seam gas, take your pick.
Australia is the world's largest exporter of coal, and is set on the headlong expansion of coal exports. Despite a wealth of renewable energy sources that could slash Australia's total and per capita emissions, we also persist in our heavy reliance on coal for domestic power generation.
While this "guardrail" temperature limit is now considered unsafe by leading climate scientists, the modelling gives some indication of the impact of ending subsidies alone - not to mention the potential benefits of redirecting them to renewable energy technologies.
For further information:
Read Environment Victoria's Eight Good reasons to cut HRL's government funding.
Updated 8.47am Wednesday 1 February 2012