Moree farmer raises sign, warning that overpopulation is fueling the growth of CSG mines

WARNING: Mr Schneebeli painted the new sign last December, suggesting overpopulation fueled the growth of CSG mines to keep up with international demand.
WARNING: Mr Schneebeli painted the new sign last December, suggesting overpopulation fueled the growth of CSG mines to keep up with international demand.

LOCAL farmer Henry Schneebeli’s war against coal seam gas mining enters new phase, as he raises a new sign on the Newell Highway, linking overpopulation with the growth of CSG mines.

Mr Schneebeli raised the first sign on the north side of town in 2014 slamming CSG miners, though felt it was not enough.

“When I put up the sign against CSG in 2014, I was never quite comfortable with it, because it didn’t give a solution to the problem,” he said.

He painted a new sign on the back of the old one last December, citing population control as the solution.

“Norman Borlaugh, the father of the Green Revolution, who saved millions from starvation by breeding rust resistant wheat varieties, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work around the world,” Mr Schneebeli said.

“In his acceptance speech he said something like, ‘If the frightening power of human reproduction is not addressed, my work will be for nothing’.”

Mr Schneebeli said the solution to the problem could be solved at the grassroots level, suggesting a two child family.

“Mining companies do their thing, because there is a demand for their product, not because they love to destroy the environment,” he said.

Mr Schneebeli said an uncontrolled population only fueled demand, which led to more CSG mines.

“It’s kindergarten economics: the more kids that share a birthday cake, the smaller their piece of cake,” he said.

He argued, a global population of seven million people was simply unsustainable.

“By not addressing overpopulation we have no chance of saving our environment, which is vital for the wellbeing of future generations,” Mr Schneebeli said.

Mr Schneebeli was a farmer in his home country, Switzerland, before he made the move to Moree.

For more than 60 years, the lifetime farmer has been growing cotton, wheat, chickpeas and the like.

He praised the soil in Moree, saying it yielded optimum crop growth.

Mr Schneebeli warned placing CSG mines on agricultural land only spelled trouble.

“Farmers rely on this soil to grow their crops. If you had to stick CSG mines somewhere, you would be better off choosing a site where the soil isn’t as good,” he said.

Even so, he strongly condemns the idea of CSG mining altogether.

“You are releasing harmful gasses into the atmosphere, which only worsens global warming,” he said.

Mr Schneebeli said his grandchildren are a constant source of worry for him, saying he didn’t want to see them grow up in an overcrowded world where there was a shortage in resources.

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