Fukushima still out of control February-2014 The World is at a critical crossroads. The Fukushima disaster in Japan has brought to the forefront the dangers of Worldwide nuclear radiation.
The crisis in Japan has been described as “a nuclear war without a war”. In the words of renowned novelist Haruki Murakami:
“This time no one dropped a bomb on us … We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives.”
Nuclear radiation –which threatens life on planet earth– is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern. While the long-term repercussions of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are yet to be fully assessed, they are far more serious than those pertaining to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine…..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pz1j4IHcsP4
Dennis Mathews. 8 Mar 14 ,The nuclear industry would have us believe that, economically speaking, the trade in uranium for nuclear weapons is a distortion of the uranium market (The Advertiser, 8/3/14). However, like any other commodity, the use of uranium has no relevance to the supply-demand equation and hence the market price.
When Australia sells its uranium as yellowcake into the world market the uranium physically ends up in a processing pool along with uranium from many other suppliers. Once in this pool it loses its identity, it is no longer possible to tell which atom of uranium came from Australia and which came from some other country.
Australian uranium then ends up in both nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons in countries such as Russia, UK, China, USA, India and France.
The nuclear industry would like us to believe that the nuclear weapons and nuclear power industries are unrelated. This is clearly a public relations exercise that defies economic and physical reality.
Santos fined after coal seam gas project contaminates aquifer ‘with uranium’ eguardian.com, Saturday 8 March 2014
NSW under pressure to break fast-tracking agreement after energy producer fined $1,500 for ‘pollution incident’ in the Pilliga The NSW government should tear up an agreement with Santos to fast-track a coal seam gas project after the energy producer was fined for contaminating an aquifer, reportedly with uranium, the state opposition says.
The Environment Protection Authority issued a $1,500 fine to Santos last month following the “pollution incident” at the company’s Narrabri Gas Field operations in the Pilliga in NSW’s northwest.
Fairfax Media reports that the aquifer was contaminated with uranium at levels 20 times higher than safe drinking water guidelines…….http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/08/santos-fined-coal-seam-gas-contaminates-aquifer-uranium
‘No fracking way’: delegation hits Canberra COLIN BETTLES http://www.farmweekly.com.au/news/agriculture/general/news/no-fracking-way-delegation-hits-canberra/2690278.aspx08 Mar, 2014 A NOVEL delegation of concerned community groups has backed the Australian Greens push to give farmers and private landholders greater legislative protection against potential damage from coal seam gas (CSG) mining and fracking The 15-member delegation descended on Parliament House in Canberra this week, holding meetings with 30 ministers and MPs to push their anti-mining views and call for more stringent regulations.
The group was pulled together by the Lock The Gate Alliance and i cluded amongst its members, farmers from Victoria, NSW and SA, an Anglican Minister with environmental concerns from the ACT, an eco-tourism manager from Queensland arrested for anti-CSG protests and traditional land holders from the WA Kimberley region and Gunnedah in NSW.
Their visit coincided with debate in the Senate this week on proposed legislation spearheaded by Green’s mining spokesperson and Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, to give landholders power of veto over mining on their land.
The Bill was defeated after the ALP and Coalition voted against it which Senator Waters said let down the Lock the Gate delegation.
“Right across our country, people are concerned about coal and gas threatening their land, water and climate and disgracefully landholders have no rights to stop the big mining companies from marching on to their land and doing whatever they want,” she said.
“Alarmingly shale gas is taking over Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia and the Greens are the only party standing up for landholders against this dangerous industry.
“The Liberal and National Senators didn’t even bother to participate in the Senate debate, even though rural communities are crying out for landholder rights.”
Lock The Gate Alliance national co-ordinator Phil Laird said while an invitation to meet with Prime Minister Tony Abbott was rejected, the delegation would hold talks with Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, as well as Coalition, Greens and Labor members.
Best And Worst Case Scenarios for Ukraine Crisis: World Peace And Nuclear War Seth Baum,Huffington Post,7 Mar 14 “………..The best case scenario has the Ukraine crisis being resolved diplomatically through increased Russia-Europe cooperation, which would be a big step towards world peace. The worst case scenario has the crisis escalating into nuclear war between the United States and Russia, causing human extinction.
We cannot rule out the possibility of it ending in direct nuclear war……….
And now for the best case scenario. There is compelling reason to believe that the Ukraine crisis could end with the world being much safer and at peace than it was before the crisis, if certain steps are taken. Perhaps these steps could have been taken without the crisis. But the crisis has done an excellent job at focusing global attention on Ukraine and its challenges. Let no crisis go to waste.
A nuclear war could also occur inadvertently, i.e. when a false alarm is misinterpreted as real, and nuclear weapons are launched in what is believed to be a counterattack……….http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-baum/best-and-worst-case-scena_b_4915315.html
IEA Dispels Abbott’s Renewable Energy Propaganda,CleanTechnica 7 Mar 14 One of the most depressing discussions I have ever had as editor of RenewEconomy was with a policy advisor for a state Coalition government. He started off by giving me a lecture about how his minister only acted on “evidence based information”, and then proceeded to quote some of the more outrageous nonsense published in the Murdoch media and some extremely marginal web-sites.
Perhaps, then, this person and all the other advisors who direct (or distort) energy policy at state and federal level with the conservative administrations should sit down and absorb the latest report by the International Energy Agency on the integration of wind and solar energy. It might reduce the ignorance and misinformation that is having a profound impact on renewable policy in Australia.
The IEA is a useful reference point. It is a highly conservative organization that was created after the 1970s gas crisis to ensure the continuation of energy supply. Continue reading
William Souder William Souder is the author of On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson, which was published in September 2012 on the 50th…
Sixty years ago, in the predawn hours of March 1, 1954, a Japanese tuna boat named Daigo Fukuryu Maru (“Lucky Dragon no. 5”) was fishing near the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific. Its engine off, the ship drifted silently on a glassy sea. Overhead, the stars illuminated a few wandering clouds. Suddenly a blinding wall of light appeared on the western horizon. As the crew rushed on deck, the light changed from white to yellow, and then to orange and finally a deep red—a monster light that continued to grow and rise into the sky. After a few minutes, the 99-ton ship lurched as a deafening roar passed over it…….
The test at Bikini Atoll that day—code named Castle Bravo—was of the first practical hydrogen bomb. A year and a half earlier, the United States had exploded the first hydrogen device, which was the size of a small building. …..
The crew would spend months being treated for radiation sickness in a Tokyo hospital. All but the radio operator Kuboyama eventually recovered, although many later suffered from liver and blood disorders.
The Castle Bravo incident caused international consternation. …….
A few years later, marine biologist and author Rachel Carson recounted Kuboyama’s death in the most sensational book of 1962: Silent Spring……
One of Carson’s challenges in writing Silent Spring was how to convince her readers of the then-novel idea that an unseen chemical contaminant that might be anywhere (or everywhere) might cause unanticipated collateral damage to ecosystems. She solved this problem by perceiving a parallel between pesticides and radiation. Invisible, ubiquitous, and accumulating in the tissues of living things over time, pesticides and radioactive fallout from nuclear testing were, Carson argued, the twin existential problems of the modern age……HTTP://THEBULLETIN.ORG/LINK-BETWEEN-CASTLE-BRAVO-AND-MODERN-ENVIRONMENTALISM
successive Australian governments have furthered the fiction that the Russian nuclear sector is secure and safe.
Australian Yellow cake fuels Ukrainian fires http://By Dave Sweeney , 6 Mar 14 As the deeply disturbing events unfolding in the Ukraine highlight troop mobilisations, sabre rattling and suppression of civilian critics are becoming the hallmarks of President Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Australia, along with most Western nations, has condemned the Russian escalation and called for restraint and dialogue. Such a call is important but needs to be accompanied by action to ensure it penetrates the thick walls of the Kremlin.
One clear and potent action that Australia could take to amplify our diplomatic dissent with the posturing of both the Red Army and the Black Sea fleet would be to halt our fledgling yellowcake trade with Russia…….. Continue reading
No Contest in Fisher. 6th March 2014 Judging from the responses to a survey conducted by the Fisher Electoral Lobby, the contest for the seat of Fisher is a non-event. The sitting member Bob Such quickly responded to the questionnaire but after three weeks the Liberal Party candidate had not responded.
According to the spokesman for the Fisher Electoral Lobby, Dennis Matthews:
“It is inexplicable why the Liberal Party would smother the electorate of Fisher in posters yet not respond to a questionnaire from its constituents.”
The questions were fairly provocative and required that the candidates take a position on some contentious issues.
“Bob Such did not commit himself on some issues, claiming that there had not been sufficient debate about nuclear power or about an apology to Aboriginal People for past injustices, but at least he responded to all the questions” said Mr Matthews.
“Lack of accountability does not bode well for the electorate of Fisher.”
How does conservative money work on climate change? Daniel Lippman, E&E reporter ClimateWire: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 Searching for a reason major climate change legislation hasn’t passed Congress yet?
You could do worse than start looking around Washington, D.C., with its endless think tanks, lobbying firms and trade groups, many of which have swung into action in the past to block such bills and stand ready to do so in the future.
A recent study published in the journal Climatic Change finds that much of the millions of dollars that funds these groups comes from secret sources, and a good portion of the rest is from publicity-shy conservative foundations and wealthy donors. Continue reading
Aboriginal Australians Managed the Forest Better than Europeans Care 2 by s.e. smith March 6, 2014 Australia’s notorious bushfires are often international news, but close to home, they’re less newsworthy than they are terrifying for Australians with painful memories of homes and lives lost. Much of the country can become a tinderbox thanks to its location and climate conditions — and don’t jump to assume climate change is only reason, because evidence suggests that fire has played a critical role in the ecological history of Australia for thousands of years……..
Australia has also been inhabited by humans for thousands of years. Continue reading
Will batteries blast-off or bomb?, Business Spectator, Tristan Edis 6 March 14 Battery energy storage is a hot topic for Climate Spectator readers. It seems there is an incredible appetite to learn what are the technological options and what are their costs and prospects.
This clearly indicates that there’s businesses who can see a market opportunity for batteries and are eagerly looking at how they can make the economics work………..
The beauty of many battery technologies such as lithium-ion is their compact size and portability, whereas you can’t move a pumped hydro power plant to wherever you need it. This allows batteries to offset the substantial costs of electricity network poles and wires, which make up more than half the cost of retail bills. Continue reading
1 year anniversary of the Australian Federal Court’s recognition of the detrimental effects of electromagnetic radiation February 27, 2014 by Stop Smart Meters Australia One year ago, 28 February 2013, the Australian Federal Court’s Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAAT) provided the first Australian legal recognition of the detrimental effects on humans of exposure to electromagnetic radiation, and its impact on the estimated 3-6% of the world population who suffer from the condition of Electromagnetic Hyper sensitivity (EHS).
The decision was met with no media fanfare in Australia where the condition is little-known, but one year out, its implications are spreading, like ripples on water, into our Australian community, and around the world………http://stopsmartmeters.com.au/2014/02/27/1-year-anniversary-of-the-australian-federal-courts-recognition-of-the-detrimental-effects-of-electromagnetic-radiation/
Clinging to and investing in antiquated business models should be neither rewarded nor celebrated. After all, it’s not as if their authors didn’t know big changes were coming. Ordering new coal plants in the face of renewable mandates and emerging carbon trading is akin to buying up carriage-makers just as automobiles began to relieve London’s horse-manure crisis.
Let’s Celebrate, Not Lament, Renewables’ Disruption of Electric Utilities Rocky Mountain Institute, 7 March 14 Renewables are making headway in Europe and bringing a low-carbon electricity system to the forefront. Renewables were 69 percent of new capacity added in 2012 in Europe and 49 percent in the United States. Not surprisingly, this threatens utilities unwilling to let go of outmoded business models and fossil-fuel generation.
Laments for Europe’s money-losing electric utilities were featured in an October 2013 cover story in the Economist. It said Europe’s top 20 energy utilities have lost over half their 2008 value, or a half-trillion Euros—more than Europe’s banks lost. Many utilities therefore want renewable competition slowed or stopped. Indeed, some European giants, like Germany’s E.ON and RWE, are in real trouble, and five of Europe’s top ten utilities have suffered credit downgrades. So have some U.S. utilities—most recently Jersey Central Power & Light and Potomac Electric Power Co.—from the likes of Fitch, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, Credit Suisse, and others.
Should old, long- and often still-subsidized oligopolies be bailed out or shielded from competition when they bet against innovation and lose? Continue reading
Crackdown on ‘big business’ of heritage urged, ANNABEL HEPWORTH THE AUSTRALIAN, MARCH 06, 2014 THE Productivity Commission is urging reforms to Aboriginal cultural heritage processes amid complaints by miners that heritage surveys have become a “big business” costing hundreds of millions of dollars.
The landmark final report, made public yesterday, finds that the exploration sector has been hit by rising costs and falling productivity.
It calls for the reform of rules that are inhibiting exploration and imposing unnecessary burdens on explorers and sparked industry demands last night that more be done to cut the red and green tape that holds back projects.
The commission points to frequent complaints by explorers about the cost and time in doing cultural heritage surveys, which many believed had created an industry for archeologists, anthropologists and lawyers.
Different companies could be forced to resurvey the same site because of “inconsistent and inadequate” listing of heritage sites……….
Last night, the mining and petroleum industries rounded on the report to demand cuts to red and green tape. Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Brendan Pearson said industry wanted a one-stop shop approach to managing heritage.
The office of Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said the government would consider all the detail. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/crackdown-on-big-business-of-heritage-urged/story-fn59niix-1226846388770#