Well, Australia seems to be doing not too well in environmental matters, (nor in most others, at present). The sooner we get rid of the Abbott government, the better.
I’ve tried to be non political – because our land, our water, our air, our planet – these matters are beyond party politics. That is something that some Liberals are now realising.
The mass Climate Action Marches on September 21st showed that Australians care. On the local level, so many Australians, including Liberals, are working to conserve the wildlife, our water and land, and many are members of groups like Landcare, Australian Koala Foundation, and the most prominent activist groups – Australian Conservation Foundation, Friends of the Earth, and Beyond Nuclear.
Australia’s environmentalists do have quite a proud history of achievement in environmental goals, really, a remarkable record in awakening public opinion and in slowing down polluting industries. It is thanks to the work of Australians like Dr Helen Caldicott that the atmospheric nuclear bomb tests in the Pacific were stopped. It is thanks to the anti-nuclear movement that Australia does not have the nightmare of nuclear power.
Australians in general do have a strong appreciation of nature. They also seem to be showing a keen appreciation of the economic and environmental benefits of clean energy. The September Climate March, is, I believe, the start of a stronger movement for public awareness of our ecological peril, and for action for positive change.
Graziers on alert as uranium exploration looms ABC News, By Jacqueline Breen 19 Oct 14 Graziers are watching closely as the state government prepares to grant uranium exploration licenses in the state’s far west.
Last month the government overturned the ban on uranium exploration and invited six companies to apply to explore for deposits near Broken Hill, Cobar and Dubbo.
The state’s Resources and Energy Division has since held a stakeholder meeting in Broken Hill, attended by the local council, New South Wales Farmers and the West Darling Pastoralists’ Association.
Association president Chris Wilhelm says landholders will be the first affected when exploration begins and he wants their rights protected……( Map below shows areas in New South Wales where uranium deposts exist, could be explored for))
The ban on uranium mining in New South Wales remains in place. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-20/graziers-watch-closely-as-uranium-exploration-looms/5825950
Hillside mine: Greens call for release of ‘uranium appendices’ for Yorke Peninsula open pit, ABC News 19 Oct 14
The Greens are calling for the release of documents relating to uranium deposits at a copper mine approved for South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula.
Earlier this year mining company Rex Minerals submitted a document to the South Australian Government that responded to community concerns about the potential contamination of prime farmland from the Hillside mine.
The Government responded by approving the 2.4-kilometre-long, 1km-deep and 450m-deep open pit near Ardrossan that would extract 2 million tonnes of copper, 1.7 million ounces of gold and 44 million tonnes of iron ore over 15 years.
Some parts of the mining lease proposal documents, however, were deemed “commercial-in-confidence” and withheld from publication.
State Greens leader Mark Parnell has submitted a freedom of information application to view the documents and see how much uranium is at the site.
He said appendices 36 and 37 related to uranium and were being “kept secret”.
“If the company says ‘nothing to worry about’, then they should have nothing to worry about releasing the documents that explain exactly where the radioactive hotspots are,” Mr Parnell said………
EPA regulation levels to be reduced
South Australian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) regulations take effect at 200ppm – a level that would soon be reduced to 80ppm in line with national guidelines……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-20/greens-call-for-the-release-of-uranium-appendices-hillside-mine/5826048
Dennis Matthews 21 Oct 14, The whole containment vessel in which the fusion is carried out – so far very briefly and at no net energy output – becomes radioactive due to neutron bombardment, a process called neutron activation.
In addition it has one of the major problems that you have with nuclear fission. The people you train in Schools of Nuclear Science and Engineering can move effortlessly between fusion power and fusion weapons. There are no Schools of Nuclear Weapons Science and Technology but there are lots of Schools of Nuclear (Power) Science and Technology including one here in Australia that recently got restarted after several decades in the wilderness.
Gough Whitlam remembered: a true leader for Indigenous Australians, Guardian, 21 Oct 14
Gough Whitlam was the first prime minister to campaign so openly for Indigenous people and to listen to their concerns For Aboriginal people across the country, Gough Whitlam was our giant among former prime ministers. He was the first leader to campaign so openly for us. During his short term in office he and his government made momentous decisions to include Aboriginal people within the fabric of the nation. Continue reading
“Tony Abbott’s international reputation for climate change inaction is growing, to the detriment of Australian businesses who are trying to retain and attract overseas investors,”
Abbott’s Australia ranked dead last on climate, green investment http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/australia-green-economy-65014By Sophie Vorrath on 20 October 2014 Australia’s dramatic backwards slide on climate action and low-carbon policy under the federal Coalition is, by now, well documented. Since coming into power, Tony Abbott and his climate-sceptic team have dumped the nation’s world-leading carbon pricing scheme, wound back renewable energy support mechanisms, and taken aim at the Climate Change Authority, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, ARENA and the RET.
But a new international report puts just how far Australia has fallen behind the rest of the world on climate, clean energy and green investment into sharp perspective.
The fourth edition of the Global Green Economy Index (GGEI) was released on Monday, measuring the green economic performance of 60 countries based on four key dimensions: leadership & climate change, efficiency sectors, markets & investment and environment & natural capital.
Embarrassingly enough, Australia’s performance on actions that support clean energies and combat climate change ranks 37th – down from fourth spot in 2012.
But in the Leadership section, Australia comes a resounding last – a result the GGEI report puts down to negative media coverage, “unconstructive behavior” in international forums, and overall poor climate change performance. Continue reading
(PHOTOS) What life is really like in Japan following the Fukushima nuclear disaster news.com.au OCTOBER 20, 2014 “………“Time had stopped. In the main part of the town the buildings are still collapsed from the earthquake. It’s kind of nuts. It was weird, like a time warp, everything is all overgrown,” she said………e day of the earthquake schools were due to hold graduation ceremonies, with many of the preparations for celebrations still intact.
“They literally evacuated that day and were told they had to get out of town completely and since then they haven’t been able to go back,” she said.
“The kids themselves haven’t been back, adults have gone back on a daily pass to clear their house. Anyone that’s under 15 isn’t able to go on. So it’s pretty tough on them.”…….. 160,000 people have been forced from their homes after Japan’s environment ministry labelled 11 municipalities “no-go zones”. They’ve been forced to live in temporary housing while authorities painstakingly decontaminate the area in order for them to return home…….
Is France’s Love Affair with Nuclear Over? Oil Price, By Chris Dalby | Sun, 19 October 2014 French President Francois Hollande has promised to limit the growth of the country’s nuclear power, many older reactors have been targeted for decommissioning, and Greenpeace and other environmental groups have been relentless in their anti-nuclear campaigning. But until now, it seemed unlikely that France would ever truly rethink its love affair with nuclear power.
King Island’s wind farm fate closes in http://www.themercury.com.au/king-islands-wind-farm-fate-closes-in/story-fnj3twbb-1227095516599 HELEN KEMPTON MERCURY OCTOBER 20, 2014
THE King Island community should know by early next year if their remote Bass Strait home will also become home to the biggest wind farm in the southern hemisphere.
Hydro Tasmania has almost completed a feasibility study into its $2 billion, 200-turbine proposal and is expected to announce early next year if the project will go ahead.
The decision also hinges on the Federal Government not scrapping the Renewable Energy Target. Hydro Tasmania is one of 16 major renewable energy companies who have argued for the retention of the present RET.
The TasWind project is forecast to pump more than $7 million a year into the island economy and provide an estimated $220 million annual revenue boost to the state’s coffers.
Debate over the pros and cons of the proposal has divided the small community and Hydro Tasmania started its feasibility study after 58 per cent of residents indicated they wanted to move on to the assessment stage.
Why We Will Never Make A Nuclear Fusion Reactor As Good As The Sun, Business Insider, JESSICA ORWIG OCT 17 2014 “…………..combine four hydrogen atoms and you get a burst of energy that can destroy entire islands and did on Nov. 1, 1952. That day the US tested the first hydrogen bomb on the now-nonexistent Pacific island, Elugelab.……… Clean, limitless energy is the real holy grail. Combine that desire with the awesome power we first saw with the< H-bomb, and we’ve been dreaming of a way to harness nuclear fusion of the sun as a source of clean, endless energy.
For about the last 70 years, we’ve slowly developed ways of producing the extreme pressure and heat necessary for nuclear fusion. Today, the most promising methods use containment vessels called tokamaks that can sustain hot plasmas that produce nuclear fusion but require lots of energy and space to function. The other way is using powerful lasers to fuse hydrogen atoms together.
Both of these methods, however, still have a long way to go despite what you might read from the occasional headlines on the latest breakthroughs in new nuclear fusion technology………http://www.businessinsider.com.au/we-will-never-have-sun-like-nuclear-fusion-2014-10
Fossil fuel divestments are putting the Abbott government on notice Christine Milne theguardian.com, Saturday 18 October 2014 ANU’s decision to end investment in fossil fuels is democracy up against crony capitalism The decision by the Australian National University to end its investment in fossil fuels is a bellwether moment for Australia. It’s democracy up against crony capitalism, science up against ideology and renewable energy against the old polluting industries.
Tony Abbott’s derision of ANU as “stupid” is a raw ideological refusal to face three key facts:
1. If we are to constrain global warming to less than two degrees, Australia’s remaining fossil fuel reserves cannot be burned. Not by any country, not ever.
2. Australians are already experiencing the effects of climate change, through more frequent and intense extreme weather events. We must stop it getting worse.
3. People can take control of their power bills, take control of their money, and they don’t need to wait for governments.
While climate policy is being torn apart and emissions that came down under the carbon price are going up again, it’s heartening to see that thousands of Australians already know they can take the power back. National Divestment Day events are underway today in Hobart, Lismore, Ballina, Geraldton, Maroochydoore and Darwin, with more tomorrow in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Coffs Harbour.
The divestment movement is putting the Abbott government on notice. People are voting with their wallets – as are churches like the Uniting Church and the Perth diocese of the Anglican Church, and super funds like Local Government Super – all moving their money out of companies that profit from fossil fuels. Now the option is there, students can even invest their minds and fees in a uni that shares their values.
People are changing the direction of our economy, but Abbott’s only response has been to call them stupid and declare that “coal is good for humanity”. What a desperate statement from a man exposed as governing for the big end of town…….
What Abbott’s efforts amount to is “economic suicide,” to quote an adviser to the German Chancellor. The divestment movement proves that Australians won’t be left behind, even if our government is determined to cling to the age of fossil fuels. It’s a bellwether moment and the pendulum is swinging away from the Abbott government, towards restoring our democracy, towards science and towards a clean energy future. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/18/fossil-fuel-divestments-are-putting-the-abbott-government-on-notice
Ngiyani-ga nganbinganbi baluwaal miinba-y nginu-ngay, giirr wangaarrama-li! (We are in this together, never allow yourself to be beaten).
Enough is enough – It’s time to act by supporting the call for our true leaders The Stringer by Dr Woolombi Waters October 19th, 2014 The national call by community leaders Tauto Sansbury, Geoff Clark and Michael Mansell among others for a National Summit of legitimate First Nations leaders has the potential to change a generation. We are talking of the same influence of the Freedom Marches back in the ’60’s, the establishment of the Tent Embassy in ’72 and the Bark Petition in 1963.
But it will only change a generation if we embrace this movement as our own and realise the time for change has come. We can all be a part of history or we can continue to be victims of history. By calling for a National Gathering we are not excluding any people who share in the very real concerns of our mob, our identity and our Culture.
Very few will be given the opportunity to change history during their lives but by each and every one of us standing together we can start a movement to overcome … as together we work towards change.
We have all been called to the same stomping ground and it has come time to act. Continue reading
Graph of the Day: Australia’s renewable energy generation, REneweconomy, By Giles Parkinson on 20 October 2014 “…………As RenewEconomy has noted on many occasions, South Australia has the highest level of variable renewable energy in Australia – quite possibly the world (in major economies), with an average 43 per cent wind generation in July, and days in September when wind and solar provided all of the state’s electricity demand, and more.
The AEMO study says that the SA power system can operate securely and reliably with a high percentage of wind and PV generation, including in situations where wind generation comprises more than 100 per cent of SA demand, as long as one of the following two key factors apply:
a) The Heywood Interconnector linking SA and Victoria is operational.
b) Sufficient synchronous generation is connected and operating on the SA power system.
The AEMO study notes that South Australia already has the highest wind and PV generator penetration of any NEM region. As the graph shows, it has 1,470 MW of installed wind generation and 540 MW of PV generation. This represents about 50 per cent and 17 per cent of total installed wind and PV capacity in the NEM respectively.
In terms of residential rooftop PV installations, SA leads the NEM with a penetration rate of almost one in four of all rooftops. And the rate of penetration is likely to grow: the AEMO says that under favourable market and policy scenarios, it is projected that at least 1,000 MW of wind and 500 MW of PV capacity will be added in SA by 2020 – doubling the amount of rooftop solar, and lifting the amount of wind by two-thirds.
The AEMO notes that these developments are a “benefit” to both SA and the NEM. But it also underlines the importance of a strong interconnector with the rest of the NEM – for obvious reasons. Without it, the state would have issues with the required controls to ensure system security. (The report does not address this issue, but Germany is rolling out battery technologies that assume the role of “synchronous” generators and could usurp the primacy of fossil fuel generation. AEMO says the chance of a disconnection is so low is it rated as a “non-credible” event – but just in case ….http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/graph-of-the-day-australias-renewable-energy-generation-88841
Iran acts to comply with interim nuclear deal with powers: IAEA Yahoo News, By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) 20 Oct 14 – Iran is taking further action to comply with an interim nuclear agreement with six world powers, a monthly U.N. atomic agency report showed, a finding the West may see as positive ahead of a November deadline for clinching a long-term deal.
The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), seen by Reuters, made clear that Iran is meeting its commitments under the temporary deal, as it and major powers seek to negotiate a final settlement of a decade-old nuclear dispute.
It said Iran had diluted more than 4,100 kg of uranium enriched to a fissile concentration of up to 2 percent down to the level of natural uranium. This was one of the additional steps Iran agreed to undertake when the six-month accord that took effect early this year was extended by four months in July……..http://news.yahoo.com/iran-acts-meet-terms-extended-nuclear-deal-powers-163649048.html
JEREMY BENDER OCT 18 2014 India has successfully conducted a test-launch of a nuclear-capable cruise missile that has a range of over 620 miles…….http://www.businessinsider.com.au/india-has-successfully-tested-a-nuclear-capable-cruise-missile-2014-10/
Vladimir Putin ups the ante with reminders Russia is a nuclear power October 18, 2014 – Peter Hartcher Sydney Morning Herald political and international editor “……..jokes about nuclear weapons are an uneasy genre of humour. Russia’s nuclear arsenal is the ultimate reality of its power. It sits at the back of every conversation and calculation about Russia….. Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, has put his country’s 5000 nuclear warheads at the forefront. Three times in the past two months, he has raised the spectre of nuclear war as he confronts the West.
Most recently, he did it overnight Thursday Australian time while he was en route to a summit of 50 nations, the annual Asia-Europe Meeting, in Milan. “He’s again threatened the West with nuclear weapons,” says John Besemeres, a Russia expert at the ANU……..
Russian missiles do have the range to strike NZ. Or Australia.
“There is a low probability that Russian nuclear weapons are aimed at Australia, with one possible exception,” says Peter Jennings, formerly head of strategy at the Australian Defence Department and now head of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
“That would be the joint facilities” – the US-Australian satellite tracking bases at Pine Gap and Nurrungar from which US spy satellites over eastern Russia are controlled. “The joint facilities are the only thing that may be relevant to the US ability to launch an attack on Russia.”
Soviet officials bluntly told Australian defence officials during the Cold War that warheads were aimed at the joint facilities.
And today, “they are certainly on the Russian target list,” says O’Neil, who is knowledgeable on Russian nuclear policy……….
Analysts have remarked in recent weeks that Putin seems to be seeking to re-engage with the wider world. With Western sanctions biting Russia’s economy and NATO indignation finally roused, Putin was thought to be looking to ease the pressure.
There are signs he is. By choosing to attend the Asia-Europe summit, he signalled diplomatic re-engagement. This leads to the expectation he will attend the G-20 summit in Brisbane.
And, by announcing the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine, he seemed to be conceding to NATO pressure………http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/vladimir-putin-ups-the-ante-with-reminders-russia-is-a-nuclear-power-20141017-117pzr.html