Melbourne rally for climate change action attracts 30,000 people The Age September 21, 2014 – Clay Lucas City Editor, The Age Organisers of an international climate rally say the Melbourne leg of the global demonstration has seen 30,000 protesters converge on Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens on Sunday afternoon.
Australia’s People’s Climate March is one of around 2500 rallies taking place around the globe ahead of a United Nations summit on climate change in New York next week….
“We won’t stand for it, that’s what we have to convey to Tony Abbott and leaders around the world,” she said. “The reign of fossil fuels is over, what we have to do is end the reign of the fossil fools who keep it going.”……. http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbourne-rally-for-climate-change-action-attracts-30000-people-20140921-10jxwl.html#ixzz3E65gcdDR
More Nuclear Power is NOT the Answer to the Climate Crisis Petition published by Tom Hayden on Sep 04, 2014
Fukushima alone demonstrates the risks of nuclear meltdowns even in a society based on science and advanced technology. The one hundreds plants in our country are terrorist targets.
There are no solutions in sight to nuclear waste disposal. The timelines for bringing new nuclear plants online exceed the UN’s call for rapid decarbonization. The estimated costs are staggering.
We urge you to develop an analytic model that includes the decommissioning of current nuclear plants as part of a transition to a future based on conservation, efficiency and renewable energy. http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/more-nuclear-power-is-not-the-answer-to-the-climate-crisis.html
Japan Times: Fukushima plant plagued by problems as radioactive material bleeds into Pacific — Radiation level in groundwater now 25,000 times higher than when year began http://enenews.com/japan-times-fukushima-plant-plagued-problems-radioactive-material-bleeds-pacific-record-radiation-level-groundwater-25000-times-higher-when-year-began?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Tochigi town passes water-protection ordinance to block nuclear waste plans THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, 21 Sept 14 A town in Tochigi Prefecture has found a novel way to block the construction of a final disposal site for radioactive waste from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis by passing an ordinance that will protect its natural resources.
The ordinance, passed unanimously by the Shioya town assembly on Sept. 19, will protect an area that includes local springs, as well as mountain forest that was designated by the Environment Ministry as a candidate for the final disposal facility.
The ministry plans to use the site to store designated waste which contains more than 8,000 becquerels of radioactivity per kilogram.
Under the ordinance, the town government aims to protect the quality and quantity of water in springs, including the Shojinzawa Yusui, recognized by the ministry as one of the best 100 natural waters in Japan……..A group opposed to the construction of the disposal site had gathered more than 60,000 signatures inside and outside the prefecture as of Sept. 19, more than five times the town’s population……. http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201409200104
National Rally For Renewables This Friday http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4505 21 Sept 14,
Thousands of solar supporters across the nation will be sending another very clear “hands off” message to the government this Friday regarding the future of the Renewable Energy Target.
The Rally for Renewables on Friday, September 26 at noon will be held in major centres across Australia;with events occurring at key Cabinet ministers electorate offices in each state.
Coordinated by Solar Citizens, the event is also being supported by the Clean Energy Council (CEC), Australian Solar Council, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Australian Wind Alliance.
With a decision on the Renewable Energy Target expected soon, it’s crunch time. The heat has already been well and truly turned up on the government and the rally is expected to further bump up the temperature.
“Cabinet ministers are MPs too – and it’s time they understand the depth of feeling in their local communities,” says part of a statement from Solar Citizens. “Before they make their decision on the Target they need to know that solar workers, business owners, solar owners and supporters everywhere want the Renewable Energy Target kept in full, with no cuts.”
Cuts to the Target would translate to the loss of thousands of jobs, and at least another 18,000 jobs won’t be created in the next 6 years. Solar Citizens says it will be more difficult for households to go solar and take control of their power bills, with installation costs to skyrocket by 30-50% if the Target is slashed.
While maintaining the Renewable Energy Target in its current form has been supported by PUP, Labor and the Greens; it’s believed there are other ways the government could affect solar subsidies without necessarily needing the blessing or cooperation of other parties; making the rally and the message it will send even more important.
“This is our chance to ensure a strong future for solar and renewables. By coming together on September 26, we can show our politicians the real impact on jobs, small and large businesses and families that any cuts to the Target will have in local communities across Australia,” says Solar Citizens.
Further information on the National Rally For Renewables can be viewed here.
Kerry compares climate change to fight against Ebola and Isis as thousands march around world Guardian 22 Sept 14 “……….On a day of 2,700 simultaneous climate events from Melbourne to Manhattan, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, reinforced the calls from the streets for action by calling on world leaders to take the threat of climate change as seriously as Isis or Ebola.
Organisers had called the day of protests in order to put pressure on world leaders gathering in New York for a UN summit on climate change on Tuesday. It will be the leaders’ first such meeting in five years.
Kerry, in remarks to foreign ministers of the 20 biggest economies, said climate change should be at the top of the agenda despite competition from more immediate challenges.
“While we are confronting [Isis], and we are confronting terrorism and we are confronting Ebola, this also has an immediacy that people have come to understand,” he said. “There is a long list of important issues before all of us, but the grave threat that climate change poses warrants a prominent position on that list.”
Organisers claimed 570,000 people protested in 161 countries, from a handful of protesters in Aleppo, Syria, to the mega-march by 310,000 through New York City– three times as many as the 100,000 people organisers had expected, and easily overtaking the 80,000 who demonstrated for climate action in Copenhagen in 2009.
In Manhattan, the noisy, hopeful cavalcade of protesters – led by Hurricane Sandy survivors carrying placards of sunflowers and Native Americans in traditional headdresses – took over the streets of Midtown, juggling, singing, blowing synagogue shofars and conch shells, whistling and beating drums, with biodiesel-powered floats chugging along.
Leonardo di Caprio marched with Mark Ruffalo; the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, marched with the former US vice-president Al Gore. At least three Democratic members of the Senate also joined.
“People are now much more aware in all our countries of how important this topic is,” said the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, who joined the march in Manhattan.
Upper West Side mothers pushed expensive strollers alongside protesters carrying signs reading “angry pacifists”.
“I think it will make a difference,” said Tashina Red Hawk, aged 10, who wore intricately beaded traditional Sioux Indian dress, and who lives on the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota. “But it would still be good to do all kinds of other stuff.”
She went on: “If you don’t take care of the land, it won’t take care of you.”
In London, organisers said 40,000 took to the sunlit streets and marched to the Houses of Parliament. The protest was peaceful, although loud jeers rose up as the crowd passed both Downing Street and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
In Melbourne, protesters paraded a giant puppet of the Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott.
The People’s Climate March came two days before the US president, Barack Obama, and about 120 other world leaders gather for the UN meeting on climate change.
The challenge for those leaders is clear: left unchecked, the world is on course for a 4.5C temperature rise. “For us that means annihilation,” said Tony deBrum, the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands………..
In Paris, organisers said 25,000 people attended – heavy with the knowledge that history would be made on climate, one way or another, in the city in a year’s time. ………… http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/21/-sp-climate-change-protest-melbourne-london-new-york-protest
Global carbon report: emissions will hit new heights in 2014, The Conversation, Pep Canadell Executive director, Global Carbon Project at CSIRO Michael Raupach Director of the Climate Change Institute at Australian National University, 22 September 2014,
As heads of state gather in New York for tomorrow’s United Nations climate summit, a new report on the state of the world’s carbon budget tells them that greenhouse emissions hit a new record last year, and are still growing.
It shows that global emissions from burning fossil fuels and cement production reached a new record of 36 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2013, and are predicted to grow by a further 2.5% in 2014, bringing the total CO2 emissions from all sources to more than 40 billion tonnes. This is about 65% more fossil-fuel emission than in 1990, when international negotiations to reduce emissions to address climate change began……..
Emissions from fossil fuels declined in 2013, largely driven by a 5% decline of emissions in the electricity sector over the previous year (as shown by the Australian National Greenhouse Gas Accounts). Fossil fuel emissions per person remain high at 14.6 tonnes of CO2………
Is it too late to tame the climate?
Despite this apparently imminent event, economic models can still come up with scenarios in which global warming is kept within 2C by 2100, while both population and per capita wealth continue to grow. Are these models playing tricks on us?…
Archbishop Desmond Tutu calls for Truth and Justice Commission on wrongs done to Australia’s Aborigines
Desmond Tutu: ‘Lay bare the horrors of the past’ https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox?compose=1489a3cc2fa6322e September 21, 2014 Stephanie Wood South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu has supported calls for a truth and justice commission to expose “the horrors of the past” suffered by Aboriginal Australians.
In a statement released for World Peace Day on Sunday, the former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town said it should be followed by a “national healing process for all Australians”.
Aboriginal elders Djiniyini Gondarra, senior Dhurili clan leader of the Yolngu peoples of north-east Arnhem Land, and Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, a former Anglican nun based in Utopia in Central Australia, wrote to the archbishop this month to express their concerns about the slow movement towards indigenous self-determination.
“I pray for the rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia to determine their own destiny,” the archbishop said. “It is a severe indictment on Australia that many of its indigenous peoples still feel that their culture and dignity are being eroded and that they continue to be treated as second-class citizens.
“Community councils have been closed down and management of many aspects of the peoples’ lives has been transferred to non-indigenous institutions. The exclusion of local Aboriginal perspectives from decision-making is directly eroding customs, laws, languages and land-use aspirations.
“The imposition of legislation generally known as the Northern Territory intervention in 2007 virtually stripped them of their voice.”
“The archbishop has been one of my heroes and it is an answer to my prayer that the archbishop has responded and taken it seriously,” Ms Kunoth-Monks said.
“Forty-two years after becoming a signatory to the UN’s International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Australian government policy has still not seriously looked at human rights whereas the first people are concerned.”
Mrs Kunoth-Monks said some form of truth commission should be considered. “I certainly am calling for a national journey for that truth and justice, bringing in the history of all the horrors and the assaults that are continuing under the government’s policies,” she said.
“The wounds are still open and raw.”
Greens want Barnett to make emergency nuclear plan for WA http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/greens-want-barnett-to-make-emergency-nuclear-plan-for-wa-20140919-10iutv.html September 18, 2014 Brendan Foster With Australia on the brink of new conflict with Iraq, Greens MP Lynn MacLaren says she can’t believe the Barnett government doesn’t have an emergency plan if a nuclear accident happened at Fremantle Port.
On Monday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Australia would send 600 troops, including SAS soldiers and eight FA18 Super Hornets, to the Middle East in preparation for military action against the Islamic State terror group.
And on Thursday, more than 800 police officers raided homes in Sydney in an attempt to foil a plot to “commit violent acts”, including plans to behead a member of the public.
Ms MacLaren asked Attorney-General Michael Mischin on Wednesday night in State Parliament if the Liberals had an action plan for workers and residents living near the port in the event of the nuclear reactor incident from a nuclear-powered warship. Mr Mischin said a nuclear detonation was not a defined hazard prescribed within the Emergency Management Act 2005.
“The state emergency management arrangements allow for a controlling agency to be appointed for any hazard not prescribed in the act,” Mr Mischin said.
Ms MacLaren said as Australia prepared to send troops to Iraq, “we cannot afford to have a head-in-the-sand approach to an emergency response”.
“Since nuclear-powered vessels visit our shores, we need to be ready in the event of an accident or incident. The report tabled in response to my question was last updated in 2010,” she said.
“Nuclear weapons have been a major threat to world peace for decades, how can the state government not have an emergency response to the risk of a nuclear weapon detonation or accident?
“The consequence of even a small incident would be catastrophic. Yet, we should have a plan which factors in health care facilities and staff to provide triage care in the event of a nuclear detonation or other nuclear incident.” Ms MacLaren said with the Mayors of Peace Conference in Fremantle next week, the call to prohibit nuclear weapons was more important than ever.
Junko Morimito who will describe her experience as a 13-year-old in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb went off is one of the guest speakers at the conference.
“I will be attending the Fremantle Peace Walk which will take place on International Peace Day, Sunday 21 September – celebrating the opening of Fremantle Peace Grove. Tthis issue must be kept as a priority for leaders and the community,” Ms MacLaren said.
global capitalism has “from its very first moments, systematically sabotaged our collective response to climate change”.
More than Dangerous: Naomi Klein takes on climate deniers September 20, 2014 Peter HannamEnvironment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald The disturbing implications of climate change are rarely taken to their logical conclusions in public discussion.
Scientists who spend their careers researching the climate system and publishing findings in professional journals are typically far more candid in private than in their scholarly publications.
The human-generated surge in greenhouse gas emissions is accelerating, they note, altering the chemistry of the biosphere and, ultimately, the conditions for life.
“People are not being told the truth,” one scientist told Fairfax Media this week. “It’s an event to which species will struggle to adapt. This is more than dangerous.” Continue reading
At UN, Obama to urge nations to go big on climate SF Gate, By JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press , September 18, 2014 WASHINGTON (AP) — Having spent political capital fighting climate change at home, President Barack Obama will turn his sights overseas next week, urging fellow heads of state to be as ambitious as possible as they negotiate a make-or-break global treaty to be finalized in Paris next year.
Obama will attend a United Nations climate summit where he will announce new U.S. commitments, aiming to ramp up the pressure on other major polluters like India and China to demonstrate they’re not laggards in the global campaign against climate change.
White House officials said the U.S. will offer tangible contributions such as American technology to help vulnerable populations deal with food security, sea level rise and other negative effects of climate change.
“Our hope is that others will do the same and that can build momentum toward an agreement in Paris,” Dan Utech, Obama’s top adviser on climate and energy issues, said in an interview…….
By taking time out at the U.N. for climate change, Obama is working to keep the issue at the top of the global agenda even after the crises of the day recede from memory. More than 100 heads of state will join Obama at the summit, which U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting…….http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/At-UN-Obama-to-urge-nations-to-go-big-on-climate-5765158.php
Suppliers working on Australia’s renewable energy projects say many thousands of jobs will be lost – most of them in rural and regional areas – if the federal government slashes the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
Forty small and medium businesses from around Australia have jointly written to the government, urging it to retain the current policy, rejecting the recommendations of the recent Warburton review to shut down or severely reduce the RET.
“We are writing as suppliers to Australia’s renewable energy industry, which has now generated more than $10 billion worth of investment in large-scale renewable energy projects,” the companies said.
The companies (listed at bottom) between them operate across all Australian states and territories. “Our businesses build electrical infrastructure, roads and components for power stations in wind, solar, hydro and bioenergy, along with supplying safety equipment, cranes, trucks and cement.
“They provide catering, cleaning services, security, logistics and accommodation to construction teams, manage environmental and cultural heritage plans, and supply many other essential inputs to the renewable energy industry.
“While the industry directly employs 21,000 people, our companies collectively employ many thousands more as a result of the clean energy sector.”
The companies, whose sizes range from 1 to 2000 employees, said Australia’s 68 wind farms, 49 large-scale solar projects, 139 bioenergy projects, 123 hydro projects and trial marine and geothermal projects had provided the incentive to grow and employ more workers.
“Many of these jobs are in rural and regional areas where other job opportunities are scarce,” they said.
“We have hired and trained workers and invested in our businesses on the basis of the development of renewable energy in Australia. Maintaining the RET in its current form will help us continue to create jobs and opportunities for Australian workers,” they wrote.
The companies also referred to analysis undertaken by ACIL Allen for the Federal Government, which found that retail electricity prices will be lower over the long term if the RET is maintained, as it will help shield Australians from rising gas prices.
“This is beneficial to all Australians, consumers and businesses alike,” the companies said.
Campaign to recognise what? NEDA VANOVAC, 7 News September 19, 2014, “………….Northern Territory elder Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, think constitutional recognition is worthless without a treaty, and she criticised indigenous leaders who back the movement.
“You have the elite blacks that have been almost handpicked to be the voices for First Nation Australians: Noel Pearson, Marcia Langton, Adam Goodes; I don’t want him in there, he’s such a wonderful young ambassador but he better come and listen to us mob, too, and get what it is that makes us a First Nations person,” she told AAP.
She said she was “gutted” when the Prime Minister said last month that the arrival of the First Fleet “was the defining moment in the history of this continent”.
Ms Kunoth-Monks said Mr Abbott had delivered a double insult, since he purports to be a prime minister for indigenous affairs.
She sees constitutional recognition as another form of assimilation, and at a referendum “I hope those that have got a heart and a grasp on reality will also vote no”.
Aboriginal commentator Celeste Liddle has called the Recognise campaign “a government-sponsored ad campaign removed from grassroots indigenous opinion” and has asked where the funding is for the opposing view…….
“A key (reason) is to create a unifying moment for the nation where the first people of the country become included in our national founding document where they’ve previously been excluded,” she told AAP.
“That’s going to be a moment for all of us as Australians to celebrate together.”
She said legal experts had confirmed that voting yes for constitutional recognition does not pose any legal impediment for those seeking a treaty or sovereignly. But despite the message of unification, the campaign is not promising change after the vote, Ms Hosch said…….
An Expert Panel, which included indigenous and community leaders, constitutional experts and parliamentarians, consulted across Australia and reported to the Prime Minister in January 2012, recommending that Australians should vote in a referendum to:
remove Section 25, which says the states can ban people from voting based on their race
remove section 51(xxvi), which can be used to pass laws that discriminate against people based on their race
insert a new section 51A to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to preserve the Australian government’s ability to pass laws for the benefit (not detriment) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
insert a new section 116A, banning racial discrimination by government
insert a new section 127A, recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages were this country’s first tongues, while confirming that English is Australia’s national language.(SOURCE: Recognise, www.recognise.org.au)
VIDEO: Gov’t experts highly suspicious of Japan’s claim that nobody suffered acute radiation syndrome after Fukushima — So many workers were ill they had to lay on cardboard after running out of beds — Officials “repeatedly talked of death” — CBS: There were reports of people with radiation sickness http://enenews.com/video-foreign-govt-very-suspicious-japans-claim-suffered-acute-radiation-syndrome-after-fukushima-many-workers-ill-lay-cardboard-after-running-beds-officials-repeatedly-talked-death-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Japan Times, Sept. 17, 2014 (emphasis added): [Deceased Fukushima Daiichi chief Masao Yoshida] repeatedly talks of “death” in the initial days of the crisis as the realization sinks in that the nuclear fuel had already started to melt.
Mainichi, Sept 12, 2014: “Nobody came to help us. I am still full of resentment and bitterness,” Yoshida said… heaping scorn on [the] TEPCO President… and calling him ”that man.”
Xinhua, Sept 11, 2014: Masao Yoshida [revealed] the government had utterly failed to understand the gravity of the workers’ situation at the plant… three days into the crisis the chief had lost hope and was losing his grip on the situation… politicians and TEPCO officials at the headquarters were clueless as to the dire predicament he and his workers were in, including those who had been exposed to potentially lethal levels of radiation.
Kyodo News, Sept 14, 2014: [Satoru] Hayashizaki and his coworker opened the door to the [No. 3] suppression chamber’s room… “My hands, covered by rubber gloves, instantly got hot”…Hayashizaki felt groggy… he put his right foot down on it only to see the rubber sole of his shoe melt instantly, leaving a black smear… He was alarmed to see [his dosimeter number] rising rapidly, even though he was [back] in the control room… everyone else’s dosimeters were rising… [He] thought he might die… and started writing a farewell letter.
Kyodo News, Sept. 14, 2014: Mitsuhiro Matsumoto, 47, was outside during both explosions… he [became] unable to believe anyone or any of the information he received. “I completely lost my will to fight”… Many [workers] had already absorbed more than 100 millisieverts… A man injured by the rubble was soon brought in on a stretcher… there were no doctors… Another man [was] in a state of panic… Those feeling ill were taken to a meeting room… Tepco quickly ran out of mattresses and had to put down cardboard for them to lie on… the door closed behind [Yumiko Kato and a reactor operator] shouted: “Is that an explosion? Again?” He then clasped his arms around his knees and trembled, muttering “I am afraid, afraid, afraid.”… “I want to go home,” a young female Tepco employee said as she started to cry…[Kato] said, “Let’s believe in our people, because they are working very hard.” The situation, however, only got worse, cornering everyone at the plant.
IRSN, France’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (at 11:00 in): “At first sight there was no acute radiation syndrome observed in the weeks following the accident, , as was the case of the first rescue workers during the Chernobyl accident. These figures are to be taken with great caution because of severe degradations due to the tsunami… Medical checkups are now implemented by the Japanese authorities.” >> Watch the video here
Contrary to IRSN’s claim about medical checkups, NHK recently reported, “Screening of workers is left up to the contractors […] they’re not obliged to submit data. [A gov't adviser says they need] a centralized system to collect health data right away.” And according to the Asahi Shimbun, “Many companies involved have failed to conduct medical examinations.. [It's now] impossible to check whether workers have suffered health problems.”
CBS News discussed radiation sickness after the explosions: Prof. Cham Dallas, a nuclear energy expert, you’ve been in contact with both the Japanese and the US government throughout this process… Let’s talk about radiation exposure… Dallas: “There’s some disconnects here. We’re being told by the Japanese government that the radiation levels are very low… We have reports of people with radiation sickness. That’s the disconnect, usually it takes days for radiation [sickness]” >> Watch the broadcast here
DORC rort: The art of getting energy infrastructure paid for twice, SMH, September 19, 2014 Michael West Business columnist “……..you will hear how you have been paying for something, on a quarterly basis for the past 10 years, which you have already paid for. We are all victims of a high-brow rort by governments and energy companies.
While the consulting industry thrives on selling so-called expert valuations to justify this rort, Sydney University finance professor David Johnstone says it should end…….
energy companies are valuing old assets such as gas pipelines – things that consumers have already paid for – as if they were brand-spanking new. We, the mug punters, are lumbered with the cost on our power bills.
This is the DORC rort (depreciated optimised replacement cost), its moniker alone sufficient to discourage further inquiry.
Suffice to say that a reasonable thing for regulators to do might simply be to value assets at their cost, or to recognise only what their owners actually spend. Suffice to say that in Singapore and Hong Kong they would not be silly enough to use DORC, yet large corporations from these places are here enjoying riskless 10 per cent returns by stinging we mug Aussies twice for access to old gas pipelines, things that were paid for, and privatised, years ago……
why are assets that are already in private hands given the same favourable regulatory treatment? “I think it comes down to ideology as well as vested interests,” Johnstone says. “Economists fall in love their own models and crave the authority of being scientists.” http://www.smh.com.au/business/dorc-rort-the-art-of-getting-energy-infrastructure-paid-for-twice-20140919-10jega.html#ixzz3DuqE0nIm