Paladin uranium output slumps THE AUSTRALIAN, 24 Apr 15 Paladin said today production at the group’s Langer Heinrich mine during the March quarter had slumped 10 per cent from the December quarter to 1.23 million pounds of uranium oxide.
Lomborg’s influence over key ministers in the Abbott government is quite well-known. He is seen to be at the centre of much of federal cabinet’s climate groupthink………
The real travesty of funding Lomborg’s newest franchise is that it comes from the same government that defunded the Climate Commission. This was composed of Australia’s best climate scientists, economists and energy experts, with an operating cost of A$1.5 million per year. This, more than even the most horrendous of storms, really exposes the parlous state of the Abbott government’s desertion of future generations
As such, one has to have some sympathy for Lomborg, who is a strange kind of “climate change refugee”. In 2012, the Danish government pulled all funding from his centre. Since, he has only set up shop in countries that have strong climate change-denying lobbies – both in the private sector and within mainstream media. He has enjoyed this in the US.
Lomborg operates by attaching himself to these centres as an adjunct professor, which will be his title at UWA, rather than a staff member. This offers the freedom to command remuneration well above a professorial salary – such as the US$775,000 he was paid in 2012 by the CCC and the US$200,484 paid for his work in 2013……… Continue reading
the study found that a 100 percent supply of renewable electricity would be possible and affordable but not trivial.
Suppressed French report says 100% renewables is possible, Energy Transition, 23 Apr 2015 by Craig Morris Over the Easter break, French daily Le Monde reported that an official study for a conference to be held last week was being held back. The energy experts investigated a 100 percent renewable supply of electricity by 2050. Craig Morris got hold of a copy, which still lacks an executive summary. So he wrote one.
Last week, a conference was held in France to investigate, as the title puts it (website in French), whether France is ready for 40 percent renewable electricity by 2030. But as Le Monde pointed out at the beginning of the month (report in French), French energy agency Ademe announced at the beginning of the year (press release, PDF in French) that the centerpiece was to be “the presentation of an unpublished study showing the path towards 100 percent renewable electricity.” Ademe itself commissioned the study, which was conducted under conditions that French think tank negaWatt calls “extraordinary” (in French). Continue reading
Environment Minister Greg Hunt has granted conditional approval to Canadian uranium miner Cameco to develop the Kintyre mine in WA’s north.
But Dave Sweeney from the Australian Conservation Foundation said the East Pilbara mine, adjacent to the Karlamilyi National Park, will harm the environment and people.
“On Anzac eve the government has backed the wrong diggers,” he said. “This mine plan does not enjoy broad support and the mining company has said it has no immediate plans to develop the project because of the low commodity price.
“The federal government had time to genuinely examine this plan. “Instead, it has chosen to fast-track an approval before a national holiday”.
Mia Pepper, from the Conservation Council of WA, said the mine, of which Cameco owns 70 per cent and Mitsubishi holds the remainder, also threatens water quality in the region.
“It is irresponsible for Minister Hunt to have given approval for this project at this time”, she said.
“A unique part of our country faces an unnecessary threat because of this approval.
“We will continue our work with the local Parnngurr community and many wider community members and organisations to stop a poor political decision becoming a polluting Pilbara mine”.
West Australian Environment Minister Albert Jacob granted conditional approval for the mine to go ahead last month. Environment Minister Greg Hunt was contacted for comment.
Tokyo park closed over dangerous radiation Sky News, , 24 April 2015 Extremely high levels of radiation have been discovered in a playground in Tokyo, officials said Friday, fanning fears for the health of children in the area.
Soil underneath a slide at the park in the northwest of the Japanese capital showed radiation readings of up to 480 microsieverts per hour, the local administrative office said.
Anyone directly exposed to this level would absorb in two hours the maximum dose of radiation Japan recommends in a year. “Many children play in the park daily, so the ward office should explain the situation,” Kyodo News quoted a 62-year-old local woman as saying.
The radiation level is over 2000 times that at which the national government requires soil cleaning in areas around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, where reactors melted down after the March 2011 tsunami…….
Federal approval granted for Cameco to develop Kintyre uranium mine in Pilbara, ABC News 24 Apr 15 By Tyne McConnon and Ebonnie Spriggs A proposed uranium mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region has been granted conditional Federal environmental approval.
One of the world’s largest uranium producers, Cameco Australia, wants to build the Kintyre open-cut uranium mine 270 kilometres north-east of the town of Newman.
The project received conditional approval from Western Australia’s Environment Minister Albert Jacob last month……..
In a statement, Cameco said the approval by the Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt included conditions covering radiation, ground and surface water, terrestrial fauna and mine closure……..
Environmentalists fear long-term impact of uranium waste
Environmentalists have previously condemned the proposal, citing concerns over the level of radiation monitoring required of the company throughout the Karlamilyi National Park, where the mine would be located.
Campaigner Mia Pepper said current regulations for safely managing uranium in Australia were deficient. “The thing with uranium is that it’s different to other minerals. It’s radioactive, and that radiation is very hard to manage in our environment that [has] very, very dry periods and very, very wet periods,” she said.
“That radiation is so mobile in our environment when we start mining it, you know, it becomes hugely dangerous, and I don’t know of anywhere where they can safely mine uranium.
“What’s left behind after mining is radioactive mine waste, and that stays in our environment forever, really, or for at least 10,000 years. “It’s a very long period of time, and it will be there long after this company has stopped existing and long after this Government has changed.”
Traditional owners, the Martu people, signed a land-use deal with Cameco in 2012.
The company said a development decision would be made when market conditions were favourable to new uranium production…http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-24/uranium-mine-kintyre-given-federal-approval-cameco-says/6418974
How Putin’s Russia Gained Control of a U.S. Uranium Mine, Bloomberg, 24 Apr 15 by William KennedyAndy Hoffman Since 2013, the nuclear energy arm of the Russian state has controlled 20 percent of America’s uranium production capacity.
Rosatom’s acquisition of Toronto-based miner Uranium One Inc. made the Russian agency, which also builds nuclear weapons, one the world’s top five producers of the radioactive metal and gave it ownership of a mine in Wyoming.
The deal, approved by a committee that included then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, also followed donations from Uranium One’s Canadian chairman to the Clinton Global Foundation, the New York Times reported on Thursday.
Rosatom gained full control of Uranium One in early 2013.
Rosatom styles itself as Russia’s national nuclear corporation and today Uranium One is its international mining arm. As well as Willow Creek and the Kazakhstan assets, it owns mines in Australia and has exploration assets in Africa and the U.S…….http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-23/how-putin-s-russia-gained-control-of-a-u-s-uranium-mine
Nuclear non-proliferation selectivism Nation.com Senator Sehar Kamran April 22, 2015 Canada recently signed a 280 million dollar deal for the supply of 3,000 metric tonnes of uranium over the next five years to India, a nuclear weapon state outside the NPT. This deal comes against the backdrop of experts’ warnings that the agreement will spur proliferation in the region, and if the Indian test of Agni III, mere hours after the signing of the deal, is any indication of things to come, the warnings are not without cause. The deal, if put in perspective of the recent efforts by the West to bring outlier states to abide by the rules of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), undermines the efforts for the universalisation of a rules-based nuclear non-proliferation regime.
It is staggering to think that the very same country that forsook all nuclear cooperation some 45 years earlier with India after the latter diverted nuclear fuel from Canadian reactors, supplied for ‘peaceful, civilian’ use, to conduct a nuclear weapons test would now actively sign a 5-year deal that can only further exacerbate the South Asian security dilemma. The deal brushes aside the entire controversy of the Indian episode of proliferation of nuclear fuel for conducting a nuclear test. At the very least, it is not a story any of the major powers are ready to lend an ear to anymore, busy as they are cashing in on the growing market economy of India. Paul Meyer, Canada’s former permanent representative to the Geneva Disarmament Conference expressed his fears in this regard saying that, “All of this flows from decisions where we essentially sold the shop some years back, sacrificing our nuclear non-proliferation principles and objectives for some other considerations, and I think it’s been a very poor deal for us in terms of the risks of nuclear proliferation.”………
NPT parties meet to review nuclear progress and challenges, The Interpreter, 23 April 2015 Every five years, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) parties meet to review progress in limiting nuclear weapons proliferation, reducing the threat of nuclear arms and facilitating the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The current review cycle culminates in the ninth NPT Review Conference in New York starting next Monday, 27 April, to 22 May. Only five countries will not be involved: India, Israel, Pakistan, North Kore and South Sudan. The first three are ‘hold-out’ states which have never joined the NPT, North Korea purports to have left it and South Sudan is yet to join.
What should be an opportunity for further strengthening the Treaty is likely again to be dominated by recriminations. The Iranian nuclear deal helps, but the failure to convene the promised conference on a WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East will feed resentments. And the five NPT nuclear weapon states will face growing unhappiness over their disarmament efforts.
But recriminations should give way to renewed efforts to address mounting challenges: Continue reading
AUDIO: Farmers use wind farm rent to pay on-farm costs ABC NSW Country Hour 24 Apr 15
Joshua Becker Farmers in south-east New South Wales are using wind farm rent to subsidise on-farm costs. AUDIO: Farmer uses rent from wind farm to pay for on weed management (ABC Rural)
Howard Charles is one of 17 farmers who have wind turbines from the Boco Rock Wind Farm on their properties west of Nimmitabel in south-east NSW.
He said money from hosting wind farms on his property had helped him tackle noxious weeds on his property.
“With the two towers on our farm the extra income from the rent certainly helps with controlling the weeds, which is a never ending problem, serrated tussock in particular,” he said.
“I don’t see any downside, we are the closest house to the wind farm, some of the towers are less than a kilometre from here, even with prevailing winds we don’t hear it, I don’t see it. I do wonder what all the fuss is about sometimes.
“They’re certainly not interfering with our agriculture at all and I think we’re going to wake up down the track to the fact that renewable energy is pretty important.
“The most telling comment I’ve had about this [wind farm] is – ‘thank God we’re not the Hunter Valley’…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-23/farmers-use-wind-farm-rent-to-pay-on-farm-costs/6415126
When it comes to nuclear power, the industry wants you to think of electricity generation in isolation
Every aspect of the nuclear fuel cycle—mining, milling, shipping, processing, power generation, waste disposal and storage—releases greenhouse gases,
Why Do People Claim that Nuclear Power is a Low-Carbon Source of Energy?, Washington’s Blog
Even well-known, well-intentioned scientists sometimes push bad ideas. ……..
some scientists are under the mistaken impression that nuclear power is virtually carbon-free, and thus must be pushed to prevent runaway global warming. (If you don’t believe in global warming, then this essay is not aimed at you … although you might wish to forward it to those who do.)
But this is a myth. Amory Lovins is perhaps America’s top expert on energy, and a dedicated environmentalist for close to 50 years. His credentials as an energy expert and environmentalist are sterling…….
Lovins says nuclear is not the answer:
Nuclear plants are so slow and costly to build that they reduce and retard climate protection.
Here’s how. Each dollar spent on a new reactor buys about 2-10 times less carbon savings, 20-40 times slower, than spending that dollar on the cheaper, faster, safer solutions that make nuclear power unnecessary and uneconomic: Continue reading
So is this “methodology” the Abbott Government has spent $4million on any good?……
while cost-benefit analysis can be useful, it doesn’t work when you apply it to climate change policy.
How do you price, for example, the loss of a Pacific island nation and what that would mean for the cultures that have thrived there? What’s the price losing multiple species of flora and fauna or the Great Barrier Reef Jotzo adds:
Climate change is exceptional because it has all of these dimensions that go beyond the practical capability of cost benefit analysis.
Australian taxpayers funding climate contrarian’s methods with $4m Bjørn Lomborg centre Graham Readfearn, Guardian 23 Apr 15 Lomborg’s think tank methods underplay the impact of climate change and have ‘no academic credibility’ says leading climate economist. Danish political scientist and climate change contrarian Bjørn Lomborg says the poorest countries in the world need coal and climate change just isn’t as big a problem as some people make out.
Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott says “coal is good for humanity” and there are more pressing problems in the world than climate change, which he once described as “crap” but now says he accepts.
So it’s not surprising then that the latter should furnish the former with $4 million of taxpayer funds to start an Australian arm of Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Centre (CCC) at the University of Western Australia’s business school.
The CCC has consistently said that targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions are too expensive and money should be spent elsewhere
After a couple of weeks of doubt and confusion over the origins and the funding of the centre, latest reports suggest that the idea came from the Prime Minister’s office.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister told Fairfax media it was “the government’s decision to bring the Lomborg consensus methodology to Australia”.
More on this “methodology” and some pretty fundamental problems with it in a bit.
Students at UWA are gathering names on a petition and campaigning in protest, saying Lomborg’s appointment as an adjunct (unpaid) professor there damages the university’s reputation and is an embarrassment. The University’s Student Guild claimed that “students, staff and alumni” were outraged. Continue reading
The government has indicated it will take a ‘technology neutral’ approach, which explains why Australia is the only nation in the world to axe the (carbon) tax, and efforts to slash the Renewable Energy Target by more than half.
Last year, the federal government approved the world’s largest coal fields in Queensland’s Galilee Basin – resources which the Climate Council reports “can not be developed” because they are “inconsistent with tackling climate change”.
Collectively, the proposed mines would create more emissions than nations like Australia, the UK, Italy and South Africa.
Why The Fate Of The World’s Climate Is Largely In Australia’s Hands, New Matilda, By Thom Mitchell, 23 Apr We’re told Australia’s contribution to global warning is minimal. A report out today proves that’s a dangerous lie. Thom Mitchell explains.
As American academic Bob Massey put it, “Australia now holds the fate of the world’s climate in its hands”.
In its pursuit of a solution to the ‘budget emergency’ Australia is using up the ‘carbon budget’ at a rate incompatible with the global goal of limiting temperature rises to below two degrees, a Climate Council report out today has demonstrated.
While Australia is under increasing pressure to announce an ambitious target to limit emissions at home, the report makes clear that it is our reliance on fossil fuel exports that is doing the real damage.
By actively seeking to prolong the dying revenue stream, which has buoyed the economy through the past decade, the Australian government is doing massive damage to the remaining ‘carbon budget’.
At a recent talk in Sydney, Massey was blunt. “If your government and mining companies decide to develop all of the coal and gas currently planned, already on the books, our children will be forced to endure a world very different from what we know,” he said.
To avoid such a world, scientists have developed the ‘carbon budget’ which, put simply, is the amount of carbon dioxide humans can emit into the atmosphere before temperature rises reach two degrees above pre-industrial levels.
On that basis, if all of Australia’s coal were burnt, it would use up two thirds of the ‘carbon budget’. Effectively, 90 per cent of the continent’s coal must stay in the ground. Continue reading
even without any damage from climate change itself, the argument of moving to renewables (given the position of the rest of the world) makes good economic sense. When you add the risk of damage from climate change the case is unassailable.
Why would a nation like India waste money on taking poles and wires to every remote village and spending billions on coal power stations and metering when solar panels make more sense? They do not provide power continuously, but they are so much cheaper.
We should invest in renewable energy SMH, April 24, 2015 Crispin Hull “……..storms like the ones this week – which scientists say will become more frequent with global warming – should give cause for reflection. The extent and cost of the potential damage is so high that prudence demands action.
But there is another more significant point. Governments can fix most things, but they will not be able to fix climate change. They will not be able to refreeze the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and make the rising seas fall – a bit like King Canute. The damage will be irreversible for thousands or even millions of years.
But governments can force changes to stop the melt in the first place.
There are several reasons why people see no need for any action at all or no need for urgency. We have always had bad weather events.
Change is imperceptible. The science is not conclusive so we can wait before taking action. Damage is a long time off.
If we see real evidence of climate change we can act then to fix it. Australia is just one nation and can do little on its own.
Because so many people think like this, governments have been able to get away with doing so little. Continue reading
There’s nothing “smart” about spending $4 million of taxpayer cash on a highly questionable methodology that by design downgrades climate change.
Australian taxpayers funding climate contrarian’s methods with $4m Bjørn Lomborg centre Graham Readfearn, Guardian 23 Apr 15 Lomborg’s funding“………Exactly how and where Bjorn Lomborg’s think tank has gathered its cash over the years has been a tough story to get the bottom of.
When the Danish Government’s funding of the CCC ran out in 2012, Lomborg had already registered the US arm of the think tank four years earlier.
Since 2008, the US tax records of the Copenhagen Consensus Center show it has gathered about $5million in income, more than half of which had come in 2012 and 2013 (the most recent years for which records are available).
Lomborg himself was paid $975,000 via the think tank in those two years.
Yet much of the think tank’s income is not disclosed Continue reading