Australian news, and some related international items

Flinders Uni still might host Bjorn Lomborg, who now undemines renewable energy

Renewables won’t fix climate – Lomborg
CONTROVERSIAL scientist Bjorn Lomborg has defended the idea of a Climate Consensus Centre at an Adelaide university, saying climate change is real but renewables are not the answer.

FLINDERS University may host Dr Lomborg’s controversial $4 million taxpayer-funded centre despite protests from students and staff who argue it will hurt Australia’s standing in the academic world.

Lomborg, Bjorn

Background information about Bjorn Lomborg is available here: and here:


October 2, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Turnbull govt might appoint an adviser even worse than Maurice Newman

wind-farm-evil-1Scientist who likened wind industry to Hitler floated as potential Turnbull government adviser, The Age, October 1, 2015  Environment and immigration correspondent An expert who has likened the wind industry’s tactics to Hitler and claims the Australian Medical Association’s support for wind power is “corrupt” is among those that Senate crossbenchers want appointed as government advisers on wind power.

The office of Environment Minister Greg Hunt has confirmed he still intends to appoint a scientific committee to advise on the alleged impact of wind turbines on human health, despite the government’s new embrace of renewable energy under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The government will also soon announce who will fill the role of national wind farm commissioner to investigate complaints about wind turbines, despite refusing to appoint a full-time disability commissioner.

The government struck a deal with crossbench senators in June to address “community concerns about wind farms”, including establishing the scientific committee and consulting anti-wind senators when choosing its members.

Leyonhjelm,-DavidSenator David Leyonhjelm has suggested a number of candidates including Bruce Rapley, a New Zealand-based scientific consultant who strongly believes wind turbines negatively affect human health.

Dr Rapley’s position is at odds with findings by the National Health and Medical Research Council that there is no reliable or consistent evidence that wind farms directly cause health problems.

In a submission to a Senate inquiry on wind farms, Dr Rapley said the AMA’s support for the industry was “yet one more example of how corrupt the system has become”………

Australian Wind Alliance national coordinator Andrew Bray said the Turnbull government should “call an end to Tony Abbott’s war on wind” and abolish plans for the commissioner and the scientific panel, saying both would play roles already filled by other agencies including state ombudsmen, environmental regulators and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

October 2, 2015 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Records set to wilt as El Nino delivers heatwaves, bushfires

heat_waveA sizzling summer of heatwaves, bushfires, droughts and thunderstorms is forecast for Australia. ... (subscribers only)

October 1, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Glencore may pull out, leaving toxic waste problem to tax-payers

Environment groups fear Glencore won’t clean up toxic waste rock at NT mine, ABC Radio PM  MARK COLVIN: Environment groups fear the floundering resources giant Glencore may avoid its responsibility to clean up toxic waste rock from its Northern Territory mine.  Last month the Territory Chief Minister threatened to shut down the McArthur River mine, if Glencore didn’t increase its rehabilitation bond.

The deadline for that commitment expires tomorrow. Felicity James reports.

FELICITY JAMES: The McArthur River zinc mine sits near the remote community of Borroloola in the Northern Territory’s Gulf region.

The Glencore mine has faced ongoing protests from Indigenous residents and environment groups about toxic waste rock at the site and an insufficient bond for the clean-up.

Senior Borroloola resident Jack Green says news of Glencore’s financial woes is increasing anxiety in the community……..

October 1, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Uranium sales to India: an issue for Turnbull govt to resolve

India-uranium1Australia’s New PM: Uranium Sale Will Be Litmus Test Of India Policy – Analysis
By South Asia Monitor Tuesday, September 29th, 2015, By Rekha Bhattacharjee*While Australia’s Prime Minister changed in a dramatic leadership spat less than two weeks ago, it is believed that the elevation of Malcolm Turnbull as the 29th PM of Australia would not adversely impact the bilateral relationship between India and Australia……..

From the Indian perspective, Turnbull’s India policy would become apparent in the not too distant future when he makes a decision on the uranium sale to the power-hungry South Asian country. A joint parliamentary standing committee on treaties had recently raised objections over the uranium sale to India. ….

September 30, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia’s govt MIGHT count wind power as an ’emerging technology’ to be supported

text-cat-questionA Note of Warming.  Will Greg Hunt count wind power as an ’emerging technology’.  Or is that phrase solely code for new nuclear?

Environment Minister Greg Hunt opens the door to government wind power investment September 29, 2015   Environment and immigration correspondent Environment Minister Greg Hunt says the federal government’s “green bank” may be allowed to invest in new wind farm technology, in another sign the Coalition’s war on renewable energy is winding down.

Speaking on ABC radio on Tuesday, Mr Hunt said “emerging” wind power such as new turbines or offshore wind farms may be eligible for funding from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. Continue reading

September 30, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

PM Turnbull now contradicting himself on climate change policy

your own truths won’t go away and as it stands this stop-gap policy will come badly unstuck

Turnbull climate 2 facedThe inconvenient truth about Direct Action comes from Turnbull himself, Guardian, 25 Sep 15 Lenore Taylor Malcolm Turnbull is now defending the policy he criticised, but his truths about climate change won’t go away and this stop-gap scheme will come badly unstuck  ou asked for this Malcolm, standing in the wind outside the war memorial this week. You said journalists had “to hold up the truth to power”. But in the case of your climate policy you’ve made our job easy. You’ve said so much on the subject that for the most part we can hold up your own truth to yourself.

Coalition’s climate policy ‘best and most efficient’ in the world, says Greg Hunt

This mirror reflecting back your own past verities could become a bit of a theme in your prime ministership, with all that you’ve said and all the things that now constrain you. Or maybe it won’t – it’s still too early to say.

But since you’ve asked for them, here are some of your own truths about climate change.

Lately you’ve claimed the $2.5bn emissions reduction fund (ERF) – part of the Direct Action climate policy you once ridiculed but have now inherited – has been “very successful” and that “all of the advice we have suggests that the government’s policies will achieve the reductions … that we’re taking to the Paris conference of the parties.”

On Friday (as China – yes, China – announced a start date for its national emissions trading scheme) your environment minister Greg Hunt went so far as to say ours is the “best and most efficient scheme in the world”.

But we all know that’s not true. Not as it stands. And we know you know it because you’ve stuck a pin in its problems yourself. Continue reading

September 26, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Climate CHange, China, and Malcolm Turnbull

China to announce 2017 launch of carbon market – US officials
Barack Obama welcomes China’s Xi Jinping to the White House ahead of joint presidential statement meant to boost prospects for a global climate change pact.

China ETS won’t change plans
Greg Hunt has declared the gov­ernment will retain its Direct Action climate change program.

Michelle Grattan: Malcolm Turnbull and his emissions trading scheme shadow
Malcolm Turnbull, it seems, cannot escape the emissions trading scheme bogey. This time, it comes in the form of China’s plan – which had been foreshadowed but is now confirmed – to introduce a national ETS.
Climate change the new gender agenda
Female scientists from around the world will voyage to Antarctica to turn up the heat on global warming.
Extreme Pacific sea level events to double in future
Many tropical Pacific island nations are struggling to adapt to gradual sea level rise stemming from warming oceans and melting ice caps.

September 26, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

David Suzuki on Tony Abbott, solar panels and his book

Suzuki, DavidEnvironmental activist David Suzuki on Tony Abbott, solar panels and his book, Guardian, , 24 Sept 15 The Canadian environmental activist, who is in Australia next March for WOMADelaide’s Planet Talks series, speaks to Oliver Milman Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki, who was the subject of a solo Q&A broadcast in 2013, is back in Australia in March to take part in WOMADelaide’s Planet Talks series. Suzuki, a vocal advocate for action on climate change, spoke to Guardian Australia about Tony Abbott, the upcoming Paris climate talks and his new book.

What did you make of Australia’s latest change of prime minister?

I had no idea this was going to happen. I thought ‘my God, I’m not a religious man but you’ve answered my prayers.’ I know Malcolm Turnbull is not a climate denier, so that’s a step up, our prime minister [Stephen Harper] is a denier. It all depends on why Tony Abbott was booted out. Is his party committed to action on climate change?……..

So how is Australia doing?

When you’ve got nine out of 10 solar panels made in China, you have to ask what the hell is wrong with Australia, you’ve got the solar resource, you are crazy. Canadians would kill for that sunshine, you have the CSIRO, some of the top scientists in the world and you’re not taking solar seriously, what’s wrong with you?

You have Gina Rinehart, the big coal magnate, look at stuff she says! How does it get published? Continue reading

September 25, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

CAMECO seeks EPA approvals on same day as Traditional Owners mourn the passing of treasured community member.

Today as CAMECO release the Public Environment Review (PER) for the proposed Yeelirrie uranium mine, the community mourns the passing of the former Station owner.

Yeelirrie station, the site of CAMECO’s proposed uranium mine is a significant place for both the white pastoral history and local Aboriginal people. Many of the local Yeelirrie traditional owners have strong and positive memories of living on country and working along side the pastoral lease holders at Yeelirrie before the station was taken over by the mining industry.

It has saddened local Traditional owners today to learn of CAMECO’s proposal to mine uranium at Yeelirrie has gone to the EPA, on a day that holds such great sorrow for the community.

Kado Muir, Traditional Owner from Yeelirrie said: “It is a sad day today as Yeelirrie Traditional owners mourn the passing of the late Mrs Folvig a former owner of Yeelirrie station and much loved member of the early black and white pastoral community.”
“Community members are upset to hear the news of this company seeking to destroy our country while dealing with the sadness within our community. We don’t have anymore to say at this time.”

Vicky McCabe, a local Traditional owner said: “Growing up you would hear all the great stories from our elders of life at Yeelirrie station and the good relations between the white lease holders and our mob. Sadly since the mining industry has gotten hold of the land we are excluded from the country and our country is being destroyed, where once it was enjoyed and cared for.”

“Our opposition to the mine is strong and with the help of our friends from Australia and overseas we are making a stand for country, culture and a uranium free world. there is no way that Cameco will be digging up our country.”

Marcus Atkinson, spokesperson for ANAWA said: “We have this week just finished the 5th year of walking through the area around Yeelirrie. Over these 5 years hundreds of people have joined the Walkatjurra Walkabout from around the Country and the world.  Cameco should brace themselves for the massive opposition that will never allow this uranium mine to happen. ”

For comment : Kado Muir: 0477184957. Vicky Mccabe: 0473196023. Marcus Atkinson: 0400505765

September 23, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Will Greg Hunt continue to kow tow to the fossil fuel lobby?





Parkinson-Report-No more excuses: Heat is now on Hunt By  on 22 September 2015 For the past two years, Greg Hunt has protested that he has been doing the best he can possibly do under the circumstances – being an environment minister in a government that downplays climate change, and is actively opposed to wind energy.

Hunt insists that he has been pushing for ambitious and effective policies as much as he can, and as much as he dared in a government dominated by the far right, and its ideological war against green policies. Did anyone understand the difficulties involved? But if Hunt craved to be portrayed as a beacon of light in a sea of smog, he did not get a lot of sympathy from those involved in the sector.

Part of that was due to his own choice of rhetoric: in an attempt to appease and impress, or just to get along, Hunt on occasions tried to out-do even the extreme right on the costs of renewables and climate action.

That has now changed, the conservative forces that stood in his way appear to have been swept aside by the sudden rise of Malcolm Turnbull and his declaration that his government will be one looking to the future, not the past.

So, the next phase can be seen in two ways: a test of Hunt’s willingness and ability to introduce long-lasting and effective climate change policies, presumably with the indulgence and sponsorship of his new leader; and a test of the remaining power of the hard-line conservatives.  Continue reading

September 23, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Women organising to be leaders in climate chnage action

Women turn up heat on climate: Project aims to put females in leadership positions on issue A TASMANIAN woman is enlisting some great names in science to educate the world about ­climate change.

Jess Melbourne-Thomas, a marine ecologist at the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-operative Research Centre at the University of Tasmania, has co-founded the Homeward Bound Project with leadership expert Fabian Dattner to elevate the role of women in the fight against climate change.

September 23, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Yeelirrie, Western Australia Uranium project – the fight is just beginning

text-uranium-hypeState and National environment organisations have reinforced their strong opposition to the planned Yeelirrie uranium mine following the release of Cameco’s Public Environment Review (PER).

Dave Sweeney, Nuclear Free Campaigner from the Australian Conservation Foundation said “Cameco have clearly stated that uranium projects are not feasible with the current uranium price. The release of the PER is about a paper approval, this project is a long way from a done deal.

“There is longstanding and ongoing opposition from many Aboriginal people and other stakeholders. Seeking to advance a project that is not viable and where the company has no short to medium term development plans is reckless and unreasonable.”

“The Walkatjurra Walkabout just weeks ago walked through Yeelirrie and heard very moving testimonies from local pastoralists and Aboriginal elders who are united in the opposition to the project.”

Mia Pepper from the Conservation Council of WA said “This is a ‘smash and grab’ that totally disregards the concerns of the community and does little to minimise environmental damage. Cameco plan to cut the life of the mine in half by doubling the impact area and the risk of dust compared with previous plans for the ore body.”

“Cameco having a shocking record overseas and face court in Canada and the US this year over tax avoidance charges.”

The company’s operations in Canada have been criticised by Canadian regulators who have said “When you put the pieces together, they build a story of really fundamental issues about the competence of the company.” Prof. Christopher Barnes, geologist and Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission member, 2003.

September 21, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Malcoolm Turnbull advised to make climate and energy policy central

*Climate Institute Media Release: New Turnbull government should make climate and energy policy central
15 September 2015. The Climate Institute today urged the new Turnbull government to make climate and energy policy central to its plan to modernise the economy.

“All parties and all leaders who say they are serious about climate change need a plan for the modernisation and decarbonisation of our economy,” said John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute.

(Check out the Climate Institute’s other news and latest work at:
Peter Christoff: If he wants to win an election, Turnbull should go back to his old self on climate
September 18, 2015. In backing Abbott’s existing climate policy, Malcolm Turnbull looks like appeasing his party. But his prospects would be better served by appealing to voters who are anxious for strong climate action.

September 21, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australian govt ‘sees no value’ in humanitarian pledge on nuclear disarmament

logo-ICAN“Support for the humanitarian consequences pledge is making Australia’s position more difficult; it is galvanising public and political opinion, and Australia finds itself running against the domestic and international tide.” 

Australia defends opposition to global push for nuclear weapons ban, Guardian, , 18 Sept 15  Foreign affairs department ‘sees no value’ in a pledge, endorsed by 116 countries to eliminate nuclear weapons worldwide. Australia has defended its position on nuclear disarmament, saying a push for a global treaty banning nuclear weapons “will not lead to their elimination”.

Guardian Australia reported on Wednesday on a cache of diplomatic cables released under a freedom of information request, showing Australia resisting a growing momentum behind an Austrian-led “humanitarian pledge” to “stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

The pledge, now endorsed by 116 countries, is seen as a precursor to a new global treaty outlawing all nuclear weapons.

But a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Dfat) told Guardian Australia it “sees no value” in the Austrian pledge because it ignores the realpolitik of the global nuclear landscape.

None of the five “declared” nuclear nations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty – the US, Britain, France, China and Russia – have endorsed the Austrian pledge. Continue reading

September 18, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 856 other followers