Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s Aboriginals again threatened by nuclear radiation

handsoffNuclear-hit Aborigines again in radiation danger https://linksunten.indymedia.org/de/node/144304 Verfasst von: Diet Simon, sourcing from beyond nuclear news roundup (Account: Nuclear Worrier). Verfasst am: 25.05.2015

Buried in Australia’s soil is a third of Earth’s uranium, the largest reserve in the world. This means there’s big money in mining it. But standing on it are Indigenous Australians with native title rights to that land. The Martu people, only numbering only around 1,000, own around 136,000 square kilometres in Western Australia. On the other side of the dispute is the world’s largest uranium company Cameco, an industry leading uranium and processing services company headquartered in Canada,which in collaboration with Mitsubishi, want to extend the Kintyre mine in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia. It bears the name of an area cut out of WA’s largest and most remote national park for mining in 1994.

 Darren Farmer, a burly middle-aged Martu tribal man, told VICE online magazine that “the Martu people do not want this uranium mine. Everybody has said no.” But that hasn’t stopped the federal environment minister Greg Hunt from givingKintyre the green light.

The VICE article explains how poverty prompts some Martu to agree to mining on their country and how Darren Farmer and others are physically assaulted for opposing it.

Meanwhile four decades after test explosions of atom bombs in the Maralinga desert area of South Australia, which killed and maimed Aboriginal people, Indigenous people face barriers as they try to contribute to a parliamentary inquiry whether the state should start a nuclear fuel cycle industry.

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINA requirement for all submissions to be sworn in front of a justice of the peace makes it particularly difficult for Aboriginal people, people from remote areas and those with language issues to present their views.

The former Governor [Queen Elizabeth’s representative] of South Australia, Kevin Scarce, who heads the inquiry, is to inspect the Fukushima region of Japan,ravaged by nuclear reactor explosions.

One of the things the inquiry will consider is the storage of nuclear waste from other countries. The federal government is currently looking for a site to dump six cubic metres of nuclear waste that must return to Australia from France for processing this year.

The federal government had previously targeted Aboriginal-owned sites in the Northern Territory, including Muckaty Station, where agreements with Aboriginal governance fell through or stalled. Aboriginal women’s resistance also stopped a 2003 plan by the federal government to dump nuclear waste in South Australia.

The French state-owned nuclear giant Areva is offering to sell its ‘world leading’ nuclear technology to South Australia. “The offer is being reported in the South Australian media without a hint of irony,” comments leading anti-nuclear Australian activist, Jim Green. “A reality check is in order.”

Two former Australian prime ministers, one each from the Liberal [in name only, actually right-of-centre conservative] and Labor [only nominally left] parties have said it would be a good idea for Australia to take in all the world’s nuclear waste. Guess on whose lands.

 

May 26, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Nuclear Royal Commission, South Australia | Leave a comment

Small scale solar power from Australian company transforms slum life in India

sunAustralian solar company Pollinate Energy brings light to slums of India ABC Foreign Correspondent  By South Asia correspondent Stephanie March 26 May 15 With indoor air pollution from kerosene lamps and stoves the second largest cause of death in India, one company, founded by Australians, has come up with a solution to the problem.

Every night in the sprawling shanty towns of the country of 1.2 billion people, the air fills with dense, black smoke.

“We used to get oil from the market and pour it into the lamp and light it; the house used to get full of soot and dirt,” said Abdul, a slum-dweller in Bangalore who lives in a hut made of wooden board and tarpaulin.

That was until Abdul bought a portable solar light from a company called Pollinate Energy, founded by five young Australians.

“After we got this solar lamp a lot of things improved,” Abdul said. “Now we don’t worry that there will be a fire.” Continue reading

May 26, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

Australians overwhelmingly prefer solar energy – survey results

Survey Says Australians Prefer Solar Power Sputnik News 25 May 15 Australians strongly support the use of renewable energy, according to Ipsos research company’s survey. Some 87 percent of respondents were strongly in favor of solar panels on homes and 78 percent supported large-scale solar energy facilities.MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Solar power is considered the most efficient source of energy by an overwhelming majority of Australians, Ipsos research company stated Monday.

Earlier in May, following months of negotiations, Australia’s current government and the primary opposition party reached an agreement to scale back its Renewable Energy Target (RET) by almost 20 percent by 2020, due to declining power demand.

A recent Ipsos report based on a poll of nearly 1200 people funded by Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) revealed that Australians responding to the poll strongly support the use of renewable energy. Some 87 percent of respondents were strongly in favor of solar panels on homes and 78 percent supported large-scale solar energy facilities.

An overall 72 percent of respondents from across Australia said they supported wind farms and hydro energy, while tidal and geothermal energy was favored by 52 and 45 percent respectively……..

Since coming to power in 2013, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has repealed a tax on carbon emissions and eliminated the post of science minister………  http://sputniknews.com/environment/20150525/1022530489.html#ixzz3bHKV5Rpu

May 26, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, solar | 1 Comment

The Bjorn Lomborg recipe for inaction on Climate Change

Bringing Lomborg’s work to Australia seems to have been the personal project of Prime Minister Tony Abbott who found $4 million in a budget that cannot afford to support other scientific work on climate change. Abbott is, of course, famous for dismissing climate science as “crap” and choosing as his chief business adviser a man, Maurice Newman, who believes climate science is being used by the UN to impose authoritarian rule over the world.

The Lomborg Ruse, Clive Hamilton 23 MAY 2015 No one in Australia has more relentlessly attacked environmentalists, climate science, carbon taxes and the aspirations of the United Nations than Murdoch columnist Andrew Bolt.

Lomborg, Bjorn

So what does it mean when Bolt sings the praises of a man who is a declared environmentalist, accepts the body of evidence for climate change, supports a carbon tax and is a strong supporter of the United Nations? Oh, and he’s also a gay vegetarian who’s never out of a trendy black T-shirt.

And what are we to make of it when Bolt, who has complained bitterly that the nation’s universities are stacked with leftists, is now up in arms because a man with admittedly left-leaning politics is sent packing from one of those universities.

I speak of course of Bjorn Lomborg and the University of Western Australia’s reversal of its decision to host his Consensus Centre and so reject the $4 million offered by the Federal Government.

Bolt is not Lomborg’s only unlikely defender. John Roskam of the Institute of Public Affairs writes that the opposition to Lomborg “demonstrates all that’s wrong with Australia’s universities”. The IPA, from the late 1990s the epicentre of the dissemination of climate science denial in Australia, now claims that the man who declares “I believe in global warming” has been “muzzled” and must be heard. (The IPA hosted a Lomborg visit to Australia in 2003, at the prompting of federal industry minister Ian Macfarlane.) Continue reading

May 24, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Senator Leyonhjelm – Nuclear power is fine: wind power is the danger!

Leyonhjelm,-DavidSenator David Leyonhjelm wants government to monitor wind turbine noise, The Age, May 24, 2015 Adam Gartre It seems the only thing colourful crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm hates more than red tape is wind farming.

Despite typically being a fierce opponent of new government regulation, the Liberal Democrat is calling on the government to set up a new regulator to monitor noise levels near wind turbines.

He claims a Senate inquiry he set up has uncovered “credible evidence” that some people are suffering wind-farm-evil-1health concerns caused by low frequency noise and vibrations known as infrasound.

Australia’s peak medical agency this year concluded there is no direct or consistent evidence that wind farms damage human health, after conducting a year-long study into so-called “wind turbine syndrome”.

 Indeed, many health experts and environmentalists have long dismissed turbine-related health concerns as a myth…….Senator Leyonhjelm’s inquiry attracted 418 submissions and is set to report back to parliament in August. It is the latest in a long line of investigations into renewable energy and wind turbines. http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/senator-david-leyonhjelm-wants-government-to-monitor-wind-turbine-noise-20150523-gh812j.html

May 24, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, wind | Leave a comment

Japan keen to make Australia’s new submarines

Japan Security Council Approves Bid to Build Australian Submarines  DEFENSE STUDIES. FOCUS ON DEFENSE CAPABILITY DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHEAST ASIA AND OCEANIA 22 Mei 2015 The Japanese proposal for the 4200-tonne Soryu would involve using contractors Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, with the bid competing against TKMS’s 4000-tonne Type 216 and a conventional version of DCNS’s 5000-tonne nuclear-powered Barracuda. (photo : Nosint)

Japan is to exploit the easing of its postwar ban on arms exports by entering the race to jointly develop and build a new generation of submarines for the Australian navy.

Members of Japan’s security council this week approved the country’s participation in the bidding process, months after the Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, abandoned plans to buy Soryu-class submarines from Japan under pressure from ruling party and opposition politicians.

Instead, Japan will join non-nuclear submarine developers from Germany and France in Canberra’s “competitive evaluation process” to decide who builds the Australian navy’s next fleet of submarines.

South Australian government and defence industry representatives have gone to Europe to convince companies bidding to build Australia’s next fleet of submarines to do the work in Adelaide.

Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, confirmed that the security council had decided Japanese firms should join the process “in light of the importance of defence cooperation between Japan and Australia”.

Suga told reporters that the decision was in line with Japan’s revised rules on the transfer of arms and defence technology……….

Continue reading

May 23, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Bjorn Lomborg’s USA operation seems to break many USA rules

Lomborg, Bjorn

It is unclear that Lomborg himself is a legitimate charity anywhere, but most of the money seems under his control.  One might also wonder where income taxes are paid.

Perhaps with his new $4 million Australia Consensus Center (covered herehere, here) Bjorn Lomborg may pick a better site than a US shipping storefront, since he’ll receive much more taxpayer money, directly, courtesy of the Australian government.  That does seem simpler

Bjorn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Center – Real Charity Or “Foreign Conduit”? DeSmogBlog  BJohn Mashey • Sunday, April 26, 2015 Bjørn Lomborg is founder and president of the  Copenhagen Consensus CenterUSA (CCC)), a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) “public charity” whose US physical presence is shown in the image: 262 Middlesex St, Lowell MA. Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus Center are known to DeSmog readers for efforts to downplay the importance of addressing climate change, a subset of climate science denialism that has infected the public debate across the English-speaking world.

Despite the name, it has not been based in Copenhagen since 2011. Continue reading

May 23, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Bjorn Lomborg remains confident about his climate action delaying centre

Map-Abbott-climateCCC’s Bjorn Lomborg appears unfazed by criticisms and setbacks, The Age May 23, 2015 – Paul McGeough,  Amidst uncertainty over his planned expansion into Australia, sponsored and part-funded by Canberra, Danish climate contrarian Bjorn Lomborg​ is unapologetic over secret donor funding and his own, at times, large salary as head of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre (CCC).

Defending the donations, Lomborg doubled-back on a position he took late last year when he volunteered, in a Freakonomics​ talk in the US, “almost all” CCC donors wished to remain anonymous……

Asked if the combination of past trenchant scientific and environmentalist criticism of his “bang-for-your-buck” analysis, which underpinned the outrage at UWA, and of his willingness to accept some anonymous funding risked the credibility of his proposed Australian operation, Lomborg countered: “CCC has been recognised repeatedly as a top global think-tank – it has a strong reputation because of the excellent research that it produces with more than 100 leading economists and seven Nobel laureates.”

Yet Lomborg baulked, when asked about the intellectual hinge in his relationship with Canberra – did the Abbott government enlist him in the Australian discourse because he had always believed humans cause global warming, or because he now spent most of his waking hours articulating arguments against controversial proposals to cut carbon emissions?….

n the 2013 filings, Lomborg’s salary was reveal to be $200, 484, but in the previous year it was more than three times that amount – $US775, 000.That figure caused a rolling of eyes in some scientific and environmental corners. But unabashed, Lomborg told Fairfax Media: “My salary is assessed by a compensation committee. My position is as leader of a globally recognised, top-ranked think-tank and research funder, interacting with hundreds of the world’s top economists, opinion-makers and leaders.”

Hoping to ride out the storm over his appointment, Lomborg said in April: “We want to have this conversation in the developing world, but Imagine having it in Australia too. In a democracy we talk about what can be done in three-year election cycles, but let’s ask what could Australia do in the lifetime of the next generation.”……http://www.theage.com.au/national/cccs-bjorn-lomborg-appears-unfazed-by-criticisms-and-setbacks-20150522-gh6h2g

May 23, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Environmental powers handed to the States – will mean falling standads

exclamation-Environmental standards face decline if all approval powers are handed to states, report finds, ABC News, By Jane Ryan, 21 May 15  Environmental standards would drop under a proposed state-based one-stop-shop environmental approval system, a new report has found.

The proposed legislation, which is before the Federal Senate, seeks to streamline environmental approval processes by giving power of approval to state governments and cutting out the Commonwealth.

But a report by the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) warns against relegating environmental approval powers to state governments, saying the environment will suffer.

EDO principal lawyer Jess Feehely said there were several areas where state legislation did not meet the standards set by Commonwealth protections……..

Ms Feehely said Tasmania would not meet international obligations on environment protection under the proposed legislation change.”There’s a real risk that matters of national environmental significance will receive less protection,” she said. “Matters of national significance include threatened species, so habitat for the Tasmanian devil, and it includes world heritage areas and endangered ecological communities.”

She said there were four main areas where the Tasmanian law fell short of the protection afforded under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. “They don’t apply the precautionary principle, they don’t take account of our international obligations, and they don’t make it easy for people to find access to information about development decisions,” she said.

The report also commended the strong rights for public participation currently provided in many Tasmanian laws.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-22/one-stop-shop-system-would-reduce-environmental-standards-report/6489168

May 23, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics | Leave a comment

The solar revolution that is coming to Australia’s homes

Australia-solar-plugCould solar power be about to transform the electricity industry and drive prices down? http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2015/s4240286.htm Australian Broadcasting Corporation  Broadcast: 21/05/2015  Reporter: Matt Peacock A revolution driven by solar panels and cheaper batteries is transforming Australia’s electricity industry and promising to drive power prices down.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER:  Imagine life without that dreaded quarterly power bill. That could be around the corner for people with solar panels. Until now, solar energy couldn’t be stored efficiently and people who had it relied on the electricity grid for backup. Now, new battery technology means that could change. Matt Peacock reports. Continue reading

May 23, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | 1 Comment

Funding method to help off-grid renewable energy take off in rural Australia

renewable-energy-pictureCLOSING THE GAP

Renewable energy sources (in particular, solar and wind) have a significant relevance in the off-grid setting of Australia’s remote rural and indigenous communities.

At present these communities are serviced almost exclusively by off-grid diesel and gas. While these traditional fuels haven’t yet become prohibitively expensive, they are subject to price fluctuations and, in the case of diesel, affordable only as a result of government subsidies.

Fuel subsidies are also regularly under threat of repeal; and yet renewable energy has made enormous progress in providing an environmentally-friendly alternative which is competitive in terms of price and efficiency.

Taking diesel and solar powered energy as examples: while the cost of diesel generation has remained stable at around the $220-$300/MWh mark, the cost of solar energy is now about $200-$240/MWh; drastically down from $600/MWh in 2008 and likely to get cheaper with evolving technology and economies of scale.

Combine the comparative cost with the obvious environmental benefits of solar or wind and the case for their adoption looks compelling.

Renewable energy for remote Australia – can our rural and indigenous communities go off-grid?http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=1d65ab6f-6d9c-4499-abd7-de3a45c72191 Corrs Chambers Westgarth Australia May 21 2015

THE PRESENT DILEMMA

The renewable energy industry in Australia has taken more hits in recent years than a punch-drunk boxer. It may be uncharitable to say that Australia’s politicians were the only ones throwing the upper-cuts, but there’s little doubt they’ve played a significant role.

The current state of the renewable energy industry in Australia can be traced back to the repeal of the carbon price mechanism and has been further compounded by the prolonged political impasse surrounding the future of the Renewable Energy Target (RET).[1].

Running parallel to the renewable energy sector’s struggles, is the pressure on governments to reduce spending in the face of an undiminished social imperative to service the energy (and wider infrastructure) needs of remote rural and indigenous communities across the country.

In light of technological advances, off-grid renewable energy should be a key part of the solution to energy security.

In funding such a solution, debt-funded models could be a more practical way for industry to raise the capital it needs than waiting for government funding.

For government, private capital investment has long been an attractive funding solution for infrastructure projects as it allows for the deferral of upfront capital costs.

Equally, financiers benefit from the certainty that comes with government-sourced revenue streams – in this way circumventing the uncertainty that has so severely hamstrung renewable energy investment in recent years.

If a debt-funded model is to be pursued, the real question then becomes: how to structure that funding to make it attractive for all parties concerned? Continue reading

May 23, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, energy | Leave a comment

Energy retailers must take the lead, for solar and wind energy to spring back

A key element of the recent RET compromise is that the ruling Liberal coalition agreed to scrap the biennial reviews of the policy that had previously been in place.

“It removes the uncertainty factor that has been plaguing the RET for many years now,” Gemmell​ says.

Yet while the bipartisan compromise is a welcome development for the industry, the victory is still bittersweet.

“We’re both relieved and disappointed at the same time. We’re relieved in the sense that the pace of our PPA discussions and negotiations are picking up considerably. And we’ll have some clear visibility on building the first major stages of our projects,” he concludes, noting that Solar Choice may now be able to start construction at Bulli Creek at some point in 2016.

ANALYSIS: Energy retailers key after Australia RET deal  http://www.rechargenews.com/solar/1400719/analysis-energy-retailers-key-after-australia-ret-deal Brian Publicover in Tokyo Friday, May 22 2015 The Australian legislature appears set to approve the nation’s revised Renewable Energy Target (RET) by as early as the end of June, but energy retailers will need to take the lead for solar and wind development to finally spring back to life after more than a year of uncertainty, according to industry analysts. Continue reading

May 23, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

USA ‘Missile Defense’ is Destabilizing the Region

antnuke-relevant‘Missile Defense’ is Destabilizing  by Bruce K. Gagnon http://space4peace.blogspot.com.au/“….The Global Network will carry this with us to Kyoto, Japan from July 29-Aug 2 for our 23rd annual space organizing conference that is being hosted by peace activists from across the Kyoto Prefecture.

The US recently deployed a ‘missile defense’ radar in Kyoto Prefecture and the Ukawa village has been resisting the deployment for some time.  During the conference we will take a side trip to join the villagers in a protest against the radar that is being aimed at China.

The US is now deploying “missile defense’ systems throughout the Asia-Pacific on land and on-board Navy Aegis destroyers.  These interceptors play an important role in US first-strike attack planning.

They are now deployed in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Guam, Australia, and the Philippines.  Taken together these interceptor systems serve as a loaded gun pointed at the head of China.  Beijing has responded by building more nuclear weapons to ensure they have a “survivable retaliatory capability” and have moved many of their more vulnerable land-based nuclear weapons onto submarines so they are harder to hit in a possible Pentagon first-strike attack.

The US Space Command has been annually war gaming such a first-strike attack on China and Russia for many years.  In the computer war game the US fires weapons from space and through space in order to take out the “enemy” nuclear forces.  Then when China or Russia attempt to fire their remaining retaliatory forces the US ‘missile defense’ systems are used as a shield against them giving the Pentagon a theoretical successful first-strike.

The US walked away from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with Russia soon after George W. Bush became president.  The ABM Treaty prevented either side from deploying ‘missile defense’ systems near the other nation which would give one side a strategic advantage.

Since the US withdrew from the ABM Treaty the US has been encircling both Russia and China with the destabilizing systems.

 

May 23, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Aboriginal cultural heritage depends on remaining on homelands

Env-AustIf Aboriginal people are forced off their land, who will pass down the stories?, Guardian,  22 May 15 Imagine what an unbroken link to the land, thousands of years old, feels like. IndigenousX host Kelly Briggs on keeping the light of culture burning bright “…………….  People in this town work tirelessly to reinvigorate our languages, keep our stories strong and pass strength on through keeping the lights of pride in our culture burning bright.

You don’t find these people in newspapers, at award ceremonies or talking about Aboriginal issues on TV. You find them quietly going about their business lifting up the community. Away from the glare of what is now becoming to be known as “the Aboriginal industry”. There are many towns spread across Australia like mine, trying to reconnect with culture. Be it through languages, story revival or identifying places of Aboriginal significance – this is happening. Research shows that people who are connected to their cultural heritage are happier.

Continue reading

May 23, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

For decades, a strong grassroots movement against radioactive waste dumping

 clear need to engage with the targeted communities from the early stages and throughout the whole duration of the project. Failing already during this essential first part of the process might actually poison the whole of it and leave the Government with nothing but another failed attempt to deal with Australia’s radioactive waste

Don’t waste the homelands Community opposition to a national radioactive waste dump has enjoyed a strong grassroots movement for decades. Now, the latest battle is in Western Australia. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/05/20/comment-dont-waste-homelands By  Anica Niepraschk 20 MAY 2015 WESTERN AUSTRALIAN IRON ORE COMPANY GINBALBIE METALS’ NOMINATION OF A SECTION OF ITS LAND TO HOST AUSTRALIA’S PROPOSED RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY COMES AS THE THIRD KNOWN NOMINATION IN WA. THE TWO-MONTH NOMINATION PERIOD FOR THE PROJECT CLOSED ON MAY 5.

heartland-2

Another known nomination comes from a landowner in Leonora, against local opposition but supported by Leonora Shire. The Shire had been keen on nominating freehold land itself but could not identify any suitable land.

The third revealed nomination from WA involves land in Kanpa, near Warburton in the eastern part of the state, and lacks support from the Ngaanyatjarra elders.

Similarly, Ginbalbie Metals’s nomination of a land near Badga station in the mid west of the state faces opposition from the traditional custodians of the land. Neither the local community nor Yalgoo shire had been consulted on the nomination. The site is even subject of a current native title claim by the Widi Native Title Claimant Group. The group expressed its strong opposition to Federal Industry Minister Macfarlane, stating that ‘the proponent has displayed an appalling level of disrespect’ for the traditional owners by failing to consult them. They generally reject radioactive waste dumps and uranium mining on their homelands.

This opposition to hosting a radioactive waste facility follows failed attempts by Canberra to impose a facility on communities in South Australia (1998-2004) and the Northern Territory (2005-2014). Community trust in the federal government’s handling of the process has eroded drastically over this period of time. Continue reading

May 22, 2015 Posted by | wastes | Leave a comment

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