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……….
‘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.
Since the US withdrew from the ABM Treaty the US has been encircling both Russia and China with the destabilizing systems.
To its credit, parliament’s treaties committee seems to be taking the problems with the India agreement seriously. If the committee recommends the deal be revised or rejected the onus will be on the government to take the problems seriously.
No yellow cake for India http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=17350 y Dave Sweeney – Monday, 18 May 2015 Despite widespread controversy around planned uranium sales to India, including from the government’s own former Director General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office, the
moves to Melbourne this week taking evidence from groups concerned about security, safety and environmental impacts. Independent security analysts and representatives of the Uniting Church will join national environment groups Friends of the Earth and the Australian Conservation Foundation to highlight concerns over the contested sales plan. Continue reading
French nuclear energy giant Areva’s Kiggavik uranium mine has been opposed by the Nunavut region’s Impact Review Board (IRB), according to CBC.
The mine was proposed on the edge of a caribou calving ground. The US$2.1 billion project would feature an underground operation, and four open pits……….
Further north in Greenland, Australian miner Greenland Minerals and Energy has taken major steps forward to develop its Kvanefjeld rare earths and uranium project, after last year signing an MoU with a Chinese firm to ramp up its supply chain and minerals processing capability.
The Greenland Government has even touted its lack of a mining tax to attract the interest of other Australian miners looking to develop the country’s rich reserves of untapped minerals. http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/arctic-uranium-mine-rejected
The concerns come as Greenland Minerals and Energy, an Australia-based mining outfit, closes in on final approval to begin production rare earths, a mineral vital for use in modern technologies……
in order to extract rare earths, GME will also need to mine uranium as a by-product, and that has raised fears, particularly among farmers, sheep farmers and those making a living off tourism, that dust from the open-pit facility will taint the region’s soil and water, and in the process spoil the region’s image. Continue reading
Scarier still is the part of the TPP that will give corporations the right to sue governments for lost profits. The proceedings will be conducted before secret corporate tribunals.
Foreshadowing nasty corporate suits are what is happening now in Australia, Egypt, and Germany.
Philip Morris, an American tobacco company, is suing Australia for prohibiting the sale of cigarettes to underaged smokers in that country.
He has convinced himself that American labor cannot compete with labor forces in the rest of the world, particularly in Asia. He said, “That ship has already sailed.” Obama has given up. He has given in to corporate interests who want things both ways for the sake of short term profit. Corporations, who recognize no international boundaries, insist on producing goods for the lowest possible cost in labor. Continue reading
Sovereignty For International Investors (Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)) http://tm.durusau.net/ May 11th, 2015 Elizabeth Warren makes a compelling case against the Trans-Pacific Partnership in The Trans-Pacific Partnership clause everyone should oppose, where she says:…
ISDS [Investor-State Dispute Settlement] would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. laws — and potentially to pick up huge payouts from taxpayers — without ever stepping foot in a U.S. court. Here’s how it would work. Imagine that the United States bans a toxic chemical that is often added to gasoline because of its health and environmental consequences. If a foreign company that makes the toxic chemical opposes the law, it would normally have to challenge it in a U.S. court. But with ISDS, the company could skip the U.S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company won, the ruling couldn’t be challenged in U.S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require American taxpayers to cough up millions — and even billions — of dollars in damages.
If that seems shocking, buckle your seat belt. ISDS could lead to gigantic fines, but it wouldn’t employ independent judges.Instead, highly paid corporate lawyers would go back and forth between representing corporations one day and sitting in judgment the next. Maybe that makes sense in an arbitration between two corporations, but not in cases between corporations and governments. If you’re a lawyer looking to maintain or attract high-paying corporate clients, how likely are you to rule against those corporations when it’s your turn in the judge’s seat? Continue reading
Is Australian coal-lobby blocking uranium deal with India?, Economic Times By IANS | 1 May, 2015, By Rekha Bhattacharjee SYDNEY: After India signed a deal with Canada on uranium imports during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ottawa, questions are being raised as to why it has taken Canberra so long to clinch a similar pact.
While there are 1,300 mining firms in Australia, production is dominated by very large firms such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Xtrata,Shell Ch .. …
Malawi: Paladin Starts Discharging Uranium Wastes Into Public Rivers, AllAfrica, By Bishop Witmos Karonga April 23: Few months after Paladin Africa Limited differed with civil society organizations (CSOs) and some chiefs in Karonga over the disposition of uranium wastes into public water, the company has started discharging the effluent into Sere River.
Paladin Africa Limited, a member of the Paladin Energy group of companies, suspended its operations at Kayelekera Mine in the district in May, 2014, due to unstable uranium prices at an international market. The project is now on care and maintenance.
Malawi News Agency (Mana) has established Paladin invited Paramount Chief Kyungu and the District Commissioner (DC) for Karonga, Rosemary Moyo, to a meeting in Lilongwe early April this year (2015),to brief them about the company’s recent decision.
Paladin Africa Acting General Manager in Malawi, Greg Walker, confirmed in a telephone interview that the company, indeed, started releasing the uranium wastes into the public rivers………
Sere River flows into North Rukuru River, then into Lake Malawi.
When asked why the company decided to brief Paramount Chief Kyungu and the Karonga DC about their action in Lilongwe instead of explaining it to the general populace of Karonga, Walker said the company conducted enough meetings with relevant authorities in the district……..
Despite the decision by Paladin to start discharging its effluent into the public water, some people in the district feet it would have been safer if the company had constructed another dam where the wastes would be transferred into.
Chairperson for Karonga District Council, Patrick Kishombe, said in an interview the plan to release the waste water from the storage dam into Sere River is raising fears amongst communities who feel the water is not fully treated and could be a health hazard.
“This, I believe, will lead into many hazards, like killing of fish in Lake Malawi and may also cause skin cancer to some people,” said Kishombe.
Uranium contains gamma rays, particles that cause skin cancer to human kind, according to experts.
In developed nations, mining companies construct a stable tank that stores all the wastes, ready for transportation to recommended disposal sites. ……http://allafrica.com/stories/201504231621.html
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 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
Nuclear lobby backs Abbott’s $4m gift to climate contrarian Lomborg, Independent Australia Giles Parkinson 23 April 2015, When push comes to shove to act on global warming, Big Mining will wheel in nuclear as a ploy to stall the take up of renewables. Is pro-nuclear Bjorn Lomborg’s thinktank in WA just a cynical move by Abbott to kill the clean energy industry? RenewEconomy’s Giles Parkinson runs the ruler over the nuclear option. THE PRO-NUCLEAR lobby has welcomed the decision by the Abbott government to award $4 million to Bjorn Lomborg, a climate “contrarian” who favours nuclear energy and opposes deployment of renewable energy.
Michael Schellenberger, president of the US-based Breakthrough Institute, a pro-nuclear think tank, tweeted over the weekend that the Australian government’s granting of funds to Lomborg was no different to the German government’s funding of an environmental think tank that favours renewable energy.
The difference may be that the Energiewende, or energy transition, is official bipartisan government policy in Germany. But Australia does not – at least officially, although its actions suggest otherwise – embrace climate obstructionism and nuclear technology. And it has defunded independent climate analysis such as that from the Climate Commission.
The tweet from the Breakthrough Institute might be unremarkable, but for that institution’s recent alliance with the pro-nuclear lobby in Australia, and the joint release of an “EcoModernist Manifesto” last week that says present day renewables are incapable of providing zero carbon energy, and that nuclear fission is the only technology capable of meeting most, if not all, the energy demands of a modern economy.
This, it would appear, seems to concur with the not-so-subtle secret agenda of Australian Coalition government policy. Continue reading
UN Countries Question Australia Over Climate And Energy Policy http://cleantechnica.com/2015/04/20/un-countrys-issue-australia-questions-climate-energy-policy/ by Joshua S Hill
Australia’s clean energy and climate policy (or lack thereof) has been brought back back into international focus again these last few weeks, as the country’s politicians continue to bicker over the Renewable Energy Target. Such political uncertainty has also led several major UN nations to present Australia with questions to explain their lack of political support for a cleaner future, with Brazil even going so far as to highlight Australia’s “low level of ambition.”
Over the past week, two reports have shown that the current political bickering has cost Australia’s renewable energy industry dearly, not to mention worldwide coverage concerningAustralia’s poor performance and unwillingness to commit to agreed upon climate facts and goals.
On Monday of last week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released a report which showed that the country’s renewable energy sector lost almost 2,500 jobs over 2013-14. According to the figures published by the ABS, renewable energy industry jobs dropped 15%, or 2,300, from the peak of 14,890 recorded in 2011-12.
Two days later, a new analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance showed that investment in the Australian renewable energy industry plummeted 90% over the 12 months since 31 March, 2014, “stifled by more than 13 months of policy uncertainty.”
We’re going backward if you compare us to quite a wide range of countries,” Andrew Thomson, managing director of Acciona Energy in Australia, said by phone to Bloomberg. “For companies operating in Australia, many would be saying, it’s getting extremely difficult here, why don’t we take a look at the broader region, Southeast Asia for example.”
These two reports followed a white paper published by the Australian Government on its energy policy, which was subsequently pulled apart by news agencies and industry representatives the country over.
So it comes as no real surprise, then, that United Nations’ countries are also going to be asking questions of Australia. The UN has compiled a list of questions presented to Australia (PDF) from a number of countries, including from big emitters like the United States and China. Even countries like Saudi Arabia and Brazil got in on the action, calling in to question Australia’s “initiative to support sustainable development” and Australia’s “level of ambition.”
Of the over 35 questions presented to Australia in the March session of the UN, not a single one has an answer from Australia — and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the most telling point of it all.
China and other big emitters challenge Australia over its climate change policies, The Age, Adam Morton and Tom Arup April 20, 2015 The world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters, including China and the US, have questioned the credibility of Australia’s climate change targets and “direct action” policy in a list of queries to the Abbott government.
In the latest sign of diplomatic pressure over Canberra’s stance on global warming, China accused Australia of doing less to cut emissions than it is demanding of other developed countries, and asked it to explain why this was fair.
Beijing also questioned whether the Abbott government’s emissions reduction fund – the centrepiece of its direct action policy, under which the government will pay some emitters to make cuts – would be enough to make up for the axed carbon price and meet Australia’s commitment of a minimum 5 per cent emissions cut below 2000 levels by 2020.
The questions have been lodged with the United Nations for Australia to answer in the lead-up to the December climate summit in Paris, where the world is supposed to sign a global deal to combat climate change. Continue reading
International nuclear-site visit on cards for royal commissioner MEREDITH BOOTH THE AUSTRALIAN APRIL 18, 2015