Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

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

Labor Party firmly supporting price on carbon

Abbott-chicken-littleChris Bowen puts carbon tax back in play for Labor, The Age  May 20, 2015  Mark Kenny, Gareth Hutchens  Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has ruled out reviving Labor’s unsuccessful and politically corrosive mining tax under a future Shorten Labor government but has committed the ALP to putting a fully formed carbon pricing policy before voters at the next election….

a price on carbon remained central to the ALP’s platform.

“We continue to believe firstly that climate change is real,” he said.

“Secondly, that it’s caused by humankind and thirdly, the best way of dealing with it is a price on carbon. We continue to believe that, and that will be reflected in our detailed policy that we announce and seek a mandate to implement.”

The declaration means the political fight at the next election will in some senses be a carbon copy of the carbon-dominated 2013 race after Prime Minister Tony Abbott managed to abolish Labor’s fixed-price scheme last year……..http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/chris-bowen-puts-carbon-tax-back-in-play-for-labor-20150520-gh5sws.html

May 22, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Here’s how the states can dodge Canberra’s renewable roadblock

Dylan McConnell & Anne Kallies: Here’s how the states can dodge Canberra’s renewable roadblock Labor and the Coalition government have now agreed to cut the federal renewable energy target (RET) from 41,000 gigawatt hours in 2020, to 33,000 GWh – a reduction of almost 20%. This agreement has been hailed as restoring stability to the industry, after a year plagued with uncertainty and featuring two reviews.

However, this is still a significant cut, particularly as the target is a significant part of Australia’s policy response to climate change.

Meanwhile, Victoria has committed to restoring its own renewable energy target, the VRET, following other states in developing renewable energy policy. However a clause the federal legislation prevents schemes similar to the federal RET.

How can the states get around this and support their industries? https://theconversation.com/heres-how-the-states-can-dodge-canberras-renewable-roadblock-42043

 

May 22, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Uranium policy in the Draft ALP Conference Platform 

Re: Uranium policy in the Draft ALP Platform for National Conference 2015 http://beyondnuclearinitiative.com/uranium-policy-in-the-draft-alp-conference-platform/

The 2015 Australian Labor Party (ALP) National Conference will be held from July 24/26 in Melbourne. Ahead of Conference the federal ALP has circulated draft policy documents for consultation and comment.

The full draft policy document can be found here with comments accepted from the general public as well as ALP members until Friday 29 May.

Tweedle-NuclearThe draft uranium policy as presented poses both unreasonable reductions in transparency and unacceptable increases in risk.

The draft policy seeks to remove:

· health, safety and monitoring protections for workers

· public accountability and industry transparency mechanisms

· a long standing veto on the importation and storage of international nuclear waste

The draft policy proposes to facilitate:

· the importation, storage and disposal of international nuclear waste

· all aspects of the nuclear industry except domestic nuclear power (ie- uranium enrichment/fuel fabrication/reprocessing/waste conditioning)

Against the backdrop of the continuing Fukushima crisis, directly fuelled by Australian uranium, it is important that the ALP does not further erode an already deficient policy.

Key national and state environmental groups will be making submissions in response to the above points, but we encourage anyone concerned about this backwards policy step to also contribute via the online comment process.

A little effort from us now might help stop a big set back at the national conference in July.

Some suggested points to include in your submission are listed below- please feel free to adapt and expand on these.

If you would like further information or to discuss the draft policy and response please contact: Dave Sweeney, Australian Conservation Foundation, d.sweeney [at] acfonline.org.au or Natalie Wasley, Beyond Nuclear Initiative, beyondnuclearinitiative [at] gmail.com. Continue reading

May 20, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Labor, Coalition agree on new renewable energy target

Renewable energy sector welcomes bipartisan RET deal, debate rages over burning of wood waste, ABC Radio 19 May 15 By Peta Donald The renewable energy sector has welcomed a bipartisan deal over the Renewable Energy Target (RET), saying it clears the way for billions of dollars of investment in energy from sources like the wind and the Sun.

The Federal Government and Labor yesterday agreed to lower the RET from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 33,000, to fully exempt trade-exposed industries from the target and to scrap the two-yearly reviews which threatened to derail the deal.

Instead, the Clean Energy Regulator will provide an annual statement to Parliament and the government of the day on progress towards the target, what impact it is having on electricity prices, and whether the scheme is at risk of default.

The Government could bring legislation for the new target to the Parliament as early as next week, which means more than 23 per cent of Australia’s power would come from renewable sources in five years. Continue reading

May 20, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Senators out to sabotage wind energy industry

Senators could demand wind power restrictions in RET scheme, The Age,  May 19, 2015   National political reporter Crossbenchers are set to demand the government shut wind power out of a portion of Australia’s renewable energy target, in exchange for backing the inclusion of native timber burning.

Day, Bob nukesLiberal Democratic senator David Leyonhjelm, Family First senator Bob Day and independent John Madigan will support the government’s proposal to bring wood waste into the scheme, but could seek conditions that would reserve part of the 33,000 gigawatt-hour target for solar and hydro power only.

The three senators are vocal opponents of wind turbines and sit on a parliamentarywind-farm-evil-1 committee examining their health effects that held public hearings in Canberra on Tuesday……..

Leyonhjelm,-DavidHe [David Leyonhjelm] said the senators were also talking about conditions they could seek for wind power to “prevent people from getting sick”.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale said he feared this could see the Senate debate being sidetracked by views that were anti-science.

“The first place to start is that there is not one medical scientific body anywhere in the world that accepts wind turbines cause physiological illness,” he said.

“What’s really most disappointing in this is that it’s the aggressive anti-wind stance adopted by politicians and some members of the community that spreads alarm … and is a potential cause for some of the symptoms people experience.”

Independent senator Nick Xenophon said he was concerned solar and hydro projects could be “crowded out” of the renewable energy scheme by wind power.http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/senators-could-demand-wind-power-restrictions-in-ret-scheme-20150519-gh574r.html

May 20, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, wind | 1 Comment

Why Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne want Bjørn Lomborg’s Consensus Centre

cartoon-climate-AustWhy the Abbott government wants Bjørn Lomborg’s Consensus Centre, The Saturday Paper , 16 May 15  MIKE SECCOMBE
Covert negotiations, whispered announcements and an awkward about-face reveal a political agenda behind reaching consensus.  Mazzarol, Winthrop professor in the business school of the University of Western Australia, is reciting the long list of hoops a proponent must jump through to gain approval for a research centre at the university.

“Normally they have to demonstrate they will contribute to research output of the university and the reputation of the university,” he says. “They must have at least six full-time equivalent academic staff engaged in research at the university, a viable plan for the growth of the centre, the capacity to be self-sustaining. They must have an academic and a business plan, a clear indication of the resources, facilities, funding, negotiated targets for research, training, publication volume, output quality and how that will all be measured.”

He continues, citing the criteria listed on the UWA website: “It must also have the approval of the academic council, normally has to have an interdisciplinary role, and to have demonstrated consultation with other parts of the faculty that might be involved.”

The list of requirements and processes is detailed, but Mazzarol’s point is simple. “This one didn’t go through any of those steps.”

He is referring to an entity proposed by Danish climate change contrarian Bjørn Lomborg, ironically named the Australia Consensus Centre (ACC), whose establishment was secretively negotiated over six months, quietly revealed six weeks ago, and then abandoned after an ugly collision between academe and politics. Continue reading

May 18, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Senator Bob Day wants nuclear submarines built in South Australia

Day, Bob nukes  9 February 2015 Family First Senator Bob Day today welcomed the South Australian Government’s move for a Royal Commission into the nuclear industry, saying the decision has enhanced prospects for submarines to be built in South Australia….

“On nuclear-powered subs, since 1 July in Federal Parliament I’ve been urging the Senate to follow the example of the late Norm Foster, the former Labor MP who had the courage to cross the floor to support uranium mining at Olympic Dam.  Now the Government is going a step further to investigate how the nuclear industry would benefit South Australia.”

“This opens the door to nuclear submarines.  I’ve been an advocate for nuclear submarines for many years, and the former Defence Minister welcomed my ‘opening the nuclear submarines debate’ during Question Time late last year [video]. One of the major obstacles to Australia considering nuclear submarines has been the absence of a domestic nuclear industry.”……

 

May 18, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Nuclear Royal Commission, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian government about to remove tax -exempt status from donations to Environmental Groups

Hunt-Greg-climateEnvironmental organisations under threat again – Donations to Environmental Organisations being Questioned ! Capertee Valley Alliance Inc. 22 May 15 

 Full information is available at: http://www.aph.gov.au/reo.
On Thursday 26 March 2015 the Committee adopted an inquiry referred by the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, asking the Committee to inquire into and report on the Register of Environmental Organisations. The Committee is inquiring into the administration, transparency and effectiveness of the Register of Environmental Organisations under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

sign-thisThe Committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions addressing the terms of reference by 21 May 2015.

For information on how to make a submission, go to our Making a submission to a Committee Inquiry page.

May 16, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

A “corrupt process” brought proposal for Bjørn Lomborg Consensus Centre

sea level flat earthBjørn Lomborg centre earmarked for UWA in ‘corrupt process’, says Labor MP http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/may/12/bjrn-lomborg-centre-earmarked-for-uwa-in-corrupt-process-says-labor-mp

Alannah MacTiernan says proposal to fund centre at the University of Western Australia came ‘directly from the prime minister’s office’ A research centre linked to controversial Danish academic Bjørn Lomborg was earmarked for the University of Western Australia through a “corrupt” process initiated by the prime minister’s office, parliament has been told.

The university backed out of the proposal, which was to have been funded by the federal government, after protests by staff and students.The West Australian Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan said on Tuesday that science has been the big loser under the Abbott government.

She said it was curious that the government had found $4m for the Australian Consensus Centre, a think tank which had at its heart a commitment to cherry-pick the scientific evidence which argued against urgent action on climate change.

MacTiernan said the education minister Christopher Pyne says the decision to fund the centre at UWA followed a proposal put forward by the university and Lomborg, but vice-chancellor Paul Johnson said the proposal was not initiated by the university.

The proposal arose out of discussions between Lomborg and the government, MacTiernan said. “It seems the offer came directly from the prime minister’s office and came to UWA only after the Australian Catholic University had rejected it,” she said.

“Extraordinarily, this special research initiative didn’t come through the Australian Research Council or any peer review.” It was a “corrupt process”, she said.

May 13, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Labor and business groups say No to reviews of Renewable Energy Target

Labor says no renewable energy deal if government keeps reviews SMH, May 12, 2015   National political reporter The long-running saga of Australia’s renewable energy target has entered another round with Labor declaring there will be no deal if the government continues to review the scheme.

An eleventh hour government decision to retain two-yearly reviews has derailed a new bipartisan agreement that would have reduced the target from 41,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy production by 2020 to 33,000.

Macfarlane forked tongueThe move, believed to have been put forward by Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, has prompted a furious reaction from the clean energy industry, which has demanded that the government stand by its promise to scrap two-yearly reviews.

The Clean Energy Council and a raft of energy companies have urged the government to scrap the reviews, while the Australian Chamber of Commerce has said there should be no further inquiries into the scheme until 2020.

The Labor caucus agreed early on Tuesday that a figure of 33,000 could form the basis of an agreement with the government but the opposition could not support a plan that included two-yearly reviews………http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/labor-says-no-renewable-energy-deal-if-government-keeps-reviews-20150512-ggzkns.html

May 13, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Govt secretive about 4 sites volunteered in South Australia for nuclear waste storage

secret-agent-AustRemote sites in South Australia offered for nuclear dump , THE AUSTRALIAN, 9 May 15   Up to four sites in South Australia’s far north have been put forward as potential radioactive waste dumps.

The federal government, however, is officially remaining tight-lipped about the response to its call in March for voluntary site nominations for a national radioactive waste facility, which closed on Tuesday.Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane’s office refused yesterday to say how many nominations had been received or where they had originated.

“There won’t be details or a breakdown of nominated sites released­ at this early stage,” a spokeswoman said. “Information about shortlisted sites will be released after an initial assessment period and after consideration by the minister. That is expected to be completed around July.”

A preferred site is not expected to be identified until at least the middle of next year.

This week the government released a request for tender on Austender, seeking expressions of interest from “suitable companies to undertake the necessary site characterisation work”.

The request also seeks the successful tenderer to assist in the “development of a detailed business case which will inform the government’s decision as to whether to proceed with the project and its cost”.

Federal Liberal MP Rowan Ramsey said his vast electorate of Grey, in South Australia’s far north, was anRamsey,-Rowan-nuclear ideal site for a radioactive waste dump as it was remote, sparsely populated and geologically stable. He said he had tried to nominate his own 2400ha farm, but was asked not to by Mr Macfarlane because of concerns of a potential conflict of interest.

“But as a consequence my understanding is there have been a number of other properties nominated in my community. I’ve encouraged people right across the board to nominate,” Mr Ramsey said. “I understand as many as four sites have been nominated in my electorate.”

The search for a site intensified last year after the federal government failed to convince a Northern Territory community to build a facility on its land.

This comes as South Australia’s royal commission into an expansion of the state’s role in the nuclear cycle picks up pace. Among other issues, the commission will examine whether to store international radioactive waste……..http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/remote-sites-in-south-australia-offered-for-nuclear-dump/story-fn59niix-1227347545498

May 9, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Abbott govt’s new Renewable Energy Target ensures uncertainty for renewables

the two-yearly review of the target would ensure that doubt remained in investors’ minds. The Clean Energy Council, representing a substantial part of the sector, said on Friday night that the issue was not worth resolving if the reviews continued every two years.
Abbott-destroys-renewablesGovernment’s RET compromise guarantees uncertainty for renewables, Michelle Grattan, The Conversation 8 May 15  As the Abbott government prepares Australia’s post-2020 emissions targets for this year’s Paris conference, the chairman of the Prime Minister’s business advisory council has make an extraordinary intervention in the climate debate.

Maurice Newman, writing in the Australian, maintains it’s all a United Nations conspiracy – a power Newman,-Maurice-ideasgrab of massive proportions.“This is not about facts or logic. It’s about a new world order under the control of the UN. It is opposed to capitalism and freedom and has made environmental catastrophism a household topic to achieve its objective.” Newman claims that 95% of the climate models that we’re told prove the link between human emissions and global warming “have been found … to be in error”.

In his article he targets Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN’s Framework on Climate Change, who has been visiting Australia. Newman writes that “there is a real chance Figueres and those who share her centralised power ambitions will succeed.

“As the UN’s December climate change conference in Paris approaches, Australia will be pressed to sign even more futile job-destroying climate change treaties.”………….. Continue reading

May 9, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, politics | Leave a comment

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