Disciplined and on-message, wind farm opponents are a force to be reckoned with The Conversation, Will J Grant, 19 June 13, “…Much of the reporting of the rally has talked of it as a failure…..I’m not so sanguine……This rally showed skilled political organisation, connected directly with key on-the-ground communities. You could describe Stop These Things as an astroturf organisation guided by skilled political operators in the Institute for Public Affairs, in turn connected with a wider array of anti-environmental industries. Many others have done so, and I don’t particularly care to add to that discussion here. (Indeed, critiques like this are often used in precisely the wrong way: to damn the group in their potential supporters’ eyes, rather than change our own behaviour. The potential supporters of Stop These Things couldn’t care less about the IPA.)
What I do want to say is that those in favour of renewables should recognise groups like Stop These Things for the skilled – and dangerous – political operators they are.
In essence, the anti-wind turbine movement already has the near ineluctable force of nimbyism on its side: I don’t want them near me because they make me sick/ruin my sleep/kill birds I like/ruin my view/trample the lands of my ancestors/make me pee funny/make my neighbour rich. (Scientific friends, please note that I am making no argument about the veracity of these claims, except to say that those who believe such things certainly do believe such things). Stop These Things is now adding a layer of networking, guidance, strategic support and, potentially, funding.
You could call this nimbyism 2.0 … Or you could just call this just another strand of modern environmental political activism.
Here’s the thing: unless those in favour of wind turbines recognise and deal with this threat, networks like Stop These Things will add significantly – and perhaps ruinously – to the risk profile of every potential wind farm development….. http://theconversation.com/disciplined-and-on-message-wind-farm-opponents-are-a-force-to-be-reckoned-with-15258?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+20+June+2013&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+20+June+2013+CID_06ee2f136721194be78210c407225a91&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Disciplined%20and%20on-message%20wind%20farm%20opponents%20are%20a%20force%20to%20be%20reckoned%20with
Windfarm industry fears consequences of Coalition turbine noise policy, Guardian UK Lenore Taylor, political editor, 12 June 13, “……The Coalition is under intense pressure from the anti-windfarm lobby and also from many of its own MPs to take much tougher action, either banning new windfarms entirely or abolishing the renewable energy target that provides the industry with an effective federal subsidy. It is promising a review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
The rally in Canberra on 18 June, which will be compered by radio broadcaster Alan Jones — he also hosted the rallies against the carbon tax — has the specific aim of pushing an incoming Coalition government towards a windfarm ban and scaling back of the RET.
It is the latest step in a six-year campaign against the alleged health impacts of windfarms, where concerns held by local residents have been strongly backed, organised and publicised by groups connected with the climate-sceptic Australian Environment Foundation (AEF).
In a 24 May emailed update to members, the AEF executive director, Max Rheese, reports that “over the last few months AEF has had a number of meetings with Coalition MPs at parliament with regard to windfarm health issues and the provision of renewable energy certificates to windfarms” and urges members to go to the anti-wind rally.
“AEF are assisting, but not organising the rally, however AEF members are urged to attend to join people from four states who are committed to attend,” the newsletter says, adding that “growing community and industry disquiet over the costs and effect of the mandated Renewable Energy Target is leading to calls for the revision or abolition of the RET now gaining political traction.”
AEF directors include prominent climate sceptic Bob Carter, lawyer Tom Bostock, who is also a director of the climate sceptic lobbying organisation The Lavoisier Foundation and Prof Peter Ridd, who acts as a scientific adviser to the climate sceptic Galileo Movement, has lobbied the Australian chief scientist for public funding for scientists seeking to make the case against anthropogenic global warming and has calledwarnings about the impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef a “swindle”.
The AEF was set up in 2005 by the Institute of Public Affairs, the free-market thinktank, and in turn, has close links with the Waubra Foundation, named after the Victorian town that hosts Australia’s largest windfarm, and which supports local activists, who call themselves “landscape guardians”, and concerned citizen groups in many places where a windfarm is proposed.
The AEF, the Waubra Foundation and the grassroots “guardian” groups have worked together on many anti-windfarm campaigns, effectively applying pressure to the proponents, local members and state governments, while often passing under the radar of the national media…….http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/11/windfarm-industry-coalition-turbine-noise
Windfarm industry fears consequences of Coalition turbine noise policy, Guardian UK Lenore Taylor, political editor, 12 June 13, Firms say they face crippling costs if forced to monitor in ‘real-time’ noise some blame for health problems The Coalition will impose new noise monitoring rules on windfarms that the multibillion dollar industry says will inflict crippling costs, provide no useful information and represent another victory for an anti-noise campaign by concerned citizens backed in part by the climate sceptic lobby.
The yet-to-be-released resources policy is set to require all windfarms to provide “real-time” noise monitoring, with the findings immediately publicly available, so nearby residents concerned about the alleged health impact of windfarms can compare the results with strict state government noise controls. The Coalition resources spokesman, Ian Macfarlane, will also try to introduce the measures before the election with a private members bill.
People living close to windfarms have reported symptoms including headaches, sleeplessness and nausea. Several residents experiencing the symptoms have given evidence at inquiries, but a recent study by Prof Simon Chapman of Sydney University found incidence of the sickness was far more prevalent in communities where anti-windfarm lobbyists had been active and suggested it might be a psychological phenomenon caused by the belief that turbines make people sick. “As anti-windfarm interest groups began to stress health problems in their advocacy, and to target new windfarm developments, complaints grew,” said Chapman. Read more »
Industry leaders claim uranium mining held back by fear, Mining Australia 6 June, 2013 Vicky Validakis Addressing the fear of the uranium industry was the central theme of a uranium conference held in Adelaide last month, with industry leaders speaking out against campaigns that they say have choked the development of industry…… AUA chief executive Michael Angwin said the local industry has been politically choked by fear…… we should use that impetus to also reform the overweight regulation of and the approvals process for new uranium mines in Australia.”…..
“In short, we have entered the political end-game for uranium and any remnant political fears about the industry cannot be justified against the sector’s 40 year track record.”….
Greens nuclear policy spokesman Scott Ludlam said selling uranium to India would be ‘mistake’.
“I’m extremely concerned that Australian uranium will find itself one way or another fuelling a sub-continental arms race,” he said at the time……..http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/features/industry-leaders-claim-uranium-mining-held-back-by
Serial ratbag, radio demagogue and leader of the rent-a-rage crowd, Alan Jones, will act as ring master at the circus.
Wind power in the sights of climate change deniers the Australian Environment Foundation http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/wind-power-in-the-sights-of-climate-change-deniers-the-australian-environment-foundation/story-e6frerdf-1226651595470 by:Paul Syvret :The Courier-Mail May 28, 2013 DUANE Gish was an American biochemist, best known for his unshakeable belief in creationism over evolution.
When debating his detractors, he would seek to overwhelm them by spewing forth a torrent of pseudo-science, half truths and utter fancy rapidly shifting over a multitude of angles, leaving his opponents little hope of refuting the barrage of BS in any reasoned or logical fashion, and certainly not within the confines of a formal debate.
The technique has come to be known as the “Gish Gallop”, which Project Reason founder Sam Harris once described as “starting 10 fires in 10 minutes” and leaving your opponent no opportunity to douse every falsehood, no matter how brazen the untruth.
Another Made in America phenomenon in recent years has been astroturfing, where vested interests establish a (arm’s length) movement that is ostensibly independent or grassroots yet largely serves to further their own ends. This is particularly prevalent in areas of environmental debate such as climate science, and gun law reform.
Reader riposte: Normalisation of uranium http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2013/05/27/Reader-riposte-Normalisation-of-uranium.aspx By Reader Riposte - 27 May 2013 Richard Broinowski writes:
Michael Angwin believes that the ‘normalisation’ of Australian uranium policy is almost complete, and that uranium should be dealt with like any other Australian resource. He misses the rather salient point that uranium exports can never be ‘normalised’ because unlike any other natural mineral except thorium, uranium makes nuclear weapons. Strict safeguards should attach to every shipment, and customers should be carefully vetted as to their motives in buying it. Read more »
ESAA Attack On Solar Households ‘Riddled With Myths’ http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3750 21 May 13 A discussion paper recently published by the Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESAA) has been shot down by industry commentators. Adding to the Clean Energy Council’s comment that Big Energy is ‘clutching at straws‘ in its attempts to demonise solar households; others have weighed in on the issue.
Business Spectator’s Tristan Edis has commentedthat following the ESAA’s logic; any household that implements any sort of energy efficiency strategy would be viewed in ESAA’s eyes as ‘avoiding network charges’ through lowering their electricity bill. This could include non-solar households installing LED lighting, insulation – or even turning off lights when not in a room.
Mr. Edis also points out solar is a bit player in network upgrade spending and it was the rise of the air-conditioner that was used by network businesses to justify billions of dollars of additional network infrastructure expenditure; some of which has been labeled as ‘gold-plating‘.
“The ESAA’s demonisation of solar is a bit like a guy that just ran over your dog with a semi-trailer truck, who points the finger at the bicycle following afterwards that clipped the dog’s tail before it died.”
The role of air-conditioning is also pointed out by RenewEconomy’s Giles Parkinson; who states using the ESAA’s own figures, the costs ‘avoided’ by solar households is just one eleventh of the cross-subsidy paid by households with no air conditioning for those who do – yet the ESAA has not recommended air-conditioned households be hit with higher fixed tariffs to pay for network extensions.
“What seems inevitable however is that the industry will one day soon need to change its business model or face the same decline as fixed priced telephony or printed photos. They are fast approaching their Kodak moment,” says Mr. Parkinson; who mentions the role home energy storage systems may play in the future if Big Energy continues treating solar households as second-class citizens.
The ESAA’s focus on costs and little mention of benefits solar households bring that will outweigh those costs seems to indicate Big Energy is still yet to grasp the reality that solar households play an important role in Australia’s affordable clean energy future – and that ignorance runs the risk of ultimately negatively impacting all Australian households.
Australian media silent on the dire state of the uranium industry. Media repeats the industry’s hype.
In the mid-2000s, uranium was the ‘new black’ as The Bulletin put it and investors could take their pick in this “radioactive heaven”. The number of listed uranium juniors doubled, and doubled again … and again and again.
A company sent radioactive drill samples for assay and quickly became the most traded stock on the ASX (leading to a suspension of share trading). Residents of the small Pacific Island Niue were surprised to learn from an Australian company that they might be sitting on 10 per cent of the world’s uranium, and surprised again when the project was abandoned two months later − easy come, easy go. The uranium spot price increased ten-fold and more, peaking at $US138/lb in June 2007.
Michael Angwin, the Australian Uranium Association’s Executive Director, said in 2008 that Australia “has enough reserves to be to uranium what Saudi Arabia is to oil.” Only a pedant would note that Saudi oil generates 466 times as much revenue as Australian uranium (and that most of ‘our’ uranium revenue never comes anywhere near Australia because of the high level of foreign ownership).
Politicians from the major parties have been only too happy to regurgitate uranium industry propaganda – for example former SA politicians Mike Rann and Kevin Foley have made the comparison with Saudi oil.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission could hold uranium miners and wannabes to account for peddling misinformation – but it doesn’t. Business journalists could hold the uranium industry to account − but they usually don’t.Claims that nuclear power growth in China, India and Russia will drive huge increases in uranium exports are routinely and uncritically regurgitated yet they don’t withstand the simplest calculations. For example it is routinely claimed that uranium sales to Russia will generate $1 billion annually − but Australia would need to supply entire Russian demand twice over to generate that amount of export revenue.
Milk and cream generate almost twice as much revenue as uranium − so where are the newspaper column-inches with pithy headlines about corporate ‘moovers and shakers’; where the ponderous weekend think-pieces about how the nation that once rode on a sheep’s back is now attached to a cow’s udder? Why isn’t milk the ‘new black’? Read more »
AUSTRALIA’S URANIUM EXPORT REVENUE IN PERSPECTIVE YELLOWCAKE FEVER Exposing the Uranium Industry’s Economic Myths , Australian Conservation Foundation“……..The Australian Uranium Association supports a profits-based, rather than production-linked, royalty system in the NT although such a system fails to provide a certain, secure and assured revenue platform for Indigenous communities. During the first 5 -10 years of a uranium mining operation, there is a high likelihood that little or no income would be generated under a profit-based royalty scheme, even though there would be direct environmental and social impacts from any such operations.. ” http://www.acfonline.org.au/sites/default/files/resources/ACF_Yellowcake_Fever.pdf
Tony Abbott vows the Coalition would give Olympic Dam a chance to succeed BRAD CROUCH :adelaidenow April 27, 2013 FEDERAL Opposition Leader Tony Abbott today vowed to create economic conditions to help the stalled Olympic Dam mine proceed after blaming the State and Federal governments for it being put it on hold by BHP Billiton.
However, Mineral Resources Minister Tom Koutsantonis accused Mr Abbott of “over-spruiking” by suggesting the Coalition could get Olympic Dam expanded, saying Mr Abbott would have to change international conditions.
Mr Abbott said he could not guarantee the project would proceed under the Coalition but said: “I can promise there will be no obstacles from government that will impede its progress.”
“I want to give the Olympic Dam expansion a chance,” Mr Abbott said. “It is not on hold because of the quality of the ore body, lack of dynamism in South Australia or a lack of work ethic, it is on hold essentially because State and Commonwealth Labor governments have not created a climate in which this kind of investment can go ahead.”He also repeated promises to dump the carbon and mining taxes, put the budget “back in the black” and restore border security in a speech heavy on hope but light on specifics, such as how to fund the changes.
Mr Koutsantonis responded, saying: “He needs to change business conditions internationally, not just in Australia – what will get Olympic Dam over the line is not conditions in Australia or South Australia, it is the price of copper and uranium and the development of new technology to reach one of the most difficult ore bodies in the world.
Yellowcake Fever. Exposing the Uranium Industry’s Economic Myths Report in full at: http://www.acfonline.org.au/sites/default/files/resources/ACF_uranium_economics_Yellowcake_Fever.pdf by Dr Jim Green (FoEA) & Dave Sweeney (ACF), Australian Conservation Foundation, April 2013 (33 page PDF) Executive Summary: The Australian uranium industry involves serious and unresolved domestic and international security, environmental and inter-generational concerns and remains a contested and controversial sector that lacks a secure social license. This report examines the sectors small economic and employment contribution in relation to its significant risks and legacies and seeks to build the case for an independent cost-benefit analysis and a comprehensive and transparent assessment of the impacts and implications of Australia’s uranium trade.
Uranium is a small contributor to Australian export revenue and employment. From 2002 to 2011, uranium sales averaged $627 million annually and accounted for only 0.29% of all national export revenue. In the 2011/12 financial year, uranium revenue of $607 million was 4.4 times lower than Australia’s 20th biggest export earner, 8.7 times lower than Australia’s 10th biggest export earner and 103 times lower than the biggest earner, iron ore. Small industrial sectors can play an important economic role but the unique properties and risks of uranium mining relative to any benefits means its role requires particular scrutiny.
The industry’s contribution to employment is also underwhelming. The World Nuclear Association estimates 1,760 jobs in Australia’s uranium industry. That is the highest of all estimates yet it represents just 0.015% of all jobs in Australia. The industry’s primary promotional body, the Australian Uranium Association (AUA), claims its members are “significant employers of First Australians”
however the sector only provides around one job for every three thousand Indigenous Australians.
In the mid-2000s, there was a speculative uranium price bubble. Since this bubble burst the uranium industry has been battered by a falling commodity price, rising production costs, the Global Financial Crisis (and associated credit crisis), the failure of the global nuclear power ‘renaissance’ to materialise, the failure to develop new mines and serious production shortfalls……. Read more »
Russell and science are at odds on the question of the cancer risks associated with low-level radiation exposure. The 2006 report of the Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionising Radiation (BEIR) of the US National Academy of Sciences states that “the risk of cancer proceeds in a linear fashion at lower doses without a threshold and … the smallest dose has the potential to cause a small increase in risk to humans.”
What nuclear conspiracy theories? Climate Spectator Jim Green 23 April 13
Conspiracy theories conjured up by nuclear advocates are mostly harmless fun. But not when they involve trivialising the suffering of victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Political demagogue Lyndon LaRouche is the most colourful of the conspiracy theorists. Here’s his take on the anti-nuclear movement:
“This utterly depraved, dionysian cult-formation found its echoed, more violent expression in late 1980s Germany, where the anti-nuclear, fascist rioting reached near to the level of outright civil war …”
Australia’s Leslie Kemeny (think Lord Monckton) agrees: “Radical green activism and global terrorism can form dangerous, even deadly, alliances. The ‘coercive utopianism’ of radical greens, their avid desire for media publicity and their hidden socio-political agendas can produce societal outcomes that are sometimes violent and ugly.”
Kemeny believes the anti-nuclear movement is “supported by immense funds from affluent right-wing interests” and is also tied to the “political left”. Go figure. With such a grab-bag of extreme − and extremely contradictory − views, Kemeny might be considered a good candidate for Bob Katter’s political party … but he’s already joined Fred Nile’s.
A recent convert to nuclear conspiracy theories is Adelaide-based nuclear advocate Geoff Russell.
Russell has no time for the euphemisms of ‘dionysian cult-formation’ or ‘coercive utopianism’. He gets straight to the point: nuclear critics are responsible for all of the death and suffering resulting from the Fukushima nuclear disaster and much else besides. Ouch.
How does he arrive at those conclusions?…….. Read more »
It’s simple to upload your complaints, just make a video, put it on YouTube, go to FU tube and put in the link and your contents.
Nancy Atkin | Executive Officer
Medical Association for Prevention of War,
Two years after Fukushima: a tale of two symposiums, Noel Wauchope, Independent Australia 12 April 13, “….. Symposium Two: The Lowy Institute’s nuclear revivalist meeting
SOON AFTER Caldicott New York symposium, the Lowy Institute for International Policy put on a panel of its own to discuss nuclear power. Apparently, anything the USA can do, Australia can do better! Or perhaps worse.
The Lowy Institute’s March panel discussion topic was Asia’s nuclear future after Fukushima. The role of nuclear industry. The panel was composed of leaders of Australia’s nuclear industry — Michael Angwin, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Uranium Association, John Borshoff, CEO of Paladin Energy and Dr Selena Ng, Regional Director South East Asia and Oceanea, AREVA. The chairman was John Carlson, former Director General, Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office
I like enthusiasm and optimism, however, this panel went beyond enthusiasm. I tell you — it was like a religious revival meeting. And I think that’s just what it was. Just like a pastor exhorting a tiny remnant congregation, there seemed to be a more than a hint of underlying desperation, combined with that touching faith in the Second Coming.
There was unanimous agreement on the inevitable booming future of nuclear power, especially in South East Asia. Yet, between the lines, we heard from Michael Angwin that
“…public perceptions of nuclear industry are now less confident than before in the short term, but my expectation is that will return to confidence in the long term.”
He also admitted:
“We know that people take a negative view of nuclear industry — see it as remote from them, and as the creature of big government and big industry”…….
However, faith in the nuclear industry’s future being a given, all speakers moved on to three secondary themes, which were:
- the problem of the media
- the need for public education
- the safety of the nuclear industry…..
All said worthy things about the need for safety measures in nuclear reactors. But not a word about the cost issues involved. At the New York symposium, David Lochbaum estimated these as likely to be simply unaffordable.
Indeed, John Borshoff turned Fukusima into a positive:
“The Fukushima emergency demonstrates the resilience of nuclear technology”
They demonstrated their lack of interest in, and probably complete ignorance of, radiation issues. Radiation was mentioned just once, by John Borshoff, speaking about Fukushima:
“No deaths have occurred. There were some releases of radioactivity. It is doubtful if this will be [sic] cause harm in the medium or long term.”
Angwin stressed that
“…what we know from studies done at Chernobyl — the major risk of psychological health risk [sic], caused by fear of radiation.”
The cause of the Fukushima meltdowns was ascribed to the tsunami — yet latest evidence indicates that in fact the earthquake was the initial cause, not the tsunami. But, anyway, nobody seemed particularly interested in Fukushima any more, as long as the media continues to put it on the back burner — that seems to be all that matters…. What struck me most of all was that the other speakers [except Dr Ng] showed no interest whatever in examining the after effects of Fukushima and questions about its future. I found their statements on this both puzzling and worrying…….
Dr Ng spoke of the nuclear industry’s previous attitude of complacency – now shaken up by Fukushima – towards more vigilance about safety.
Listening to Australia’s nuclear “expert panel”, it seems that complacency still reigns. What a contrast to the professionally organised, meticulously referenced symposium in New York! http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/environment/two-years-after-fukushima-a-tale-of-two-symposiums/
5. Nuclear Advocates
These people may or may not believe that global warming is real, but they are invested heavily in nuclear energy as the answer to almost all of our energy needs and often have a poor understanding of grid management. They tend to be smart but ignore human dynamics of problems, and have a blind spot about the effort and time required to develop nuclear engineers and maintenance workers. Their greatest challenge to renewables campaigns is that their arguments are leveraged by others who are just against wind energy…….
If countered, the average nuclear advocate will drag out more and more factoids about nuclear energy’s value and wind power’s lack of value. They will likely reference amateur and professional studies which look good until you dig in and realize the biases. Generally a time suck, so avoid digging into their arguments in too much depth…… . Talk past them to those listening.
NOT JUST NIMBYS: UNDERSTANDING ANTI-WIND ENERGYCAMPAIGNERS Barnard on Wind, by Mike Barnard 8 April 13, NIMBY is a nice crisp acronym, but it is completely inadequate as a categorization of the various people fighting against broader penetration of renewables in energy grids world wide and their motivations…..
1. NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard Read more »