Australia Remains Silent Amid Global Warming And Calls For Renewable Energy Use http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/548241/20140415/australia-global-warning-climate-change-tony-abbott.htm By Reissa Su | April 15, 2014
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is known as a World Heritage site and the worsening effects of climate change have sparked fears that it would soon be destroyed and die. Recent scientific studies have shown a significant loss of coral cover in the past 27 years. The damage to corals is caused by climate change, storms and the increasing population of crown of thorns starfish. Reducing the number of the starfish species is the key factor to restore coral cover based on research studies.
Despite the mounting fears, climate scientists observed Australia may not be fully committed to battle out climate change. According to reports, Australia is one of the biggest and most active “climate change deniers” in the world. While the United Nations‘ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is encouraging countries to do their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Australia is focusing on coal which is considered the biggest contributor to the ozone’s destruction.
The IPCC has found global carbon emissions have increased faster between 2000 and 2010 compared to the past 30 years. The IPCC said attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions continue to fail.
According to Dr. Frank Jotzo from the Australian National University, Australia has to quadruple low carbon energy use in 2050 or risk the consequences of climate change to agriculture, coastal areas and tourism.
The rise in global temperature would mean the potential widespread and permanent damage to Australia’s coral reef systems, specifically the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo in Western Australia.
Some species native to Australia may disappear. The continued rise in global temperature could increase the frequency of flooding which will cause damage to infrastructure. Some low-lying areas may be swallowed by rising sea levels. Extreme weather conditions may affect the quality of Australia’s drinking water.
Worsening dry spells, fiercer heat waves and frequent bushfire seasons should be worrying for Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Coalition government after CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology released the State of the Climate report.
The two-year study has prompted calls for curbing carbon emissions from human activities. Greenhouse emissions are already at record levels. Climate scientists predict that the world will be 5 degrees hotter by 2070.
But the Abbott government has not accepted the Climate Change Authority (CCA)’s recommendation for Australia to triple its carbon emissions reduction target. The climate agency said Australia should be aiming for at least 15 percent by 2020. The target rate will increase to 19 percent once the carryover credits that have been previously set in the Kyoto Protocol are included. To contact the editor, e-mail: email@example.com
Green energy IPPs create 14 000 jobs http://www.iol.co.za/business/companies/green-energy-ipps-create-14-000-jobs-1.1675332 April 14 2014 Independent power producers (IPPs) using renewable energy had created about 14 000 jobs over the past three years, Energy Minister Ben Martins said on Friday. “One of the imperatives of government is to ensure that all departments assist in job creation. Through the independent power producers programme, more than 14 000 have been created,” Martins said following a summit with 61 IPPs. “At the meeting, we acknowledged and expressed appreciation of the fact that to date more than R100 billion has been invested into this particular sector.” IPPs are entities which either own and or operate facilities that generate electric power. They then sell the power to a utility, central government buyer or to end users. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Eskom and the Public Investment Corporation. Diplomats representing Denmark, Spain, Germany, Norway, and the UK were also present at the Pretoria meeting. Martins said the IPP project had brought significant direct foreign investment. – Sapa
Who has been most responsible in recent times for preventing progress in the reduction of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions? The Dirty Dozen — which I originally named in 2006 and updated in 2009 — are the people who have most effectively denied the science of climate change, lied about its implications, lobbied to water down laws, or provided cover for weak policy.
They are doing most to help turn Australia from a reluctant leader into a proud laggard in responding to the most dire threat to the world’s future. Some are well-known — even if their links and tactics are not — while others do their dirty work behind the scenes. Here is my Dirty Dozen for 2014, in no particular order …
Where to start with The Australian’s editor-in-chief? How about here, here,here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here,here, here or, if you can’t be bothered clicking on all of those, look here or here………
What to say that everyone does not already know? ……
For too long the presenter of ABC Radio’s Sunday morning program Australia All Over has flown under the radar. When not chatting about the weather in Nuriootpa, Macca’s huge cohort of two million listeners (enough to make other shock jocks weep) is prone to debunking climate science and ridiculing renewable energy. He draws in his salt-of-the-earth listeners with a kind of folksy bush wisdom that has little time for eggheads with PhDs in atmospheric physics. Periodically, listeners complain to the ABC about McNamara’s “pot shots“ at global warming and his penchant for inviting on his right-wing mates……..
….The influence of Bolt on the landscape of climate denial has been exhausted.
Gina Rinehart…….Rinehart is a major funder of the Institute of Public Affairs, the primary conduit of denier talking points in Australia. The IPA’s 70th birthday partylast year was a love-in for the nation’s most powerful climate deniers; Murdoch, Pell, Bolt, Rinehart, Abbott, all co-ordinated by IPA executive director (and former Rio Tinto employee) John Roskam.
Innes Willox……The Australian Industry Group ……Willox has made himself into the enforcer of the greenhouse mafia, pushing the hardest line against measures to limit emissions…….
Plimer is the chief ideologist of climate denial in Australia. ….
*Clive Hamilton is professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra and author of Requiem for a Species: Why we resist the truth about climate change. For the second instalment of the Dirty Dozen, read Crikeytomorrow … http://www.crikey.com.au/2014/04/15/the-dirty-dozen-australias-biggest-climate-foes-part-1/
Amy Toensing Shares the Story Behind Her Photographs of the Oldest Culture On Earth, Peta Pixel, 15 April 14 At an estimated 60,000 years old, the indigenous culture of Australia, the Aboriginals, are estimated to be the oldest still-surviving culture on the planet. And in the above video world-renown photographer Amy Toensing shares her experience photographing this incredibly unique culture for National Geographic, delivering an extremely heartfelt talk about the hardships the Aboriginal culture has continually faced since their land was colonized in 1788…….Toensing does an absolutely incredible job of balancing her own thoughts and giving a historical and personal account of the Aboriginals she came across on this journey…….
Solar plant to be unveiled at Wallsend swimming pool http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-15/solar-plant-to-be-unveiled-at-wallsend-swimming-pool/5390322 A revolutionary solar thermal project invented by researchers at the University of Newcastle will be unveiled today at Wallsend swimming pool. The demonstration plant will collect heat from the sun in curved mirrored troughs, producing electricity and heat for on-site use, using the new heat engine technology.
The GRANEX project has been funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Researcher Professor Behdad Moghtaderi says the technology will have significant benefits for remote mining and industrial sites in rural communities.
“It can be used in remote communities, aboriginal communities, because all we need is a set of solar arrays,” he said. “You really don’t need diesel fuel, or anything like that.
“The problem is not really the infrastructure as such. “It’s more of a cost and logistical problems associated with transporting diesel fuel.”
The Wallsend swimming centre could save hundreds of dollars on its its annual power bills because of the project.
Professor Moghtaderi says the technology means electricity can be produced with zero carbon emissions from a range of different sources.”Any type of low-grade heat source and also renewable energy sources, in the example that you have for a swimming pool today, essentially we are using solar energy as heat input,” he said. “But, with the same token, you can use geothermal energy, biomass energy or waste heat going out of the stack of power plants and things like that.” ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht today joined Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Paterson MP Bob Baldwin at the official launch.
“The $1.7 million project integrates solar thermal and GRANEX heat engine technology and is supported by $812,000 funding from ARENA,” he said.”The 200 kilowatt solar field, located at the Wallsend swimming complex, will generate 30 kilowatts of electrical output and 150 kilowatts of heat for the swimming pool.
Mr Frischknecht says the demonstration project is the first of its kind and will produce thousands of hours of valuable operating data.”It demonstrates the potential of small-scale solar thermal systems in providing cost effective energy options, particularly for off-grid areas,” he said.
“ARENA recognises the importance of supporting renewable energy projects that are innovative, economically geared and increasingly market-driven – such as those that could deliver low cost power to remote mining communities.
“It is vital that Australia continues to deliver world-leading and cost-effective renewable technology solutions that keep up with economic growth.”
After Ukraine, Countries That Border Russia Start Thinking About Nuclear Deterrents, NewsWeek, By Elisabeth Braw / April 15, 2014“………In a new report, Doran and several co-authors, including The Economist’s Europe editor Edward Lucas, argue that since Russia violated international treaties by annexing Crimea, NATO can renege on its promise not to base nuclear weapons in former Warsaw Pact states……
While the BHP-funded Grattan Institute and a number of other “authoritative” bodies tout Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) – powered by Thorium, for Australia, the bottom is falling out of the SMR project. The big firms involved are pulling out. Westinghouse already has. Babcock and Wilcox will be next.
Lobbyists like the USA’s nuclear front group, the Breakthrough Institute, have worked successfully on Australia’s pro nukers to flog off these (so far non-existent) SMRs to Australia. Note that they leave out the word “nuclear”, knowing that this word gives their project a bad smell.
However, – forget the associated bad smells of terrorism targets, proliferation dangers, waste problems that go with these nasty little nuclear reactors.
The biggy is economics. They just don’t stack up economically. (It’s such bad taste to mention this – but reneweable energy does stack up economically. And when you’re talking about small decentralised power sources – well – solar and wind are obviously the go.)
Australia still denies Israel’s open secret of a nuclear arsenal, SMH, April 15, 2014 Phillip Dorling
Secret government files reveal that Australian governments, diplomats and spies have known for more than 30 years that Israel has an arsenal of nuclear weapons, while continuing to deny any knowledge of its existence to the point of misleading Parliament.
Previously secret diplomatic files declassified by the National Archives reveal a longstanding policy to turn a blind eye to Israel’s nuclear arsenal. Last week the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade again declined to comment on whether the Australian government thinks Israel is an undeclared nuclear weapons state.
Foreign Affairs Department briefing papers prepared for former Labor foreign minister Bill Hayden in 1987 state that ”intelligence assessments are that Israel has a small arsenal of nuclear weapons (possibly about 20). Israel’s technological capabilities would enable it confidently to deploy such weapons without recourse to a nuclear test.”
Mr Hayden and Dr Blix were talking against the backdrop of the treason trial of Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli nuclear technician who in 1986 disclosed detailed evidence of Israel’s nuclear weapons production. The Foreign Affairs Department advised Mr Hayden to publicly deny knowledge of Israel’s nuclear weapons capabilities. Mr Hayden told Parliament on September 17, 1987: ”We have no information to corroborate these allegations.”
However, Foreign Affairs’ files, declassified in response to applications by Fairfax Media, reveal that Australia had been monitoring Israel’s nuclear program from its beginnings in the 1950s………
Australian policy remains unchanged, with the Abbott government deciding last October not to support a UN General Assembly resolution on nuclear proliferation in the Middle East – 169 countries voted for the resolution. Only five – the US, Israel, Canada, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia – voted against. Australia abstained……..http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australia-still-denies-israels-open-secret-of-a-nuclear-arsenal-20140414-36nr4.html
Toro uranium expansion plan: premature and polluting http://www.ecovoice.com.au/toro-uranium-expansion-plan-premature-and-polluting/
Western Australia’s peak environmental group has condemned a move by uranium mining hopeful Toro Energy to expand their unrealised Wiluna mine plan into a much larger uranium mining precinct spanning 100km and two ecologically sensitive lake systems in the East Murchison region.
The state EPA has released details of the expansion plan while the company is under investigation by the Australian Securities Exchange for a second time over claims they have released misleading information to shareholders and the market. (See background below).
“Toro have never successfully mined anything before and have a long way to go to get their original single-mine project approved – let alone any new expansion,” said CCWA Nuclear Free campaigner, Mia Pepper.
“Contrary to their statements to shareholders, the company needs to complete additional environmental management , mine closure, tailings management and transport plans for assessment before any mining can commence at the Wiluna site.”
The company has struggled to find investors and currently needs $300 million in start-up costs and a further $300 million in upfront bonds.
“This new plan to attract investors is likely to draw further scrutiny from both regulators and the wider community who will be looking at the cumulative impacts of a regional uranium precinct covering 100km and two arid zone Lake Systems.”
“Toro plans to double its water consumption and store radioactive mine waste from several mine sites in a Lake bed. This idea lacks credibility and the company lacks capacity, experience and financial backing.”
Toro’s new plan involves four deposits over one hundred kilometres – Lake Way, Centipede, Millipede and Lake Maitland, with the company’s long term plans including mining an additional three deposits Nowthanna, Dawson Hinkler and Firestrike – covering a hundred kilometres in the other direction.
Also in the region is WA’s largest uranium deposit – Yeelirrie, which is now owned by Cameco. Traditional Owners have consistently opposed this project for forty years.
CCWA is partnering with a range of public health, union and faith groups to call for a public inquiry into the Toro mine plan.
The Mineral Policy Institute and the Conservation Council of WA received formal notification that the Australian Securities Exchange is investigating Toro Energy for the second time over the release of potentially misleading information. Continue reading
B&W scales back its small nuclear reactor project, Charlotte Observer, By Bruce Hendersony, Apr. 14, 2014 Charlotte-based Babcock & Wilcox said Monday it will scale back its mPower small modular nuclear reactor program after being unable to attract needed investors or contracts. The president of its mPower subsidiary, Christofer Mowry, left the company as of Sunday, B&W said in a securities filing. Mowry was terminated “without cause,” the filing said. William Fox III will replace him.
Announced in 2009, small modular reactor technology had been the company’s largest research and development project……Babcock & Wilcox announced an “accelerated” search for additional investors in the program last November.
But the project struggled to find additional investors or construction contracts that would bring in enough revenue to continue its development, B&W said Monday……..mPower recorded an $87 million operating loss in 2013, B&W said in a March proxy statement. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/04/14/4841485/bw-scales-back-its-small-nuclear.html
Quake hits just off Fukushima plant, felt along 500 kilometer stretch of Japan coast — Seismic intensity of 4 on scale up to 7 — Camera shakes for about 1 minute (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/quake-hits-just-off-fukushima-plant-felt-along-500-kilometers-of-japan-coast-camera-shakes-for-about-1-minute-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
|UAE declares launch of nuclear energy cooperation deal with Australia|
ABU DHABI, April 14 (KUNA) — The United Arab Emirates said on Monday that an agreement on the use of nuclear energy for peaceful means signed with Australia in 2012 has come into force.
The announcement was made in an official statement published on state news agency, WAM, which mentioned that the decision for the move was made during a meeting between Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Australia’s visiting Minister of Trade and Investment Andrew Robb.
The Emirati foreign minister said that enacting the agreement will “provide broader opportunities for cooperation between state institutions and businesses operating in the nuclear energy field.”……..
According to the report, the discussions also touched upon enhancing existing economic and trade ties, and encouraging joint investments.
Sheikh Abdullah went on to stress the importance of exchanged visits in supporting bilateral cooperation and assessing the levels development and growth in each of the two countries……
The Australian minister, for his part, commended the level of cooperation between the two sides, emphasising the need to further these ties.
He also noted to the high reputation the UAE has managed to make for itself on the international scene, through providing a lucrative location for international businesses. (end) asa.sd http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2372272&language=en
The Obama administration has pushed through a streamlining of the licensing process in order to facilitate an increase in military exports – in part to compensate U.S. arms manufacturers for a decline in orders from the Pentagon…..
The more advanced weaponry U.S. allies purchase, the more they are locked into future acquisitions. The United States emphasises “interoperability” among its allies. Not only are purchasers dependent on the United States for spare parts and upgrades, but they must consider the overall system of command and control (which is now C5I — Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Combat systems and Intelligence).
World Cuts Back Military Spending, But Not Asia, Inter Press Service Analysis by John Feffer WASHINGTON, Apr 14 2014 (IPS) - For the second year in a row, the world is spending a little less on the military. Asia, however, has failed to get the memo. The region is spending more at a time when many others are spending less. Continue reading
IPCC puts more heat on Abbott’s anti-science climate policies, Crikey, GILES PARKINSON | APR 14, 2014 The IPCC says action on climate change is urgent but affordable. The Abbott government says it will “wait and see”, all the while dismantling the mechanisms that could achieve higher targets. It is probably not what he is doing right now, but Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott should be wondering exactly how long it is that he can continue with his climate change policy charade.
On Sunday, the United Nations climate body the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change delivered the third of its landmark updates on the climate science, impacts and mitigation options. The chief message of Working Group III, the mitigation of climate change, was one of hope: the world still had time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, and although this would require a dramatic and urgent decarbonisation of the world’s energy and transport systems, it needn’t actually cost that much.
Indeed, as the IPCC graph indicates, the combined impact of all the measures that would be needed to encourage renewable energy in particular, and a suite of other technologies, might subtract just 0.06% from annual global growth: (see good graphs in original of this article).
And that is without calculating the obvious benefits or reduced air pollution and enhanced energy security, and without the obvious devastating impacts on the economy if climate change is allowed to continue unchecked.
In Australia, the IPCC reports have gone largely unremarked or cherry picked by much of the mainstream media. After the report from Working Group II last month, The Australian reprinted an article from The Wall Street Journalhighlighting how global warming might mean fewer deaths from cold. This morning its headline screamed that action to mitigate climate change would cost 10% of GDP. The Australian Financial Review and The Daily Telegraphcompletely ignored it in their print editions. Apparently, their editors believe it is neither a business issue nor one that would trouble the general public.
This media approach has created an insular and distorted view in Australia of what is happening around the world. But any chance that world governments might sweep this under the carpet, as the Abbott government has been allowed to do by the mainstream media, were swiftly torched by the United States. Within minutes of the formal release of the report, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement saying the report was a “wake-up call” about the global economic opportunity that the world could seize. Kerry said abatement technologies can cut carbon pollution while growing economic opportunity at the same time: Continue reading
Cyclone Ita: lessons after the media deluge, WA Today April 14, 2014 Crispin Hull “…………The response to extreme weather events by climate-change sceptics and business-as-usual climate-change deniers is now down pat: ”Well, you cannot assert that the climate is changing on the basis of an isolated event (insert event: cyclone. storm, bushfire, flood, drought). We have had these things before, you know.” And scientists will generally agree.
But this mantra has to stop.
For a start, with cyclones you can confidently say that they will now be more severe because of global warming. The oceans have warmed in the past 50 years. Cyclones get their energy from the heat of the ocean.
A lot of these things have exponential effect. A little extra heat means cyclones will be a lot more powerful. A little extra wind velocity means a lot more destruction. The power of wind is a cube function of its speed. Doubling the speed results in eight times the force. Trebling the speed equals 27 times the force.
So the difference between a category three and category five cyclone 500 kilometres off the Australian coastline is enormous. Once a category five is tracked, as was the case with Ita, very costly preventive measures get set in train, as they must.
My guess is that most people in Port Douglas blew between two and four days of their lives on cyclone preparation and returning to normal. Most businesses blew at least a day’s trade.
So there can be no more business as usual. Climate change has to be a major concern of business, particularly small business. Big business has the power and resources to adapt. Small businesses suffer badly at best or go broke at worse……..
Climate change must be a matter of concern for small business. Yes, we know that Australia on its own cannot affect the global climate, but we can and should influence world opinion, as we did with the bans on fluorocarbons. Those bans stopped the depletion of the ozone layer and prevented much cancer-causing radiation hitting the Earth.
The world co-operated then and we should co-operate now. The voice of small business should rally on this. Much of big business likes a high carbon economy and it does not care about the consequences……..http://www.watoday.com.au/comment/cyclone-ita-lessons-after-the-media-deluge-20140414-zquiy.html