Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Billionaire venture capitalist funded Bjorn Lomborg’s Climate Action Delaying Centre

Lomborg, BjornAt a G20 side event in Brisbane last year, Lomborg appeared at an event sponsored by the world’s largest private coal company, Peabody Energy, where he again argued that the world’s poor needed fossil fuels. 

Bjorn Lomborg Think Tank Funder Revealed As Billionaire Republican ‘Vulture Capitalist’ Paul Singer, DeSmogBlog  By Graham Readfearn • Monday, February 9, 2015 A billionaire “vulture capitalist” and major backer of the US Republican Party is a major funder of the think tank of Danish climate science contrarian and fossil fuels advocate Bjørn Lomborg, DeSmogBlog has found. Continue reading

May 23, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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

Lomborg, Bjorn

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

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

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

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

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

Bjorn Lomborg remains confident about his climate action delaying centre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Environmental powers handed to the States – will mean falling standads

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The solar revolution that is coming to Australia’s homes

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

Transcript

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

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

AREVA, Toshiba want nuclear reactors to last 80 -100 years

antnuke-relevantAREVA,Toshiba  eye 100-year life cycle for nuclear plants  John Downey
Charlotte Business Journal May 22, 2015 Can a nuclear plant run for a century? For AREVA-Medusa1now, federal regulators allow up to 60 years of licensed energy production. But Gary Mignogna, CEO of Charlotte-based Areva Inc.(EPA:AREVA), says it’s time to consider a 100-year life cycle…..He noted that former Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers had raised questions about whether plants could operate much beyond the 20-year extension the Nuclear Regulatory Commission offers after a plant’s 40-year initial license…….

Reverse engineering Ali Azad, chief executive of Toshiba (TYO:TOSBF) America Energy Systems, also based in Charlotte, says his organization is looking now at 80 years, at least, for existing plants. He says as you prepare to recondition existing plants for extended life, getting replacement parts becomes an issue. In some cases, the original equipment companies are no longer in business, for instance, he said.

So Toshiba is working on reverse engineering to fabricate replacement parts for older plants…..http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/energy/2015/05/industry-eyes-100-year-life-cycle-for-nuclear.html

May 23, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trans Pacific Partnership undermines democracy, and must be stopped

Do we really want to tell governments all around the world, including the U.S., that if they pass logo-anti-TPPlegislation protecting the well-being of their citizens they could pay substantial fines to multi-national corporations because of the loss of future profits? What an incredible undermining of democracy! But that’s exactly what will happen if the TPP goes into effect.

The TPP MUst Be Defeated http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/the-tpp-must-be-

antnuke-relevantFlag-USAdefeated_b_7352166.html?utm_hp_ref=politics  22 May 15 

Independent U.S. Senator from Vermont Congress is now debating fast track legislation that will pave the way for the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) unfettered free trade agreement. At a time when our middle class is disappearing and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider, this anti-worker legislation must be defeated. Here are four reasons why.

First, the TPP follows in the footsteps of failed trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA, Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China, and the South Korea Free Trade agreement. Over and over again, supporters of these agreements told us that they would create jobs. Over and over again, they have been proven dead wrong. Continue reading

May 23, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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

renewable-energy-pictureCLOSING THE GAP

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE PRESENT DILEMMA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

USA ‘Missile Defense’ is Destabilizing the Region

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Aboriginal cultural heritage depends on remaining on homelands

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

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

Continue reading

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

American Ships in South China Sea May Lead to War Between US, China

 The Real News 21 May 15 It seems the United States has found another playground for its war games. The National Interest reported that Washington plans to send its military ships and planes to patrol areas in the South China Sea stirring up an already tense situation in the region, where several nations have competing territorial claims.

Warships copy

The Asia-Pacific Region might be on the verge of a military conflict, as the United States is trying to incite several nations, including Japan and the Philippines, to gang up on China over the territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Several Asian countries made competing territorial claims over the territories of the sea, making the region Asia’s potentially most dangerous point of conflict. China, the biggest and most influential player in the region, aims to convert about 80 percent of the South China Sea into its territorial waters. However, other countries in the Asia-Pacific not only challenge the Chinese claims, but also want to assert their own territorial ambitions.
http://sputniknews.com/asia/20150518/1022273558.html  http://www.therealnewsmatters.com/

May 23, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Investment analysts warn about poor prospects for uranium market

graph-down-uraniumThe uranium sector DUNDEE CAPITAL MARKETS The Globe and Mail , May. 21 2015 “…..We have concerns regarding negative impact to investor and utility/trader sentiment, which could manifest itself in the already thin spot uranium market. The two other news items might influence investor sentiment but essentially cancel each other out. Uranium stocks retreated yesterday, followed by the price.”

Short Term Warning: One Step Forward,  Two steps Back Dundee Capital Markets, 20 May 15 We highlight three short term issues of which investors should be aware, two negative, one positive. Pending TEPCO inventory sales is suggested by media speculation. We have concerns regarding negative impact to investor and utility/trader sentiment, which could manifest itself in the already thin spot uranium market. The two other news items might influence investor sentiment but essentially cancel each other out. Uranium stocks retreated yesterday, followed by the price
1) TEPCO may wish to sell some of its inventory (see link). NEGATIVE IMPACT. TEPCO apparently plans to offload some of its uranium stockpiles by the end of FY2015 in order to cut costs and counteract uncertainty over restart of idled nuclear plants according to media sources. We view this as a supply issue but information is spotty at best, and perhaps a little contradictory when talking about volumes. The article suggests that TEPCO may net US$100 MM by selling half of its excess inventory (defined as being above 2011 levels), yet it also suggests the goal is to sell all excess. This could be in the 6.5 MM lbs range, which is just below 4% of annual demand, but more accurately represents 15% of spot volumes or 3% of total uranium trading volumes last year, based on figures provided in the article. Read-through is fears that uranium may flood the spot market and other nuclear utilities might also sell inventory…….
2) Takahama injunction appeal rejected by Fukui Prefecture Court (see link). NEGATIVE IMPACT. Takahama 3 and 4 reactors are to stay off-line until Kansai Electric Power Co. can prove they are safe to Fukui District Court (previous note). This news is not so much of a demand issue as it is an investor sentiment issue. We also expect lawsuits and injunctions to be normal course of business going forward. Ironically, two other Takahama reactors (1&2) seek 20 year extensions ……

May 23, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear Royal Commission puts up barriers to community participation

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINConservation Council of South Australia, 22 May 15 The SA Nuclear Royal Commission is putting huge barriers in the way of the community to formally participate in the current submission process, with Aboriginal people, people from remote, regional or rural areas, youth, and those with language difficulties particularly affected.

The Royal Commission is currently calling for public input in response to a series of Issues Papers. However, in the Submissions Guidelines they insist that submissions must be typed (not hand-written), and before lodging, a person has to swear in front of a Justice of the Peace (or equivalent) that it is their work.

“This requirement to find a JP will make it very difficult for many in remote areas, and especially for Aboriginal people of South Australia,” said Karina Lester, Yankunytjatjara Anangu Traditional Owner.

“How many JP’s live on the APY Lands or Maralinga Tjarutja Lands. How far does one have to travel to track down a JP?

“This is very unfair of the Commission to put these requirements in place as this will disengage the community and it will be all too hard to put in a submission.

“All South Australians need to contribute into this Royal Commission and feel that they have been consulted the right way.

“Anangu and the Aboriginal people of South Australia have been the ones directly impacted by the Nuclear Industry in the past.  The Government of SA are not learning from the past and hearing and respecting the voices of those who have lost loved ones, lost their sight, skin infections, cancers, and the list goes on,” said Ms Lester.

A sworn oath in front of a Justice of the Peace to lodge a submission is:
– NOT required under the Royal Commissions Act 1917
– NOT required for equivalent Federal or State Parliamentary inquiries

“ Requiring a member of the public to travel to a JP and swear an oath in front of them before they can lodge a submission is a highly unusual, unnecessary and surprising restriction which will stop people getting involved,” said Conservation Council SA Chief Executive Craig Wilkins.

“If they are concerned about fake or spam submissions, all they need is for individuals to self declare and sign a coversheet. To be forced to swear an oath in front of a JP just to have your say is simply not necessary.

“Rather than creating a genuine community conversation as the Premier hoped, barriers like this will directly prevent a large number South Australians from participating and submitting their views.

“We urge the Commission to change their rules to allow as many South Australians as possible to participate, ” he said.

The last of 3 public information sessions about the Royal Commission will be held today at Adelaide University at 1pmMedia Contact: Meg Sobey, Communications Officer, 0411 028 930 meg.sobey@conservationsa.org.au

 

May 22, 2015 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

For decades, a strong grassroots movement against radioactive waste dumping

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

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

heartland-2

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

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

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

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

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

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