Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons to receive Nobel Peace Prize on Deccember 10th

Nobel Peace Prize: Does an Australian-born anti-nuke group’s award achieve anything? ABC News By Europe correspondent James Glenday , 9 Dec 17 It has been dubbed an “ambassador boycott”, a Nobel Peace Prize ceremony snub.

When an Australian-born movement to ban nuclear weapons receives the world’s most prestigious award this weekend, Russia will be the only declared nuclear power with a top diplomat present.

Israel is sending an ambassador, though it does not confirm or deny it has nuclear warheads, while the US, the UK and France have chosen to make a statement — they will only be represented by deputies.

The prize winner, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), claims the “ambassador boycott” by western countries is aimed at undermining its work.

It has fought for a global treaty banning nuclear weapons, which now has 53 signatories.

But the document remains somewhat symbolic because no nuclear powers have signed it and neither have many of their close allies.

Australia, for example, has long argued banning the bomb outright — while emotionally appealing — will not lead to any meaningful reduction in nuclear weapons and may divert attention from existing treaties aimed at preventing nuclear proliferation.

Thus far, the Turnbull Government has stopped short of congratulating ICAN, which began in Melbourne……..

There has been controversy and contradictions surrounding the Nobel Peace Prize ever since it was founded by Alfred Nobel, a Swedish businessman who invented dynamite and traded arms……..

This year the award is worth 9 million Swedish kronor, more than $AU1.411 million. “That money helps a young NGO [like ICAN], one that doesn’t have much access to funds, one that is perhaps being denied funds because of some political problems,” Dr Lewis said.

“ICAN was founded in Australia. It’s something that Australians have achieved.”……..

ICAN is, of course, hoping the prize will convince more people to back its bomb ban.

But it also wants more public debate about the pace of nuclear disarmament — many nuclear experts agree things have moved too slowly, for too long.

“I would hope [ICAN’s work] generates some momentum within existing processes for disarmament,” Mr Dall said.

“If it doesn’t, then the long-term impact could be that nothing is going to happen and that really is the worst possible long-term impact.”

Regardless, the prize, the controversy and “ambassador boycott” is all invaluable for ICAN itself.

Anything that prompts more global coverage of nuclear weapons and the destruction they can unleash, is much more useful to it than any number of diplomatic niceties in Norway this weekend. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-09/does-the-nobel-peace-prize-achieve-anything/9242626

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December 8, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | 1 Comment

My people are still suffering from Australia’s secret nuclear testing

 http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/my-people-are-still-suffering-from-australias-secret-nuclear-testing-20171208-h01a3l.html Sue Coleman-Haseldine, 

My name is Sue Coleman-Haseldine. I was born into poverty on the margins of Australian society on the Aboriginal mission of Koonibba in 1951. At this time my people were not allowed to vote and we had very few means to be understood, let alone be heard.

I was born into one of the oldest living cultures known on Earth and into a place that I love – a dusty, arid paradise on the edge of a rugged coastline. Our land and waters are central to our outlook and religion and provide the basis for my people’s health and happiness.

And I was born just before the desert lands to our north were bombed by the deadliest weapons on Earth in an extensive, secretive and devastating manner by the Australian and British governments.

In the 1950s, areas known as Emu Fields and Maralinga were used to test nine full-scale atomic bombs and for 600 other nuclear tests, leaving the land highly radioactive. We weren’t on ground zero, but the dust didn’t stay in one place. The winds brought the poison to us and many others.

Aboriginal people, indeed many people at that time, knew nothing about the effects of radiation. We didn’t know the invisible killer was falling amongst us. Six decades on, my small town of Ceduna is being called the Cancer Capital of Australia. There are so many deaths in our region of various cancers. My grand-daughter and I have had our thyroids removed, and there are many others in our area with thyroid problems. Fertility issues appear common.

But there has been no long-term assessment of the health impacts in the region and even those involved in the botched clean-ups of the test sites have no recourse because they cannot prove their illness is linked with exposure to nuclear weapons testing.

The impact of the Maralinga and Emu Fields testing has had far-reaching consequences that are still being felt today. Ask a young person from my area, “What do you think you will die from?” The answer is, “Cancer, everyone else is”.

I have lived my life learning about the bomb tests and also learning that the voice of my people and others won’t always be understood or heard. But I learnt from old people now gone that speaking up is important and by joining with others from many different places and backgrounds that our voices can be amplified.

Through these steps I found the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), or perhaps ICAN found me.

ICAN – as an organisation, as a collective of passionate, educated people working for a clear goal – has been so important to me. To know that my story and my voice helps bring recognition to the past and can shape the future of nuclear prohibition has strengthened my resolve.

Being involved in ICAN has been a double-edged sword. On one hand and for the first time in my life, I no longer feel alone or isolated. I have met others from many parts of the globe who have similar stories and experiences and who are passionate advocates for a nuclear-free future.

But the flip side of this is my understanding of just how widespread and just how devastating the nuclear weapons legacy is across the globe. To learn that so many weapons still exist sends fear to my heart. ICAN is a worthy winner of the Nobel Peace Prize – in a short time we have gathered support for a treaty to finally outlaw nuclear weapons and help eliminate the nuclear threat.

The vision was reached in part with so many nations adopting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in July 2017. And we should celebrate this win and the opportunity to work together to stop the suffering and assist countries to make amends to nuclear weapons victims by acknowledging the permanent damage done to land, health and culture.

Unfortunately, the Australian government, along with other first world nations, didn’t even participate in the treaty negotiations, and they haven’t signed the treaty yet, but over time we feel confident they will.

A lot has changed since I was born. Aboriginal people now have the right to vote in Australia, but still we battle for understanding about our culture and the Australian nuclear weapons legacy. My home is still remote and most of my people still poor. But we are also no longer alone. We have the means and the will to participate – to share and to learn and to bring about lasting change.

ICAN’s work is not done, our work is not done. We will continue to work together. A world without nuclear weapons is a world we need and are creating. I stand here in hope and gratitude for the opportunity to participate. I stand here with pride and I stand here for our future and the generations to come.

Sue Coleman-Haseldine is a Kokatha woman who lives in Ceduna, South Australia. This is an extract of her speech in Oslo marking the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN.​

December 11, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, personal stories, weapons and war | 14 Comments

Prime Minister Turnbull snubbed Nobel prize winner International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

Turnbull Government criticised for not congratulating ICAN on Nobel Peace Prize, ABC News 10 Dec, 17 By Europe Correspondent James Glenday in Oslo, Norway Anti-nuclear activists have attacked the Turnbull Government for not formally congratulating an Australian-born group, which will receive the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway later today.

Key points:

  • The UN treaty banning nuclear weapons remains opposed by all nuclear powers and many of their allies
  • Anti-nuclear activist Sue Coleman-Haseldine says the Government “should be ashamed” for not congratulating the group
  • Australia has long argued banning the bomb outright will not lead to any meaningful reduction in nuclear weapons

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the prestigious award for successfully securing the backing of 122 countries to set up a controversial UN treaty banning nuclear weapons.

But the document is somewhat symbolic because it remains opposed by all nuclear powers and many of their allies — NATO and Australia, for example, have fought against it.

“The Government should be ashamed of themselves [for not congratulating the group],” South Australian Indigenous anti-nuclear activist Sue Coleman-Haseldine said.

“Australians helped win this.

“They [the Government] could have said ‘Congratulations — even if I don’t agree with you’. They could have said that. But they haven’t………

Karina and Rose Lester, daughters of the late Yankunytjatjara Elder Yami Lester who went blind after British nuclear testing in South Australia in 1950s, said they were proud an Australian organisation would win the Nobel Peace Prize.

ICAN helped bring attention to their community’s struggle, Karina Lester said.

“The British government thought that our country was barren, nothing and nobody was out there,” she said.

“But there were communities, Anangu communities there as well.

“So it was really important for us as Anagu community to get that voice out to the international world to say we’re on that same journey as everybody else.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-10/nobel-peace-prize-australian-government-accused-of-shame-job/9244194

December 11, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Unrealistic call for rural Australians to host Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)

Volunteers wanted – to house small modular nuclear reactors in Australia,Online Opinion,  Noel Wauchope , 11 Dec 17, 

We knew that the Australian government was looking for volunteers in outback South Australia, to take the radioactive trash from Lucas Heights and some other sites, (and not having an easy time of it). But oh dear– we had no idea that the search for hosting new (untested) nuclear reactors was on too!

Well, The Australian newspaper has just revealed this extraordinary news, in its article “Want a nuclear reactor in your backyard? Step this way” (28/11/17). Yes, it turns out that a Sydney-based company, SMR Nuclear Technology, plans to secure volunteers and a definite site within three years. If all goes well, Australia’s Small Modular Reactors will be in operation by 2030.

Only, there are obstacles. Even this enthusiastic article does acknowledge one or two of them. One is the need to get public acceptance of these so far non-existent new nuclear reactors. SMR director Robert Pritchard is quoted as saying that interest in these reactors is widespread. He gives no evidence for this.

The other is that the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant in Australia is prohibited by both commonwealth and state laws.

But there are issues, and other obstacles that are not addressed on this article. A vital question is: does SMR Nuclear Technology intend to actually build the small reactors in Australia, or more likely, merely assemble them from imported modular parts – a sort of nuclear Lego style operation?

If it is to be the latter, there will surely be a delay of probably decades. Development of SMRs is stalled, in USA due to strict safety regulations, and in UK, due to uncertainties, especially the need for public subsidy. That leaves China, where the nuclear industry is government funded, and even there, development of SMRs is still in its infancy.

As to the former, it is highly improbable that an Australian company would have the necessary expertise, resources, and funding, to design and manufacture nuclear reactors of any size. The overseas companies now planning small reactors are basing their whole enterprise on the export market. Indeed, the whole plan for “modular” nuclear reactors is about mass production and mass marketing of SMRs -to be assembled in overseas countries. That is accepted as the only way for the SMR industry to be commercially successful. Australia looks like a desirable customer for the Chinese industry, the only one that looks as if it might go ahead, at present,

If, somehow, the SMR Technologies’ plan is to go ahead, the other obstacles remain.

The critical one is of course economics. …….

Other issues of costs and safety concern the transport of radioactive fuels to the reactors, and of radioactive waste management. The nuclear industry is very fond of proclaiming that wastes from small thorium reactors would need safe disposal and guarding for “only 300 years”. Just the bare 300!

The Australian Senate is currently debating a Bill introduced by Cory Bernardi, to remove Australia’s laws prohibiting nuclear power development. The case put by SMR Technologies, as presented in The Australian newspaper is completely inadequate. The public deserves a better examination of this plan for Small Modular Reactors SMRS. And why do they leave out the operative word “Nuclear” -because it is so on the nose with the public? http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19460&page=2

December 11, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster, technology | Leave a comment

ICAN leader urges nuclear powers to join the United Nations treaty banning atomic weapons

‘Prevent the end of us’: Nuclear powers urged to ban the bomb http://www.smh.com.au/world/prevent-the-end-of-us-nuclear-powers-urged-to-ban-the-bomb-20171210-h0279q.html, Gwladys Fouche, 11 Dec 17,

Oslo: The leader of the group that won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize has urged nuclear nations to adopt a United Nations treaty banning atomic weapons in order to prevent “the end of us”.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the prize by a Nobel committee that cited the spread of nuclear weapons and the growing risk of an atomic war.

ICAN, which began in Melbourne, is a coalition of 468 grassroots non-governmental groups that campaigned for a UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted by 122 nations in July.

The treaty is not signed by – and would not apply to – any of the states that already have nuclear arms.

Beatrice Fihn, ICAN’s executive director, urged them to sign the agreement.

 “It provides a choice. A choice between the two endings: the end of nuclear weapons or the end of us,” she said in her speech at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo on Sunday.

“The United States, choose freedom over fear. Russia, choose disarmament over destruction. Britain, choose the rule of law over oppression,” she added, before urging France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel to do the same.

Israel is widely assumed to have nuclear weapons, although it neither confirms nor denies it.

“A moment of panic or carelessness, a misconstrued comment or bruised ego, could easily lead us unavoidably to the destruction of entire cities,” she added.

“A calculated military escalation could lead to the indiscriminate mass murder of civilians.”

Fihn delivered the Nobel lecture together with Setsuko Thurlow, an 85-year-old survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing and now an ICAN campaigner.

Thurlow recalled on stage on Sunday some of her memories of the attack on August 6, 1945.

She was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building about 1.8 kilometres from Ground Zero, she said. Most of her classmates were burnt alive.

“Processions of ghostly figures shuffled by. Grotesquely wounded people, they were bleeding, burnt, blackened and swollen,” she said.

“Parts of their bodies were missing. Flesh and skin hung from their bones. Some with their eyeballs hanging in their hands. Some with their bellies burst open, their intestines hanging out. The foul stench of burnt human flesh filled the air.”

The US, Britain and France sent second-rank diplomats to the Nobel ceremony, which Fihn earlier said was “some kind of protest”.

Hours before the prize was presented in Oslo, co-founder Dimity Hawkins said it was “gratifying to win a Nobel Peace Prize but we’ve still got to get ourselves to zero nukes”.

“The biggest prize will be to have all nations – including Australia – sign up to the nuclear weapons ban treaty which we helped bring about at the UN this year.” Reuters with Carolyn Webb

December 11, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Do not let the government spoil beautiful Flinders landscape and tourism with a nuclear waste dump!

Joy Engelman Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 10 Dec 17 The SA Govt seems intent on putting a radioactive waste dump into this sacred country…. please keep on saying that it’s not wanted, not welcome and a travesty of justice.

This landscape is sacred, serene and pure. Radioactive waste with it’s large repository, trucks and ‘keep out’ signs will change this beautiful landscape irrevocably and forever! You will not be able to visit this area…. tourists will stay away from the Flinders in droves as we won’t feel able to explore safely…. it’s bad enough on the western side running into Mt Beverly uranium mining trucks on the road…. they drive fast and furious and push you off the road…. they tear up the road during the wet times…. they act as if they own the place!

Do you want the same to happen to the eastern side of the Flinders? A multimillion dollar tourism industry will be decimated…. no! no-one wants to visit a radioactive waste repository – it isn’t a tourist attraction! Don’t be fooled by a few weak promises of work and dollars by a transient government official or corporate dude on a junket!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052/

December 11, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Despite the Turnbull government, Australia quietly waking up to the existential threat of climate change

‘Existential threat’: climate change risks finally grab Australia’s attention, SMH
Peter Hannam , 10 Dec 17, “……..  Despite the often tortured debate stoked by some conservative politicians and commentators denying climate change is real, a range of agencies are quietly assessing abilities to cope with threats from a refugee influx, increased calls for aid, and impacts on the domestic economy.

And as 2017 draws towards a close, Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg is putting the final touches to a review of Australia’s climate policies due for release by month’s end…..

Scrutiny

While festive seasonal distractions may dim the chance of an immediate and close scrutiny of his climate review, the challenges for the Turnbull government will still be waiting when politicians reconvene in the new year.

International attention will also remain, whether at this week’s One Planet Summit in France to assess the progress on the Paris climate deal two years on, or late in 2018, when all nations will be pressed to increase their ambition to curb the greenhouse gas emissions driving global warming.

On the emissions front, Frydenberg has already had his options significantly reduced.

The government’s signature National Energy Guarantee aimed at providing a more reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity supply locks the power sector into the same 26-28 per cent pollution reduction that the whole economy is supposed to track.

Even if Frydenberg can convince the states to sign up – a huge ask unless there is a major power outage over the summer – such an approach won’t be the best.

“Electricity production in OECD countries is always part of the cheapest options to decarbonise the economy, and it’s also a big source of emissions,” said Yann Robiou du Pont, a researcher at Melbourne University’s Australian-German Climate & Energy College.

“There are fewer assets to transform and they’re usually closer related to governmental decision-making.”

In Australia’s case, the electricity sector is the largest source of emissions, accounting for about a third of the total, and home to many ageing and relatively dirty coal-fired power plants.

Another big source, land clearing, is again on the increase in states such as Queensland and NSW……..

Mr Robiou du Pont notes the Climate Change Authority’s own recommendation that Australia’s fair contribution to emission cuts would be much higher than the Abbott-Turnbull government’s offer, given the country’s high per capita pollution and also relative wealth – if not political will – to transform its economy.

The authority – which the Coalition government tried but failed to abolish – called for a 25 per cent cut of 2005-level emissions by 2020, and 54 per cent by 2030. That’s roughly double the government’s ambition.

‘Not serious’

Mark Butler, Labor’s climate spokesman, said his party is sticking with a 45 per cent emissions reduction goal that “is consistent with the Paris Accord goal of limiting global warming to below two degrees”.

“It is clear that the government’s approach of a pro rata allocation of abatement between sectors will ensure the costs of meeting any emission reduction target will be higher than they need to be,” Butler said.

“The electricity sector has a lower cost of abatement than most other sectors in the form of renewable energy, and renewable energy is already the cheapest option to replace ageing coal-fired power stations that will inevitably retire,” he said.

(Energy giant AGL is expected to announce details within days of what its plans are post-2022, when it closes the ailing Liddell coal-fired power station in the Hunter Valley.)

Sectors like manufacturing and livestock agriculture have a much larger cost of abatement and few ready-to-deploy abatement technologies.

“The government’s insistence each sector meets targets based on a pro rata division of the national emission reduction target just confirms they do not take climate change seriously,” Butler said.http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/existential-threat-climate-change-risks-finally-grab-australias-attention-20171206-h00am7.html

December 11, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

11 December More REneweconomy news

RenewEconomy
  • Zibelman: Resisting energy transition like trying to resist internet
    AEMO boss Audrey Zibelman says energy transition as unstoppable as the internet, because economics and technology have changed. Some baseload may be needed in the future, but it doesn’t need to be coal.
  • CRC awards Solar Analytics $1.9M for Smart Home Energy Management System
    Solar Analytics evolves from a solar monitoring platform to a holistic Smart Home Energy Management System with the announcement of a $1.9 million grant from the Australian Federal Government.
  • Flinders’ renewable frontier
    The Flinders Island community can look forward to a secure and cleaner energy future thanks to its new Hybrid Energy Hub.
  • Construction begins at Kennedy wind, solar and battery storage hub
    Construction begins on first 60MW of proposed 1200MW Kennedy Energy Park, the world-leading wind, solar, and battery storage project in north Queensland.
  • ERF review fails to douse doubts over Coalition key climate policy
    CCA review of Coalition’s Emissions Reduction Fund fuels concerns the scheme is an expensive, inefficient and risky way to cut carbon.
  • Know your NEM: Liddell plans could drown in Snowy 2
    AGL’s plans for Liddell are vague and lacking, most likely because the company is waiting to see what the Coalition aims to do with Snowy Hydro.

December 11, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

USA economy caught in the trap of $trillion militarism

The US Military Is the Biggest “Big Government” Entitlement Program on the Planet , December 10, 2017, By JP Sottile, Truthout |The US economy is caught in a trap. That trap is the Department of Defense: an increasingly sticky wicket that relies on an annual, trillion-dollar redistribution of government-collected wealth. In fact, it’s the biggest “big government” program on the planet, easily beating out China’s People’s Liberation Army in both size and cost. It is not only the “nation’s largest employer,” with 2.867 million people currently on the payroll, but it also provides government benefits to 2 million retirees and their family members. And it actively picks private sector winners by targeting billions of dollars to an elite group of profit-seeking contractors.
Continue reading

December 11, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Policy delay -“the new form of climate denialism”.

‘Existential threat’: climate change risks finally grab Australia’s attention,  SMH, Peter Hannam, 10 Dec 17    “………...‘New denialism’

Submissions to recent and ongoing Senate inquiries also indicate that whichever parties take government at the next election, many agencies already  have preparations underway to adapt to climate change.

Peter Whish-Wilson – the Greens’ spokesperson for Healthy Oceans who led a Senate inquiry into the impact of climate change on the marine environment that last week released its report – said policy delay was “the new form of climate denialism”.

“Whether you stick your head under the water up on the Great Barrier Reef and see the devastation first-hand or you talk to the defence force personnel involved in planning for natural disasters in the Pacific, you know that the effects of global warming are upon us and that without action the future is looking grim,” Whish-Wilson said.

“We now need to think about the increase of marine heatwaves as part of the range of climate impacts we need to prepare for, like we do with bushfires and droughts,” he said.

‘Threat-multiplier’

For its part, the Defence Department’s report to a separate Senate inquiry into the implications of climate change for Australia’s national security detailed how it expects the “threat-multiplier” effect will hinder its “warfighting role”.

“The national security threats that may emerge include inter-group rivalries, water, food and resource shortages and irregular migration,” it said. “Many of the states in Australia’s region face some or all of these challenges, in addition to being vulnerable to climate change impacts such as temperature and sea level rise.”

Defence noted how it deployed 1000 staff to help Fiji recover from its $2.5 billion hit from Cyclone Winston, a category-5 storm in 2016. The HMAS Canberra was part of the deployment, along with planes that delivered 520 tonnes of humanitarian aid.

In its submission, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said “climate change effects could permanently alter normal business, including the accessibility of assets and capability”.

Interestingly, it noted that “there is no internationally agreed position on expanding the current definition of a refugee or impetus to create a new international protection obligation to encompass people displaced by climate change”………

Pacific nations are watching with concern the Australian and Queensland governments’ efforts to promote the huge Adani-owned Carmichael mine, which threatens to open up a massive new coal province.

“The execution of the Adani project will be a huge carbon bomb for us in the Pacific,” Fruean said.

She dismissed the characterisation of funds from rich nations to help her people cope with worse weather extremes and rising sea levels.

“I see it as climate debt,” she said. “We wouldn’t need that aid if it weren’t for these countries investing in fossil fuels, and really creating the damage that we’re seeing in our islands today.” http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/existential-threat-climate-change-risks-finally-grab-australias-attention-20171206-h00am7.html

December 11, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Climatologist Katherine Hayhoe says that scientists must fight against the politicisation of science

Climate change, that’s just a money grab by scientist… right   Global Weirding with Katharine Hayhoe

Katherine Hayhoe: ‘The true threat is the delusion that our opinion of science somehow alters its reality’   Whilst the climate is changing rapidly, climatologist Katherine Hayhoe says that scientists have no option but to fight against the politicisation of science , Wired,  

In her 2009 book, co-authored with husband Andrew Farley, Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions, Katharine Hayhoe wrote: “Most Christians are not scientists, and it’s hard to say how many scientists are Christians. In our family, we are both.” The Texas Tech atmospheric physicist, who’s also an Evangelical Christian, has long been one of the most vocal evangelists for the environment. Hayhoe has been featured in the James Cameron-produced TV series Years of Living Dangerously and once nominated as one of the most influential people in the world by TIME. She talks to WIRED about president Trump, clean energy, and, of course, climate change.

Katherine Hayhoe on anti-science sentiment 

Most people don’t reject science wholesale because they actually have a problem with the science. The same equations of radiative transfer and non-linear fluid dynamics that explain how our stoves work or how airplanes fly provide the basis of our climate models, too. Rather, people selectively reject a specific set of scientific findings: those they perceive to be a threat to their ideology or worldview, and hence to their identity.

How can the reality of climate change be perceived as a threat? First, there’s the pragmatic aspect: six out of ten of the wealthiest corporations in the world either extract oil or create the cars that use them. And there’s no getting around it – to fix the climate, we have to wean ourselves off fossil fuels as quickly as we can. These companies have a significant financial stake in muddying the waters on the science and delaying action on climate as long as possible; because every year that carbon emissions continue, they make an additional profit. Climate change solutions threaten their bottom line.


On the responsibility of scientists

Climate scientists are like the physicians of the planet……. http://www.wired.co.uk/article/katherine-hayhoe-climate-change-clean-energy-interview

December 11, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

 Traditional Owners fighting Adani make demands of new Labor Govt

New Queensland polling released showing support for mine delay wanganjagalingou.com.au/wj-make-demands-of-new-labor-govt-on-adani/  ‘Brisbane, 8 December 2017. 

‘With the announcement of a new majority Qld Labor government, and
with the National Native Title Tribunal set to decide today whether to register Adani’s sham Indigenous Land Use Agreement,
the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council have presented a clear set of demands.

Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council Spokesperson Adrian Burragubba said,

‘“Our fight to protect our country and heritage will continue until Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk acknowledges
that we are the people from that land, and Adani does not have the consent it requires from us for this destructive mine.

‘“We call on the Palaszczuk Government to stand up for our rights and not the interests of Adani.
We have written to our more than 100,000 supporters in the wider community this morning,
asking them to press the Premier and Deputy Premier to demand that the returned Palaszczuk Government –

‘acknowledge that Adani and the Queensland Government do not have the consent of W&J Traditional Owners for the Carmichael mine
remove Queensland’s ‘signature’ from Adani’s contested Indigenous Land Use Agreement
rule out extinguishing Native Title to allow Adani to proceed, even if the ILUA is registered by the NNTT
stop opposing the rightful W&J Traditional Owners in court and wait for all our cases to be heard, and
end Adani’s special treatment – which will enable the destruction of W&J country and heritage – including keeping the Premier’s election promise to veto Adani’s $1BN taxpayer-funded loan”’

‘“This follows an an authorisation meeting of our Claim Group on 2 December at which,
for the fourth time since 2012, our people voted unanimously to reject an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Adani. … ‘

December 11, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Australian businesses are realising that climate change presents significant financial risks – and opportunities

Existential threat’: climate change risks finally grab Australia’s attention, SMH, Peter Hannam, 10 Dec 17 “……..Business shift

Companies, meanwhile, are beginning to look beyond the political cycle.

Sarah Barker, a special counsel for Minter Ellison Lawyers, said there had been “a noticeable shift in the approach of the business community to climate risk in the past 18 months”.

“Historically, the issue was largely viewed as a singularly ‘environmental’, ethical, non-financial issue – perhaps relevant to corporate social responsibility, but nothing more,” she said.

“Increasingly, Australian businesses are realising that climate change presents significant financial risks – and opportunities – and that they need to strategise around this issue in the same way as they would any other industry trend or economic risk factor.”

“Business has far less tolerance for climate change denialism than it did even a few years ago,” Barker added. “Their investors are concerned about it.  Their insurers are concerned about it.  Their customers are concerned about it……….”http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/existential-threat-climate-change-risks-finally-grab-australias-attention-20171206-h00am7.html

December 11, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 10th December 2017

‘International Human Rights Day and the International Declaration of Human Rights

https://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/irag/

‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all.
Human rights are relevant to all of us, every day.
Our shared humanity is rooted in these universal values.
Equality, justice and freedom prevent violence and sustain peace.
Whenever and wherever humanity’s values are abandoned, we all are at greater risk.
We need to stand up for our rights and those of others. …

‘In the coming year IRAG Alice Springs will be calling on people all around the country and overseas
to support us in our stand to have people’s human rights upheld, and
their rights under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

‘This will be a campaign to have the Stronger Futures laws repealed as this is destroying people and our culture.

‘We are working on strategies to call on all politicians to listen to what we are saying.
Governments need to work with us instead of treating people like children.

‘IRAG is grateful for all your support in the past
and we look forward to working with you in the future.

IRAG UPDATE

‘IRAG group is meeting regularly to plan a strong campaign for the next year.
We need more people to join us as there is much work to be done.
Please send us a message via our Facebook page if you are interested in joining us.’

December 11, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Many children diagnosed with thyroid cancer after 3.11 disasters, families still worried

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

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Nearly 80 percent of respondents in a survey by a group supporting children diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster say they remain worried about the cancer, despite the prognosis for those who receive appropriate treatment being good.
 
The survey was conducted by the 3.11 Fund for Children with Thyroid Cancer, an independent, not-for-profit organization providing support for child patients of thyroid cancer and their families. It was sent in August to 67 households of people who were living in Fukushima Prefecture at the time of the outbreak of the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011 and whose medical expenses the fund has helped to cover. A total of 52 households responded — a response rate of about 78 percent. Twelve of the respondents had received treatment themselves, while seven were fathers and 33 were mothers of those…

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December 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fukushima to scale down radiation tests on rice

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

All part of the now 6 years ongoing denial campaign of the Japanese Government, denying the harmful effects of internal radiation and that even at low dose level, meant to calm down the fears of the local population, and to prepare the venue of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and also to incite other countries to lift their import restrictions and radiation testing of the Eastern Japan produce.
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Authorities in Fukushima plan to scale down radiation tests on rice harvested in the prefecture.
 
Since the nuclear accident in March 2011, the local government has spent 6 billion yen – or about 53 million dollars – every year to check radiation levels of all rice produced in Fukushima.
 
The tests require farmers to transport their harvest to a testing facility. Samples with radiation levels higher than the government-set limit have not been detected since 2015.
 
An expert panel convened…

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December 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment