Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia should join Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty – theme for September 17

 

 

Australia can show the leadership that it once had, in the movement towards a sane and peaceful world.

Our opportunity comes this month. The legally binding Treaty on the Prohibition of nuclear weapons. will open for signature and ratification on September 20th at the United Nations. It will come into effect if at least 50 nations sign and ratify it.

Australia was not among the 122 nations who signed up for this United Nations treaty, in July 17. Indeed, under the craven rule of Turnbull’s cowardly coalition, – we even tried to sabotage the treaty!

Time to stop Australia’s mindless sucking up to America – especially now, as USA is in the grip of a dangerous sociopathic President.

Time to join our brave little neighbour, New Zealand who has had the guts to stand up to the global nuclear weapons industry and say “NO”

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August 30, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia: stop being blindly aligned with nuclear weapons nations: sign the treaty!

Tomorrow The World Is Going To Try And Ban Nuclear Weapons. Australia Wants To Keep Them. New Matilda, By Rewena Mahesh on A global push to save the world from a nuclear armageddon has the backing of more than 120 nations. Australia isn’t one of them. Rewena Mahesh explains.

On July 7, a global treaty was adopted at the UN General Assembly to prohibit nuclear weapons. This treaty now sets precedence for a powerful norm that will change the course of history by helping promote disarmament and preventing further proliferation.

This treaty closes a large international law gap, by prohibiting states from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using, or threatening to use nuclear weapons once ratified by 50 states.

That will happen tomorrow, on the 20th of September.

Despite an overwhelming 122 countries endorsing the treaty, strongly and actively supported by hundreds of civic society organizations including the World Medical Association, Medical Association for Prevention of War, the World Federation of Public Health Associations, nine member countries that possess nuclear weapons and most NATO allies boycotted the agreement.

Shamefully, one of those countries absent from negotiations and which played a role in boycotting the treaty is Australia. We fall under the nuclear protection of the USA.

While Australia, possesses no nuclear weapons, it is a major producer and supplier of uranium used in the production of nuclear arsenals for the US and British military and most recently Russia, China and India.

Australia has had a long history with nuclear testing, hosting the British in the 1950s and 60s to conduct 12 major nuclear tests which dispersed radiation across much of the continent. In particular site workers and Aboriginal communities nearby have been suffering the consequences of radiation, seen in high rates of cancer with very little compensation, and a lack of capacity to use traditional land due to contamination.

As a result of Australia hosting the US military and intelligence facilities, such as Pine Gap near Alice Springs, we are offered protection in the face of a nuclear threat, under the extended nuclear deterrence, and thus consider nuclear weapons to be legitimate, useful and necessary despite their devastating and catastrophic effects……..

Given the current volatile environment with unpredictable leaders, the only guarantee we have against the spread and use of nuclear weapons is to eliminate them completely.

Indiscriminate weapons such as landmines, biological and chemical weapons, and cluster munitions which have all been permanently banned are increasingly accepted as illegitimate, and are losing their political status.

It is thus difficult to acquire resources for the production and modernisation of a prohibited weapon by companies or governments. It is then hoped that by eliminating nuclear weapons, this forms the new norm globally and they too will lose their legitimacy and political status in due course.

Nuclear weapons are also an ineffective means of combating almost all issues globally and nationally, such as cyber warfare, climate change, poverty, antimicrobial resistance etc.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) showed that 84 per cent of Australians surveyed wanted the government to support the efforts of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Australia still has the opportunity to be on the right side of history by signing the treaty tomorrow.

Australia needs to be at the forefront of global efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons and not be misled by the notion of extended nuclear deterrence under the protection of the US.

Australia needs to look across the Tasman to its neighbour New Zealand, which for decades has remained an ally of the US, but has had an independent foreign policy.

Instead of blindly aligning ourselves with the nuclear policies of the US, Australia needs to consider the devastating health and social consequences of nuclear weapons and sign the treaty to increase credibility in the region and make the world a safer place. https://newmatilda.com/2017/09/19/tomorrow-the-world-will-adopt-a-treaty-banning-nuclear-weapons-australia-wont-be-there/

September 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby bringing top USA nuclear spruiker Michael Shellenberger to Australia

‘Michael Shellenberger  will visit Australia in Nov­ember to promote a rethink on nuclear at a minerals industry conference.

A radioactive wolf in green clothing: Dissecting the latest pro-nuclear spin https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/a-radioactive-wolf-in-green-clothing-dissecting-the-latest-pro-nuclear-spin,10735

 Noel Wauchope Michael Shellenberger is a nuclear salesman posing as a new generation environmentalist with unsubstantiated energy “solutions”, writes Noel Wauchope.

LAST WEEK, The Australian excelled itself in uncritically regurgitating nuclear lobby propaganda in the article‘Nuclear the “only option” to replace coal and gas: Michael Shellenberger’. 

To start with, they describe Shellenberger as ‘one of the world’s leading new-generation environmental thinkers‘. Well, that is sort of, a bit, right. Shellenberger is well known as the founder in 2003, with Ted Nordhaus, of The Breakthrough Institute — a nuclear front group dedicated to promoting “new generation” nuclear reactors. He is not a new generation environmentalist, as his focus is solely on the nuclear industry.

In the same opening paragraph, Shellenberger is described as ‘a former renewables advocate to Barack Obama‘. Well, Shellenberger’s advocacy consisted of lobbying Obama to promote not renewables but nuclear power. He is described as ‘now a global champion for nuclear energy’, as if he had only recently become a convert from renewables.

The Australian goes on to quote Shellenberger’s statements against renewable energy, uncritically, despite the fact that he provides no evidence for them:

“[Wind and solar] are doubling the cost of electricity and they have big environmental impacts. All existing renewable technologies do is make the electricity system chaotic and provide greenwash for fossil fuels.”

And:

“[Opposition to nuclear] is like a superstitious religious belief.”

Shellenberger was a one of Time Magazine’s ’30 Heroes of the Environment’ in 2008. True. However, he was chosen and discussed in Time by Bryan Walsh, a nuclear proponent and a member of The Breakthrough Institute. That choice was strongly disputed by genuine leading environmentalists Bill McKibben and Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. 

Having thus established Shellenberger’s very shaky credentials as an environmentalist, The Australian gets to the gist of the story:

‘Michael Shellenberger  will visit Australia in Nov­ember to promote a rethink on nuclear at a minerals industry conference.’

We are told that Germany’s renewable energy transition is not successful and that Shellenberger believes better education about nuclear power is needed as well as ‘a leap forward in scientific literacy about radiation’.

He says:

“The reality is the death toll from Chernobyl in 1986, after 20 years, is less than 200 people.”

As we have come to expect from The Australian and from Michael Shellenberger, no references are given to back up these statements.

Also unsurprisingly, The Australian quotes Shellenberger’s conclusion without comment:

“Nuclear is the only technology that can lift everyone out of poverty and reverse human ­impact.”

As often happens, this article is followed by numerous positive comments, often glowing with praise, if somewhat lacking in information or insight. There were no negative comments. But then, only registered readers of The Australian are allowed to make comments. It is tiring but necessary to refute bald claims made by very manipulative nuclear spruikers.

Where to start?

Here are some links to thoughtful articles which address claims made in this article:

  • The cost or electricity from renewables?

Renewable energy versus nuclear: dispelling the myths about costs‘, by Mark Diesendorf, Associate Professor in Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New South Wales.

  • Death toll from Chernobyl accident?

‘Radiation harm deniers? Pro-nuclear environmentalists and the Chernobyl death toll’, by Dr Jim Green, National Nuclear Campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia and Editor of the Nuclear Monitor.

  • Nuclear lifting the world out of poverty?  

‘Nuclear Power Cost’, from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

September 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

An Australian to be proud of – Dr Tilman Ruff

“What’s your alternative?” CommonSpace talks to anti-nuclear expert Dr Tilman Ruff Ahead of the UN signing of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, CommonSpace discusses disarmament with Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist Dr Tilman Ruff

THE TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS was passed by the United Nations in July after being voted for by 122 countries, making it the first legally-binding international agreement to eliminate nuclear weapons.

This historic development came about amid heavy opposition from the nuclear-armed states and rising tensions between the United States of America and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, who have warned that recent sanctions will only accelerate the North Korean nuclear programme.

On 20 September, the ban treaty will be open for signature at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Once the treaty is ratified by at least 50 countries, it should come into force within 90 days.

One among many of the anti-nuclear activists who brought the treaty to this point was Dr Tilman Ruff, co-president of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which collectively received a Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts towards disarmament in 1985, and founding member of the International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

Following his speaking engagement in Edinburgh earlier this month at an event organised by Scrap Trident and the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (SCND), where he discussed the devastating human and ecological cost of even “limited” nuclear war, CommonSpace spoke with Dr Ruff about the treaty, the opposition its proponents have faced, and political strategies towards disarmament.

Despite the success of the treaty, Dr Ruff warns that progress is not being made quickly enough. “In the face of nuclear dangers that are clearly growing, with no real substantial progress for disarmament underway or even talked about at this point, and with flashpoints around the world where the rhetoric is becoming more aggressive and more around explicit threats to use nuclear weapons, certainly the dangers are growing,” said Dr Ruff.

He added: “So the progress we’re making is lagging badly, and really needs to escalate. It’s abundantly clear that if nuclear weapons are maintained, eventually they will be used.

“There’s some real urgency about this, but I think in some ways the hope is born out of the growing danger.”

Discussing how the treaty came about after so many years of stalled progress, Dr Ruff indicated that a change in attitude had taken place on an international scale, he said: “There’s a widespread appreciation by most of the world’s governments that nuclear disarmament is not happening.

“The nuclear armed states are not fulfilling their obligations almost half a century after the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) was concluded and formally enshrined in international law.

“There’s enormous frustration about that, and that’s certainly been a drive for the ban treaty, and I think that’s why it could be achieved so quickly and decisively.

As a world-renowned expert in his field who has been campaigning against nuclear weapons for over 30 years, Dr Ruff believes “the treaty really is quite strong. It’s a clear, categorical rejection of nuclear weapons, but it does also anticipate the desire to use this opportunity not just to create a formal legal prohibition, but to encourage and map out the path towards elimination.

‘There’s a way for every state to join this treaty. No state can say “It’s not relevant to us.” Whether you’ve had nuclear weapons, have them now, have them stationed on your soil, or are aligned with a nuclear armed state, there are pathways for you to join.”

The treaty was formulated with historical precedents in mind, Dr Ruff explained. “We’ve seen with the other weapons prohibitions, how significant their impact has been, even for the states that haven’t signed them, and how for every class of inhumane weapon, the pathway has been: prohibit, enshrine that norm in law, and then progress to elimination.

“It is very hopeful that approach is now being applied to nuclear weapons. But the harder work of using that to drive elimination is what we all face………

Describing what he knew of the pressures imposed by the nuclear-armed states, Dr Ruff said: “I’m only aware of the tip of the iceberg. Only South Africa was willing to speak up and say there had been relentless pressure, but we know many countries got very strong pressure – a division of labour amongst the nuclear-armed states, with France taking responsibility for the Francophone West African states, the US doing the same for Latin America, in particular.

“Given that the treaty now exists, the issue isn’t going away, and I hope the strong global majority that supports this – pretty much all of the states apart from the nuclear-armed ones and their allies.

“The numbers are overwhelming. Certainly, for individual governments, there may well be consequences and further pressure, but I think the cat’s out of the bag now. And there’s every indication there will be a large number of states signing on 20 September, and I think the goal of around 100 signatures by the end of this year is pretty realistic. I don’t think this is now stoppable…….

Asked whether political parties’ positions on nuclear weapons should be at the forefront of voters’ minds, Doctor Ruff answered: “I would hope it would again become so, as it was a significant factor in earlier decades.

“It’s obviously only one of the many issues people think about when they vote, but it is crucial. The impact of the treaty we can already see – for example, in the willingness of the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Germany to come out very strongly in support of the removal of US nuclear weapons in Germany.

“The fact that’s clearly being articulated by the alternative leader in Germany is probably a direct result of the ban treaty.

“This is not just an idea now. This is a treaty. It exists – what are you going to do?

“If you say you’re serious about disarmament, what’s your alternative, irreversible, time-bound, verifiable plan for disarmament? And if you haven’t got a credible one, you should be thinking about this treaty.”https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/11741/whats-your-alternative-commonspace-talks-anti-nuclear-expert-dr-tilman-ruff

September 20, 2017 Posted by | weapons and war | Leave a comment

Rural South Australia could end up with the curse of stranded nuclear wastes

Robyn Wood, Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 19 Sept 17

Greg of FLAG has a letter to the editor in today’s Advertiser for those who can get around the paywall

On the charge

HEAD of Resources Division, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS), Bruce Wilson’s statement that “the federal Government is not pushing for a … National Radioactive Waste Management Facility to be hosted in SA” is not supported by the facts (“Nuke healing”, The Advertiser, 6/9/17).

Since the call for potential sites across Australia in March 2015, the process narrowed to focus on three, all in SA, two near Kimba and one near Hawker.

For over a year, DIIS staff have visited Hawker and Quorn almost weekly promoting the facility and answering questions.

A consultative committee meets monthly, a community liaison officer has been appointed and an economic working group has been formed. Newsletters appear regularly.

A delegation from Champagne in France, where there is a similar facility, has been presented praising the benefits of the facility to their region. Individuals and groups, including school students, have been funded to tour Lucas Heights.

In 2016, the federal Government allocated a $2 million community benefit package to Hawker. Another $2 million is promised this financial year with a similar allocation for Kimba, which will also have its own consultative committee and community liaison officer.

Mr Wilson’s letter emphasises the disposal of waste from the production and use of radioactive medical isotopes. He does not mention that the problematic intermediate level component of this waste can only be stored there on a temporary basis with no plan for its disposal.

Current state legislation, the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000, prohibits the storage in SA of the type of material proposed for this site.

GREG BANNON, Chair, Flinders Local Action Group, Quorn. more https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

September 20, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Nominations sought for Kimba Consultative Committee on National Radioactive Waste Dump

Details on how to apply are at www.radioactivewaste.gov.au.         Media Contact: 0438 619 987

National Radioactive Waste Management Facility:
Nominations sought for Kimba Consultative Committee

Nominations have opened for the Kimba Consultative Committee. The Committee will give the community the opportunity to have their say about a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

The formation of the Kimba Consultative Committee is an important next step in the Phase Two consultation and technical assessment process, which is now underway in the Kimba area. Continue reading

September 20, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trump’s first United Nations appearance was not well received

Trump’s First U.N. Appearance Was a Clunker, Slate, 19 Sept 17  But why is the United Nations so worried about bureaucracy at a time like this? By Fred Kaplan  President Trump got off to an underwhelming start at the U.N. General Assembly on Monday morning. He sat on a panel flanked by various diplomats, including Ambassador Nikki Haley, who introduced him before he delivered some brief remarks, and it would be charitable to describe the welcoming applause as “light.”

Then came the clunker. Haley had told the assembled that the new American president sees “tremendous potential” in the U.N.—a cold enough slap at an organization that’s been around for 72 years and, for all its flaws, has accomplished quite a bit. But Trump followed that dig with a face-splash of ice water, saying that the real “potential” he saw was “right across the street”—a reference to one of his East Side real-estate projects—and noted that the U.N.’s presence was what gave it such potential.

t’s so typical of Trump to view the rest of the world, even the official assembly of the world’s leaders, as a footnote to the saga of his own wealth.

Trump’s remarks, which he read from notes, were brief and inconsequential. U.N. reform was the topic on the agenda, and Trump spoke of the need to “focus more on people and less on bureaucracy” and to ensure that no one member-state “shoulders a disproportionate share of the burden … militarily or financially.”

In that last line, he may have flashed a glimpse of his “America First” theme, which is expected to shine front and center in his longer address to the General Assembly—his first as president—on Tuesday……http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2017/09/trump_s_first_united_nations_appearance_was_a_clunker.html

September 20, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia VERY QUIETLY signs up to help develop new nuclear reactors

Noel Wauchope, 20 Sept 17, Now, many weeks after Australia signing up to the Framework Agreement For Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems, the public is informed of this. I found it at the bottom of page 23  of the print version of The Age today.  Why haven’t we heard about this before?

How is it that Dr Adi Paterson of ANSTO signed up to this, in advance of Parliamentary approval, and that the whole thing can be done without any proper public consultation? Australian tax-payers are now to be supporting the development of these new dreams of nuclear power –  advanced nuclear reactors that exist now only as blueprints, and will be expensive, require government funding, and will not be commercially operational for many decades, if ever.
Surely it is time for a thorough inquiry into ANSTO’s funding and finances. The New Generation nuclear reactors are controversial, to say the least. They are in fact, part of the global nuclear lobby’s push to save itself –  its future being threatened by its dire economics, and by its connection to the nuclear weapons industry.
The Australian media is regularly used to promote ANSTO’s nuclear reactor as having as its purpose “medical research”  and “medical isotopes saving lives” – despite the fact that non nuclear production of these isotopes can be, and is, being done.  The reality is that ANSTO is part of the global nuclear industry lobby, and its reactor produces long-lasting radioactive wastes and it should be shut down.
I couldn’t find it on The Age online.  The print version, 19 Sept 17 – small article at the bottom of page 23:

Australia joins nuclear research club,  by Cole Latimer
Australia has officially joined an international group focused on developing future nuclear energy systems, The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation has been welcomed into the Generation IV International Forum Framework, which aims to develop next generation nuclear power systems, and which ANSTO calls “a potential game-changer in global energy creation”.
Although Australia joined the GIF charter last year, the event marked the  country’s official accession to the nuclear framework agreement, which is focused on six different nuclear reactor designs that provide poeer and “stringent standards in relation to safety and non proliferation”.
However, ANSTO stated that this was not about  advancing the cause of nuclear energy in Australia’s current energy mix: instead it was about utilisingAustralian skills in research and development.
“Australia has no nuclear power program, but we do have significant local expertise in next generation research, which is what this partnership is about”  ANSTO chief executive officer Adi Paterson said.
ANSTO will leverage our world class capabilities, particularly in relation to the development of advanced materials and with applications in extreme industrial environments, and of nuclear safety cases.
“This agreement will enable Australia to contribute to an international group focused on peaceful use of nuclear technology, and the international energy systems of the future”
An ANSTO spokesman said Australia was a world leader in terms of nculear safety, “due to the high levels of oversight and paperwork required” to operate.
GIF is a co-operative of 14 nations led by France, a country where nuclear power accounts for  nearly 75% of energy generation. This reliance on nuclear energy has helped the nation slash its carbon emissions.

September 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies, technology | Leave a comment

BHP supports climate change action – is at odds with Minerals Council

But don’t let’s forget that BHP is a big member of the nuclear industry –   which claims (incorrectly), that nuclear power is  ‘clean’ energy, and the solution to climate change

 

BHP considering Minerals Council exit over lobby group’s climate policies

Key points:

  • BHP under pressure to quit lobby groups that don’t support clean energy target
  • Activist group backed by big investors including ANZ, AMP, Australian Super, Blackrock
  • Board considering move before next month’s AGM

BHP announced it would review its membership of all industry associations, and publish the findings, by the end of this year.

The review comes hot on the tail of a demand by activist shareholders that the miner sever ties with the council, which successfully advocated for the abolition of the carbon price and is currently lobbying the Federal Government to reject a clean energy target.

“We are aware that some civil society and other organisations believe that, where an industry body advocates for a position which does not align with our own, we should cease to be a member of that industry body,” BHP said in a statement issued overnight.

The activist’s resolution to be tabled at the company’s AGM next month is also calling for BHP to terminate its membership of the World Coal Association which, along with the Minerals Council, is also calling for a rejection of a clean energy target.

The resolution was lodged on Friday, and it appears to have hit on some issues already being discussed in the BHP boardroom…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-19/bhp-considering-quitting-minerals-council/8960298

September 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Most Britons would not be happy living near mini nuclear power stations

Guardian 18th Sept 2017 Most Britons would not be happy living near the mini nuclear power stations that Rolls-Royce and several other international companies want to build in the UK, a survey has found.

The government has promised the developers of small modular reactors a slice of a £250m funding pot in a race to position the UK as the place where the first generation of the power stations should be built.

Polling by YouGov, however, believed to be the first survey of public attitudes towards the plants, found that 62% of people would be unhappy living within five miles of one.

The poll, commissioned by the climate change charity 10:10, found that only 24% would be unhappy living near an onshore windfarm, which the Conservative party has stymied with tougher planning rules. The figure fell to 17% for community-owned windfarms.

Ellie Roberts, a campaigner at 10:10, said:
“These results show just how wildly out of step with public opinion UK energy policy has become.” Most small modular reactors (SMRs) would generate less than a tenth of the power the projected Hinkley Point C will provide, but are backed by industry as a cheaper option to big nuclear plants and an opportunity for British firms to be first in a new technology. Harry Holt, the president of nuclear at Rolls-Royce, said: “With demand for energy set to rise in the near future, in part due to
the growing popularity of electric cars, we believe that a UK SMR programme is a vital addition to our national infrastructure.” https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/sep/18/most-britons-dislike-prospect-living-mini-nuclear-station

September 20, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Donald Trump at the UN threatens to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea

Donald Trump threatens to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea in UN speech
President castigates ‘a small group of rogue regimes’
Iran nuclear deal ‘an embarrassment to the United States’, Guardian, 
Julian Borger 20 Sept 17, Donald Trump has threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, in a bellicose first address to the United Nations general assembly in which he lashed out at a litany of US adversaries and called on “righteous” countries to confront them.

The speech was greeted in the UN chamber mostly with silence and occasional outbreaks of disapproving murmurs, as Trump castigated a succession of hostile regimes.

In an address heavy with echoes of George W Bush’s “Axis of Evil” State of the Union address more than 15 years earlier, Trump said: “The scourge of our planet today are a small group of rogue regimes.

“If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph,” the president said.

He first singled out North Korea, recounting its history of kidnapping, oppression, and missile and nuclear tests.

 “The US has great strength and patience,” Trump said. But he added: “If it is forced to defend ourselves or our allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

As alarmed murmurs spread around the hall, Trump had another barb. Using his newly adopted epithet for Kim Jong-un, Trump said: “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”……….

Trump said the Iran nuclear deal, signed by the US under the Obama administration with five other countries two years ago, was “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into”.

“Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States,” he said. “I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it – believe me.”

Trump must decide by 15 October on whether to certify Iranian compliance or not. His threatened withdrawal of presidential endorsement could lead to Congress reimposing nuclear-related sanctions and the collapse of the agreement.

Like much of the 41-minute speech, Trump’s reference to the Iran deal was met by stony silence. The deal is overwhelmingly supported by UN member states, including most of Washington’s closest allies……..

Trump is also almost entirely isolated on climate change. Unlike the other opening speakers, including the UN secretary general, António Guterres, Trump made no mention in his speech of an issue that most other leaders in the chamber consider to be the greatest threat to the world.

When his turn to speak came, Macron insisted that though the Paris climate accord, which Trump said he would leave, could be improved, “it will not be renegotiated”. He said he “profoundly respected” the US decision but said “the door will always be open to them”.

The US president had clearly not come to the UN in the mood to placate foreign leaders, but rather to speak over their heads to his own supporters…… https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/19/donald-trump-threatens-totally-destroy-north-korea-un-speech

September 20, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

International Treaty on the ozone layer is also working against climate change

The 30-year-old ozone layer treaty has a new role: fighting climate change  https://theconversation.com/the-30-year-old-ozone-layer-treaty-has-a-new-role-fighting-climate-change-84025 Martyn Chipperfield
The 1987 treaty that stopped the pollution causing a hole in the ozone layer is rightly seen as a major success story. It’s arguably the most successful international environmental agreement ever. It’s true that, 30 years on from the signing of the Montreal Protocol, the Antarctic ozone hole still reappears every year. Yet the protocol really is working and its continued development means that it is doing more good than ever, including helping the fight against climate change.

Continue reading

September 20, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Anti-Adani protesters arrested outside Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen

 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-19/anti-adani-protestors-arrested-bowen/8959752  ABC North Qld

Updated Tue Police say they have arrested 10 protesters who were blockading the road to the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen in central Queensland.

About 50 people, including members of anti-Adani group Front Line Action on Coal, held banners and voiced their concerns at plans to develop the Carmichael coal mine facility in the north of the Galilee Basin in central Queensland.

 Police said they charged 10 people with trespassing on business land, and those arrested had been taken to the Bowen watch house.

Whitsundays Police inspector Steve O’Connell said it was unfortunate arrests had to be made, but he was happy with the overall peaceful nature of the protest.

Bowen resident of 50 years, Elvyn Smith, attended the protest because she had concerns about the environmental impact of the proposed mine.

“At this time with climate change and the knowledge we have on that, that it is not a good time to be opening a large coal mine,” Ms Smith said.

“With the extreme weather events that have been happening, coal is the thing that is fuelling this.

“I am here for future generations to protect this great place that we have.”

Local councillor Mike Brunker said the protesters did not represent the views of local residents who opposed the protest.

“Finally now we see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, and now we come and see this sort of rubbish. People are sick of it,” Cr Brunker said.

Security ramped up at water reservoir

Whitsundays Mayor Andrew Wilcox said the council was taking extra measures to protect the Bowen water supply after activists hung a banner on the town’s reservoir.

Cr Wilcox said the council was not taking any risks.

“We’re taking extra precautions now. We are just making sure we’re doing more patrols,” Cr Wilcox said.

“At the end of the day it’s already all secured, but we’re just doing that and we’re also putting some cameras around the place.

“And then if we do catch some of these people, we hope that they face the long arm of the law.

September 20, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

A kind of censorship: Melbourne’s Federation Square restricts anti Adani protest

Anti-Adani protest censored by operators of Melbourne’s Federation Square
Exclusive: Operators demand images of newspaper headlines and politicians, and ‘explicitly negative’ environmental messages be removed, Guardian, 
Michael Slezak, 20 Sept 17 The operators of Melbourne’s Federation Square have censored the content of an anti-Adani slideshow presented there, demanding that all images of newspaper headlines and politicians, as well as “explicitly negative” environmental messages be removed.

On Saturday, a coalition of environmental groups held a screening of the documentary Guarding the Galilee at Federation Square, attended by about 300 people. The film is about the fight to stop Adani’s Carmichael coalmine, which would be the biggest coalmine ever built in Australia and one of the biggest in the world.

In the week before the event, Federation Square demanded to see the slideshow that would be presented before the screening and then demanded much of it be removed.

In email correspondence a Federation Square representative told the event organisers they “cannot permit any slides with protest messaging, slogans or memes together with slides that show pictures of politicians, newspaper headlines or any explicitly political messaging”.

The operators objected to any content that was “negative and inflammatory” and demanded the majority of the slides be removed or significantly altered.

 That included removing all pictures of newspaper headlines, politicians, political memes, protests or pictures of the Great Barrier Reef with “inflammatory messaging”.

Federation square also demanded that the “stop Adani” logo be changed to black and white, and that it not take up a whole slide……….

The event was organised by groups including Bayside Climate Change Action GroupStopAdani ElthamCrochet for Coral not CoalDarebin Climate Action Now, GetUp Melbourne East, AYCC Victoria, Melbourne Ports Stop Adani Group and Market Forces.

The groups crowdfunded the event and major sponsors included the National Tertiary Education Union and Melbourne builders Jenkinson Building. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/sep/20/anti-adani-protest-censored-by-operators-of-melbournes-federation-square

September 20, 2017 Posted by | Victoria | Leave a comment

Australia’s top 10 solar postcodes, and the top solar locations by state 

http://reneweconomy.com.au/australias-top-10-solar-postcodes-top-solar-locations-state-60359/

We know Australia is leading the world in per capita uptake of rooftop solar, with total installed capacity on homes and businesses this year soaring past the 6GW mark.

But which parts of Australia are leading the country? New data from the Clean Energy Regulator has revealed the latest ranking of Australia’s top 10 postcodes for small-scale solar installation (up to 100kW), with some interesting new additions.

As you can see below, the list this year features a few new entries, and a more diverse spread across the states, instead of being dominated by Queensland and Western Australia locales.

Both the new entries and the old stagers on the list span the suburban, regional and rural areas of Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, with no entries this year from South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT or the Northern Territory.

In order from the top, the Queensland town of Bundaberg has again secured the number one spot, followed by new entries on the list, the Victorian suburbs of Werribee and Hoppers Crossing. Last year, no Victorian postcodes made the top 10.

According to the CER data, these three postcodes have accumulated the highest number of small-scale renewable energy installations since the small-scale renewable energy scheme began in 2001, each reaching around 17 000 installations as at 1 September 2017.

In fourth place, down from second place last year, is the WA suburb of Mandurah, where the local council is also pushing hard to install PV on government buildings – and just last week agreed to install a 200kW (not a part of the SRES) system at the local pool and sports centre.

The Queensland suburb of Hervey Bay follows, moving to fifth place from third last year. And another Victorian new entry, the semi-rural south-eastern suburb of Cranbourne, is in sixth place.

Bringing up the rear are regular place holders Caloundra and Toowoomba in Queensland, and new entries Wangara (WA) and Lismore (NSW), the latter of which makes the list probably due to the May switching-on of a 99kW rooftop PV system at the Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre, as part of a major community-based and funded renewables campaign.

Despite some bigger commercial installations coming into play, the CER says the average size of the solar postcode installations is 5kW – which is also the average size, now, of a household rooftop solar system. This indicates the dominance, still, of residential uptake in these numbers, considering the SRES encourages commercial systems, too – up to 100kW in size.

“Over the last 10 years, 23 per cent more Australians have embraced rooftop solar,” the CER said in a release on Monday. “That’s one in five homes and businesses now generating their own renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions through rooftop solar.

As we reported here, Australia hit a milestone of 6000 megawatt (6GW) capacity across 2.8 million small-scale installations of renewable energy systems such as solar PV, solar water heaters and air source heat pumps. Nearly 100MW was installed in August, alone.

Interestingly, while no South Australian suburbs on their own make the list, the entire state is setting all sorts of solar records, including a new record low for minimum demand – barely a week after the previous benchmark was set – with a fall to just 587MW on Sunday afternoon.

As Giles Parkinson notes, the record eclipsed the previous mark by nearly 200MW – with AEMO data showing minimum demand at 1.30pm of exactly 587.8MW, compared with the previous low mark of 786.42MW posted last Sunday – thanks to moderate spring temperatures, combined with the state’s more than 700MW of rooftop solar producing 538.54MW at the time of minimum demand.

“That is a phenomenal share of 47.8 per cent of the state’s electricity demand being met by rooftop solar (compares with 36 per cent in the previous record last week) and is clearly a record for South Australia, and for that matter in any large grid anywhere in the world,” Parkinson says.

Below [on original] is the list of last year’s Top 10 solar postcodes:

September 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

Norther Territory may be close to getting a lithium mine

NT lithium mine moves closer
THE push to build and develop the Northern Territory’s first lithium mine is gaining momentum
http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/nt-lithium-mine-moves-closer/news-story/fe9071bc2a42cbc28bbdb9fe5a741369

September 20, 2017 Posted by | rare earths | Leave a comment