Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s smug drift into anti science

the authority of science has come under challenge……In no Western country, again with the exception of the US, is the political force of climate change denialism as potent as it is in Australia….This is an inherently unstable political situation…. Unless the mood of national complacency is successfully challenged, the victor in this battle seems certain to be Tony Abbott.

Threat of the new Australian smugness, Sydney Morning Herald, Robert Manne, May 2, 2011, Our leaders encourage a mood of self-satisfaction in which the nation’s goodness and wisdom are beyond question. Continue reading

May 2, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

ERA uranium company delays improvements to Ranger water management

Ranger uranium miner accused of delays, ABC News, 2 May 11, By Anna Henderson, An environmental scientist is calling on a uranium miner in Kakadu National Park to urgently improve its water management or it risks serious harm to the environment. Continue reading

May 2, 2011 Posted by | Northern Territory, water | | Leave a comment

Radiation: time we listened to doctors, not nuclear physicists

There’s no group better prepared than doctors to stand up to the physicists of the nuclear industry….Physicists had the knowledge to begin the nuclear age. Physicians have the knowledge, credibility and legitimacy to end it.

Unsafe at Any Dose, New York Times, By HELEN CALDICOTT, April 30, 2011 “………There’s great debate about the number of fatalities following Chernobyl; theInternational Atomic Energy Agency has predicted that there will be only about 4,000 deaths from cancer, but a 2009 report published by the New York Academy of Sciences says that almost one million people have already perished from cancer and other diseases. Continue reading

May 2, 2011 Posted by | people | Leave a comment

Indecent haste about poorly conceived LNG project

…… A 2010 tourism study conducted by the Curtin University Sustainable Tourism Centre found that:

• Plans for an LNG industrial site near Broome pose a serious threat to the Kimberley’s unique and globally-recognised tourism ‘brand’;……

• Tourism is more valuable to the regional economy than resource projects which return less to the local economy, employ fewer local people and have relatively short lifespans;

Kimberley gas hub Strategic Assessment citizens guide  “…….Having slammed the previous Labor government for its handling of the Browse LNG siting issue and the decision by Inpex to process its Browse gas (from the ‘Ichthys’ field) in Darwin, WA Premier Barnett is desperate to have a Kimberley LNG project underway before the next State election (due March 2013). Continue reading

May 2, 2011 Posted by | politics, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Western Australia’s gas hub discussed by Aboriginal group

Rural Report for Northern WA:   May 2nd 2011, ABC Rural By Matt Brann, Kununurra, Kimberley traditional owners prepare for final vote on gas hub Continue reading

May 2, 2011 Posted by | Western Australia | Leave a comment

Complex, but very feasible, transition to renewable energy

a plausible Australian scenario for the next decade is the phase-out of several coal-fired power stations simultaneously with a rapid growth in efficient energy use, solar hot water, wind power and bio-electricity. These clean technologies would buy us time to commercialise solar thermal and possibly geothermal power and then integrate them on a large scale in the 2020s as the remaining coal stations are shut down. Thus Australia could achieve a sustainable electricity system……

A mix of sources with appropriate transmission links and ‘smart grids’ could provide a reliable system of 100% renewable electricity.

The base-load myth Online Opinion, By Mark Diesendorf –  , 2 May 2011“…….Several countries, including Australia with its huge renewable energy resources, could make the necessary transition to an electricity generation system comprising 100 per cent renewable energy over a few decades. Continue reading

May 2, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment