Australian news, and some related international items

Tiny attendance at Dr Helen Caldicott’s Roxby Down talk, as BHP Billiton films the meeting

BHPB felt the meeting enough of a threat they sent their own film crew -57 Films- to record the full event. Somewhat sheepish when Helen challenged them as to why working for BHPB. 

Dr Caldicott was outraged at what she saw with the heavy hand of the SA cops, demanding full names and addresses from protestors leaving the camp, not only the driver. Data base for ‘troublemakers’ into the future for the cops? 

David Bradbury 24 July 12, If you look at the numbers you’d be very disappointed with the fruits of our labour and cost in taking Dr Helen Caldicott to Roxby. But some things are not messured by numbers alone. The seeds must be sown and you never know when the harvest will come. Or that you will be rewarded to see the harvest on yr time. You can only do yr bit with the best intregrity and listen to the voice of guidance that comes from Spirit.

Maximum number of miners and wives there:15. Three bubs. Continue reading

July 24, 2012 Posted by | civil liberties, South Australia | Leave a comment

Global nuclear industry in decline: a “stillbirth”, not a “renaissance”

We have heard from the nuclear lobby that a “nuclear renaissance” is just around the corner and, as evidence of this, we are told 65 reactors are “under construction” worldwide.

It is instructive to look at the number of years some of these have been “under construction”. For example, Lungmen 1 and 2 in China were begun in 1997 and have so far taken 15 years to build.

Moving from the disappointing to the ludicrous, Watts Bar 2 in the US has been “under construction” since 1972. It is likely these long-delayed projects will eventually be cancelled, and almost certainly they will never be an economic success. 

countries in the “considering” list is a distortion of the facts by the World Nuclear Association, perhaps born of a desperation to conceal the decline of the industry.

 Nuclear industry ‘rebirth’ is instead stillborn The sad truth is that even according to the optimistic International Atomic Energy Agency data from the PRIS data, the number of reactors on which construction was started fell 75% from 2010 to last year, and again 75% from last year to this year PETER BECKER   2012/07/23 07

THE nuclear power industry is deeply troubled, with little cause for optimism. There is growing worldwide
public resistance to nuclear power stations, US President Barack Obama has terminated government subsidies for nuclear power, and Germany and Switzerland have committed to shutting down all their reactors. While the renewable energy industry has seen dramatic growth and constantly falling costs, the nuclear industry grapples with spiralling costs, the seemingly intractable waste-disposal issue, and the huge economic and human costs of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. Continue reading

July 24, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australians learning to appreciate the importance of the carbon tax

Carbon tax dislike ‘can be turned around’, The Age, July 24, 2012 – Voter dislike of the carbon tax is a knee-jerk
response which could be turned around with more information, a new study by the Climate Institute has found.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been battling to convince voters of the merits of a carbon tax since it was flagged in early 2011.

A Climate Institute study, released on Tuesday, showed only 28 per cent of voters supported the carbon tax, levied on the top polluters on July 1, with 52 per cent opposed and 20 per cent uncertain.

But when it was explained the tax revenue went to household assistance, business support and renewable energy the figure shifted to 47 per cent in favour, 29 per cent against and 24 per cent uncertain…..

July 24, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Danger for Australia, linked in with USA’s aggressive attitudes to China

Washington’s global ambitions exceed its power – and that spells trouble for Australia. WA Today, Hugh White, 24 July  “….the problems facing America abroad are so intractable, and the measures needed to deal with them are so difficult, that neither side wants to talk about them. In this case we are seeing not consensus, but paralysis. Unfortunately, this second explanation is the right one.

That’s a big worry for Australia as well as for America, because our political leaders also share a deep consensus on foreign policy. Both Gillard and Abbott identify so closely with US positions that America’s foreign policy paralysis becomes ours too……..
The most important change in US foreign policy since 2008 has been the sudden recognition that China’s rise is for real, and that its challenge to US primacy in Asia must be taken seriously. Obama’s response has been to try to face down China by building a new strategic coalition – including Australia – to contain Beijing’s ambitions. He has resisted any idea of constructive accommodation with America’s largest trading partner. This seems a sure road to disaster…..

Obama has failed just as Bush did, and for the same reason. Even more than under Bush, America’s international reach under Obama exceeds its grasp. And now he has added a huge new goal of his own – to push back against China as its economy grows to overtake America’s……
Both Obama and Romney proclaim the same bold agenda for American leadership in the new century, and both assure the voters that this is possible because the US remains as powerful as ever, still able to mould the world to promote American interests and values……
Neither will acknowledge the limits within which a realistic and successful US foreign policy must work. So both prefer to say nothing. That holds the seeds of deep trouble for America, and for Australia.

July 24, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

China’s anxiety about Abbott’s pro USA attitudes?

What, for example, should the Chinese make of a throwaway line in his 2009 conservative manifesto Battlelines, that, ”Although China is likely to become even stronger in the years ahead, this may not mean much change for Australia’s international relationships or foreign policy priorities.” This is the same rising China whose insatiable demand for resources has kept Australia afloat and is on track to become the world’s largest economy. The shift of power to Asia, centred on China, has prompted the Americans to deploy 60 per cent of its navy to the region – hardly something to be dismissed as not ”much change”…..

The view of Abbott the neo-con confronting ideological enemies won’t be helped by his choice of venue for a speech in Washington in the days before he goes to Beijing: the conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation.

Does Abbott have a plan for managing China in a changing world? Illawarra Mercusry, Daniel Flitton, 24 July 12, PAUL Keating went to Beijing a few months ago, only to find himself at the receiving end of a lecture that is becoming all too familiar for Australian visitors to the Asian superpower.

The feelings of the Chinese people, he was told by a senior official, had been greatly hurt by the recent deployment
of 200 American marines to a base near Darwin…….
what sort of a perspective will Abbott bring to Australia’s international affairs? Continue reading

July 24, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment