Australian news, and some related international items

If You Love This Planet – a radio programme that is making a difference

Since 2010, website traffic has increased dramatically from 40,000 site visits a month to an average of 275,000 monthly site visits today.

On March 11 and 12, 2013, we will convene a landmark symposium, The Medical and Ecological Consequences of Fukushima, at the New York Academy of Medicine.  This conference will bring together doctors, scientists, government officials and journalists who will present uncensored documentation about the known and projected effects of the Fukushima meltdowns as reported in Japan and throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

Letter from Dr Helen Caldicott September 21, 2012 Dear friends and supporters of If You Love This PlanetI want to share with you the encouraging response to If You Love This Planet, which has become a powerful media presence in its first four years.  As we produce our fifth year of programming, I am very enthusiastic about the difference the radio show is making.

 Since July 2008, If You Love This Planet has delivered vitally important educational programming whose in-depth content is found nowhere else on the airwaves or the Internet.  My weekly radio series is now heard on over 75 stations in the U.S., Canada and Australia, offering a full, uninterrupted hour of dialogue with one expert on the world’s major public health dangers.  Many other listeners hear the show on
If You Love This Planet is the only international radio series that regular addresses the hazards of nuclear weapons and nuclear power, two urgent topics which are often censored or distorted in major media.  The radio show is a key tool for The Helen Caldicott Foundation to achieve its goal of ridding the world of nuclear weapons and nuclear power.  My guests and I regularly connect the dots between nuclear energy and nuclear arms, exposing the horrific truth about these lethal technologies and underlining how money spent on bombs and deadly power plants squanders precious dollars that should – must – be used to reduce global warming in carbon-free and nuclear-free ways.
If You Love This Planet is also the only radio program which covers global warming from a physician’s perspective, as human-induced climate change joins nuclear weapons and nuclear power as one of the top three threats to human existence.  We also cover toxic pollution, deforestation, species extinction, uranium mining, and endangered oceans, plus subjects like health care in the U.S. and how large corporations destroy the environment.  And we regularly teach listeners about truly green, renewable energy and how to respect nature and live healthier lives.
My lineup of guests is outstanding.  Just in the last year, I have interviewed Arnold Gundersen on the Fukushima meltdowns, Mary Olson on women’s vulnerability to atomic radiation, Amory Lovins on the future of renewable power, Seymour Hersh on the media’s role in U.S. war-making, Dr. Arjun Makhijani on solar power, Ronnie Cummins on safeguarding healthy food against genetic engineering, Michel Chossudovsky on targeting Iran for another oil war, Reese Halter on endangered honeybees and global warming, Anne Steinemann on toxic fragrances, Alan Robock on nuclear winter, Robert Moore on algae biofuels, Martin Sheen on antinuclear activism, Susan Greenfield on technology and young people’s brains, and Lexi Shultz on Republican efforts to block global warming legislation. Continue reading

September 24, 2012 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Australian Youth Climate Coalition campaigning for renewable energy

Youth comment on renewable energy Laura Nelson, Sun Community Newspapers   September 23, 2012 GRIFFITH University students are having their say on the Federal Government’s renewable energy policies.

Youth Decide, run by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, gives the next generation the chance to vote on energy legislation.

The legislation stipulates that by 2020 Australia must derive 20 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources.

“This policy is being reviewed and it’s being opposed by businesses like Origin Energy who want it reduced or scrapped,” spokeswoman Brittany Laidlaw said.

“Our future is being decided, but the one voice that isn’t being heard is that of young people.”

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition is the largest youth-run organisation in the country, and has more than 80,000 members.

Youth Decide events were held at schools and universities last week and online voting has been extended until the end of the month.

Four Griffith University students have also headed to South Australia to take part in a 325km Walk For Solar from Port Augusta to Adelaide.

They will deliver thousands of votes to South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill and the Federal Government.

They will urge the country’s leaders to support renewable energy at Port Augusta, where two coal-fired power stations recently closed. For more information, visit

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

Fukushima radiation: effects on butterflies, images of deformities More images of deformed butterflies after Fukushima — Wings folded over, rumpled, much different sizes (PHOTOS) 
  September 21st, 2012   By ENENews 
The biological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the pale grass blue butterfly
Scientific Reports
Volume 2;  2012 See more photos here

September 24, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Radioactive cesium accumulates in kidneys – new Japan study on cows

New Japan Study: Kidneys accumulate most radioactive cesium by far — Highest levels of any tissue inside cows:  September 21st, 2012   By ENENews 
« 1 quadrillion becquerels of total strontium into Pacific via wastewater — Giant spike in levels offshore Fukushima many months after 3/11    Chemist: Dangerously elevated hydrocarbons in sinkhole sludge — Levels may be in flammable range »
New Japan Study: Kidneys accumulate most radioactive cesium by far — Highest levels of any tissue inside cows
September 21st, 2012
Title: Radiocesium distribution in the tissues of Japanese black beef heifers fed fallout-contaminated roughage due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station accident
Source: Biosci Biotechnol Biochem.
Authors: Sasaki K, Hayashi M, Narita T, Motoyama M, Oe M, Ojima K, Nakajima I, Muroya S, Chikuni K, Aikawa K, Ide Y, Nakanishi N, Suzuki N, Shioya S, Takenaka A. (National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization)
Date: 2012 Aug 7
This study examined the accumulation and tissue distribution of radioactive cesium nuclides in Japanese Black beef heifers raised on roughage contaminated with radioactive fallout due to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on March 2011. Radiocesium feeding increased both (134)Cs and (137)Cs levels in all tissues tested. The kidney had the highest level and subcutaneous adipose had the lowest of radioactive cesium in the tissues. Different radioactive cesium levels were not found among parts of the muscles. These results indicate that radiocesium accumulated highly in the kidney and homogenously in the skeletal muscles in the heifers.

See the full report here   Title: Radiocesium distribution in the tissues of Japanese black beef heifers fed fallout-contaminated roughage due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station accident

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

Solar power in Australia being taken up by the less well off

‘Solar Is For The Rich’ Myth Well And Truly Busted by Energy Matters, 24 Sept 12 The anti-solar brigade is running out of ammunition after yet another popular myth – that rich city dwellers represent the majority of solar installs – has again been shown to be completely and utterly false.

In a submission prepared by the Rec Agents Association (RAA) to the Climate Change Authority in relation to Australia’s Renewable Energy Target review, an analysis of postcode locations of solar electric and solar hot water system installations found most systems (53%) were installed in regional and rural communities with only 43% installed in the major capital cities.

Solar power uptake amounted to 13% in the major capital cities of Australia and 21% outside of the major capital cities.
Furthermore, the suburbs with the highest income levels did not correspond to those with highest penetration – in fact, the opposite was more likely.

“A broad range of communities have accessed solar under the RET scheme and the above figures explode the myth that the RET is supporting metropolitan middle class welfare and is evidence of the RET’s equitable effectiveness,” states the submission.

Echoing sentiments expressed by others, RAA also believes the RET review should be extended from 2 to a minimum of 4 years as the current 2 year review increases investment uncertainty for the renewable energy industry.

The RAA warns against changes to the RET due to the uncertain nature of the electricity market. For example, while there has been a reduction in mains grid energy consumption in recent years, Australia is about to enter into an El Nino weather pattern that will likely increase electricity use due to warmer temperatures and also reduce the level of rainfall, which would impact hydro generation.

RAA’s response to the Climate Change Authority’s Statutory Renewable Energy Target Review can be viewed here  (PDF).

The REC Agents Association (RAA) was established in late 2011 and represents agents registered with the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) that createsRenewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and other environmental certificates.

September 24, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

Australia: Renewable Energy Market Research Report

Renewable Energy in Australia Industry Market Research Report Now Updated by IBISWorld September 22, 2012 Melbourne, Australia (PRWEB) September 23, 2012

The energy world faces unprecedented uncertainty. Increased awareness surrounding the impact of climate change and dependence on fossil fuels has prompted policy makers and scientists to rethink their strategies. The Renewable Energy  industry has been both a benefactor and victim of these changing tides, as increased investment and support has been offset by delayed implementation and political populism.

The Federal Government’s mandatory Renewable Energy Target (RET), which aims to have 20% of the country’s electricity generated from renewable sources by 2020, is a good indicator of its commitment to a clean energy future. However, the economics of coal-fuelled electricity considerably outweigh that of renewables. The introduction of the carbon tax on 1 July 2012 will see the industry benefit from significant assistance in the form of grants and concessions, but still remains at the mercy of its infancy and expensive cost structure. According to IBISWorld industry analyst, Naren Sivasailam, “in the five years leading up to 2012-13, industry revenue is estimated to grow at an annualised 5.6% to total $5.24 billion”. Revenue in 2012-13 is expected to post an increase of 35.2% from the previous year.

Hydropower continues to be the largest source of renewable energy, but has been affected by poor rainfall and drought conditions. “Wind and solar power have exhibited dramatic growth over the decade, but their contribution to overall output remains small”, adds Sivasailam. The Renewable Energy  industry has a medium level of market concentration, although there are significant segmental differences. For example, the hydropower segment is highly concentrated, with the two major players, while the wind power segment is more fragmented, with a number of players operating wind farms with medium capacities. The major players in the industry are Snowy Hydro Limited and Hydro-Electric Corporation.

The future prospects of the Renewable Energy industry are inextricably tied to the level of government support and the willingness of end users to wear higher costs. Initiatives such as interest free Green Loans and the Renewable Energy Development Fund aid investment in technology that will eventually make clean energy affordable. However, support from consumers and industry is equally important in setting a precedent for change. The next five years will be critical in determining whether Australia’s abundant natural resources can indeed be harnessed and set a world example for a decarbonised future.

For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Renewable Energy  report in Australia industry page.

September 24, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

500 fishing boats protest loading of uranium for Kudankulam nuclear power plant

Fishermen protest against Indian nuclear plant The Nation By: AFP | September 23, 2012 CHENNAI  – Indian fishermen and anti-nuclear activists on Saturday mounted a sea protest against an atomic power plant following violent demonstrations earlier this month, police said.

Some 3,000 fishermen and anti-nuclear activists in 500 fishing boats sought to block a port in southern Tamil Nadu state to protest against the loading of uranium at the under-construction power plant, police said.

Tuticorin port spokesman V. Satyarajan described the protest as “peaceful” and said there was no disruption to traffic at the port from the attempted blockade off Tuticorin town, 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the project. Witnesses said the boat-borne protesters shouted anti-nuclear slogans and demanded an end to the loading of uranium at the Russian-backed project.
“We will continue to protest until the nuclear plant is shut down,” said Subash Fernando, one of the leaders of the sea protest. On land, demonstrators from villages near the plant formed a human chain in Tuticorin to protest against the loading of the fuel rods. Earlier this month, one fisherman was shot dead by police as hundreds of protesters clashed with armed officers.
Last week, India’s Supreme Court denied a request to suspend the loading of the rods at the plant which opponents say poses a danger to local people…..

September 24, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment