Australian news, and some related international items

Western Australia- Aboriginal and Community use radio to inform about uranium mining

logo-WANFAActive Radio – not Radioactive Aboriginal and comunity representatives have today launched a state wide radio campaign highlighting the risks posed by uranium mining in WA.

The campaign features a series of advertisements to be played on radio stations from the Kimberley to Kalgoorlie ahead of the March 9 state election that describe planned uranium mining as ‘today’s asbestos’ and condemn the use of Royalty for Regions subsidies to private uranium projects. The ads have been produced by the West Australian Nuclear Free Alliance, a network of Aboriginal, environment and public health representatives and organisations concerned about the long lasting and negative impacts of uranium mining on communities and country.

The ads are set to run on commercial, community and Indigenous radio stations across the Kimberley’s, Goldfield’s and the Pilbara.

“WA has an abundance of clean energy resources and resourceful people, our future is renewable not radioactive,” said WANFA spokesperson Mia Pepper.

“The Liberal and National Party’s plans for uranium mining have been flying under the radar so we have decided to put the issue on the airwaves.” Continue reading

March 4, 2013 Posted by | media, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Youtube – From a business perspective – nuclear power is finished

YouTubeQ&A with Jeremy Rifkin on nuclear power

 Top Economist: Nuclear power is over — “Frankly I think from a business perspective it’s over, I think it’s over… here’s the situation” (VIDEO) Title: Q&A with Jeremy Rifkin on nuclear power 
Source: Wermuth Asset Management  Mar. 1, 2013 Continue reading

March 4, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Global warming already having its impact on Australia

 It is highly likely that extreme hot weather will become more frequent and severe in Australia over the coming decades. Australia’s angry summer shows that climate change is already adversely affecting Australians.


Angry summer shaped by a shifting climate,  The Conversation, Will Steffen, Australian Climate Commissioner, Executive Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute at Australian National University  March 4 13 The hottest summer on record. The hottest month on record. The hottest day ever recorded for the whole of Australia. Heatwaves, bushfires, record rainfall and floods – extreme events across the land. This was the angry summer.

The Climate Commission’s latest report, The Angry Summer, assesses the events of this summer and the influence of climate change on them. Continue reading

March 4, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Court martial of Bradley Manning – a grave injustice to a humane man?

Manning,-BradleyI am the type of person who likes to know how things work. And, as an analyst, this means I always want to figure out the truth

Bradley Manning’s personal statement to court martial: full text Guardian UK , Alexa O’Brien 1 March 13“…..The fact neither CENTCOM or Multi National Forces Iraq or MNF-I would not voluntarily release the video troubled me further. It was clear to me that the event happened because the aerial weapons team mistakenly identified Reuters employees as a potential threat and that the people in the bongo truck were merely attempting to assist the wounded. The people in the van were not a threat but merely “good samaritans”. The most alarming aspect of the video to me, however, was the seemly delightful bloodlust they appeared to have.

The dehumanized the individuals they were engaging and seemed to not value human life by referring to them as quote “dead bastards” unquote and congratulating each other on the ability to kill in large numbers. At one point in the video there is an individual on the ground attempting to crawl to safety. The individual is seriously wounded. Instead of calling for medical attention to the location, one of the aerial weapons team crew members verbally asks for the wounded person to pick up a weapon so that he can have a reason to engage. For me, this seems similar to a child torturing ants with a magnifying glass.

While saddened by the aerial weapons team crew’s lack of concern about human life, I was disturbed by the response of the discovery of injured children at the scene. In the video, you can see that the bongo truck driving up to assist the wounded individual. In response the aerial weapons team crew – as soon as the individuals are a threat, they repeatedly request for authorization to fire on the bongo truck and once granted they engage the vehicle at least six times. Continue reading

March 4, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tony Abbott out to destroy Australia’s progress in climate change action

Abbott-Koch-policiesAustralian climate outlook remains bleak with Tony Abbott out for revenge, Guardian UK  by Alexander White 25 February 13 Australian elections on 14 September threaten a rollback of years of climate change progress. The time to act is now In Australia, decades of hard-fought conservation gains are at risk of being wiped out after 14 September. That’s when the incumbent Labor government faces oblivion at the federal election, at the hands of the conservative Liberal Party.

For environment groups and climate campaigners, things have never looked bleaker.

This is despite the introduction of a carbon price, billions of dollars for clean energy projects, a landmark extension of marine national parks, and recent news that carbon emissions from the world’s largest per- capita emitter have actually reduced.

Unfortunately, conservation and climate change have not been a national priority since the controversial introduction of the carbon price. In Australia, the Labor minority government, supported by the Greens , passed historic carbon-pricing legislation that charged polluters for their emissions.

At that time, the five or so largest environment groups, supported by the Australian Council of Trade Unions, ran a public awareness campaign – “Say Yes” – to raise support for the carbon price.

Since then, the conservative opposition, led by climate change denying Tony Abbott and supported by extreme elements in the Murdoch-owned press, has waged a relentless campaign against the carbon price.

The fear is that Abbott’s climate denialism, coupled with a desire to get even with groups who opposed him, will see environment groups targeted……The USA now has a revitalised climate movement. A new generation of activists, many of whom also campaigned alongside Obama 2012 organisers, continues their struggle to stop one of the most dangerous oil projects in the world.

In Australia, environment groups fearing the wrath of Tony Abbott, whose position on climate change matches the likes of Sarah Palin or Rick Santorum, must mobilise rather than remaining a small target.

The posture of this new breed of US climate activist is more assertive and aware of the great risks of doing nothing. And they have finally realised that to win, to have influence in the halls of power, you must have a willing, engaged constituency in the community – who are willing to take action….


March 4, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2013 | Leave a comment

THE AUSTRALIAN’s Graham Lloyd misled readers on the truth about global warming

 it does not accurately represent Pachauri’s thoughts on the subject – namely that as discussed in this post, global surface temperatures have plateaued (though over the past decade, not 17 years), and that this in no way disproves global warming.

To hear what Pachauri actually thinks about global warming without first passing through The Australian’s filter, you can listen to interviews with him on Radio Australia and ABC News.  Also see a similar debunking of this myth by The Australian Climate Commission

News-Limited1 Did Murdoch’s The Australian Misrepresent IPCC Chair Pachauri on Global Warming?  25 February 2013 by dana1981 As we have discussed many times at Skeptical Science, although the warming of global surface air temperatures has slowed over the past decade due to a preponderance of La Niña events, the rate of heat accumulation on Earth has not slowed at all.  In fact over the past 15 years, the planet has accumulated more heat than during the previous 15 years (Figure 1).  That’s global warming.

 Unfortunately many people (often even including climate scientists) mistakenly equate the warming of global surface air  temperatures with global warming.  That is simply inaccurate.  Approximately 90% of global warming goes into heating the oceans.

So the reality is that global warming continues unabated.  Despite this reality, an article by Graham Lloyd in The Australian (paywalled) claims that the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri agreed that there has been a 17-year pause in global temperature rises.  Unfortunately we don’t know exactly what Pachauri said on the subject, because Lloyd did not quote him directly (which is a red flag).  Continue reading

March 4, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, media | Leave a comment

Hanford Nuclear Facility leaking 1,000 radioactive gallons per year – no technology available to stop it

Hanford-waste-tanksGov. Jay Inslee says no available technology to plug the radiation leak FEBRUARY 28, 2013 BY:  Washington state governor Jay Inslee said Wednesday that there is no available technology to plug the radiation leaks at Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Radioactive waste tanks may be leaking some 1,000 gallons per year at the Hanford Nuclear facility….. Hanford has 177 aging tanks storing millions of gallons of radioactive sludge.

Faulty data analysis meant officials did not properly catch signs of leaking before now, according to Inslee.

The governor expressed concern about the other tanks at the reservation.

March 4, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Catastrophic nature of USA’s Hanford radiotiactive leaks

When stacked against other environmental issues – timber clear-cutting, setting aside wilderness areas, and even plastic waste floats larger than Texas, the risk of radioactive contamination to our environment is infinitely more catastrophic

It is not too late. We have the ability to alter the impending disaster by placing pressure on responsible government agencies, legislators, community leaders, and contractors to safely increase the pace of the cleanup operations—and to tell Congress to shift all $2.46 billion in nuclear weapons “modernization” funds to cleanup—or at least what’s left after sequestration. Now.

Hanford-waste-tanksBetrayal of Trust on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Radioactive Columbia River Imminent Without Action by GINA MASON MARCH 1-3, 2013

Living with radiation sickness is not on my bucket list and I would hazard that it isn’t on yours either. Nor is it what I have in mind for my children’s future. Yet our government continues to manufacture nuclear materials and unsafely store radioactive waste in clear violation of the public trust. Nowhere is this more visible than at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the most radioactively contaminated site in the western hemisphere, where we now know radioactive sludge is leaking badly from at least six underground tanks. While Hanford is technically in Washington State, the management of this catastrophe is vitally important to the rest of the nation—indeed, the biosphere. Unfortunately, environmental disasters do not stop at city, state, or national borders. Continue reading

March 4, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Drought wracked Kansas not impressed by anti renewable energy groups

Flag-USAKansas Ignores Koch Brothers, Keeps Renewable Energy Standard Clean Technica, March 2, 2013 The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that twin votes in Kansas State House and Senate on Thursday put the kibosh on legislative efforts to roll back and delay Kansas’ renewable energy standard (RES).

Passed in 2009, Kansas’ RES requires investor-owned utilities to generate 20 percent of peak demand electrical capacity from renewable sources by 2020. The American Wind Energy Association has actually highlighted the RES as a driving factor in the states burgeoning wind power sector — half of Kansas’ wind farms began operating between 2010 and 2012, after the RES went into effect.

Unfortunately, Kansas has also been targeted by conservative anti-renewable efforts. Republican Rep. Dennis Hedke, the chairman of Kansas’ House Energy and Environment Committee, recently acknowledged he had private talks with a lobbyist for Koch Companies Public Sector LLC concerning the House bill to dilute the RES. (HB 2241) Even anti-tax activist Graver Norquist got in on the action, telling the state’s legislature it ought to abandon the “costly renewable energy mandate so as to mitigate its negative impact on the economy.”

But to Kansas’ credit, it looks like neither effort bore fruit: Continue reading

March 4, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

India’s farmers strongly oppose nuclear power plant

india-antinukeFarmers set for bitter fight over Mithi Virdi nuclear plant Times of India 3 Mar 13, RAJKOT/GANDHINAGAR: Large number of farmers and environmentalists will gather at a mega congregation in Mithi Virdi village of Bhavnagar district on Monday to oppose tooth
and nail the 6,000 MW nuclear power plant proposed at this coastal site.
The congregation comes just a day before the crucial public hearing to be conducted by theNuclear Power Corporation of India Limited(NPCIL) at Navagam ( nava) village. On March 5, NPCIL has organized the public hearing on the environment assessment report (EIA) on the first-phase 1,000 MW project that involves setting up of six light water reactors. The report has been prepared by Engineers India Limited (EIL) The congregation will be led by top leaders such as Dr Kanubhai Kalsaria, former finance ministerSanat Mehta, veteran Gandhian Chunibhai Vaidya, environment activist Rohit Prajapati among others.

Farmers have already submitted a memorandum demanding cancellation of the public hearing as they do not want the nuclear power plant in place of their flourishing mango orchards.

“We are going to oppose the project in full force. The land is extremely fertile and conducive to grow cashew kesar mangoes, rare fruits and vegetables. There is no way government should acquire any fertile land,” said Vaidya. He added said that people will have to constantly live under the threat of radio activity in the region.

Of the 770 hectares, nearly 60 ha area falls under agricultural land (both kharif and rabi).

In the past too, survey engineers were forced to leave the place by the villagers. The project is proposed over 770 ha land of Jasparam Mandva and Khadpar villages. The nuclear plant got in-principle approval from the Centre in 2009.

“The project will not only damage the environment but snatch the livelihood of the farmers and act as permanent threat to the people,” Kalsaria said. ….

March 4, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Liberal candidate Angus Taylor, and noisy anti wind minority, are out of step with majority support for wind farms

ballot-boxSmAngus Taylor, the Liberal candidate for the safe Liberal-held seat of Hume, which covers much of the district targeted by wind energy companies, including Mr Prell’s Crookwell property, has issued a policy paper challenging the renewable energy target, or RET

wind-turb-smWind farm opponents in minority: proponent, Canberra Times, March 4, 2013John Thistleton 

Grazier Charlie Prell says a noisy minority opposed to wind farms in the Canberra region does not represent more than 70 per cent of people in his shire who support them.

He chaired a meeting of 100 farmers, lawyers and earth-moving contractors at Yass last week with the aim of forming a landholders’ network to foster wind and solar farms. Continue reading

March 4, 2013 Posted by | ACT, wind | Leave a comment

Protecting astronauts from ionising radiation – the faecal solution



Mars Mission to use astronaut feces as radiation shield
 LONDON, MAR 03 2013, Astronauts onboard a privately-funded expedition
to Mars in 2018 will use their own feces to protect themselves against
cosmic radiation. Continue reading

March 4, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Senator Christine Milne warns on National Party push for axing of Renewable Energy Target

[ Tony Abbott’s Direct Action plan carries] the risk that the government ends up funnelling billions of dollars to companies to subsidise their profit without achieving any real additional cuts in emissions.’ ”

ballot-boxSmStress over renewable energy goal   Sydney Morning Herald, March 1, 2013Lenore Taylor 

Chief Political Correspondent,



Pressure is mounting within the federal Coalition to abolish or scale back the 20 per cent renewable energy target, with Nationals senator Ron Boswell claiming his party backs his demand the policy be axed.


While pledging to abolish the carbon price, the Coalition has always offered bipartisan support for the RET, which remains the biggest driver of investment in renewable energy.

But Senator Boswell told the Senate on Thursday that the RET should be abolished…..  Continue reading

March 4, 2013 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

New solar panel safety regulations

New Solar Panel Fire Rating Regulations in Australia   27 Feb 13  From July 16 this year, all makes and models of solar panels installed in Australia will need to have passed a new fire safety test.   Continue reading

March 4, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

“Buyer Beware”: need for research in buying solar panels

 From July 16 this year, all makes and models of solar panels installed in Australia will need to have passed a new fire safety test.
Energy Matters also offers a popular Solar Power Consumers Guide; a free 23 page electronic publication designed to help consumers select the right solar power system for their needs and avoid some of the potential pitfalls.

Consumer Affairs On Solar : ‘You Get What You Pay For’  4 March 13,  Shoddy solar products are in the headlines again after a major solar company went into voluntary administration last week and news other companies are in the spotlight for issues relating to quality.

According to AdelaideNow, two “significant” companies with a presence in South Australia have been called into compulsory conciliation meetings after a number of complaints relating to workmanship and materials.

“People get what they pay for … people need to do their research,” said Consumer Affairs Commissioner Paul White, who noted some cases of relatively low-quality inverters and panels being installed. Continue reading

March 4, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment