Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Red Cross joins Oslo conference’s call for a Convention to make nuclear weapons illegal

logo-Red-CrossInternational push to make nuclear weapons illegal 5 March 2013, The Red Cross is calling for an international convention to make the use of nuclear weapons illegal . Nuclear weapons] have the capacity…to destroy not only a whole city, but whole regions

The Red Cross is calling for an international convention to make the use of nuclear weapons illegal .

An international conference of 132 governments is meeting in Oslo this week to examine the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.

Australia Red Cross CEO Robert Tickner has told Radio Australia’s Connect Asia program the time has come for governments to take a stand on the issue.

“It’s just incredible to my mind that we have a convention around land mines, around cluster munitions – essentially saying that they are no longer weapons of war – but we don’t around the issue of nuclear weapons,” he said.

“One of the greatest threats to humanity on the planet is the potential use of nuclear weapons. Continue reading


March 5, 2013 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Robin Chapple and Kado Muir for Western Australian Senate!

Muir,-KadoA Vote for Robin Chapple is a Vote for Kado Muir In this State election I am running as a number two candidate to Robin Chapple for the vast upper house electorate of Mining and Pastoral. The Mining and Pastoral region encompasses an area of 2,280,730 km2, stretching from the sea cliffs of the Great Australian Bight to the monsoon forests of the Kimberley. The region contains five electoral districts – Eyre, Kalgoorlie , Kimberley, Northwest and Pilbara.Robin has been representing the Greens in the Upper House for the last four years; during that time he has been a strong voice for Aboriginal Heritage and Nuclear Free campaigns. In fact it is largely due to Robin that Aboriginal Heritage Act has not been changed to make it easier for developers to destroy Aboriginal Sites!

Robin commented on the processes around Lake Disappointment in his AHA review document, Robin also visited Lake Disappointment via the canning stock route with Glen Cooke, Curtis Taylor and the Martu rangers. Robin also visited the Yantakutji waterhole – where Cameco propose to take water for Kintyre and asked personally 69 sets of questions in the Legislative Council of parliament on how the government was failing to protect Aboriginal Heritage during 2009-2012 Looking after country is important for many Aboriginal people in our Mining and Pastoral electorate. I am running to support Robin in this election campaign, and if enough people *Vote 1 for Robin Chapple* I might also get enough votes to be elected along with him. Robin must be doing something right because he’s been preferenced last by all the major political parties on the How to Vote card. We both need everyone in our electorate to Vote 1 for the Greens, Robin Chapple and Kado Muir.

March 5, 2013 Posted by | politics, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Desmond Tutu speaks out – double standards applied to nuclear weapons: this must change

All nuclear states are pariahs March 4, 2013   Desmond Tutu Nuclear powers must apply the same standard to themselves as to others: zero nuclear weapons.

We cannot intimidate others into behaving well when we ourselves are misbehaving. Yet that is precisely what nations armed with nuclear weapons hope to do by censuring North Korea for its atomic tests and sounding alarm bells over Iran’s pursuit of enriched uranium. According to their logic, a select few nations can ensure the security of all by having the capacity to destroy all.

Until we overcome this double standard – until we accept that nuclear weapons are abhorrent and a grave danger no matter who possesses them, that threatening a city with radioactive incineration is intolerable no matter the nationality or religion of its inhabitants – we are unlikely to make meaningful progress in halting the spread of these monstrous devices, let alone banishing them from national arsenals.

Why, for instance, would a proliferating state pay heed to the exhortations of the United States and Russia, which retain thousands of their nuclear warheads on high alert? How can Britain, France and China expect a hearing on non-proliferation while they squander billions modernising their nuclear forces? What standing has Israel to urge Iran not to acquire the bomb when it harbours its own atomic arsenal?

Nuclear weapons do not discriminate; nor should our leaders. Continue reading

March 5, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

High rates of left-sided brain tumours in interventional physicians

this is a very scary, concerning and troubling paper that everyone in health care should be talking about it.

text ionisingOccupational radiation exposure linked to left-sided brain tumors A. Am J Cardiol. 2013  March 4, 2013 Flag-USADisproportionate reports of left-sided brain tumors in interventional physicians with sustained practices involving radiation may suggest a causal relation to occupational radiation exposure, according to study data published in the American Journal of Cardiology. Following up on their report of nine recent cases of brain cancer in interventional cardiologists, researchers received 22 more cases from around the world. Continue reading

March 5, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Patients unaware of radiation risks of CT scans

CT-scanDoctors don’t often tell patients of CT scan risks By Andrew M. Seaman, Flag-USAChicago Tribune Reuters March 4, 2013 NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Only about a third of patients surveyed at one U.S. medical center said their doctors told them about the possible risks of a CT scan, such as radiation exposure, a new study finds.

Researchers, who published their findings in JAMA Internal Medicine on Monday, also found that most patients thought their doctors made the final decision to have the scans. “I think that sounds pretty consistent of what my experience would be as a patient, physician and with family members,” said Dr. Howard Forman, professor of diagnostic radiology and public health at the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut, who was not involved with the new study.

The new study jibes with previous research that found people are unaware of the radiation risks posed by CT scans (see Reuters Health article of January 3, 2013 here:

CT scans are high-powered X-rays that provide clearer images but expose patients to between ten and 100 times as much radiation as a normal head or chest X-ray……

One study from the National Cancer Institute estimated there would be about 29,000 future cancers related to scans done in 2007 alone. That year, Americans had about 72 million total CT scans, which can cost from a few hundred dollars to several  thousand dollars.,0,4664422.story

March 5, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Renewable energy gives UK farmers a vital stream of income


Renewable energy supplies extra earning for farmers By Nicholas Robinson  Renewable energies can give hard-pressed farmers a “vital stream of income” the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has said. Analysis from Natwest, RBS and RenewableUK has shown that farmers can earn between £12,000 and £50,000 a year from generating their own wind energy.

antnuke-relevantThis year, renewable energy has provided “much-needed support” for British farmers. Dr Jonathan Scurlock, NFU chief adviser for renewable energy and climate change, explained that 2012 was a difficult year for the farming community. He said bad weather had hit incomes hard and investing in renewable energy could provide farmers and growers with additional earnings at a difficult time.

Lending figures from Natwest and RBS showed that farmers in the Midlands were the most interested in renewable energy, closely followed by Scotland, the North East and the South West.

The Farm Energy Service showed that, during its first 12 months of operation, farmers were making the best use of various renewable energy sources available to them. And enquiries showed that 52% of queries were related to solar technology alone.

RenewableUK chief executive Maria McCaffery said: “Farmers are experts at harnessing the Earth’s natural resources, so it’s no surprise that they are leading the way on wind energy. The UK has the most powerful wind resource in Europe and this has provided a vital source of income for farmers, helping to preserve rural communities in Britain.”

March 5, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Western Australian Labor to open up solar energy market, if elected

ballot-boxSmLabor promises to open up solar energy market ABC News Feb 28, 2013  Western Australian Labor has promised to open up the solar energy market if it wins the State election. The Opposition’s Energy spokesman Bill Johnston told a sustainable energy forum last night that if Labor wins the election it would create renewable energy cooperatives.

Mr Johnston says that would enable people living in apartments to invest in solar panels.

“What we will do is allow people to invest in PV generation and put it on a government building roof and that will allow them to offset their energy costs and sell back to the system the excess energy they generate,” he said.

“This policy is especially created for renters and people living in apartments who don’t have a rooftop to put solar panels on to. “This system will allow everybody in Western Australia to be part of the renewable energy revolution.”,,,,,,

March 5, 2013 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Wind farms benefiting rural areas

Wind-farm-Waubra-VictoriaWind farms beneficial: Clean Energy Council According to recent research conducted by the Clean Energy Council, wind farming has reportedly generated more than $4 billion in investment in Australia since its introduction.

Much of this investment has been in rural and regional towns. Continue reading

March 5, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, wind | Leave a comment