Australian news, and some related international items

California utility companies join in community renewabl energy projects

solar-panels-local The group estimates that more than 20,000 residential ratepayers throughout California, each purchasing an average 5 KW share, will be able to participate in the program, as well as local schools, businesses, the military and the government.

California approves shared renewable energy program 13. SEPTEMBER 2013 BY:  IAN CLOVER

Approval of the largest program for shared renewable power in the U.S. passes in California, enabling schools, rental tenants and owners of homes in the shade to invest in solar energy projects. California’s Legislature has given the green light for the state’s “Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program”, which is the largest of its kind in the U.S. and will allow rental tenants, schools, cities and many other interested parties to invest in California’s renewable energy projects.

antnuke-relevantThe program allows businesses and individuals to purchase shares in the renewable developments of three investor-owned utilities– Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E), and Southern California Edison Co. (SCE) – in return for a greener electricity supply and, in the future at least, lower bills. Continue reading

September 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nukes In a Nutshell- nuclear teach-ins coming to Melbourne Oct/Nov

text-Please-Notethe ACE Collective (Anti-Nuclear and Clean Energy) are pleased to invite you and your friends to a four-part film and discussion series on all things nuclear. The time has come for some self-education and to showcase some of the best nuclear films.
 If you don’t know what Muckaty is, why nuclear won’t solve climate change or what radioactive racism means, it sounds like you need Nukes in a Nutshell.

FilmTuesday 8th October: Uranium Mining and Radioactive Racism   Screening Atomic FootprintsAt Eye Level and Dirt Cheap: 30 Years On. Discussion with Kirsten Blair, Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation.

Tuesday 22nd October: Climate Change vs. Nukes  Screening Climate of Hope and Women of Fukushima. Discussion with Jim Green, Friends of the Earth.

Tuesday 12th November: 17,300 Nuclear Weapons  Screening Maralinga PiecesGenie in a bottle: Unleashed and The War Game. Discussion with Dimity Hawkins, Tim Wright (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) and Gisela Gardener.

Tuesday 26th November: Muckaty and Radioactive Waste  Screening Muckaty Voices and Into Eternity. Discussion with Dave Sweeney, Australian Conservation Foundation.

Each night is free and starts at 7pm-sharp at Longplay Bar and Cinema, 318 St Georges Rd North Fitzroy.

Full program and more details attached and at the Facebook event here.

For a nuclear free world,

September 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s Liberal Government and Queensland State Government’s conflicting views on uranium mining

exclamation-Abbott, Newman could clash on uranium,0,1513077.story 13 Sept 13  Queensland’s plan to control uranium mine approvals would bring it into conflict with the new federal government, conservationists say. The Liberal National Party state government released it’s uranium strategy on Thursday, and it wants the federal government to hand it power to approve uranium projects.

The federal coalition has campaigned to keep uranium approvals with the commonwealth.

Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) says the state plan would put it at odds with the federal government. “The Queensland government’s action plan is ill-considered and inadequate,” spokesman Dave Sweeney told AAP.

“The LNP position is in conflict with federal coalition uranium policy and commitments.” Mr Sweeney also said that Queensland’s plan completely ignored the world’s weak uranium market, where prices had plummeted since the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

September 13, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland govt says no exporting of uranium over great Barrier Reef

uranium-oreGovernment rules out uranium exports over Great Barrier Reef The Satellite,  APN Newsdesk 12th Sep 2013   APN NEWSDESK  EXPORTING Queensland’s uranium is a priority for the state government, but the radioactive material is unlikely to leave Australian shores via the Great Barrier Reef.

In an “action plan” released on Thursday, the State Government has ruled that any uranium pulled from Queensland provinces can only be exported from Adelaide or Darwin……… The government has again ruled out allowing nuclear power plants or the disposal of radioactive waste in Queensland.

And like all major resources projects, the state is pushing to gain control over approvals – but environmental activists are concerned.

Australian Conservation Foundation Dave Sweeney said such state powers conflicted with comments by the incoming Federal Government that it would retain its hold over uranium projects. “Uranium mining is an issue of national interest and importance and is rightly a matter for the active consideration of the national government,” Mr Sweeney said.

Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said the government would begin considering projects by mid-2014. From there, demand from industry would determine when mining began.

September 13, 2013 Posted by | environment, Queensland, uranium | Leave a comment

Queensland government pro uranium mining, but cautions on poor market for uranium

Qld Government moves closer to re-establish uranium mining ABC News, By Kim Lyell, 13 Sept 13 The Queensland Government has released a plan to re-establish uranium mining in the state as early as next year…….. Mines Minister Andrew Cripps says the Government has accepted the findings of an independent committee that, with some adaptations, uranium mining could resume under existing industry regulation and radiation safety systems.

“An action plan has been released and an oversight committee established,” he said. Mr Cripps says the action plan covers all aspects of the approvals process, environmental and health and safety standards, Indigenous opportunities and native title.

The Government says although it could assess applications from next year, the market for uranium will ultimately determine when mining begins……

September 13, 2013 Posted by | politics, Queensland, uranium | Leave a comment

Climate denialist Dennis Jensen might become Australia’s Science Minister!

eyes-surprisedClimate sceptic MP Dennis Jensen wants to be science minister The Age, September 12, 2013   National political reporter Coalition MP Dennis Jensen, who is a vocal climate science sceptic, has called on Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott to appoint him as science minister.

“At the moment to be honest I’m feeling under-utilised,” said Dr Jensen, the member for Tangney in Western Australia, who has a master’s degree in physics and a PhD in material science. “I think that I’ve got a lot to offer,” he added. “I’ve got some unique attributes.”……..

Dr Jensen suggests he would be better qualified than anyone to take charge of science. “I’m not aware of any other scientist [in the Parliament],” he said.

Dr Jensen has made headlines by questioning the scientific consensus that humans are contributing to global warming.Dr Jensen believes carbon dioxide is contributing somewhat to global temperatures, but not as much as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is suggesting.

Moreover, Dr Jensen does not think governments should be taking urgent action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

“In the climate area there is appeal to authority and appeal to consensus, neither of which is scientific at all,” Dr Jensen told Fairfax Media on Thursday.”Scientific reality doesn’t give a damn who said it and it doesn’t give a damn how many say it.”

It was wrong to accept the view of the 97 per cent of climate scientists who agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely caused by human activities, because “the argument of consensus . . . is a flawed argument,” Dr Jensen said.

The colourful Englishman, Lord Christopher Monckton, who toured Australia to debunk the “bogus science” of global warming, was closer to the mark, Dr Jensen suggested. “Most of the stuff [Lord Monckton] says is entirely reasonable,” Dr Jensen said……..

September 13, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Book ‘Dealing in Doubt’ shows who’s behind climate denialism in Australia

climate change denialReport offers field guide to the climate change denial industry, Guardian, Graham Readfearn, 13 Sept 13, “…. There is also a potted and seldom-told history of how key figures in the United States worked to connect with like-minded people in Australia to encourage efforts Down Under to counter calls to cut emissions.

One of the first efforts came courtesy of free market promotion unit The Institute of Public Affairs, which doesn’t reveal its funders, which in 1990 sponsored a tour by veteran sceptic Fred Singer around Australia. TheIPA’s magazine reported Singer’s visit: “The greenhouse theory of global warming is contradicted by the evidence, a prominent US scientist has told the IPA.”



Later, Dealing in Doubt recalls planning meetings in the mid-90s with conservative think tanks in the US and Australia where strategies were developed to counter calls for action.

One of those characters, Australian businessman and former mining executive Hugh Morgan, was announced by Liberal MP Greg Hunt in 2011 as a member of the Coalition’s business advisory council on climate change………

Internal Heartland Institute documents have shown that one of the authors of the report, Australian geologist Dr Bob Carter, was to be paid $1667 a month for his work on the report (for anyone interested,  Skeptical Science has a good summary of the key differences between the genuine IPCC report and the NIPCC)…….


September 13, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Japan’s government angry about cartoons lampooning Olympic Games decision

flag-japanJapan voices anger over French cartoons that use Fukushima disaster to mock Olympics decision ABC News, By North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy, wires  12 Sep 2013 ,Japan says it will lodge a formal complaint with France over newspaper cartoons that poked fun at the decision to award the 2020 Olympics to Tokyo despite the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine has published a cartoon depicting two sumo wrestlers, each with an extra leg or arm, facing off with the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in the background.

In the foreground an announcer says: “Thanks to Fukushima, sumo is now an Olympic sport.”

Another cartoon shows two people standing in front of a pool of water while wearing nuclear protection suits and holding a Geiger counter, saying water sport facilities had already been built at Fukushima………

“This kind of journalism gives the wrong impression about the waste water problem.” [ -Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga]

The government has repeatedly claimed the accident and its waste water problem are under control and should not affect the Olympics.

Mr Suga says Japan will formally complain to the French embassy in Tokyo………..

September 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If Fukushima radiation problems worsen, Japan might lose the 2020 Olympic Games

Japan-Olympics-fearJapan Times: Talk of Olympics being taken away from Tokyo if problems at Fukushima worsen over next couple of years
Title: Kansai not overly enthusiastic about Tokyo landing Olympics
Source: The Japan Times
Author: Eric Johnston
Date: Sept. 11, 2013

While pleased the Olympics are returning to Japan, the level of public and media enthusiasm in Osaka and the rest of Kansai is far less than what has been seen in Tokyo.

Like critics elsewhere, there is much concern in Kansai over the water leaks plaguing the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. There has even been local speculation that the International Olympic Committee might be forced to consider taking the games away from Tokyo if the problems at Fukushima worsen over the next couple of years. […]

See also: Tepco plan claims Fukushima molten fuel to be removed at same time as 2020 Olympics in Tokyo

September 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Abbott government unprepared on greenhouse emissions, also he’s cutting indigenous funding

Abbott-destroyerTen challenges for Tony Abbott SMH September 13, 2013 – Andrew Leigh “……given the length of time the Abbott government has had to prepare for office, the real surprise is the number of major policy questions that lie unanswered. Here are 10 for starters.

First, given that we know from independent experts such as the Grattan Institute that direct action will not meet the bipartisan target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 5 per cent by 2020, how does the government intend to reduce our emissions? Given that Australia has just had the hottest summer on record, is it really acceptable for the developed nation with the highest emissions per person to back away from action on carbon emissions?

Second, we know that one of the leading causes of indigenous disadvantage stems from incarceration, which is why both parties are committed to adding it into the Closing the Gap targets. But given that he has committed to cutting funding to Aboriginal legal aid, how will Abbott ensure that this doesn’t lead to more indigenous people ending up in jail?…..

Like George W. Bush before him, Abbott appears to like using corporate analogies for government, stating on election night that “Australia is under new management”. But, like Bush, he may find that heading a government requires a little more nuance and sophistication than running a campaign. He could start by answering these simple questions. :

September 13, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Solar Energy Companies continue to flock to Australia to take advantage of exposure to the sun

Solar energy reaches new milestone in Australia, hydrogen Fuel News 13 Sept 13“…………Report highlights contribution of solar power

The Australian Energy Market Operator has released a new report that aims to shed light on the contribution of solar energy systems to the National Electricity Market. According to the report, 1.6% of the National Electricity Market is comprised of solar power. The highest contributing state in the country is South Australia, where 3.7% of electricity production comes from rooftop solar systems installed at homes throughout the region.

Solar energy is expected to continue making strong progress in the country as more companies flock to Australia to take advantage of its constant exposure to solar radiation. Some of these companies have been working with the government to make solar energy more available to homeowners throughout the country. SunPower, a solar energy firm based in the U.S., recently came to the country to bring solar technology to homeowners. The company has partnered with Community First Credit Union to offset some of the financial aspects of solar energy adoption.

Wind energy also shows strong growth in the country While solar energy is making major progress in Australia, the country has shown strong support for other forms of clean power as well. Wind energy has also been experiencing some growth in recent years. The Australian Energy Market Operator recently released a report that wind energy accounts for approximately 27% of all electricity generated in South Australia.

September 13, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

Book: , Dealing in Doubt: The Climate Denial Machine Vs Climate Science

read-this-wayReport offers field guide to the climate change denial industry, Guardian, Graham Readfearn, 13 Sept 13, Greenpeace report documents the who, what, when and how of a long-running campaign to block action on climate change It writes boilerplate legislation, runs extensive PR campaigns, puffs CVs with fake credibility, facilitates or promotes the intimidation of climate scientists and advocates, publishes books, organises speaking tours and conferences, gets on the telly and radio a lot, uses Freedom of Information laws as a surveillance tool, pays scientists to speak and – crucially – it manufactures doubt and confusion among policy makers, politicians and the public about climate change.

To get this work done, it has accepted many millions of dollars from fossil fuel interests or ideologically-driven conservative donors who funnel their cash through anonymous trust funds because they are too cowardly to put their mouths and their money in the same place.

We’re talking about the international climate science denial industry. Now it has a field guide, of sorts, courtesy of researchers at environment group Greenpeace.

Published this week, Dealing in Doubt: The Climate Denial Machine Vs Climate Science recounts the history of efforts to underplay the risks of human-caused climate change, to deny the scientific evidence and to misrepresent the state of the collective knowledge of genuine scientists on the issue.

Oh, and it comes with fun little caricatures of some of the key characters in the denial industry.


The title of the report “Dealing in Doubt” comes from a tactic employed and articulated by tobacco industry executives in a 1969 memo, which read: Continue reading

September 13, 2013 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Resources | Leave a comment

Abbott govt likely to speed up uranium sales deal with India

India-uranium1Australian Election Seen Likely to Speed Talks with India on Uranium Deal National Journal, By Rachel Oswald, Global Security Newswire  September 11, 2013    WASHINGTON — Newly elected leaders in Australia likely will push to conclude a trade agreement aimed at allowing uranium exports to India, issue experts told Global Security Newswire.

While it was earlier predicted to take two years to conclude the export negotiations, a new Liberal-National government led by conservative leader Tony Abbott likely will push to have trade discussions finished “within the year,” according to Amitabh Mattoo, director of the Australia India Institute at the University of Melbourne. Continue reading

September 13, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, uranium | Leave a comment

Australian War Memorial should include the war between settlers and Aborigines

Why does the Australian War Memorial ignore the frontier war?  Paul Daley, Thursday 12 September 2013The battle between Aboriginal people and settlers is at the heart of nationhood but absent from war dead commemorations “……With the approaching centenary next August of the outbreak of the first world war, Australia is spending $32m to upgrade the memorial’s first world war galleries – part of meeting its mandate to help Australians “remember, interpret and understand” the country’s war experiences.

It is a broad and generous brief.

This mandate, however, has been narrowly interpreted by successive generations of memorial officials whose Anzac-centric focus continues to stubbornly exclude the fierce battles for sovereignty between Aboriginal Australians and pastoral settlers across the frontier, which are at the dark heart of Australia’s nationhood. Continue reading

September 13, 2013 Posted by | aboriginal issues, ACT | Leave a comment