Australian news, and some related international items

Abbott appoints pro nuclear military man as Governor General

Cosgrove, Peter“…….Mr Abbott, who some speculated might want to make Mr Howard governor-general, declared some months ago he believed former military leaders and former judges made the best vice-regal appointments.

Sources say the Prime Minister chose a widely admired military man like General Cosgrove partly because he was keen to ensure next year’s 100-year anniversary of Anzac Day and Australia’s role in World War I was granted a strong vice-regal presence…”

January 28, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Repost: Peter Cosgrove spruiks “clean” nuclear for BHP Billiton

Lack of Australian nuclear plant almost immoral: Peter Cosgrove  Amanda O’Brien : The Australian * February 04, 2010 “…………….The former Australian of the Year said he anticipated there would be an outcry but there was no cleaner energy source than nuclear power.(!!)..………General Cosgrove pulled no punches in his speech to the breakfast at the University of Western Australia, which was hosted by major coal producer BHP Billiton.

Lack of Australian nuclear plant almost immoral: Peter Cosgrove | The Australian

January 28, 2014 Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, General News | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Anti nuclear nun likely to spend rest of her life in prison

William Killian, the US attorney for the eastern district of Tennessee, wrote to the judge asking him to reject any consideration of non-violence and setting out in stark terms how the US government views this white-haired octogenarian and her co-defendants.

Rice,-Sister-Megan-82Octogenarian nun awaits sentence for protest break-in at US nuclear plant.Guardian, 27 Jan 14 Megan Rice was charged with sabotage for breaking into Y-12 facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee On Monday morning, three days short of her 84th birthday, Sister Megan Rice ate a hearty breakfast of pancakes and oatmeal at the ungodly hour of 4.30am in Knox county jail, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Rice, a white-haired Catholic nun and anti-nuclear activist, was in fine spirits, giving a broad smile and a thumbs-up sign through the glass partition that separates her from visitors to the jail where she is awaiting sentence, according to her good friend, Pat McSweeney.

McSweeney took Rice letters of support from the anti-nuclear community to bolster her spirits. ”Don’t worry about me, I’m fine” Rice told her.

Rice was charged with federal sabotage, along with co-defendants Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, a carpenter, and Michael Walli, 64, a Vietnam veteran, for breaking into the Y-12 nuclear facility in Oak Ridge, and they will learn their fate on Tuesday when they appear before Judge Amul Thapar in a federal court in Knoxville, to be sentenced.

The charge of sabotage, under a statute of the US criminal code used against international and domestic terrorism, carries a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison. Continue reading

January 28, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For indigenous people, Australia Day 26 Jan – day of mourning

Australia Day: Indigenous people are told to ‘get over it’. It’s impossible,  AmyMcGuireGuardian, 27 Jan 14 When Aboriginal people boycott celebrations, we are told to move on. It’s like the breathtaking legacy of disadvantage we have to endure did not exist,

, Every year, Australia tries to wash away its hidden history with displays of overt nationalism. On 26 January, Australians plant their union jacks in parks and beaches across the country, or on the faces of small children who are taught nothing about what the symbol means to those people this nation believed it conquered. For the majority of them, there has only been one name for the date: Australia day.

But for the First Peoples, there have been several. Survival day, invasion day, sovereignty day – each word loaded with the pain of 200 years of dispossession that has left Aboriginal people impoverished but, against the odds, remarkably strong.

My preferred name for 26 January, however, was one of its earliest – the day of mourning. On this day, First Nations peoples mourn the loss of land, of their children, of their wages, of their remains. They mourn the loss of control over their own future.  Australians may want us to “get over it”, to stop being so “sensitive”. But then, why do we still set aside a day of remembrance on ANZAC day to commemorate those who risked their lives at war? And why don’t we acknowledge the brave Aboriginal fighters who sacrificed everything in the frontier wars? …….

January 28, 2014 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Biggest banks and insurance companies investing in

piggy-ban-renewablesIn the last two years, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley have announced goals to finance and invest in renewable energy projects, transmission lines, energy efficiency and storage…..

Annual global investment in “green bonds” for renewable energy and climate mitigation projects reached a record $10 billion last year


“It’s the issue of our day,” said former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

“The costs of another Sandy will grow from $19 billion to $90 billion,” said J. Eric Smith, the CEO of Swiss Re Americas.

Lisa Carnoy, head of global capital markets for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, exhorted her colleagues to fund clean energy projects until “every blue chip company in the S&P and . . . every investment manager has a green energy bond.” Continue reading

January 28, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Abbott’s Direct Action climate policy no help to small and medium businesses

Small and medium businesses locked out of ‘direct action’, Coalition warned Coalition’s emissions reduction fund is ‘unlikely to be able to be accessed by small to medium enterprises for building upgrades and energy efficiency’, according to Senate submission The Abbott government has been told its signature “direct action” climate policy could lock small business out of funding to improve energy efficiency, and create broader risks for the economy in terms of growth, technological innovation and job creation.

The Coalition has also been warned explicitly that the success or otherwise of direct action is “co-dependent” on what other policies and regulations remain in place – particularly the renewable energy target (RET) that the prime minister has signalled could be wound back, or scrapped altogether. Continue reading

January 28, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

20% growth in USA solar jobs

green-jobsU.S. Solar Jobs Grew 20% Last Year The fourth annual National Solar Jobs Census shows the U.S. solar industry employed 142,698 Americans in 2013.   The Solar Foundation (TSF) census found 23,682 solar jobs were added over the previous year, which represents 19.9 percent growth in employment since September 2012. Of those positions, installers were the most common, growing by 22% – an increase of 12,500 workers.    The Census report notes average solar installer earnings are comparable to wages paid to skilled electricians and plumbers and higher than average rates for roofers and construction workers. Continue reading

January 28, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Binding target of 27% renewable energy for European Union

flag-EUEU Sets 2030 Target Of 27% Renewables  The European Commission has announced a new 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels as part of sweeping measures to transform the Union to a low-carbon economy and provide member nations with long-term energy security.

The 2030 goal includes a Union-wide binding renewable energy target of at least 27 percent, as well as energy efficiency and regulatory policies designed to promote investment in new clean energy technologies.

“Climate action is central for the future of our planet, while a truly European energy policy is key for our competitiveness,” said European Commission President José Manuel Barroso.

“Today’s package proves that tackling the two issues simultaneously is not contradictory, but mutually reinforcing. It is in the EU’s interest to build a job-rich economy that is less dependent on imported energy through increased efficiency and greater reliance on domestically produced clean energy.”

The Commission’s 2030 climate framework introduces a new governance system based on national plans for competitive, secure and sustainable energy aimed at achieving a renewable energy target of 27 percent. Continue reading

January 28, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment