Australian news, and some related international items

CLAIMS about the potential economic benefits of uranium sales to India are laughable.

Directly or indirectly, Australia will be fuelling a nuclear arms race in South Asia … for a pittance in return.

It is foolish and dangerous to sell uranium to a country that is actively expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal and refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Opinion: Race to export uranium to India only has a booby prize  JIM GREEN THE COURIER-MAIL SEPTEMBER 08, 2014

    CLAIMS about the potential economic benefits of uranium sales to India are laughable.

Michael Angwin from the Australian Uranium Association claimed that Australia could sell 2500 tonnes of uranium annually to India by 2030, generating export sales of $300 million. A 2011 report in the Fairfax press claimed that uranium sales to India could generate $1.7 billion in annual exports.

Such claims ignore readily available facts.

According to the World Nuclear Association, India’s uranium demand this year will amount to just 913 tonnes – just 1.4 per cent of world demand. If Australia supplies 20 per cent of that demand, uranium export revenue will increase by 3 per cent.

Guthrie poisoned-chalice-3Vanessa Guthrie from Adelaide-based uranium explorer Toro Energy, who is accompanying Prime Minister Tony Abbott on his trip to India, claims that by 2018-19 the uranium industry could generate 10,000 jobs.

But according to the most generous estimate, that of the World Nuclear Association, uranium mining and exploration account for just 1700 jobs in Australia – that’s 0.015 per cent of all jobs. So Guthrie anticipates a sixfold expansion in just five years, at a time when global nuclear power capacity is stagnant?

That’s laughable. Mr Abbott may struggle to keep a straight face as Guthrie dishes up this nonsense in India.

But there’s nothing funny about other aspects of the proposal to sell uranium to India. Continue reading

September 8, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, uranium | Leave a comment

New Research shows that the 1072 “Limits to Growth” was right

planet-pollutedLimits to Growth was right.  3 Sept 14, Research shows pending collapse as human population rises and resources decline Four decades after publication, Limit to Growth’s forecasts have been vindicated by new Australian research. Expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing Graham Turner and Cathy Alexander, The Guardian, September 2, 2014 Critics called the 1972 book Limits to Growth, which predicted our civilisation would probably collapse some time this century, a doomsday fantasy. Back in 2002, self-styled environmental expert Bjorn Lomborg consigned it to the“dustbin of history.”

It doesn’t belong thereResearch from the University of Melbourne has found the book’s forecasts are accurate, 40 years on. If we continue to track in line with the book’s scenario, expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon.
A think tank called the Club of Rome commissioned the Limits to Growth. Researchers working out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including husband-and-wife team Donella and Dennis Meadows, built a computer model to track the world’s economy and environment. Called World3, this computer model was cutting edge.
The task was very ambitious. The team tracked industrialisation, population, food, use of resources, and pollution. They modeled data up to 1970, then developed a range of scenarios out to 2100, depending on whether humanity took serious action on environmental and resource issues. If that didn’t happen, the model predicted “overshoot and collapse” – in the economy, environment and population – before 2070. This was called the “business-as-usual” scenario.
The book’s central point, much criticised since, is that “the earth is finite” and the quest for unlimited growth in population, material goods etc would eventually lead to a crash.

So were they right? We decided to check in with those scenarios after 40 years………..

So far, Limits to Growth checks out with reality. So what happens next?…….
our findings should sound an alarm bell. It seems unlikely that the quest for ever-increasing growth can continue unchecked to 2100 without causing serious negative effects – and those effects might come sooner than we think………..

September 8, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia breaches South Pacific Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty in selling uranium to India

India-uranium1Uranium sale to India breach nuclear treaty  Dave Sweeney, 8 Sept 14, When it comes to uranium sales it is a case of let both the buyer and seller beware. Tony Abbott’s plan to sell Australian uranium to nuclear-armed India is irresponsible and risky.

India is a nuclear-armed nation that is expanding its nuclear weapons program amid a high-stakes standoff with its neighbour and rival Pakistan. India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and is not subject to full international or independent scrutiny.

Supplying uranium in this context breaches Australia’s obligations under the South Pacific Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty.

Mr Abbott’s plan also ignores the serious and unresolved safety and security problems facing India’s nuclear industry. These were highlighted two years ago when the Indian Auditor-General warned of “a Fukushima or Chernobyl-like disaster if the nuclear safety issue is not addressed”.


September 8, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | 1 Comment

New book exposes the scandal of Maralinga nuclear bomb tests

book-Maralinga-Frank-WalkerMaralinga: The chilling exposé of our secret nuclear shame and betrayal of our troops and country by  Frank Walker, Hachette Australia

Walker is adamant that this is not the end of the story, with the Federal Government still planning to make central Australia the world’s dump for nuclear waste.

Horror and betrayal: true story of atom bombs in Australia   | 6th Sep 2014 OF ALL the crimes against Australians outlined in investigative journalist Frank Walker’s exposé Maralinga, the first is the most horrific.

“Bring me the bones of Australian babies, the more the better.”

This was the directive given by British nuclear scientists, making all Australians their lab rats in a cruel 21-year test of the long-term effects of multiple nuclear explosions on an unsuspecting people.

A staggering 22,000 corpses of children and young people were pilfered for bones and tested for Strontium 90 (one of the poisons that entered Australia’s water and food supplies because of British nuclear tests in our country).

Families were not told, autopsy workers were bribed, results were not revealed – and all with the meek acquiescence of our government.

But the list of crimes and cover-ups goes on:

  • Australian airmen ordered to fly repeatedly through the mushroom clouds of atomic bombs – with no protection.
  • Australian soldiers ordered to march into ground zero minutes after explosions, even roll in radioactive dust – with no protection.
  • Australian officers placed in shelters as close as 1600m from a nuclear explosion. (The goal was to show that soldiers in a nuclear war could be near a blast and still be fit for battle.)
  • Clouds of radioactive material drifting across the continent to drop radioactive rain on Queensland farms, country towns and Brisbane.
  • Aborigines having their traditional lands stolen from them and poisoned, and being left in the test region to be killed by the fallout.

Continue reading

September 8, 2014 Posted by | Resources | Leave a comment

Some Labor party heavies likely to join Abbott’s anti renewabl eenergy crusade

The worry for the renewable energy industry is that Labor would be tempted to cut a deal: Its energy spokesman Gary Gray is no fan of renewables and once described himself, Macfarlane and former minister Martin Ferguson, another who wants the RET cut, as three peas in a pod.

Parkinson-Report-Abbott reveals his true colours on renewables By Giles Parkinson, RenewEconomy 7 Sept 14, 

If there was ever any doubt about the Abbott government’s antipathy to renewable energy, then a Senate report into the proposed abolition of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency mus surely put it to rest.

It has given a fascinating – and somewhat frightening – insight into the coalition government’s antipathy to renewable energy, and how it has thrown its support behind extreme right ideology against green energy.

Abbott-destroys-renewablesThe Abbott government keeps insisting that it is ‘pro-renewables’, a facile description it is hanging on to because it has not yet acted on the diabolical recommendations of the Warburton review of the renewable energy target.

But the government’s conclusions on the ARENA Senate committee shows it is anything but supportive. The coalition sided with two of the most committed anti-renewable lobbies in the country – the gas association and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. These were the only two submissions supported that the government’s move to abolish the agency, which will see all future funding stripped and current projects managed absorbed by the department.

The other 129 submissions supported retention of ARENA, Continue reading

September 8, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Hilary Clinton pushes for USA to become renewable energy ‘superpower’

antnuke-relevantClinton: US can become renewable energy ‘superpower’,blueandgreen tomorrow, Sunday, September 7th, 2014 By Tom Revell  Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has called for increased investment in renewable energy to achieve “a clean energy future” and address the threat of climate change.

Speaking at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas on Thursday, Clinton – who has been tipped as a likely Democrat candidate for the 2016 presidential election – warned of the risks of unabated greenhouse gas Clinton,-Hillaryemissions.

Sea levels are rising, ice caps are melting, storms, droughts and wildfires are wreaking havoc. 13 of the top 14 warmest years have all come since 2000,” she said.

However, while promoting the use of shale gas as a bridge fuel, Clinton argued that the US could become a world leader in the use of renewable energy.

America can be the clean energy superpower of the 21st century,” she said.

Just look at what’s happening here in Nevada. This state has quintupled its renewable energy capacity since 2008.  Our economic recovery, our efforts against climate change, our strategic position in the world all will improve if we can build a safe bridge to a clean energy economy,” the former first lady added……..

September 8, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is Tony Abbott being forced to waver in his anti-renewable energy fervor?

solar-panels-and-moneyGovernment might give ground on renewable energy target, SMH September 7, 2014 Tom Arup and Lisa Cox Confidence is growing that a workable deal could be salvaged on Australia’s renewable energy target with suggestions the Abbott government will give ground amid a backlash from industry and backbench MPs.

After intense lobbying in Canberra last week members of the renewable energy industry left the nation’s capital buoyed that the government’s attack on clean energy appeared to be in retreat.

They found a Coalition backbench increasingly agitated about the fallout of ending support for renewables and fears too harsh a stance could create another unnecessary distraction like the now-abandoned reforms to section 18C of the racial discrimination act.

The negative response to the Warburton review of the target, released last month, was also viewed as having hurt the cause of those looking to axe the scheme.

That review – headed by businessman and climate change sceptic Dick Warburton – recommended Australia’s target to have at least 20 per cent of electricity come from renewable sources by 2020 be either closed to new projects or scaled back dramatically on the basis of yearly reviews.

But those options have been largely dismissed as unattractive, even within government. And Coalition sources also said the political argument that the target pushed up household electricity prices was “largely dead” thanks to modelling commissioned for the review that found bills would in fact fall from 2021 if it was kept.

Big energy companies, who want the target scaled back to reflect falling electricity demand (an option dubbed “real 20 per cent”), have also been left privately confused at the review panel’s recommendation to tack on yearly reviews to that option, which is regarded as unworkable due to business needs for greater certainty.

Senior Coalition figures are now flagging they will have to try cut a deal with Labor, which wants little  or no change to the target.

But without bipartisan support, the political cloud hanging over the industry will continue, and investment dollars for new wind and solar farms, that have ground halt, will not return……….

While the government is still pursuing changes to the target for large-scale projects, it has rejected the Warburton review’s recommendation that support for rooftop solar be closed immediately. But phasing it out more quickly remains under consideration.

Read more:

September 8, 2014 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment