Australian news, and some related international items

Victoria can lead Australia to its clean, safe, Renewable Non-Nuclear future

Victoria-sunny.psdCaptD, 17 Aug 15, Unless all the people of Australia step up and challenge the Abbott government’s sabotaging of Australia’s clean energy future, states such as Victoria must take lead on renewable energy.

Because Australia is similar to Europe, why not have one part of Australia like Victoria, lead the race to clean safe Non-Nuclear Energy just like Germany is doing in Europe?

The first to go Renewable, Non-Nuclear will be the first to offer its citizens a safe, low cost energy supply that will not only power their economy but create the most good jobs for its citizens. Germany also receives most of its Energy from all the “small” private Energy generators that feed their Grid, not just a few Big Utilities, so the German people get to profit from the Energy they produce.

While this model may not benefit Big Utilities shareholders, it does allow a large number of German homeowners to pay off their Solar investments much faster which then allows them to enjoy “free” Solar Energy from then on. It is no wonder that electric Vehicles (eVehicles) are selling fast, since they too can be recharged using residential Solar which eliminates paying high prices for gas or fuel at the gas station.

It is no surprise that ever more people are starting to question the cost of their Energy and/or their reliance upon Big Utilities to supply that Energy, since they continually raise prices keeping ratepayers in “Energy Slavery”. Solar (of all flavors) provides a pathway toward “Energy Freedom” (once the loan is paid off) with little to no Utility bills for decades to come, which is why Big US Corp.s (like Apple, Google and Walmart) are now installing their own Solar farms.

Solar also can provide charging for eVehicles which again offer a path toward no more buying gas or fuel at the pump. BTW: Electric Motorcycles that can be driven on the highway cost about a penny a mile to operate* and require little to no maintenance as compared to an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Motorcycles. *

August 16, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Naomi Klein says Tony Abbott is a climate change ‘villain’

Tony Abbott is a climate change ‘villain’, says Canadian author Naomi Klein, Guardian, , 17 Aug 15  The writer, who is coming to Australia on a speaking tour, says she cannot tell where the coal industry ends and the federal government begins. Tony Abbott is a climate change “villain” who is repeating the slogans used by the coal industry in the US, according to bestselling author and social activist Naomi Klein.


Klein, who is heading to Australia for a series of public events, said the level of inaction on climate change in Australia was only matched by her native Canada.

“In Canada I can’t tell where the oil industry ends and the government begins and in Australia the same is true when it comes to coal,” she told Guardian Australia.

“The Abbott government is repeating the talking points of the coal industry, the same stuff I heard at the Heartland Institute, that ‘coal is good for humanity’ and ‘God bless coal’.

“We have elections in Canada in October and I hope we have a different government. If that happens, Australia will be isolated as a climate villain. At the moment we are giving you a run for your money.”

Klein, whose latest book, This Changes Everything, argues governments have fundamentally failed to deal with the issue of climate change, said Abbott’s promotion of coalmines and the attempt to keep climate off last year’s G20 agenda “crossed a line where it’s impossible to come back from”.

“One part I find particularly shocking is that Australia is very much on the frontline of climate change,” she said.

“Also, being a Pacific nation, your closest neighbours are facing a truly existential threat. So I find it even more shocking that Australia is a hotbed of climate denial.”

Klein said climate change would exacerbate social problems such as racism and inequality, predicting Australia would become “meaner” as it gets hotter.

“You see that in Australia where the treatment of migrants is a profound moral crisis,” she said. “It’s clear that as sea levels rise that this mean streak and open racism is going to become more extreme – climate change is an accelerant to all those other issues.”……..

According to the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, climate change will hit Australia harder than many other countries, with a temperature increase of up to 5.1C by the end of the century if the burning of fossil fuels isn’t curbed.

In this scenario sea levels would rise by up to 82cm by 2090, the number of days with severe bushfire danger would increase, snow cover would decline and droughts would become more extreme.

Klein said the denial of climate science was prevalent in English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, the US and the UK because of a “colonial settler mentality”.

“Countries founded on a powerful frontier mentality have this idea of limitless nature than can be endlessly extracted,” she said.

“Climate change is threatening to that because there are limits and you have to respect those limits. Where that frontier narrative is strongest is where denialism is strongest.

“The rest of Europe has a keener sense of boundaries – they’ve lived against the limits of nature for longer.”

August 16, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Huge solar panel array for Canberra Hospital’s roof

Canberra Hospital to get one of the nation’s largest solar rooftop arrays August 15, 2015  Reporter at The Canberra Times The ACT government will spend up to $3.3 million, and install one of the nation’s largest rooftop solar arrays, to make Canberra Hospital more energy efficient.

The moves to add a 500-kilowatt solar system and install LED lights throughout all hospital buildings were aimed at slashing energy use at the site, which accounts for a quarter of the government’s electricity bill.

Overlapping two of his portfolios, Deputy Chief Minister Simon Corbell said the loan to ACT Health from the Carbon Neutral ACT Government Fund – by far the largest in the fund’s short history – would reap financial rewards.

“The Canberra Hospital delivers a critical 24-hour service to our community and is the ACT government’s largest user of energy,” he said.

“The announcement will see the hospital save a massive $490,000 a year in energy bills by 2017-18 and improve the government’s overall carbon footprint.”

The Sunday Canberra Times understands the hospital would become home to one of the top 10 largest roof-mounted arrays in Australia. A 500kW rooftop array [see below] at Toyota’s manufacturing plant in Melbourne, using 2000 panels, was Victoria’s largest when installed last year………

solar-toyota Melbourne

August 16, 2015 Posted by | ACT, solar | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear authorities anxious about the safety of China’s nuclear power programme

safety-symbol“the state of conservation” of large components like pumps and steam generators at Taishan “was not at an adequate level” and was “far” from the standards of the two other EPR plants, one in Finland and the other in Flamanville, France

 in a rare public comment about safety concerns, China’s own State Council Research Office three years ago warned that the development of the country’s power plants may be accelerating too quickly.

Critics of China’s nuclear safety regime, including Albert Lai, chairman of The Professional Commons, a Hong Kong think tank, says that lack of information risks eroding confidence in safety controls in what’s set to be a 14-fold increase of atomic capacity by 2030.

“The workings of China’s atomic safety authority are a ‘‘total black box,’’ said Lai. ‘‘China has no transparency whatsoever.’’

flag-ChinaChina Regulators ‘Overwhelmed’ as Reactors Built at Pace, Bloomberg  ,   , June 20, 2014June 19 (Bloomberg) — China is moving quickly to become the first country to operate the world’s most powerful atomic reactor even as France’s nuclear regulator says communication and cooperation on safety measures with its Chinese counterparts are lacking.

In the coastal city of Taishan, 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the financial hub of Hong Kong, Chinese builders are entering the final construction stages for two state-of-the-art European Pressurized Reactors. Each will produce about twice as much electricity as the average reactor worldwide.

France has a lot riding on a smooth roll out of China’s EPRs. The country is home to Areva SA, which developed the next-generation reactor, and utility Electricite de France SA, which oversees the project. The two companies, controlled by the French state, need a safe, trouble-free debut in China to ensure a future for their biggest new product in a generation. And French authorities have not hidden their concerns. Continue reading

August 16, 2015 Posted by | INTERNATIONAL | Leave a comment

Churchill and USA planned a massive nuclear strike on USSR

Atomic-Bomb-LUnthinkable as it may seem, Churchill’s plan literally won the hearts and minds of US policy makers and military officials.

These “first-strike” plans developed by the Pentagon were aimed at destroying the USSR without any damage to the United States.

The 1949 Dropshot plan envisaged that the US would attack Soviet Russia and drop at least 300 nuclear bombs and 20,000 tons of conventional bombs on 200 targets in 100 urban areas, including Moscow and Leningrad (St. Petersburg)

the Kennedy administration introduced significant changes to the plan, insisting that the US military should avoid targeting Soviet cities and had to focus on the rival’s nuclear forces alone.


Post WW2 World Order: US Planned to Wipe USSR Out by Massive Nuclear Strike, Sputnik News. Ekaterina Blinova. 15 Aug 15,  Was the US deterrence military doctrine aimed against the Soviet Union during the Cold War era really “defensive” and who actually started the nuclear arms race paranoia?

 Just weeks after the Second World War was over and Nazi Germany defeated Soviet Russia’s allies, the United States and Great Britain hastened to develop military plans aimed at dismantling the USSR and wiping out its cities with a massive nuclear strike.

Interestingly enough, then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had ordered the British Armed Forces’ Joint Planning Staff to develop a strategy targeting the USSR months before the end of the Second World War. The first edition of the plan was prepared on May 22, 1945. In accordance with the plan the invasion of Russia-held Europe by the Allied forces was scheduled on July 1, 1945.

Winston Churchill’s Operation Unthinkable The plan, dubbed Operation Unthinkable, stated that its primary goal was “to impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire. Even though ‘the will’ of these two countries may be defined as no more than a square deal for Poland, that does not necessarily limit the military commitment.” Continue reading

August 16, 2015 Posted by | INTERNATIONAL | Leave a comment

Mururoa Nuclear Test Veterans seek answers to health problems

Mururoa nuclear testing witness spent years in pain, group seeks answers, Mururoa Veterans, SIMON EDWARDS, August 17 2015 There’s no doubt in Christine Hapuku’s mind that her late brother’s health problems stemmed from his exposure to fallout from the French nuclear testing at Mururoa Atoll.

At the weekend Christine and Alec Gage’s wider family unveiled his headstone at Wainuiomata’s Memorial Garden, a year ago almost to the day since his death.

……..Gage was a sailor on HMNZS Otago, which with the frigate Canterbury sailed to Mururoa in 1973 to protest the nuclear testing by France.   He and his brother Bob, who was also on board, would talk about standing on the ship’s deck wearing metal discs around their necks that were to measure how much radiation they absorbed.  The pair said the atmospheric testing fall-out was like fine rain, Hapuku said.

“Even the French acknowledged the bombs were a lot stronger than they were meant to be.

“Those discs were collected and never seen again.”

…….Christine Hapuku said medical researchers used to talk to Alec when he was in hospital but they never heard anything more.  She is hoping further research being pursued by the Mururoa veterans’ group might give the family some closure.

The Mururoa Nuclear Veterans Group is searching for all those who sailed to Mururoa Atoll in 1973 aboard HMNZS Canterbury and HMNZS Otago. The group, formed in 2013 and registered as a Legal Society, monitors the medical conditions that have affected not only the personnel aboard the two frigates but also their children and grandchildren.

The group’s president, Wayne O’Donnell, said because there was no full list of the veterans who served at Mururoa they need the public’s help.

“Unfortunately over the years contact has been lost with the widows and children of those who have ‘crossed the bar’ and we need to make contact with these people so they can be informed of any findings.”

The group established a trust fund to enable the medical testing of the veterans’ children and grandchildren. “It is hoped the results will establish the truth of the genetic transfer of illnesses related to the nuclear exposure encountered by the crews,” O’Donnell says.
……Anyone with information should

August 16, 2015 Posted by | INTERNATIONAL | Leave a comment

Australian Electric Vehicle Association launched in Tasmania

electric-carElectric car push shifts into overdrive MATT SMITH SUNDAY TASMANIAN AUGUST 15, 2015 

TASMANIA’S electric car industry is driving forward with the official launch of the local branch of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association.

Energy Minister Matthew Groom and Opposition Leader Bryan Green joined about 100 electric vehicle owners and enthusiasts for the launch at the State Cinema in North Hobart.

Mr Groom said the Government was committed to the market-driven growth of the industry in Tasmania.

Opposition Leader Bryan Green, who has made a $10 million commitment to invest in electric vehicle technology if elected, said the future was here.

“The technology is catching up with us now,” he said.

Hobart electric car owner Andrew Cash said he loved his new Nissan Leaf.

“It is super smooth, it is a really plush sort of ride, it is eerily quiet inside, it is not pumping out any smoke and it just makes sense.”

Mr Cash said he drives about 120km before recharging the vehicle at home.

“In Tasmania, with Hydro power, it is just crazy that we are not all driving electric cars.”

August 16, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Glencore set for more flash coal shutdowns

 August 16, 2015  Resources Reporter Glencore is expected to run more shutdowns across its Australian coal business in the next six months, similar to its unprecedented blanket shutdown last Christmas, to avoid selling coal at a loss or heavy discount into a depressed market…….

August 16, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

This Island Nation Is Rising Up as a Hero for Climate Action. #Auspol


Out in the central Pacific Ocean, straddling the equator and the International Date Line, lies an island group in Micronesia called Kiribati (pronounced ‘Kiri-bas’). It’s not “famous” like Hawaii, Bali or Tahiti but its scenery is just as, or even more magnificent. Its flag—a bird flying over the sun as it sets on the ocean horizon—is testament to its peace, beauty and tranquility: stunning lagoons, white sandy beaches and a thriving traditional culture.

The people of the low-lying islands of Kiribati, while being the least responsible for climate change, are most exposed to the consequences of it. Every high tide now carries the potential for damage and flooding. Photo credit: Christian Aslund / Greenpeace

But unfortunately, due to climate change, this entire island nation with a population of more than 100,000 could disappear. After spending a few short days here I’ve been both inspired by the spirit of the people…

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August 16, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The rise & possible fall of Australia’s Carmichael coal mine. #Auspol


What links yakka skinks, Standard Chartered bank and the president of Kiribati?
They are all some of the recent obstacles to the Carmichael coal mine – a proposed project in the Galilee Basin of Queensland, Australia, that could become one of the world’s biggest sources of carbon dioxide emissions.

The A$16.5 billion coal mine was approved by the Australian government in 2014, and is being developed by Indian company Adani Mining. It is expected to start operating in 2017 and run for 90 years, producing 60 million tonnes of coal a year when operating at full capacity.
This would make it Australia’s largest coal mine, as well as one of the largest in the world. Its production would be equivalent to around 5% of global coal exports. Burning this amount of coal would produce 128.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (MtCO2) a year – roughly equivalent to the emissions…

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August 16, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Price of Wind Energy Hits All-Time Low in U.S.

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

States hoping to increase their share of renewable energy to achieve the emissions reduction goals set forth in the President’s recently-announced Clean Power Plan may have just received an unexpected boost from wind energy.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s “2014 Wind Technologies Market Report” released earlier this week, the prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers in the U.S. dropped below 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first time in history.  Source:

GR:  You can stop using electricity generated by fossil fuels.  Click here for details.

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August 16, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

4 Surprising Countries That Give You Hope for Climate Action #Auspol


The fossil-fuels crowd seems to have a thing for China and India. It feels like at least in the U.S., at least half the discussions of clean energy and climate change you see on television end with the anti-renewable voice saying, “Well what about China and India? It doesn’t matter what we do if they keep polluting.”

The world’s first largest economy, China, is stepping up its commitment to renewable energy and working to peak its carbon emissions by 2030.

The rest tends to go to script as, almost without fail, a satisfied smirk the size of Texas then creeps into view as our fossil-fuels friend then leans back in his or her chair. Job done. Mission accomplished. Time to head home and light up a victory-lap Cuban.
But here’s the thing. When we think about the biggest reasons for hope that humanity is finally getting its act together to…

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August 16, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July’s stupefying heat indexes in southwest Iran. #Auspol #ClimateChange 


Stepping outside during the summer often leads to an immediate groan, as if you suddenly found yourself stuck in a sauna. But for people living in southwest Iran along the Persian Gulf, conditions in late July went beyond the level of usual summer whining: on July 30-31, staying outside for a prolonged period could have led to heat stroke and death.
Summer temperatures in Iran can routinely top 100°F, but 100°+ temperatures were not what made this event so remarkable and so potentially dangerous. The event was not the “dry heat” that people in the United States associate with the desert Southwest. Instead, the scorching temperatures were accompanied by extremely humid conditions, which give the human body even less ability to cool itself off.
In the coastal city of Bandar Mahshahr on July 30 at 2:30pm and 4:30pm local time, the temperature reached 113°F and 111°F. The dew point temperatures…

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August 16, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Do nanoparticles threaten sediment-dwelling organisms?

Summit County Citizens Voice

Carbon nanotube schematic, courtesy the Wikimedia Commons. Carbon nanotube schematic, courtesy the Wikimedia Commons.

Scientists highlight the need for more research

Staff Report

FRISCO — As the use of nanomaterials increases, there’s a need to study how those particles change as they make their way through ecosystems, especially when they pass from water to sediment and then into sediment dwelling organisms.

The study by researchers with the University of Exeter highlight the risk that engineered nanoparticles released from masonry paint on exterior facades, and consumer products such as zinc oxide cream, could have on aquatic creatures.

Textiles, paint, sunscreen, cosmetics and food additives are all increasingly containing metal-based nanoparticles that are engineered, rather than found naturally.

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August 16, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment