Australian news, and some related international items

Across Australia, rallies for climate change action

climate-changeAustralians join global rallies for climate change action ahead of Paris talks ABC News 29 Nov 15 Thousands of Australians have joined a worldwide wave of marches on the eve of United Nations climate change negotiations in Paris, calling for stronger measures to combat global warming.

Events were held today in Sydney, Canberra, Perth and Hobart, as well as regional and rural towns around Australia, joining about 600 other cities in more than 120 countries around the world. Continue reading

November 30, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australian govt’s contribution to UN Climate Summit – pro coal video “Coal is Amazing”!

hypocrisy-scaleAustralian Delegation To Present ‘Coal Is Amazing’ Video At Climate Conference   Australia’s contribution to the Paris climate change talks will be a short animated  video explaining the benefits of coal.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said he was looking forward to sharing the ‘little gem of a video’ on the conference’s main stage. “The broader global community has a bit of catching up to do when it comes to understanding coal’s amazing qualities. This video will be the talk of the conference I feel,” he said before leaving for Paris.

A Rational Fear – This Little Black Rock is gonna F you Up!

[Oh dear, I think I might have put up the wrong video – what  a shame!]

Mr Hunt said the little black rock provided endless possibilities. “It can provide light. And jobs,” he said, holding up a piece of coal for reporters to see.

Following Australia’s presentation, delegates will receive a take-home bag containing a genuine piece of Australian coal. “It’s a little memento to remember the Aussies by,” Mr Hunt said.

November 30, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Prime Minister Turnbull taking former PM Abbott’s policy to UN Climate Summit

cartoon-climate-AustPM carrying Abbott’s climate policy: Labor November 29, 2015 Labor’s Tanya Plibersek has accused the prime minister of hypocrisy for lecturing other countries about climate change ahead of the Paris conference.

 “Malcolm Turnbull is going to Paris with Tony Abbott’s policies. He’s stopped on the way (in Malta) to lecture other leaders on doing more, when we’re actually doing less,” the deputy federal opposition leader told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.

The comments come as tens of thousands of protesters gather in Sydney CBD to urge leaders to take action on climate change in a series of rallies around the world.

November 30, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Minerals Council of Australia’s deceptive video promoting coal industry

clean-coal.The campaign claims that low-emission coal-fired power plants and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is “now a reality” and are slashing emissions.

However, there is only one CCS-enabled plant operational in the world, in Canada. In Australia, there is just one CCS project aimed at coal emissions in the pipeline, which may arrive at some point in the 2020s.

Coal is a dangerous little black rock. Every climate scientist and almost every politician in the world knows that coal is very polluting and very dangerous. The only people who don’t get that are the Minerals Council and our government.

Mining industry’s new ‘coal is amazing’ TV ad labelled desperate, Guardian,   , @olliemilman,6 Sept 15 

 The Minerals Council of Australia’s new TV ad claims the coalmining industry provides $40bn a year to Australia’s economy. Video: Minerals Council of Australia 

Green groups criticise ‘ludicrous’ Minerals Council of Australia ad which claims coal creates ‘light and jobs’ and ‘can now reduce its emissions by up to 40%’

The Minerals Council of Australia’s new TV ad claims the coalmining industry provides $40bn a year to Australia’s economy.

Australia’s mining industry has launched a new ode to coal in the form of a major advertising campaign that hails the mineral’s ability to “create light and jobs”, as well as claiming that new technology will drastically slash its emissions. The campaign, called Little Black Rock , has been launched by the Minerals Council of Australia. An eye-catching TV ad shows an extreme closeup of the contours of a lump of coal, as if it were the surface of a rugged, distant planet.

A voiceover explains the “endless possibilities” of coal, Continue reading

November 30, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Sydney: huge climate rally shows support for Pacific islanders

climate-changeHuge crowds march in Sydney climate rally, Herald Sun, November 29, 2015
  Thousands of protesters have marched through Sydney CBD to the Opera House to rally for action on climate change ahead of the United Nations climate summit in Paris.

The giant costumed figures of Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott greeted scientists, activists, families, elderly and youth that gathered at the Domain on Sunday to urge leaders to shift more rapidly to renewable energy and cut carbon emissions worldwide.

People have waved placards to the sound of drums while others have broken into dance and worn costumes of marine life that would be affected by increasing global temperatures.

“Minds change or climate change” read one placard, while another said “there is no Planet B”.

Climate Council’s Professor Tim Flannery addressed the crowd before they marched, saying a successful outcome at the UN summit was vital. “Do your utmost to see success at Paris, we won’t accept anything less,” he said to the cheers of the crowd, which he described as “the biggest climate march” in Australia’s history.

The rally observed a minute’s silence to acknowledge those most affected by climate change, especially Australia’s neighbours in the Pacific.

Earlier, deputy federal Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek said the government had to take action now before the cost of reducing emissions increased.”The sooner we start making cuts to our carbon pollution, the cheaper it’ll be to get there,” she told reporters in Sydney just before the rally.

 “Climate change is not a distant future threat for our Pacific neighbours, it is happening right now.”……

Sydney march organiser Reece Proudfoot said those taking part in the Australian marches walked in solidarity with millions of people across the world as part of a global campaign. Mr Proudfoot welcomed Labor’s pledge on Friday to cut carbon emissions by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, which is well above the coalition pledge of between 26 and 28 per cent.

More than 40,000 people marched in Melbourne’s central business district on Friday to kick off the weekend of climate marches, with dozens of events also taking place in regional towns across the country.

November 30, 2015 Posted by | climate change - global warming, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Canberra residents in their thousands march for climate action

climate-changeThousands gather in ACT for climate march  November 29, 2015 Thousands of Canberrans have joined a worldwide protest by marching to support action on climate change.

They gathered on the front lawn of parliament house, a broad cross-section of people from Labor and the Greens to the fireman’s union, bee keepers, the Grim Reaper and Tibetan cows – pantomime-style cows that is.

 “We are unstoppable, another world is possible,” was the chant as the march – estimated by organisers to be as many as 6000 people – set off.

Federal Labor ACT MP Gai Brotmann said people were sending a strong message to the Turnbull government. “Action is required on climate, credible action and direction action is not that,” Ms Brotmann told AAP.

November 30, 2015 Posted by | ACT, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Royal Commission hears that nuclear is a poor solution to Climate Change



COMMISSIONER: We had it put to us that nuclear power generation might  be the saviour in terms of climate change. Would you add that to your economic analysis of light-water reactors in terms of accepting their development?

PROFESSOR SOKOLSKI: I think I would not, and I’ll tell you why. This is  a topic which has been debated very extensively here in the States and as a result, the folks promoting nuclear power and the folks who are against nuclear power have gotten focused on very, very detailed analytical models. The best, or I should say the one used the most, is put out by an auditing firm called McKenzie. This model has been used by Greenpeace analysts and the largest 25 merchant utility utilising nuclear power, Epsilon, and they both use this model and they both agree that it’s a good model, and this model tells you that you should do about ten other things first if you’re serious about reducing carbon before you buy a new power reactor. That strikes me as very, very interesting and as positive.

More recently, I think you can read an article that was put out by Chris Buckley in the New York Times, and he makes the case that others do, that China must go with nuclear to reduce its carbon footprint. But he repeats the claim by the government of China that at most by 2030 if every one of the 35 reactors they built was built on time, which will be a remarkable achievement, they will only have 10 per cent of their electricity generation supplied by nuclear. The rest will likely be fossil fuels. I think this tells you how far you can go with nuclear. First, not very and  second, there are quicker ways to reduce carbon that are cheaper.

Mostly it has to do with management of consumption which is a fancy word or phrase for turning the lights off more regularly and the second thing is doing natural gas substitutions for coal. Those are your quickest, cheapest ways to most dramatically reduce carbon and that is the project probably of the next 45 three decades. That is where you will make your advances. Also grid……to me

November 30, 2015 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016 | Leave a comment

Yet another delay in radioactive cleanup of Sydney’s Hunter’s Hill

text ionisingResidents appalled as radioactive clean-up of Sydney street delayed another four years   State Politics Editor, The Sun-Herald

The clean-up of radioactive waste from a residential street in Hunters Hill has been delayed for another four years, as the cost has almost doubled.

The Baird government was ordered by the Environment Protection Authority last November to submit a plan to remove toxic waste from six properties on Nelson Parade after a decade of delay and political paralysis.

The clean-up was to begin within 90 days of the plan being approved.

But Government Property NSW’s annual report has revealed the remediation work won’t be undertaken until 2016-17, and won’t be complete until 2018-19.

Remediation costs have blown out from $12.4 million to $22.5 million “mainly as a result of changes in the final waste disposal location”.

Philippa Clarke, of the Nelson Parade Action Group, said a delay until 2018 was “appalling”. Continue reading

November 30, 2015 Posted by | New South Wales, wastes | Leave a comment

Uncontrolled nuclear chain reactions could be underway at Fukushima

Fukushima-molten-coresFormer Japan Ambassador: Uncontrolled nuclear chain reactions could be underway at Fukushima — “Troubling indications of recurring criticality” as Tellurium-132 detected over 100 miles from plant — ‘Recriticality’ discussed by Japan’s top nuclear official

Japan Times, Nov 4, 2015 (emphasis added): The former Japanese ambassador to Switzerland,Mitsuhei Murata, recently suggested that Japan should stage an ‘honorable retreat’ from hosting the 2020 Olympics due to the unpredictable situation at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Continue reading

November 30, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bathurst – oldest inland city – No to ‘newest nuclear waste dump’ !

Protest-No!Bathurst business group concerned about nuclear dump proposal By Gavin Coote A Bathurst business group says it is unconvinced of the economic benefits being touted for a shortlisted nuclear waste site in the district.

Dozens of people packed a hall in Hill End yesterday to hear about the Federal Government’s proposal to store the material at nearby Sallys Flat.

The Bathurst Business Chamber says the $10 million sweetener on offer to the selected community would not offset the potential economic losses.

The president Stacey Whittaker said there could be ramifications for the local tourism and agriculture sectors if the proposal went ahead. “I don’t think it’s bringing anything positive to the region,” Ms Whittaker said. “We’ve got a lot of small businesses by way of farming out in the that area which I think are certainly more important and have put more back into the community and the area than a nuclear waste dump will ever do.”

Sallys Flat is one of six sites shortlisted for the facility, and government officials have told the forum it would not pose a safety threat.

Ms Whittaker said the stigma surrounding nuclear waste could draw unnecessary negativity to the area. “Certainly from the local business side of things in town itself of Bathurst, people are a bit concerned.

“You know Bathurst, oldest inland city in Australia and first nuclear waste dump. “That’s not a real good title, is it?”

November 30, 2015 Posted by | New South Wales, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

PODCAST No Nuclear Dump at Hill End

podcastSm This week we tune into the radioactive waste dump debate in Hill End, near Sally’s Flat, an area that is suddenly in the spotlight for being one of six potential sites for the national radioactive waste dump. We speak with Jodie Carter from the No Central West Nuclear Waste Dump Committee and Nat Wasley from the Beyond Nuclear Initiative. Further afield, we speak with Yankunytjatjara woman Karina Lester, in Japan for the World Nuclear Victims Forum. – See more at

November 30, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

In Japan , 13 Prefectures refuse to host nuclear waste dump

antnuke-relevantflag-japanThirteen prefectures say no to hosting nuclear waste depository, Japan Times, 29 Nov 15  KYODO A total of 13 out of the nation’s 47 prefectures say they would refuse to host a final disposal site for highly radioactive nuclear waste, a Kyodo News survey showed Saturday.

In the survey conducted between late October and early November, 13 local governments said they would “never accept” such a facility, eight sounded negative, while 24 declined to clarify their position and two said they will “carefully consider the possibility.” None showed a positive stance toward hosting the site.

In May, the government introduced a plan in which it will choose candidate sites for burying high-level radioactive waste based on scientific analysis, rather than waiting for municipalities to express a willingness to host a final depository.

The change of policy reflects the lack of progress made in the process of soliciting candidate sites that began in 2002 due to safety concerns.

For permanent disposal, high-level nuclear waste needs to be stored in a final depository more than 300 meters underground for up to 100,000 years until radiation levels fall and it no longer poses a threat to humans and the environment.

Among the 13 prefectures opposed to accommodating a disposal site, four host nuclear power plants…….

November 30, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Activists, including Australia’s Climate Guardians, still protesting in Paris, despite State of Emergency

logo-Climate-GuardiansSome activist groups plan to march at the Place de la Republic in defiance of the state of emergency. Others are looking for creative ways to make their point whilst staying within the bounds of the law.Among them are the Climate Guardians, Australian activists dressed as angels to highlight the stewardship of natural resources.

COP21: Security crackdown in Paris sees climate change protesters under house arrest, ABC News 29 Nov 15 By Melissa Clarke in Paris French climate change activists have been placed under house arrest ahead of the opening of the UN climate change conference in Paris.

Public demonstrations are banned in France under the state of emergency that was declared after the Paris terrorist attacks two week ago, in which 130 people were killed.

Green groups have described the move as “an abuse of power” but the French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the activists were suspected of planning violent protests……

A delegation of environmental organisations met with French president Francois Hollande to appeal against the measures.

Greenpeace International’s executive Director Kumi Naidoo said he was “disappointed” that France’s political leadership would “choose to enable sporting events, trade exhibitions and other arts and culture events to go ahead, but with such a clamp down on the space for the biggest issue humanity faces”. Continue reading

November 30, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

United Nations call on Australia to produce a consistent climate policy, not ‘mixed messages’

flag-UN.Map Turnbull climateUN calls for consistent climate policy from Australia   Australia needs to be more consistent on climate change after mixed messages under recent governments, a senior UN official says. Australia must be more consistent on climate change after a series of erratic policy changes, a senior United Nations environment program official says.

Kaveh Zahedi, the UN’s Environment Program (UNEP) Asia Pacific representative, says Australia’s climate policies have failed to reflect wider community concerns over climate change.

“It seems we are getting mixed messages (on climate change policy),” Zahedi told AAP.

Zahedi’s comments come ahead of next week’s Paris summit on climate change, which is aimed at forging an agreement to cut greenhouse emissions, and limiting global warming to 2C.

Policy measures to deal with climate change have included a carbon tax introduced by the former Labor government, which was later repealed by the coalition under Tony Abbott.

Zahedi said Australia needed to bring policy certainty to the Paris negotiating table next week.

He hoped the underlying message from the Paris summit would be clear and “override some of the mixed messages that might or might not exist at the national level”.

November 30, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment

Queensland govt plans to extinguish Native Title for Adani’s coal mine

exclamation-Wangan & Jagalingou People: 
Qld Government Plans to Extinguish Native Title for Adani’s Coal Mine A New Low in Violating Traditional Owners Rights

27 Nov 15:

“‘Not here, not now, not this time’ say Traditional Owners

Adrian Burragubba, senior spokesperson of the
Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners’ Council, 
has strongly condemned plans by Queensland’s Coordinator General Barry Broe, under the imprimatur of Minister for Mines Anthony Lynham, to extinguish native title on parts  of the W&J’s traditional lands in the Galilee Basin in order to enable Indian giant Adani to develop infrastructure for its $16.5bn Carmichael coal mine, the biggest in Australian history.
The plans were revealed in documents obtained by the ABC. Mr Burragubba said, “It is beyond comprehension that the Government would consider such a shameful and absurd proposal in an era when our rights are sanctioned under international law; and when we are already in the Federal
Court contesting the State Government and Adani’s attempts to override our rights.”
“Premier Palaszczuk needs to rule out this outrageous proposal immediately”, Mr Burragubba said. “I assure the Premier she will be bringing on one of the biggest human rights battles we’ve seen in Queensland in a long time. If destroying our rights and handing our lands to a foreign
mining company is on her agenda, she better think again.” … “

November 30, 2015 Posted by | politics, Queensland | Leave a comment