Australian news, and some related international items

What are the true medical effects of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe?

highly-recommendedThe Medical Implications of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Thirty Years Ago, April 1986 By Helen Caldicott Global Research, April 25, 2016 The following text by renowned scientist Chernobyl_Disaster complexand physician Dr. Helen Caldicott on the impacts of the 1986 Chernobyl will be followed in a subsequent article by an analysis of the medical implications of the Fukushima disaster

The only on-site medical and epidemiological data gathered after Chernobyl was released in a report published by the New York Academy of Medicine in 2009 titled “Chernobyl – Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” which was gleaned from over 5000 papers published largely in Russian and translated into English.

These studies were gathered mainly from populations residing in the heavily irradiated zones in the Ukraine, Belarus and European Russia. However the Russian government classified all the relevant medical data for 3 years.

The Chernobyl 1986 catastrophe has turned into a new medical experiment conducted on millions of innocent people, much like the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Because, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations Security Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation and the World Health Organisation never collected data from real patients, instead to their discredit they estimated the number of potential diseases that they derived only from calculations of radioactive releases and extrapolated doses.

Hence it is vitally important to scientifically and epidemiologically document the many illnesses which arose after the accident so that the medical profession can learn from these shocking accidents. These papers presented in the Chernobyl report by the NY Academy of Sciences attempt to do so. Some people say that they are not adequately peer reviewed so they should be ignored, however they are the only on-the-ground documentations of the many illnesses afflicting  the irradiated populations

In essence 28 years after the accident, 50% of thirteen European countries are still contaminated by a variety of long-lived radioactive elements and the medical effects are severe in some areas. Before Chernobyl, 80% of the children in Belarus were healthy and now only 20% remain in good health.

Millions of people initially were exposed to very high radiation doses from short-lived radioactive elements so the initial radiation doses were thousands of times higher than doses received 3 years later.

Types of radioactive elements Continue reading

April 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Submarines to Australia – the Australia-France “contract of the century”

In a possible signs of things to come, France’s ambassador to Australia, Christophe Lecourtier, said future ties would not just be limited to submarines.

Australia-French relations: from nuclear villains to submarine purveyors, AFR, 28 Apr 18,  “……France winning, against hefty odds, the $50 billion contract to supply 12 French-designed submarines for the Australian Navy. State-controlled defence contractor DCNS won out over Germany’s ThysennKrupp Marine Systems and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to build 12 conventional submarines in Australia, a coup hailed by the French media as “the contract of the century”…… Continue reading

April 29, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Urgent need to end $7.7 Billion Fossil Fuel Subsidies

fossil-fuel-industry$7.7 Billion Fossil Fuel Subsidies ‘Like Being In Bed With Big Tobacco’ , New Matilda, By  on April 26, 2016 Calls for an end to fossil fuel subsidies are growing louder in the lead up to Treasurer Scott Morrison’s May 3 budget, with a diverse coalition of advocates demanding an end to the $7.7 billion free ride they claim the fossil fuel industry gets each year.

At a press conference in Canberra this morning academics, religious leaders, renewable energy interests and unionists said it was illogical and counter-productive for the government to continue to subsidise fossil fuels if it’s serious about transitioning to clean energy.

“Continuing to fund polluters when we know the damage being done to the environment is unforgivable intergenerational theft,” said Luke Stickels, from the Australian Education Union.

“It is grossly foolish and unfair. Developing our nation’s future is foremost in the minds of educators in schools across the country, but that future is not secure when the government continues to defy the urgent public desire for strong action on climate change,” he said.

In a letter sent late March, a group of more than 50 civil society groups spelled out the savings they believe could be made if the government winds back subsidies to the industries which are fuelling climate change. They urged the government to:

● End non­agricultural fuel tax credits, boosting the budget by $5.5 billion in 2016­/17

● End exploration and prospecting deductions for the mining industry ($650m)

● End statutory effective life caps for the oil and gas sector ($349m)

● End the concessional rate of excise levied on aviation gasoline and aviation turbine fuel ($1.24b)

● Confirm that the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility will not invest in fossil fuel projects or in infrastructure that primarily assists such projects

This morning, former Anglican Church Bishop George Browning reiterated that the government “must stop handing over billions of our dollars to the fossil fuel industry, whose activities are driving dangerous climate change”.

“Science and Christianity are on the same page in urging human responsibility in the face of escalating climate change,” he said. “The clock is ticking. We cannot sit on our hands any longer.”……..

April 29, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Turnbull’s climate policy deceptions – cut climate funds, then announce new policies

Turnbull climate 2 facedTricky Turnbull’s climate strategy: When less is more!, Independent Australia  Giles Parkinson 28 April 2016, Turnbull promises to be trickier than Howard as he tries to put one over the public with his “less is more” climate strategy! RenewEconomy‘s Giles Parkinson does his own FactCheck.

THE COALITION government under Malcolm Turnbull has a rapidly evolving strategy on climate change and clean energy — announce new jobs and investments, but only after cutting even more jobs and investments.

Those were the allegations levelled at the Turnbull government on Tuesday after the CSIRO announced a new climate change research centre in what appears to be a patch-up job by innovation minister Christopher Pyne and environment minister Greg Hunt, and Hunt’s announcement of an “extra” $50 million for the Great Barrier Reef.

The CSIRO cuts are particularly galling for the science community. A new division to be based in Hobart, combining with elements of the Bureau of Meteorology, will employ 40 climate scientists. But CSIRO chief Larry Marshall, intent on converting the CSIRO from focusing on the public good to revenue opportunities with business, says 75 jobs will still be lost from the climate division, albeit down from 110.

CSIRO climate scientists dismiss this as a “con” job. Professor Dave Griggs, a former director of Monash Sustainability Institute at Monash University said it was like “trying to put a sticking plaster over a gaping wound.”

Similarly, Hunt on Tuesday announced $50 million of “new” funding for the Great Barrier Reef, which the government has finally realised is under grave threat following the worst bleaching event on record, which has touched more than 90 per cent of the reef.

The Greens said: Not so fast, arguing that the funds simply replace monies cut in the past two years —  $40 million from the Reef Water Quality Program in 2014, and $10 million from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

The recycled funding follows a similar pattern on clean energy. Hunt has used the proposed start of construction on a wind farm in northern NSW as proof that the government has brought clarity and stability to the industry. Instead, the Coalition’s policies have brought the industry to a standstill.

And last month, when the Turnbull government announced the creation of a “new” Clean Energy Innovation Fund, it did so only after shifting funds already allocated to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and announcing it would seek to rescind the $1.3 billion budget legislated for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

On climate, numbers are juggled in a different way. Hunt insists that Australia is on track to deliver its Kyoto target for 2020, which is true, because it is largely a book-keeping exercise borne out of a highly favourable agreement for Australia reached a decade ago.

The climate target that really matters – the one signed in New York last Friday under the Paris agreement – is more problematic. Australia’s target is well short of what is considered its fair share by every assessment bar the Coalition’s, which continues to rely on a “per capita” reduction calculation that places Australia at the bottom of the world ladder, along with the oil-guzzling Saudis.

Australia’s own data actually shows an increase in emissions in the coming decade, bar some as-yet unannounced policy measure. And while the Coalition may be relying on another fortunate piece of accounting, the Paris deal calls for the “decarbonisation” of the global economy. That means replacing fossil fuels with clean energy………

the Australian economy, which continues to focus on commodities and to prostrate itself at the feet of the fossil fuel industry, with a clouded future.

The government, you would hope, is smart enough to see what is coming. It just doesn’t have the fortitude to share that view with the public, or tell the hard right ideologues to stop kidding themselves.,8929

April 29, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment