Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill launches nuclear propaganda campaign

Weatherill glowPremier Jay Weatherill Sunday, May 29, 2016  Consultation on nuclear future to extend across all of South Australia
Over 100 sites across more than 60 South Australian towns will be visited during an extensive three month state-wide nuclear engagement program later this year.
Teams from the newly formed Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Consultation and Response Agency will begin visiting communities from late July, travelling across the State to explain the Royal Commission’s report and gather feedback from the community.
All major regional centres, more than 50 remote towns and all Aboriginal communities will be visited in a dedicated program to ensure all South Australians can get involved in the conversation about the State’s future involvement in the nuclear industry.
Major suburban shopping centres and events, such as the Eyre Peninsula Field Days in Cleve (August), and the Royal Adelaide Show (September) are also included.
 On Friday, registrations of interest for the first Citizens’ Jury were closed, with 1121 South Australians signing up to take part.

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May 30, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Friends of the Earth tracking the progress of South Australia’s Royal Commission into Nuclear Expansion

highly-recommendedSA Royal Commission into Nuclear Expansion

logo-FOEThis webpage will track the progress of the South Australian Royal Commission, established by the South Australian government in February 2015 to examine options to expand the state’s involvement in the nuclear fuel cycle.

Quick links:

May 30, 2016 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Pro coal, nuclear John White still quietly running Liberal govt’s resources policy

White,-JohnTurnbull’s #Innovation and #IdeasBoom is to flog fossil fuels. KaBOOM! Independent Australia Tracey Anton 28 May 2016 “………In an article in Crikey by Paddy Manning, entitled ‘Hunt pins hopes on uncompetitive clean coal technology’, Manning writes:

John White chairs the DICE network of companies and agencies developing the technology, and is an executive and founding shareholder of Ignite Energy Resources,(IER)’ 

White told Manning:

‘..It halves CO2 emissions and will be eligible for Emissions Reduction Funding under Direct Action policies.’

Not only was White in financial trouble prior to receiving over $20 million in “grants” for the DICE project but he had also incurred a loss of $6 million in the 2012 calendar year.

White,John1White is an old Liberal heavyweight who was former Prime Minister John Howard’s right hand man in developing the Uranium Industry Framework for Australia’s nuclear future and just happens to hold dominion over thousands of square kilometres in Gippsland through the company he is shareholder and founder of, Ignite Energy Resources. He also has an uncanny knack of developing new coal technology which will reward him benefits under the Coalition’s Direct Action climate policy that he advised on.

Then there were the concerns over a $3 billion port in Gippsland when White, allegedly, was head of the (GRID) panel on transport infrastructure. That would go with his planned open cut coal minein the groundwater depleted area of Gelliondale.

Next, was the inclusion of biomass (another “clean” energy project) in the Renewable Energy Target securing White feedstock from our Gippsland forests. Now, he is telling government that his Gippsland Gas project will provide an abundance of “clean, agricultural quality” extracted water from his proposed biogenic coal gas project in the water stressed area of South Gippsland. Simply put, it is coal seam gas with the same destructive intrusions and the same hazards.

White’s most grandiose venture was to produce nuclear energy for the world by turning uranium into nuclear fuel rods, leasing them and bringing back the waste (including plutonium from the U.S. weapons industry). It’s interesting that Ignite holds leases for thorium adjacent to the iconic Ninety Mile Beach in Gippsland. Thorium – uranium’s young sister – is hailed by nuclear proponents as the green energy source of the future.

Only problem is, its exploration and mining is banned in Victoria. Bizarrely, when IA‘s Sandi Keane and I reported on White’s involvement in Ignite (‘Victorian government ignores Gippsland gasfield concerns’), the Minerals Council of Victoria rather stupidly tried to get the article pulled. They claimed we’d got the WRONG John White. We didn’t. It was a desperate act by MCA. You can find the whole story here. It seems the reason they wanted us to pull the article was because they’d applied to the former state LNP government to have the legislation banning exploration and mining of thorium and uranium repealed and didn’t want White’s name mentioned. Welcome to the shadowy world of Dr White.,9038

May 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australia covered up plight of Tasmania wilderness and Kakadu in UN Report

see-no-evilAustralia covered up UN climate change fears for Tasmania forests and Kakadu
Fears about damage to the Great Barrier Reef were removed from UN report along with concern about a threat to the environment in two other heritage sites,
Guardian, , 29 May 16, A draft UN report on climate change, which was scrubbed of all reference to Australia over fears it could deter visitors to the Great Barrier Reef, also outlined possible threats to the Tasmania wilderness and Kakadu.

The draft report contained a chapter on the Great Barrier Reef, which described climate change as “the biggest long-term threat to the [reef] today, and to its ecosystems services, biodiversity, heritage values and tourism economy”.

It concluded that “without a comprehensive response more in keeping with the scale of the threat, the [reef]’s extraordinary biodiversity and natural beauty may lose its world heritage values”.

But before it was scrubbed, the report had two other key sections on Australian world heritage sites, and the threats they face from climate change.

One of those sections was on the Tasmanian wilderness…….the censored section of the Unesco report on Tasmania is clear about the “dire” nature of the threat.

It said: “A 2013 assessment of climate threats identified the same habitats as at high risk from greater fire frequency and drier conditions, with likely catastrophic implications for fauna. These dire predictions appeared to be playing out in January 2016, when tens of thousands of hectares of forest burned, sparked by lightning strikes that came in a month when temperatures were 2C above average and in the wake of the driest two-year period ever recorded for the region.”

The deleted section on Kakadu national park contained similarly dire warnings.

It described the important natural and cultural values of Kakadu, which has been inhabited by Aboriginal people for 50,000 years.

“The thousands of rock art sites in the park are at risk from damage by more extreme rainfall events, while sea level rise is happening at twice the global average along the northern Australian coast,” the draft report said.

It warned that fresh-water wetlands were at risk from sea level rise, as they are likely to be inundated with salt water. “Climate change threatens Aboriginal traditional use by altering the ecosystems of the vast wetlands of Kakadu and raising temperatures to a level likely to lead to more intense fire regimes,” the report said.

The final version of the report entitled “World heritage and tourism in a changing climate” was published last week by Unesco, United Nationsenvironment programme and the Union of Concerned Scientists, with all references to Australia removed.

The lead author of the report, Adam Markham, told Guardian Australia: “I was shocked when I read in the Guardian the reasons the Australian government gave for why they had pressured Unesco to drop the Australian sites.”

May 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Greens energy plan to generate $53 billion of investment in Queensland

greensSmUSA election 2016Greens announce $53b clean energy plan The Greens have announced a clean energy plan for Queensland which it says will generate $53 billion of investment in projects over 15 years. “This would be delivered through a combination of direct government investment and ownership, and reverse auctions which provide bankable incentives for private sector investment.”
Senator Di Natale said the plan would create between 3000 and 5500 full-time jobs in design and construction each year from 2017 across Queensland, particularly in regional areas hit hard by the mining downturn.

Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters said delivering a clean-energy economy would also safeguard Great Barrier Reef tourism jobs and agricultural jobs that were threatened by coal mining and coal seam gas.

“The old parties are leaving Queensland at risk of missing out on the job-rich clean energy revolution,” she said.

May 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2016 | Leave a comment

Major political parties downplay environment as election approaches

USA election 2016Parties yet to turn on the green light  May 28, 2016  One of the key issues missing from the election campaign so far is the environment.

The economy, health and education have been the focus of the first three weeks of the campaign.

However, the environment has proven to be a well-trodden battleground in federal elections over the past two decades.

Tony Abbott’s crusade against Labor’s carbon tax helped propel him into office in 2013, despite Kevin Rudd’s best efforts to bring forward the start of the emissions trading scheme.

In 2010, both major parties made announcements on climate change, the health of the Murray-Darling system, marine parks, Queensland’s controversial wild rivers laws and forestry.

In 2007, Rudd’s promise to ratify the Kyoto protocol and take strong action on climate change helped convince thousands of voters to unseat the Howard coalition government.

John Howard himself kicked around the idea of an emissions trading scheme, having realised tackling issues such as water and climate were not only good for the environment but made economic and electoral sense.

 Coming into the 2016 election, Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull are both passionate believers that climate change represents a serious global threat.

Turnbull was rolled by his own party in 2009 over his support for Labor’s ETS and has been forced to embrace Abbott’s direct action plan, despite evidence of its ineffectiveness and voter confusion over what he really believes. Shorten says separate emissions trading schemes for the electricity sector and industry, coupled with a target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, is the way to go.

For both major parties, there are votes to be won in talking up the benefits of jobs and economic growth from renewable energy, clean technology, greener farming practices and ensuring the long-term health of the Great Barrier Reef.

There are big electoral benefits for strong environmental policy.

Younger voters, especially, rate climate and the environment among their top concerns and if Labor or the coalition are to woo them away from the Greens they will need to come out early with some impressive policy.

A policy misstep by Labor could cost the party valuable Greens preferences.

May 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2016 | Leave a comment

Up to 20 USA nuclear stations headed to close, as uneconomical

nuclear-costs1Economics Point Toward Closure for Up To 20 U.S. Nukes, The Energy Mix, May 24, 2016 A leading nuclear industry lobby group in the United States says its members aren’t being paid enough for their power, threatening the shutdown of 15 to 20 generating stations in the country………

Speaking at a U.S. Department of Energy summit last week, Marvin Fertel, president and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute, said more than a dozen plants face possible early closure because they are uneconomic at today’s market wholesale power rates……..

The message appears to have reached U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who told the summit that “the importance of incentivizing continued [nuclear] operation is very clear. Solutions are less clear.”

Earlier this month, the Omaha Public Power District proposed closing its 478-MW Fort Calhoun nuclear plant, the smallest in the U.S., and the Tennessee Valley Authority gave up on its unfinished Bellefonte nuclear station in Alabama and put it up for sale. Last month, Moody’s Investor Services reported that low natural gas prices threatened widespread nuclear and coal plant closures.

Those closures may bring owners less financial relief than they anticipate. As expensive as nuclear power plants are to build, safely shutting them down will also cost hundreds of billions, potentially trillions of dollars, Climate News Network reported last month.

May 30, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce all for the full nuclear fuel chain

nuclear-fuel-chain3Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce warns South Australians face higher power prices because of renewable energy, Adelaide Now, PAUL STARICKCHIEF REPORTER March 16   The Advertiser DEPUTY Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is warning of rising household electricity prices triggered by South Australia’s world-leading renewable energy use and is urging nuclear power as a clean alternative.

In an interview with The Advertiser, Mr Joyce seized on the Port Augusta power stations’ looming closure in May and declared its ­impact of slashing baseload supply would likely result in higher prices for consumers……

Mr Joyce applauded SA’s Nuclear Royal Commission and backed public debate on its key interim recommendations, delivered last month, of an international waste repository for SA and further exploring nuclear power.

Declaring he would be unsurprised if both major parties eventually supported a waste repository, Mr Joyce said there was unprecedented bipartisan support for exploiting SA’s ­globally significant uranium resource across most aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle…..

“The ultimate renewable energy — zero emissions energy — is nuclear energy…”

May 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Exposing Turnbull’s deceit on fossil fuels and climate change

Turnbull liarTurnbull’s #Innovation and #IdeasBoom is to flog fossil fuels. KaBOOM! Independent Australia Tracey Anton 28 May 2016 Transitioning the economy away from fossil fuel dependency is now the global catchcry. So why is Turnbull funding DICE-y coal technology at the expense of renewables whilst claiming to mitigate climate change? Mining reformist, Tracey Anton reports.

CLIMATE CHANGE has quickly become an economic and energy policy nightmare for Government but what Turnbull is presenting to the public is based on deceit. The LNP’s mishmash of policy contradiction and current economic mismanagement of fossil fuel extraction is to defraud the public of billions of dollars.

Turnbull states:

“we transition from an economy that has been fired up by an unprecedented mining construction boom as we transition to the new economy of the 21st century.”

The great disparity between saying you will reduce emissions but then stealthily grow a new and bigger fossil fuel industry needs to be called out and exposed.

We already have LNP’s ongoing team assault on the environment now showing a jump in emissions since the removal of the carbon price in 2014 with increases in liquefied natural gas (LNG) greenhouse gases adding to the rise.

Worst still is the report by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. Due to the LNP’s continual backflip and integrity of Turnbull and Co to apply believable climate mitigation strategies, Australia is way down the list for credibility to implement policy commitments.

Under the LNP, the Department of Climate Change has never been valued with their aim to subvert its legitimacy. Now, Climate Change dwells as a subsection in the Department of Environment.

Currently, the taxpayers will be shelving out billions of dollars to facilitate and subsidise a burgeoning fossil fuel energy future and the pain will only get worse if the Turnbull government is returned………

As for new coal technologies, coal still has to be extracted so the pits get bigger, groundwater is still bleed, air pollution is increased, waste water still needs to be disposed of and land and coastal subsidence will worsen, and the cycle goes on.

We already know that the mining industry is dictating government policy but the infiltration of agencies and our main science and research organisation, CSIRO is concerning.

CSIRO is now one of “entrepreneurial” innovation to market technology to the world…….

The innovation that he [CSIRO’s CEO Dr Larry Marshall] wants to sell to the world is the DICE technology, a coal to fuel derivative that starts with turning prime agricultural land into an open cut brown coal mine. How is that to mitigate climate change? Worse, the technology is also water and energy intensive — so it can burn cleaner somewhere else. Meanwhile, Turnbull has to build more dams because he is giving all our precious water to mining……..,9038

May 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Radio Ecoshock scrutinises James Hansen’s promotion of nuclear power

ice-sheets-meltingICE MELT CONTROLS WORLD WEATHER Radio Ecoshock 29 May 16  More on super storms, ice melt & James Hansen, from climate expert Dr. David Archer & the late anti-nuclear activist Michael Mariotte. New Antarctic melt science w. Dr. Tony Worby & Dr. David Etheridge – some surprises in role of Antarctic ice in world weather.

Download or listen to this Radio Ecoshock show in Ecoshock 160525 Lo-Fi (14 MB) or Ecoshock 160525 CD Quality (56 MB)

Welcome to a third program where we look into claims Earth will experience rapidly rising seas and super storms in the coming decades…….

I have trouble with James Hansen’s promotion of nuclear power as a solution for climate change. In Hansen’s book “Storms of My Grandchildren” he advocates for Generation Four nuclear reactors, new designs that are allegedly safer. But now he’s gone a step further, teaming up in an unlikely alliance with Michael Schellenberger of the Breaththrough Institute, to push for Illinois to keep old and dangerous reactors running – and get a public subsidy for them.

Two of these are the GE Mark I reactors that blew up in Fukushima, due to bad design (the fuel rods come up from the bottom, through seals that let reactor fuel leak out of containment). Hansen is on the board of an industry-friendly group in Illinois, all funded by the Chicago billonaire family, the Pritzkers. Strange company.

I talk with the long-time head of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) Michael Mariotte about “how low will they go”. In the few days since I recorded that interview, I am sad to report that Michael passed away May 23rd from pancreatic cancer. This was his last interview. Michael was true to his cause literally to the end.

Then we get some surprises in new science on Antarctica, from two Australian experts, Tony Worby and David Etheridge. We’ve all be focused on major changes in the Arctic, which is conveniently closer to most of us – but it’s the South Pole which may determine the future of the world – through sea levels, and sea ice several times greater than Australia. That ice melt may determine the coming weather, even in the next decades.

Hear-This-wayYou can listen to this show on Soundcloud right now!…….

May 30, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coober Pedy headed for 70% renewable energy

renewable-energy-pictureLocal jobs out of Hydro Tasmania project in Coober Pedy   Toli Papadopoulos 29 May 16. 

 A new project will inject millions into the Tasmanian economy and create local jobs, according to Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy.

Mr Davy said the new project will use local manufacturing suppliers, and aims to turn South Australia’s Coober Pedy into a renewable township.

Hydro Tasmania’s manager off-grid solutions Simon Gamble said a number of Tasmanian companies would be involved in the project, including Doric engineering and Southern Prospect out in Wynyard.

He said the containerised systems and electrical equipment would be designed and tested in Tasmania.

Hydro said it was engaged by project developer Energy Developments Limited to develop technologies previously used in King Island.

They said Energy Developments Limited received a grant of $18.4 million by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency for the project.

“This is second project using this containerised modular system, the first was Flinders Island, but this one is by far the largest project we’ve done,” Mr Gamble said.

Mr Gamble said Hydro had already invested in projects in South-East Asia and the Pacific, and this was really just the beginning.

Hydro said 70 per cent of the town’s energy will be drawn from renewable sources once the technology is in place, with a goal of eventually making Coober Pedy completely renewable.

May 30, 2016 Posted by | energy, South Australia | Leave a comment