Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Indigenous peoples lead the climate movement

‘Lock the Gate’ campaign opposing fracking in Gippsland and NSW, between farmers, environmentalists and Indigenous custodians.

Anti-racist solidarities are changing before our eyes at the #NODAPL Standing Rock protest camp. Race formations are morphing into global Indigenous resistance networks.

the resistance by those first and worst impacted – Indigenous peoples – has placed them on the front line, from where we must credit them as leading this struggle on behalf of the living.

We owe them, yet again.

indigenous

The Climate Movement Is Indigenous-led https://newmatilda.com/2016/12/02/the-climate-movement-is-indigenous-led/By  on December 2, 2016  Dr Liz Conor pays tribute to the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Indigenous people the world over who are leading the fight for climate action.

In 1923, Iroquois chief Deskaheh travelled to Geneva to present the grievances of his Six Nations people. Although he was officially ignored, he brought about two seismic shifts on the world stage: He appealed to them as the representative of a sovereign domestic state, and in doing so he forged a shared global identification for all native peoples – Indigenous. Continue reading

December 4, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Carbon emitted from soil as Arctic region heats

map-arctic-warmArctic soils are set to release a lot of carbon — probably more than plants can absorb Author: , ADN.com 3 Dec 16  As temperatures have risen in the Arctic and worldwide, so have worries about how much carbon might stream into the atmosphere from warmer soils.

Will enough new carbon be released from the ground, potentially exacerbating the global warming cycle? And will new-growth carbon dioxide-absorbing plants growing in warmer conditions be able to keep pace?

Now scientists have some better answers to both questions — and they’re troubling. Continue reading

December 4, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Turnbull must reject dirty deal with Adani  

 coal CarmichaelMine2Don’t put the interests of big polluters ahead of the interests of the Australian people. PM Malcolm Turnbull appears to be preparing to give multinational mining company Adani $1 billion of Australian taxpayers’ money to fund a coal-carting railway line from the Galilee Basin to the Great Barrier Reef coast.

Media reports today say up to $1 billion of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has been earmarked for the project.

“It seems Prime Minister Turnbull is preparing to put the interests of big polluters ahead of the interests of the Australian people and misuse a billion dollars of public money to support the mega-polluting Carmichael coal project,” said ACF CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.

“This would be a serious misuse of public money, a breach of previous assurances and would turn NAIF into the ‘Dirty Energy Finance Corporation’.

“Adani has a mining licence, but no social licence.

“Any investment in coal in the 21st Century is a dud investment. Australians will lose this money and it will fund the death of the much-loved Great Barrier Reef.

“The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is supposed to fund projects that are in the public interest, not coal mines that will create more reef-wrecking climate pollution and jeopardise up to 70,000 jobs that rely on a healthy Great Barrier Reef.

“The NAIF board must release the assessment documents that show how it has determined the environmental and social benefits of this project.

“The government wouldn’t fund SPC Ardmona or the car industry, but it appears willing to fund a billionaire coal company with a dubious environmental record.”

In India, Adani has faced numerous accusations of damaging the environment and failing to comply with regulations and laws.

“If Adani is unable to fund the mine, Australia will be left with a railway to nowhere and an unpaid billion dollar loan,” Ms O’Shanassy said. “Prime Minister Turnbull can choose to entrench Australia’s dependence on a dirty, declining industry or protect the reef and steer us to a brighter, cleaner future.”

December 4, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Canberra shows off its renewable energy success

renewable-energy-pictureCanberra’s renewable energy facilities host open day, Canberra Times, Stephen Jeffery , 5 Dec 16  Canberra’s renewable energy providers threw their doors open on Saturday to showcase the ways the ACT and southern NSW are helping to reduce carbon emissions.

The Renewable Energy Trail, celebrating 2016 Renewable Energy Day, took Canberrans and tourists to sites across the ACT and surrounding areas of NSW. The day kicked off, under appropriately sunny skies, at the Mount Majura Solar Farm, which began operations this year.

A bus took visitors to Canberra Institute of Technology’s Renewable Energy Skills Centre of Excellence and Renewables Battery Test Centre, before moving on to the “Big Dish” at the Australian National University, a display of electric vehicles in Tuggeranong, and Googong Dam’s mini hydroelectric facility.

A separate bus ventured into NSW, touring the Woodlawn Bioreactor and wind farm.

ACT Environment Minister Mick Gentleman and Climate Change Minister Shane Rattenbury officially opened the event…..The Renewable Energy Trail was held in the same week a report found the ACT well ahead of other Australian states and territories in emission reduction targets.

The ACT also won the Carbon Disclosure Project’s award for “Best Renewable Target” during the week. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-life/canberras-renewable-energy-facilities-host-open-day-20161203-gt39xt.html

December 4, 2016 Posted by | ACT, energy | Leave a comment

$375 billion needed by world cities to fight climate change

World cities seek $375 bn to fight climate change, Phys.org, December 2, 2016 The world’s big cities will need $375 billion of investment to curb climate change, a large gathering of mayors heard in Mexico on Thursday. “It is a lot, but there is no other option. Together we will seek that money,” said the new president of the C40 network of big cities, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

If that amount is made available “humanity will have a chance of surviving,” she told a gathering of C40 mayors in Mexico.

The mayors were meeting to plot strategy in the face of climate skepticism from US President-elect Donald Trump.

They said they planned to make commitments to reduce harmful emissions by promoting cycling in cities and renewable energy, among other measures.

In one such initiative, the mayors of Paris, Mexico City and Madrid said in a statement Thursday they had committed to ridding their cities of diesel engines by 2025 to improve air quality.

As leaders of busy, polluted cities that are home to millions of people, the mayors gathered in Mexico City want countries to push on with adopting the so-called Paris Agreement to limit .

Trump has cast doubt on the accord, which aims to limit  to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels……With only one degree Celsius of warming so far, the world has already seen an upsurge in extreme weather, including droughts, superstorms, heat waves and coastal flooding boosted by rising seas. http://phys.org/news/2016-12-world-cities-bn-climate.html#jCp

December 4, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trump Appoints Climate Skeptic to NASA Team

Global Warming Research in Danger as Trump Appoints Climate Skeptic to NASA Team, The Intercept,  December 2 2016ONE OF NASA’S most high-profile projects has been to track historical average global temperature. In January 2016, the agency released data that showed 2015 had been the hottest year on record. “Today’s announcement not only underscores how critical NASA’s Earth observation program is, it is a key data point that should make policy makers stand up and take notice — now is the time to act on climate,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a statement at the time. Since then, NASA’s monthly updates on temperature delivered a steady dose of dread as month after month was declared the hottest recorded.

Now Donald Trump’s first NASA transition team pick is Christopher Shank, a Hill staffer who has said he is unconvinced of a reality that is accepted by the vast majority of climate scientists: that humans are the primary driver of climate change. Shank previously worked for Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican congressman who played a key role in dragging out debates on the basic nature of climate change at a time when the science is settled and action is urgent.

Shank has criticized the type of scientific data NASA regularly releases. As part of a panel in September 2015 at Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes, he said, “The rhetoric that’s coming out, the hottest year in history, actually is not backed up by the science — or that the droughts, the fires, the hurricanes, etc., are caused by climate change, but it’s just weather.”…..

Shank’s appointment dovetails with threats from Trump’s advisors to scrap NASA’s research on climate change. In an October op-ed for Space News, Trump campaign advisors Robert Walker and Peter Navarro stated, “NASA should be focused primarily on deep space activities rather than Earth-centric work that is better handled by other agencies.”…….

Shank’s longtime boss Smith, the Republican head of the House Science, Space, and Technology committee, led an effort to slash NASA’s earth science budget this year and in 2011 requested an investigation into the “politicization of NASA.”

Smith is obsessed with combatting what he has called “climate religion.” …… https://theintercept.com/2016/12/01/global-warming-research-in-danger-as-trump-appoints-climate-skeptic-to-nasa-team/

December 4, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Northern Territory appoints too many mining representatives to its Mining Advisory Committee

Concerns mining industry over-represented on NT Government-appointed board, ABC News, 4 Dec 16  By Sara Everingham The NT Environmental Defenders Office has raised concerns the mining industry is over-represented on the mining board, which was set up and appointed by the former Country Liberals Government.

A new report revealed that a directive to Glencore’s McArthur River Mine (MRM) by the Department of Primary Industry and Resources — formerly the Northern Territory Mines Department — was overruled by the Government-appointed mining board.

The report by the mine’s independent monitor, the Erias Group, said the NT Mines Department made an order last year after officers on an MRM site visit reported “unapproved works” where waste rock containing metals and salt had been placed in a facility approved for benign material only.

“The use of non-benign material in close proximity to the McArthur River diversion channel and lack of adequate environmental controls represent a risk to the environment,” the department’s officers reported.

The department directed MRM to move the material but MRM appealed against the order to the Mining Board arguing the works were temporary.

The board, now also known as the Mining Advisory Committee, found in MRM’s favour.

The principal lawyer from the NT Environmental Defenders Office, David Morris, said he was concerned the department’s directive had been overruled.

“It’s of concern to me that mining officers who go down and spend a significant amount of time on the site have said ‘we think material has been placed inappropriately, we think that’s putting the environment at risk’ and the Mining Board said ‘well no we’re going to agree with Glencore who’s appealed this decision’,” Mr Morris said………. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-03/makeup-of-nt-mining-board-questioned/8089756

December 4, 2016 Posted by | Northern Territory, politics | Leave a comment

Public submissions on renewed call for ACT Jupiter wind farm

Wind turbines in Azerbaijan. Second time lucky? Jupiter wind farm application lodged again, Canberra Times, 4 Dec 16 Katie Burgess 

The company behind the controversial Jupiter wind farm has taken another swing at getting the green light to build 88 wind turbines near Canberra, a year after NSW officials sent them back to the drawing board.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment struck out EPYC’s application to build the wind farm five kilometres out of the Tarago township last October, after it found the company had not sufficiently addressed environmental and community concerns.

But the joint Australian-Spanish venture has come back to the NSW Department of Environment and Planning with a revised proposal, which has now opened for public consultation.

While the original Jupiter wind farm proposal was to build 100 turbines across 25 rural properties, the new one outlines plans to build 88 turbines across 23 rural properties.

EPYC project manager Ibrahim Eid said the revised environmental impact statement included consultation with community members up to three kilometres away.

But residents of the surrounding regions have vowed to once again fight the proposal, which EPYC has been trying to get off the ground since 2014………

The wind farm will be within 15 kilometres of two operational wind farms, one approved wind farm and a solar farm.

The environmental impact statement acknowledged there could be wind turbines within two kilometres of properties not part of the farm.

It also stated there were 43 threatened fauna species, including the glossy black cockatoo and the spotted-tail quoll, however the turbines, substations and other ancillary buildings would be built on cleared paddocks.

The company will carry out targeted ecological surveys to determine where each wind turbine will sit.

Public submissions on the proposed wind farm close in February. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/second-time-lucky-jupiter-wind-farm-application-lodged-again-20161130-gt1f9j.html

December 4, 2016 Posted by | ACT, wind | Leave a comment

Rooftop solar energy boom, but warnings on quality

there are companies out there using the rebate wind-down as a “scare tactic” to convince people to invest now. And a lot of these companies, Morris warns, will be pedalling poor quality and “dumb” solar.

The CEC, meanwhile, launched a new campaign “advising people buying solar panels to look for an Approved Solar Retailer to make sure they get the best possible quality and service – and avoid getting a bad deal.”  

Another rooftop solar boom – this time with warnings http://reneweconomy.com.au/another-rooftop-solar-boom-time-warnings-35846/By  on 1 December 2016 Record low solar panel prices, combined with the ratcheting-down or removal of federal and state policy levers, are sparking a boom in Australia’s residential and commercial solar markets, while also prompting warnings to consumers to avoid the lure of cheap and nasty solar products – and installers. Retailers and wholesalers in the solar PV market have reported experiencing “unprecedented demand” in the month of November, which looks set to continue into December, the first month of the Australian summer. Continue reading

December 4, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment