Australian news, and some related international items

Geoengineering- a risky method to reduce climate change

But Lohmann and Gasparini warn that the plan comes with major drawbacks. It could, they say, lead to even more cirrus clouds being formed, exacerbating global warming in the process.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND GEOENGINEERING: ARTIFICIALLY COOLING PLANET EARTH BY THINNING CIRRUS CLOUDS, NewsWeek, BY HANNAH OSBORNE ON 7/21/17 “……Over recent decades, scientists from across the globe have been discussing the potential of geoengineering—the deliberate manipulation of the environment that could, in theory, cool the planet and help stabilize the climate.

There are main two types of geoengineering. The first involves removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it. This is already being done on an industrial scale, but it is not effective enough at the moment to cope with the huge levels of emissions. The other type, solar radiation management, is more radical—an attempt to reduce the amount of sunlight absorbed by the planet by reflecting it away.

Many ways of doing this have been proposed. One of the most widely discussed (and riskiest) involves the injection of reflective aerosols into the upper atmosphere. This plan is based on the cooling effect of volcanoes: Sulfur dioxide emitted in an eruption causes the formation of droplets of sulfuric acid. These reflect the sunlight away, creating a cooling effect. But this plan could also go very wrong. The sulfuric acid could strip away the ozone layer, leaving Earth completely exposed to the sun’s radiation.

In an article published in the journal Science, Ulrike Lohmann and Blaž Gasparini, from the ETH Zurich, in Switzerland, discuss a variation of this idea: the thinning of cirrus clouds to target the long-wave radiation coming from Earth.

Cirrus clouds are thin and wispy clouds that form at high altitudes and do not reflect much solar radiation back into space, creating a greenhouse effect. The higher the altitude at which they form, the larger the warming effect on the climate. And in a warmer climate, cirrus clouds form at higher altitudes.
So what if we got rid of them? These clouds could be thinned out—leading to a reduction in their warming effect—by seeding them with aerosol particles like sulfuric or nitric acid, which act as “ice nucleating particles” or INPs. If these are injected into the level of the atmosphere where cirrus clouds form, the way they form would be altered, resulting in thinner clouds that have less of a warming effect.

Continue reading

July 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This could be the next big strategy for suing over climate change.

Two California coastal counties and one beach-side city touched off a possible new legal front in the climate change battle this week, suing dozens of major oil, coal, and other fossil fuel companies for the damages they say they will incur due to rising seas

July 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Head of Donald Trump’s manufacturing council, Australian Mr Liveris breaks with Trump on climate policy

Andrew Liveris adamant US will revisit Paris climate deal,, 22 July 17 JAMIE WALKERAssociate Editor, Brisbane @Jamie_WalkerOz The Australian businessman tasked with making American manufacturing great for Donald Trump has broken with the President on climate policy, saying the US must re-engage with the Paris agreement.

And in a provocative address in Brisbane, Dow Chemical boss ­Andrew Liveris revealed that ­spiralling domestic gas prices had forced the multinational firm to review its Australian operations.

As the head of Mr Trump’s manufacturing council, Darwin-raised Mr Liveris is working with the embattled administration to deliver a key election promise to revitalise US manufacturing, while engineering one of the ­biggest corporate mergers in ­history between Dow Chemical and DuPont.

Warning that environmental sustainability was “no longer an initiative, it’s a business model”, Mr Liveris said Mr Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris accord should not halt international co-operation on greenhouse gas mitigation. “We cannot as citizens of the world let that move impede our collective progress and our determination to ­remove carbon from the atmosphere,” he said, to applause from the crowd of 1500 that turned out for the UQ ChangeMakers forum, put on by his alma mater the University of Queensland and supported by The Weekend Australian.

“Many businesses in the US, NGOs and states have re-upped and picked up the commitment of what’s become the slack left behind by the federal government.

“I believe the US will re-engage ultimately with Paris and I am certainly being part of the solution to make that happen.” But he distanced himself from Mr Trump’s handling of the issue, saying it was “very unfortunate” the President had said the US was withdrawing from the 2015 Paris agreement, when the aim was to “redefine its engagement”. Under the UN-backed accord, Australia is committed to reduce greenhouse emissions by 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030. Mr Liveris said: “They are actually not withdrawing, they just want to re-­engage on different terms. So if you think about it that way, I would say the odds would be very high of a re-engagement.”

Mr Liveris was one of the first business leaders to warn of the “gas cliff” that has deepened eastern Australia’s energy crisis, prompting intervention by the federal government to limit LNG exports and boost domestic gas supplies. He said yesterday that the gas price paid by Dow Chemical in Australia had rocketed from “roughly five or six dollars” to $20 in less than a year, jeopardising the business. “So my leader of Australia-Pacific … he’s got a proposal in front of us to look at exiting Australia right now in terms of uncompetitive energy prices.

We are not alone. We … can see the future in terms of the ­trajectory … you need to fix supply and you have got to basically recalibrate demand so that 90 per cent of the gas isn’t ­exported.”

Backing the controversial Finkel report to the government on energy security, Mr Liveris said it offered a “great series of policy ­solutions” and business would ­accept a target for renewables. The country, however, needed “policies that outlive” the government concerned. “What I would say is give me a policy that has a renewable target, give me time to develop it and I will develop a partnership model with you, in an innovation hub … to develop the technologies over time,” he said.

July 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment

Asia’s coal-fired power boom ‘bankrolled by foreign governments and banks’

The vast majority of newly built stations in Indonesia relied on export credits agencies or development banks, says study by Market Forces, Guardian, Michael Slezak, 20 July 17, The much-discussed boom in coal-fired power in south-east Asia is being bankrolled by foreign governments and banks, with the vast majority of projects apparently too risky for the private sector.

Environmental analysts at activist group Market Forces examined 22 deals involving 13.1 gigawatts of coal-fired power in Indonesia and found that 91% of the projects had the backing of foreign governments through export credit agencies or development banks.

Export credit agencies, which provide subsidised loans to overseas projects to assist export industries in their home countries, were involved in 64% of the deals and provided 45% of the total lending.

The majority of the money was coming from Japan and China, with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) involved in five deals and the Export-Import Bank of China (Cexim) involved in seven deals. All the deals closed between January 2010 and March 2017.

The China Development Bank was the biggest development bank lending to the projects, imparting $3bn, with a further $240m in development funds coming from Korea’s Korea Development Bank.

 The lending comes despite the world’s biggest development bank – the World Bank – warning last year that plans to build more coal-fired power plants in Asia would be a “disaster for the planet” and overwhelm the deal forged at Paris to fight climate change.

“Right now, several key countries supporting the Paris climate change agreement are actively undermining it by trying to expand the polluting coal-power sector in other countries,” said Julien Vincent, executive director of Market Forces.

According to the International Energy Agency, the world needs to phase out coal-power by 2050 in order to keep warming under 2C……..

The push of financing comes as Japan, China and Korea move to cut plans for coal-power in their own countries. Vincent said the moves were related, since Indonesia was now seen as a testing ground for new coal-fired power station technology.

July 21, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Tasmania Energy probe report stalled: Labor

THE State Government has been accused of sitting on a crucial report meant to give Tasmanians insight into the energy crisis and the state a way forward on energy security.

July 21, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

More locals join push to stop oil drilling in Great Australian Bight.

Holdfast Bay council wants moratorium on oil and gas exploration in bight over fears of ‘devastating impacts’ of oil spill.

July 21, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

22 July REneweconomy news

  • North Queensland to be Australia’s first major exporter of solar power
    As Conservatives push for new coal generator in north Queensland, the region is about to become Australia’s first significant solar power exporter.
    Australia’s Greatcell signs MOU with JinkoSolar for perovskite cells
    Under a non-exclusive MOU with JinkoSolar, Greatcell will make developmental perovskite cells available for further evaluation.

July 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

 Radioactive cesium detected in the urine of 100 children after the catastrophic accident of TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

 Cesium concentration found in more than 70% of the urine samples tested in Fukushima Prefecture


Amounts of radioactive cesium, Cs-137 and Cs-134, in 24 h urine of 37 children have been determined using a HP-Ge detector, in Fukushima Prefecture between February 2014 and March 2016.

As comparisons, those of 25 children have been also measured who live in Western Japan from September 2016 to March 2017, and that of one child in Ibaraki Prefecture from April 2014 to January 2017.

We have found the cesium concentrations in the more than 70 % of urine samples from Fukushima Prefecture are in the ranges from 0.06 to 0.30 Bq/L.

No radioactive cesium is observed in the samples from Western Japan, under the detection limit of 0.1 Bq/L.

In the case of Ibaraki, the radioactivity keeps its value around 0.20 Bq/L during the inspection period, indicating the chronic ingestion of the radioactive…

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July 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tepco chairman’s remark on water release goes radioactive

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

Comment draws ire from Fukushima residents, fishermen and watchdog

0721N_TEPCO_article_main_imageTakashi Kawamura, a former Hitachi chairman, took up his current post just last month.

TOKYO — Comments by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings’ chairman about releasing nuclear wastewater into the ocean are being met with anger from fisheries groups and many others.

Tepco Chairman Takashi Kawamura told news outlets earlier this month that the utility “has made its decision” on the release of tritiated water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant to the ocean. Tritiated water is a radioactive form where the usual “light” hydrogen atoms are replaced with tritium.

Kyodo News reported the following day that the company shares the view of Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, that spilling the water into the sea would not cause any problem, scientifically speaking.

Tepco immediately released a statement saying Kawamura’s comments “did not intend to announce the concluded policy of the company on…

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July 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Potential releases of 129I, 236U and Pu isotopes from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plants to the ocean during 2013 to 2015

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs


After the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear accident, many efforts were put into the determination of the presence of 137Cs, 134Cs, 131I and other gamma-emitting radionuclides in the ocean, but minor work was done regarding the monitoring of less volatile radionuclides, pure beta-ray emitters or simply radionuclides with very long half-lives.

In this study we document the temporal evolution of 129I, 236U and Pu isotopes (239Pu and 240Pu) in seawater sampled during four different cruises performed 2, 3 and 4 years after the accident, and compare the results to 137Cs collected at the same stations and depths.

Our results show that concentrations of 129I are systematically above the nuclear weapon test levels at stations located close to the FDNPP, with a maximum value of 790 x107 at·kg-1, that exceeds all previously reported 129I concentrations in the Pacific Ocean.

Yet, the total amount of 129I released after the accident in the time 2011-2015…

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July 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New TEPCO executives tripping over their tongues

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

TEPCO Chairman Takashi Kawamura, right, receives a formal letter of complaint from an executive member of JF Zengyoren, a nation-wide federation of fishery associations, over his comment about dumping contaminated water to the sea on July 19 in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward.
Hoping to restore trust in embattled Tokyo Electric Power Co., the company’s new chairman and president have instead generated unwanted criticism and hostility in their first gaffe-filled month on the job.
They have added to the problems facing the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which also is hoping to bring its idled reactors back online.
On July 19, TEPCO Chairman Takashi Kawamura, who is also honorary chairman of Hitachi Ltd., was apologizing at the headquarters of JF Zengyoren, a nationwide federation of fishery associations, in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward. He was forced to explain “the true intention” of remarks he made last week regarding…

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July 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The week that has been in climate and nuclear news

I am wondering if those who read this newsletter, (and many other people, too) are getting “climate change fatigue”.

“Nuclear fatigue” too, perhaps. Still, on the nuclear scene, nothing dramatic seems to be happening this week. Nevertheless, a bit like climate change, nuclear pollution is something that continues to creep up on the unaware world. Investigative journalism still lives: a new report tells of vast areas of America’s land poisoned by mismanagement of military wastes

Not a good time to give up on reading about climate change, with the current debate on Is the Climate Emergency Just a Big Problem, or is it a Catastrophe?

Militarisation of Australia’s police?

CLIMATE and ENERGY    Climate denialism rules the Federal Liberal Party – and is bringing about a split within it. The disgraceful state of Australia’s politics and media on clean energy. Australian States and Federal Govt approve 49 Finkel recommendations, but split on Clean Energy Target.Clean Energy Finance Corporation sees rapid growth in renewables.

NUCLEAR. Did Australia cave in to France over Pacific nuclear bomb testing?

Quiet shipment of uranium from Australia to India – non signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty.

South Australia. Clear opposition to nuclear development in South Australia: no further tax-payer money should be wasted on it.  Pro nuclear activities of MP Rowan Ramsey questioned.

Northern Territory. As ERA’s Ranger Uranium mine lease to expire, town of Jabiru’s future is not clear.

Queensland. Queensland Liberal National Party members refuse to pull out of Paris Climate Accord.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. I can no longer keep up with the many developments in solar, wind, sefficency, storage of energy etc. Best information source is Giles’ Parkinson’s REneweconomy.


July 21, 2017 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Clear opposition to nuclear development in South Australia: no further tax-payer money should be wasted on it

“…….Mr Parnell said the laws — changed last year to allow public consultation on the issue — must be reinstated now Premier Jay Weatherill said the nuclear debate was dead.

“The Government has already wasted over $13 million of taxpayers’ money on this dump proposal and I want to make sure that any future public relations exercises for harebrained schemes like this won’t be funded without Parliament’s approval,” Mr Parnell said.

“There are still too many diehard nuclear dump supporters inside both the old parties for us to trust them with public money.”

Mr Weatherill last year said the Government was still committed to a referendum on the issue, but would not do so until there was bipartisan support.

But he went further in June, saying he would not revisit the nuclear debate even if he wins the 2018 election.

The Liberal Party said it was opposed to a nuclear facility in SA after the Government’s citizens’ jury process overwhelmingly rejected it.

Two thirds of the 350-member panel said they did not wish to pursue nuclear storage under any circumstances….” The Advertiser, 19 July 17 

July 21, 2017 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Did Australia cave in to France over Pacific nuclear bomb testing?

French nuclear testing continued at Moruroa and Fangataufa Atolls for another decade

Did Australia ‘cave’ to Chirac’s threats over opposition to nuclear testing?, Released documents from the UK Foreign Office detail the political fall-out of Australia’s opposition to French nuclear testing in the South Pacific in 1985. SBS, By Brett Mason, 20 July  17  , Australian diplomats were forced to deny mysterious rumours circulating around the European Union headquarters in Brussels that the iconic kangaroo faced imminent extinction, just days after then Mayor of Paris Jacques Chirac threatened to ‘make trouble’ for Australia and New Zealand in European Union trade negotiations.

The threat came after both nations vocally protested French nuclear testing in the South Pacific and the sinking of Greenpeace vessel the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour on July 10, 1985.

New Zealand authorities had arrested two French agents suspected of involvement in the bombing, Captain Dominique Prieur and Commander Alain Mafart, who had posed as married couple Sophie and Alain Turenge.

Australia’s former Environment Minister, Barry Cohen, formally wrote to his British counterpart in October 1985 stressing that ‘these allegations are untrue’, providing research data he suggested might be more widely distributed by the United Kingdom ‘in the EC (European Community) context’.

Just days earlier, Mr Chirac delivered what British diplomats described as an ‘ill-tempered’ speech to his Rally for the Republic (RPR) party’s annual conference in Menton, France.

They reported ‘enthusiastic applause’ when Mr Chirac threatened to ‘adopt an increasingly tough line’ towards Australia and New Zealand and ‘to make trouble’ for both nations in crucial upcoming trade negotiations, centred on lucrative lamb and butter imports.

In a diplomatic cable, they claimed Mr Chirac told the enthusiastic crowd: “France recognised and was grateful for the Australian and New Zealand contribution during the Second World War, but this did not give the Australians or New Zealanders any right to interfere in France’s internal affairs.” Continue reading

July 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history | Leave a comment

Japan ‘s local authorities realise that their nuclear reactors are a target for enemies and terrorists

Fukui governor and mayors ask Inada for added protection for reactors against North Korea attacks, Japan Times  BY ERIC JOHNSTON 20 July 17 OSAKA – Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa and the mayors of six towns and villages in the prefecture hosting nuclear power plants have called on Defense Minister Tomomi Inada to dispatch Self-Defense Forces personnel to the prefecture to guard Fukui’s 15 reactors (including those being decommissioned) against a possible attack by North Korea…….

“In order to deter a missile attack, and in order to secure peace of mind of local residents, we ask that Self-Defense Forces be dispatched to the southern part of the prefecture,” the request stated.

In a 2013 report on the nation’s mid-term defense posture for 2014-2018, the Defense Ministry said it will strengthen cooperation with local governments hosting nuclear power plants and take necessary measures to protect them.

Nishikawa also called on the ministry to establish a landing area for helicopters that could be used if a large-scale evacuation of residents in towns near the nuclear power plants would be necessary in the event of damage at a reactor……

July 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment