Australian news, and some related international items

Lawmakers from Germany, France, and Britain urge Trump to stick to the Iran nuclear deal

Hundreds Of European MPs Urge U.S. To Support Iran Nuclear Deal APRIL 19, 2018

Hundreds of lawmakers from Germany, France, and Britain have called on their counterparts in the U.S. Congress to support the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, calling it a “major diplomatic breakthrough.”

The initiative came as U.S. President Donald Trump has set a May 12 deadline to either improve or scrap the deal providing Iran with relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its atomic program.

“We were able to impose unprecedented scrutiny on the Iranian nuclear program, dismantle most of their nuclear enrichment facilities, and drastically diminish the danger of a nuclear arms race,” reads a statement signed by some 500 MPs from the German, British, and French national parliaments and posted online on April 19.

Britain, Germany, and France are signatories to the nuclear accord, along with the United States, China, and Russia.

Trump accuses Tehran of violating the spirit of the agreement and has called on European powers to “fix” what he says are the “terrible flaws” of the agreement. He wants new restrictions to be imposed on Tehran’s nuclear and missile programs.

“It is the U.S.’s and Europe’s interest to prevent nuclear proliferation in a volatile region and to maintain the transatlantic partnership as a reliable and credible driving force of world politics,” the European lawmakers said.

They wrote that abandoning the accord would result “in another source of devastating conflict in the Middle East and beyond,” would “diminish the value of any promises or threats made by our countries,” and would damage “our credibility as international partners in negotiation, and more generally, to diplomacy as a tool to achieve peace and ensure security.”

“We therefore urge you to stand by the coalition we have formed to keep Iran‘s nuclear threat at bay,” they added.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will both travel to Washington next week on separate official visits, in part to convince Trump not to pull the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran.

April 20, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Aboriginal Tent Embassy camp shines light on frontier wars

‘Australians need to know the truth about the frontier wars before
the country is able to heal and move forward peacefully,
the convener of an Aboriginal Tent Embassy camp says.

‘The Frontier Wars Story Camp starts at the tent embassy on Thursday
and runs until Anzac Day, when hundreds of people are expected to march
to the Australian War Memorial in recognition of the Indigenous people
killed in conflicts during the settlement of Australia.

‘Those conflicts, known as the frontier wars, are not recognised
by the Australian War Memorial and the exact death toll is unknown,
but camp convener Chris “Peltherre” Tomlins said millions of
Aboriginal people were “wiped out” defending Australia against the settlers.

‘Mr Tomlins, who has travelled to Canberra from Yambah in the Northern Territory,
said he hoped to see people of all races at the camp. … ‘

~ Blake Foden

April 20, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Frank interview with Dr Helen Caldicott

 Interview A conversation with Helen Caldicott From the forthcoming issue (May 2018)Taylor and Francis online, 17 Apr 18 
Dan Drollette Jr  For decades, anti-nuclear weapons campaigner Helen Caldicott ( has been educating people about the effects of nuclear weaponry and issuing rousing calls to action. A practicing pediatrician from Australia, Caldicott was the subject of an Oscar-winning short film, If You Love This Planet, and is the author of 12 books.In this Skype interview from her home in Sydney, Australia, the 79-year-old Caldicott doesn’t pull punches. For nearly six decades, she has been taking on the powers that be, in joyously feisty terms: She has said that the US Defense Department should be re-named the Killing Department and characterized Barack Obama as an “intelligent, lovely man, who failed the world” when it came to eliminating nuclear weapons. She considers the movie Dr Strangelove more of a documentary than a satire, labeled arms manufacturers “wicked,” and called American politicians “corporate prostitutes.”

And of the current president, Caldicott said: “We’ve got a man in charge who I think has never read a book, and who knows nothing about global politics, or his own country’s politics. Who operates with his own kind of sordid intuition. And he’s putting people in every department committed to destroying that department. He’s absolutely destroying the infrastructure of America.”

Noting that it was International Women’s Month, Caldicott had one thing to say to young women: “We need to take over, because we’re on the short course to annihilation, and we need to say to men ‘Look, stand aside, you need your bottom smacked.’ ”

Yet for someone who has spent a lifetime fighting vigorously against the specter of nuclear annihilation, Caldicott reveals that she is remarkably pessimistic about humanity’s chances. Caldicott said that she wants her tombstone to read: “She tried.”

Editor’s note: This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

……..I noticed there seem to be a lot of people in the anti-nuclear weapons movement with medical backgrounds.

Helen Caldicott:

It’s a medical problem. And explaining the medical dangers of nuclear war was a very good way to teach people what the danger is, and to bring it home to their city. That approach was – and is – very powerful. During the 1980s, when I was one of the leaders of the nuclear weapons freeze movement and one of the founding presidents of PSR, we at PSR held symposia on the medical effects of nuclear war at various universities, all around the country. It started at Harvard, where we had George Kistiakowsky, a physicist who had been in the Manhattan Project as an explosives expert ( It was quite wonderful.

Although afterwards, some journalists did say: “What are doctors talking about this for, this is a political issue.” And we said no, it’s a medical issue, because it will create the final medical epidemic of the human race……….

……  I think we’re actually in a much more dangerous situation than we were during the height of the Cold War, though no one’s really taking any notice. I mean, Dan Ellsberg went to 14 different publishers before Bloomsbury published his book. And my latest book, Sleepwalking to Armageddon, ( is not selling very well at all. It seems like society is practicing psychic numbing and manic denial. We’re into clothes and food, and all sorts of things like that, while life on the planet just hangs in the balance………

Of course. America’s economy is built on killing. It’s the Killing Department, not the Defense Department. There’s no defense from nuclear weapons. It’s all run by voracious, wicked corporations, such as Lockheed-Martin, General Electric, General Dynamics, and the like. And many American politicians are corporate prostitutes. ……

Dan Drollette:

So you think that the military-industrial complex ( that Eisenhower warned about 50-odd years ago in his farewell address is still alive and healthy?

Helen Caldicott:

Oh, it’s grown, and metastasized.  Continue reading

April 20, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Multi-Faith Open Letter: 50+ Religious Leaders Call on Adani to invest in Solar, not Coal

For our common home

Dear Mr Adani,

‘We are leaders from many faith traditions and communities across Australia.
We are writing to you to ask you to abandon your proposed mine and
instead use the same money to invest in solar energy in North Queensland.

‘Our common home, the Earth, is now in great danger
due to the effects of our actions as human beings on the climate.
On this point the scientific community is united.
Today, we too are united as people of faith.

‘Let us be clear.
We are not merely opposed to this one mine.
We are opposed to all new coal development in the Galilee Basin.
We are at a crossroads.
One way lies destruction; the other way, sanity.
We need to turn immediately in the direction of a stable and
compassionate future based on ambitious investment in renewable energy. … ‘

Keep reading the Open Letter, including the names of the authors of the letter here:

April 20, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

April 19 Energy News — geoharvey

Science and Technology: ¶ A study published in the journal Nature examined coral reefs suffering from warming waters. Die-offs since 2014 have hit every part of the Great Barrier Reef. Marine heat waves causing bleaching struck three-quarters of the world’s coral reefs, and the heat waves that cause corals to die struck almost a third […]

via April 19 Energy News — geoharvey

April 20, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Environment Victoria welcomes revelations of final brown coal project collapse — RenewEconomy

Environment Victoria has welcomed the announcement that the last of three coal processing projects promised public money in 2014 has now officially failed, just a week after state and federal governments committed $50 million each to a coal-to-hydrogen plant.

via Environment Victoria welcomes revelations of final brown coal project collapse — RenewEconomy

April 20, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CCA: Throwing good money after bad pollution could be improper use of public funds — RenewEconomy

Given the known failures of carbon capture and storage, investing in such technologies could amount to improper use of public funds.

via CCA: Throwing good money after bad pollution could be improper use of public funds — RenewEconomy

April 20, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How the 2016 bleaching altered shape of Great Barrier Reef — RenewEconomy

New research now reveals the damage that these coral losses caused to the wider ecosystem functioning of the Great Barrier Reef.

via How the 2016 bleaching altered shape of Great Barrier Reef — RenewEconomy

April 20, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Hidden Coral Crisis: Loss of Fish Diversity. #auspol #qldpol #ClimateChange — jpratt27

The Hidden Coral Crisis: Loss of Fish Diversity After Bleaching Strikes Scientists in Australia have documented how the composition of coral species affects the survival of fish populations following bleaching events. As small fish key to coral health disappear, reefs’ resilience to future catastrophes could decline. By Todd Woody April 10, 2018 Todd Woody is executive […]

via The Hidden Coral Crisis: Loss of Fish Diversity. #auspol #qldpol #ClimateChange — jpratt27

April 20, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment