Australian news, and some related international items

National Geographic now a stooge for the International Church of Nuclear

Wild Edens” i s a new documentary series from National Geographic, initiated by Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation

The first film in the series premiered at the X International Forum ATOMEXPO 2018, held on May 14-16 in Sochi (Russia). The documentary will be broadcast on the National Geographic channel in summer 2018.

The premiere was introduced by Ben Heard, from Australia. Pretty much unknown in Australia, Heard is very well known and revered  by the global lobbyists for “new nuclear” –  Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, –  by Rosatom, by the South African nuclear lobby, and American companies like Terrestrial Energy.

Wild Edens promises to focus on climate change. Heard is happy to “ see a major corporation like Rosatom step boldly forward in this way and claim this issue on behalf of nuclear technologies“.

The series is filmed in the world’s most stunning untouched places and their inhabitants – wildlife and fauna alike, endangered by the effects of climate change”  – blah blah

Like a few other recent documentaries ( “Pandora’s Promise”, “Twisting the Dragon’s Tail” and a Brian Cox documentary) – this will be a very soft sell for the nuclear industry.

It will surely be very beautiful, informative about wild places, and worth watching. Just be aware of the underlying religious propaganda about:

  • nuclear power being the essential cure for climate change
  • nuclear power being clean and green
  • nuclear waste problem being solved now, or will be solved.

May 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Labor prepared to strengthen environmental protections, as grass roots members demand

Labor considers tougher environmental laws as branches call for new agency
Tony Burke says Labor isn’t afraid to strengthen laws as grassroots campaign calls for more proactive protections,
Guardian, Katharine Murphy Political editor @murpharoo17 May 2018 


May 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics | Leave a comment

Community Buying of solar power – a very good deal for Australia’s Non Profit organisations

NFPs Encouraged to Make the Switch to Solar   A new campaign has launched aiming to help the not-for-profit and community sector make the switch to renewable energy. Pro Bono,  Luke Michael, Journalist, 15 May 18

Community Buying Group and Moreland Energy Foundation officially launched The Big Solar Switch campaign on Monday.

The campaign aims to facilitate Australia’s largest switch to solar power by actively reducing barriers of solar installation for the not-for-profit and community sector.

Developed exclusively for charities and community organisations, the initiative uses the strength of aggregated purchasing to reduce the cost and barriers of installing solar PV systems.

Packages contain a “best value” guarantee which includes negotiated rates for the sector, extended warranties, expert advice and links to funding.

Alison Rowe, the CEO of Moreland Energy Foundation, said unlike individual households and businesses, the charitable sector has not had the benefit of a dedicated program to assist them in the uptake of solar.

“Moreland Energy Foundation (MEFL) has a proud history of supporting communities to benefit from solar installations. We are excited by the opportunity to support the NFP and charitable sector to navigate the process of installing solar PV,” Rowe said.

“MEFL has a wealth of experience having facilitated the installation of over 10 MW (megawatts) of solar. Being an NFP ourselves we understand the resource challenges facing the sector and strive to make the process of investigating solar simple.”

Jill Riseley, the chair of Community Buying Group, told Pro Bono News electricity prices were causing a big headache for community organisations.

………Community Buying Group is hoping for around 10,000 organisations to make the switch to solar power during the campaign.The campaign’s roll-out will firstly focus on the housing sector, with the initial deadline for housing providers on 15 June.

This rollout for large NFPs will commence in late June.

Riseley encouraged the sector to buy-in to the campaign.

“The story we’re really trying to get out to the sector is that it’s a permanent reduction in one of their core operational expenses and it’s a real game changer for the bottom line of many NFPs,” she said.

May 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

The very bleak business case for nuclear energy

Nuclear industry urged to address business case, 16TH MAY 2018 ,BY: REBECCA CAMPBELL CREAMER MEDIA SENIOR DEPUTY EDITOR   Decisions on the future energy mix for South Africa need to be forward looking, not backward looking. So affirmed EE Publishers MD Chris Yelland in his keynote address to the National Nuclear Regulator’s second Nuclear Regulatory Information Conference on Wednesday.

Nuclear power in South Africa was constructed in the 1980s and has served South Africa well for the past three decades,” he said. It was the cheapest electricity source in the country until a decade ago. But that was no longer the case, he stated. Nuclear power would now be more expensive than new coalpower, or gas generation or renewable energy sources. …….

…………”The nuclear sector needs to address the real elephants in the room,” he asserted. “In my view the biggest elephant in the room is not the technology, but the business case.” There is great uncertainty about the future demand for grid electricity. Megaprojects have high costs and risks. Nuclear power plants also have long construction periods and high up-front costs. There are serious financing issues, both with the public and private sectors in South Africa (local institutions were unwilling to invest in nuclear projects). Nuclear power plants had to be run constantly at a high output level for maximum efficiency.

The risk associated with nuclear power was not low. While the risk of technological failure was low, when such failures did happen, the consequences were very serious. The crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power station in Japan had very severe financial consequences. Consequently, the private sector was reluctant to insure nuclear power plants, leaving that to governments.

Moreover, a nuclear new build programme would require a 100-year commitment to an energy technology and a specific vendor — in an uncertain world. He observed that nuclear energy was more prone to political interference because of geopolitical factors. At home, the image of the nuclearindustry had been severely damaged by its association, in the public mind, with former President Jacob Zuma and the allegations of large-scale corruption involving him, key members of his administration, and high ranking officials…….

May 17, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

White House chaos is the reason North Korea talks are faltering, not a fickle dictator 

Quartz, Heather Timmons,  16 May 18       We have been here before. North Korea, a weaponized family-run dictatorship, seems close to an agreement with Western powers to disarm—only for things to fall apart before that happens.

North Korea is reconsidering holding a summit with Donald Trump, a senior diplomat said May 14. Past deals with the West—in 1985, 1995, and 2005—have also fallen apart.

But if Trump and Kim Jong-un fail to get a deal, or even meet, this time around, the Trump administration’s incoherent and rapidly shifting messaging will be as much to blame as the fickleness of North Korean leaders, a Korean peninsula expert says.

…….. The problem is, it’s impossible to tell whether Trump and his administration have any strategic plan on North Korea, or if they’re just “winging it,” he said. Bolton has said he wants a preemptive strike(paywall), while Pompeo, Guase says, is twisting in the wind: “One day he’s offering a compromise, the next day he’s taking the hardline.” Trump, meanwhile, is likely to listen to whoever he spoke to last.

The National Security Council, the White House, and State Department didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. The White House said Wednesday morning that the turnaround was “fully expected,” despite the fact that Trump last week announced a date for his meeting with Kim, calling it a “special moment for World Peace.”

Later in the day, Trump gave what has become his standard reply on North Korea: “We’ll see what happens.”

May 17, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Wind power overtakes nuclear for first time in UK across a quarter of milestone comes as MPs say policy changes have caused collapse in investment in renewables, Guardian,  Adam Vaughan, 16 May 18,

Britain’s windfarms provided more electricity than its eight nuclear power stations in the first three months of 2018, marking the first time wind has overtaken nuclear across a quarter.

The renewable energy industry hailed the milestone as a sign the UK was well on its way to an electricity system powered by cheap, domestic green energy. Continue reading

May 17, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Global 2 degrees C rise doubles population exposed to multiple climate risks compared to 1.5 degrees C


New research identifying climate vulnerability hotspots has found that the number of people affected by multiple climate change risks could double if the global temperature rises by 2°C, compared to a rise of 1.5°C.

The team, led by IIASA Energy Program researcher Edward Byers, investigated the overlap between multiple climate change risks and socioeconomic development to identify the vulnerability hotspots if the global mean temperature should rise by 1.5°C, 2°C and 3°C by 2050, compared to the pre-industrial baseline. Since those in poverty are much more vulnerable to climate change impacts, knowing where and how many vulnerable people are at high risk is therefore important for creating policies to mitigate the situation.

The researchers from IIASA, Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the University of Oxford, and the University of Washington, developed 14 impact indicators in three main sectors – water, energy, and food & environment – using a variety of computer models. The indicators include a water stress index, water supply seasonality, clean cooking access, heat stress events, habitat degradation, and crop yield changes. They compared the potential risks at the three global temperatures and in a range of socioeconomic pathways, to compare more equitable, sustainable development with pathways characterized by development failures and high inequality……..

May 17, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Racist work-for-the-dole scheme survives another budget 11 May 2018

‘The Abbott/Turnbull Government’s racially discriminatory remote work-for-the-dole scheme,
the Community Development Program, has survived another federal budget and
will continue to generate profit from the exploitation of Indigenous labour. …

‘Quotes attributable to
ACTU National Campaign Coordinator
Kara Keys:

‘“By standing by this program the Turnbull Government is declaring that they prefer
to create a system of indentured labour which exploits and
punishes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
over job creation and community development.’

‘“The fact that many workers in this program are working for organisations and
for-profit businesses in roles that would be paid anywhere else in the country
is an indication that Minister Scullion and the Turnbull government are once again
turning their back on Indigenous workers in favour of businesses and their profits
who are able to access a pool of free labour.’

‘“The Turnbull Government has monetised the exploitation of marginalised Indigenous communities
because it thinks there will be no political consequences. We are determined that there
will be severe consequences for this unconscionable conduct.’

‘“Minister Scullion needs to scrap this discriminatory program and
focus on the economic autonomy and the dignity of paid work in remote communities.
Anything other than the abolition of this program is unacceptable.”’

‘“We welcome the assurances of Minister Scullion’s office that under these changes there will be
‘significant protections to ensure penalties are only applied when they are warranted’ and
the implicit concession that many of the penalties handed out to date
have not met this lowest of all possible standards.’

Media contact: Peter Green
Read more:

May 17, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

May 17 Energy News — geoharvey

Science and Technology: ¶ Climate change may complicate fishing. Warming seas will force many of North America’s most valuable fish and shellfish stocks north in coming decades, a major new modeling study finds, potentially creating headaches for the fishing industry and government regulators. Some species that do not move could see their ranges shrink by […]

via May 17 Energy News — geoharvey

May 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Adani’s vain hope global coal market will save Carmichael mine — RenewEconomy

Adani pins hopes for beleaguered Carmichael coal mine on the Asia–Pacific market. But the Australian government’s own resources forecaster is less confident.

via Adani’s vain hope global coal market will save Carmichael mine — RenewEconomy

May 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

AECOM withdrawal from Adani Coal Should be ‘Final Nail in the Coffin’ #StopAdani #auspol #qldpol — jpratt27

Engineering Firm’s Withdrawal From Adani Coal Project Should Be ‘Final Nail In The Coffin’, Says Greenpeace Chris GrahamMay 17, 2018 Queensland Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk shakes hands with Gautam Adani, Port of Townsville, 6 December 2016. (IMAGE: AAP) One of the world’s largest engineering firms – and a key partner in Indian company Adani’s push […]

via AECOM withdrawal from Adani Coal Should be ‘Final Nail in the Coffin’ #StopAdani #auspol #qldpol — jpratt27

May 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UN REPORT: 2018 Preparatory Committee of the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference — PEACE STORIES

by Jonathan Frerichs Pax Christi International Representative, UN in Geneva Note: The 2018 Preparatory Committee of the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference took place in Geneva from 23/4 through 4/5/18. The NPT is the main legal instrument for exercising some controls over nuclear weapons and the civilian use of nuclear energy. About two-thirds […]

via UN REPORT: 2018 Preparatory Committee of the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference — PEACE STORIES

May 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mackay council goes solar – and saves big – with city-wide rollout — RenewEconomy

Mackay Council awards tender to install solar PV on 21 local government facilities, saving nearly 10 times its outlay over 20 years. But the bid price stuns rivals.

via Mackay council goes solar – and saves big – with city-wide rollout — RenewEconomy

May 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NAB, CBA to provide $80m finance for Crowlands wind farm — RenewEconomy

Pacific Hydro’s 80MW Crowlands wind farm in regional Victoria has reached financial close, with backing from two of the Big Four banks.

via NAB, CBA to provide $80m finance for Crowlands wind farm — RenewEconomy

May 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s biggest wind farm project lands connection deal — RenewEconomy

Goldwind signs deal for $140m of new network infrastructure to service what will be Australia’s largest, and lowest cost, wind farm.

via Australia’s biggest wind farm project lands connection deal — RenewEconomy

May 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment