Australian news, and some related international items

Barngarla Aboriginal community’s Native Title includes the land around Kimba nuclear waste dump plan: Human Rights Commission to consider their voting rights

Kimba vote debate moves to Human Rights Commission, Eyre Tribune, 24 Aug 18 Jarrad Delaney 

August 25, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Kimba’s aging population will hand the disaster of a “temporary” nuclear waste dump on to their descendants

Paul Richards  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, 25 Aug 18,    The long-term target [of the nuclear-waste-dump-for-Kimba campaign] is Federal legislation that affects all emerging generations.

“The Federal Government has consistently misled Kimba residents about its intentions. Residents have been repeatedly told that the above ground store for long-lived intermediate-level waste^ would hold waste for several decades until a deep underground disposal facility is available,” Mr Green said
Most of Kimba’s residents are the Silent and Baby Boomer generation so are unlikely to see a deep repository built,

Furthermore, this group will never face the outcome of our future, and this is a serious matter of choice being made for thousands of generations, by so very few.

keywords: ‘Residents’, ‘above-ground store’, repeatedly told’, ‘long-lived intermediate-level waste’, ‘several decades’.
^including spent nuclear fuel reprocessing waste

source: the advertiser news blog – Adelaide now
population of Kimba:

47.8% are over 45
33.2% are over 55
34.3% are 24 – 44
26.9% are under 24

August 25, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Pathetic Australia ?- freeloading as the rest of the world grapples with climate change

Richard Glover on climate policy: Australia insignificant? Pathetic and absurd, Brisbane Times By Richard Glover , 24 Aug 18  “……..Australia was a small place of little import, dwarfed by these [overseas] humming centres of real life.

Once you’ve grown up with that idea, as many Australians did, it can be hard to shift gear. That’s why – some years on – I was taken aback when I acquired a copy of the Times Atlas of the World. It had a table listing the great cities of the world, according to the size of their population…….

Australia now has the 13th largest economy in the world, with predictions it will be the 11th largest within a decade. If NSW went it alone, as a separate country, the economy would be the 26th biggest in the world. In military terms, a recent comparison listed the country in 21st position, out of 136.

Do these rankings matter? I think so, if only because the idea of “little ole Australia” is constantly used as an excuse for failure, for accepting the second rate, for shrugging away our responsibilities…..

The latest version of this dire, cringing attitude formed the background to this week’s leadership spill. The Dutton forces kept repeating the same mantra: Australia is so small it has no impact on carbon emissions. We may as well do nothing. Anything else is grandstanding or “virtue-signalling”.

It’s true, of course, that Australia’s emissions are less than those of the United States and China, but that doesn’t mean they are “nothing” or “negligible”, the terms always employed.

Australia was responsible for 1.1 per cent of global emissions in 2016, making us the 16th most polluting country in the world. Per head we’re among the worst.

Then there’s the idea that – due to our size – we should give up the ambition of having a positive impact on the world. Important battles – this is the underlying thought – should be left to others. We can stand on the sidelines and freeload………

It’s the cringe, writ large. It shows neither national pride nor global spirit. It’s also out of step with a balanced understanding of our relatively-significant place in the world.

We need, finally, to overcome this demeaning sense of self. The alternative: a fresh generation of Australians, fingers tracing maps, dreaming of a country that treats itself with a bit more dignity.–pathetic-and-absurd-20180821-h149jc.html

August 25, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment

Australia’s climate change policy sets a dangerous precedent for the world

if all other countries were to follow Australia’s current policy settings, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°C.

Climate Change Policy Toppled Australia’s Leader. Here’s What It Means for Others, New York Times, By Somini Sengupta Aug. 24, 2018

Climate change policy toppled the government in Australia on Friday.

How much does that really matter?

It is certain to keep Australia from meeting its emissions targets under the Paris climate agreement.

It’s also a glimpse into what a potent political issue climate change and energy policy can be in a handful of countries with powerful fossil fuel lobbies, namely Australia, Canada and the United States.

In Australia, the world’s largest exporter of coal, climate and energy policy have infused politics for a decade, helping to bring down both liberal and conservative lawmakers.

This week, the failure to pass legislation that would have reined in greenhouse gas emissions precipitated Malcolm Turnbull’s ouster as prime minister. He was elbowed out by Scott Morrison, an ardent champion of the Australian coal industry who is known for having brought a lump of the stuff to Parliament.

It could be a bellwether for next year’s Canadian elections, expected in October, in which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faces a powerful challenge from politicians aligned with the country’s oil industry. Conservatives have pledged to undo Mr. Trudeau’s plans to put a price on carbon nationwide if they take power. At the provincial level, conservatives won a majority in Ontario after campaigning against the province’s newly enacted cap-and-trade program.

The Australian parallels with the United States are striking. The Trump administration has promised to revive the coal industry, rolled back fuel emissions standards and announced the country’s exit from the Paris pact altogether. Climate change is not a driving issue in the United States midterm election campaign, though it is for liberal Democrats, a recent study by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication has shown.

Environmental policy and global warming are top priorities for those who describe themselves as liberal Democrats, the study found, after health care and gun control.

……… Robert C. Orr, dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, pointed to another parallel: In both Australia and the United States, local leaders have embraced renewable energy even as national politicians promote fossil fuels.

“Australia is a lot like the U.S.,” said Dr. Orr, who is also the special adviser on climate change to the United Nations secretary general. “Climate policy has really been driven from below, from the state, local and business level. That is not going to change.”

Most Australian states have renewable energy targets, and Australians are powering their houses with solar energy at one of the highest rates in the world. But Australia’s emissions have continued to rise.

Australia is among several industrialized nations that are not on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius as the Paris accord promises, according to independent analyses.

Climate Action Tracker, an alliance of European think tanks that tracks countries’ climate pledges under the agreement, concluded recently that “if all other countries were to follow Australia’s current policy settings, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°C.” Those are levels that climate scientists consider “highly insufficient” to stop the worst effects of climate change.

August 25, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

The Liberal Party is imploding largely because of climate change.

‘Climate wars’ claim another political scalp IN Daily, 24 Aug 18 While some remain unconvinced that climate change is wreaking havoc with our weather systems, the current circus in federal politics proves it is doing inordinate damage to our political system, writes climate lobbyist Rod Mitchell. It may not be obvious to all that climate change is beginning to wreak havoc with our weather systems but the last few days in federal politics makes it clear as day that climate change is doing inordinate damage to our political system.

The ‘climate wars’ have deeply infected and divided our parliament. Now they have formally divided the Coalition, perhaps fatally.

The Liberal Party is imploding in large part because of climate change.

The feelings that it engenders have latched onto and amplified other tensions and differences in the party and lit the fuse of self-destruction. The prospect of legislating our Paris Climate Agreement target as part of the NEG was just the last straw in a struggle that has been going on since 2009, at least.

Climate change was a major factor in the successive downfalls of Rudd and Gillard and the end of the Labor government itself. And it has been a significant cause of the increasing polarisation in politics, both here and in other parts of the world.

The great divide between US Democrats and Republicans has been fuelled by vested interests who have funded think tanks to sow seeds of doubt about climate change and have made many ‘political donations’ to Members of Congress.

So why is climate change having such a powerful effect on politics? There are two main reasons.

First, the implications of climate change are truly frightening, so much so that for most of us it is too hard to look at. It is so much easier to look away, to keep busy with life and to welcome the soothing words of anyone who suggests that it is not happening. The survival instincts we have inherited from our ancestors are finely tuned to respond to immediate danger but have not yet evolved to encompass more distant threats. We tend to live for the present and for the short-term future. We can think about setting up our kids with a good education and job prospects but find it too hard to think about leaving them a liveable world.

Secondly, our economic system is set up in such a way that it is unable to put medium to long-term risk ahead of short-term gain. Quite simply, the profits to be made from activities that feed climate change are so great that most industries and their customers (that’s most of us) cannot resist the temptation. Furthermore, companies are obliged to grow their business and produce surpluses, but only in the short term. Only recently are they being urged (but not obliged) to factor climate risk into longer-term planning.

This is the way our economic system has evolved and it is inevitable that corporations would use the political power their wealth has generated to keep it evolving in their interests. Funding think tanks, donating to political parties and MPs and lavishing decision makers with their largesse make perfect economic, if not moral sense. Political instability, opportunist politicking and policy paralysis are acceptable forms of collateral damage if the profits keep flowing.

There comes a tipping point however where the damage begins to threaten the economy itself and the society it is supposed to serve. Perhaps that point has arrived, and our current political crisis may be the most glaring symptom yet.

August 25, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Mountaineers say that climate change is melting the French Alps

Climate change is melting the French Alps, say mountaineers
Permafrost ‘cement’ is evaporating, making rocks unstable and prone to collapse with many trails now deemed too dangerous to use,
Guardian,  Simon Birch, 24 Aug 18, For the tourists thronging the streets and pavement cafes of Chamonix, the neck-craning view of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps, is as dazzling as ever.

But the mountaineers who climb among the snowy peaks know that it is far from business as usual – due to a warming climate, the familiar landscape is rapidly changing.

“Global climate change has serious and directly observable consequences in high mountains,” says Vincent Neirinck from Mountain Wilderness, a campaign group that works to preserve mountain environments around the world.

One of the consequences of climate change is the ongoing retreat of glaciers. “In the Alps, the glacier surfaces have shrunk by half between 1900 and 2012 with a strong acceleration of the melting processes since the 1980s,” says Jacques Mourey, a climber and scientist who is researching the impact of climate change on the mountains above Chamonix.

The most dramatic demonstration of glacial retreat is shown by the Mer de Glace, the biggest glacier in France and one of Chamonix’s biggest tourist hotspots which would now be unrecognisable to the Edwardian tourists who first flocked there.

“The Mer de Glace is now melting at the rate of around 40 metres a year and has lost 80m in depth over the last 20 years alone,” says glaciologist Luc Moreau.

A stark consequence of the melting Mer de Glace is that 100m of ladders have now been bolted onto the newly exposed vertical rock walls for mountaineers to climb down onto the glacier.

Another key impact of climate change in the mountains is that it is leading to an increase in the number of rockfalls; more than 550 occurred in the Mont Blanc massif alone between 2007 and 2015.

Another key impact of climate change in the mountains is that it is leading to an increase in the number of rockfalls; more than 550 occurred in the Mont Blanc massif alone between 2007 and 2015……..

August 25, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

London’s mayor launches second phase of funding for community renewable energy projects

Solar Power Portal 23rd Aug 2018 London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has today launched a second round of funding for community energy projects following the success of the first, which
funded the initial stages of 11 solar projects set to be installed by the end of the year.
First mooted a year ago when deputy mayor Shirley  Rodrigues sat down with Solar Power Portal in City Hall, the first round of the London Community Energy Fund (LCEF) awarded £150,000 to fund a range
of solar project feasibility and scoping activities.
Phase two will bringforward an additional £150,000 that as last time will offer grants of up
to £15,000 per project to support the development stages of community
energy projects.

August 25, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Coniston Aboriginal massacre descendants reunite  to push for national truth-telling process

Fri 24 Aug 2018  ‘Central Land Council says Australians would be shocked
to hear massacre happened just 10 years after end of WWI’

‘Descendants of the perpetrators and the survivors of the last officially recorded frontier massacre,
90 years ago at Coniston in central Australia, will reunite today
to call for a national truth-telling process, so the nation can move forward “as one mob”.

‘“Too few people know about the massacres,”
the Central Land Council chairman, Francis Tjupurrurla Kelly, told Guardian Australia.
“I think they would be shocked if they knew these murders did not happen
during some distant past but 10 years after the first world war ended.”

‘In August 1928 a white dingo trapper, Fred Brooks, was found
murdered on Coniston station.
Brooks had been living at a waterhole called Yurrkuru,
west of the homestead.

‘In reprisal, groups of men on horseback, led by mounted constable George Murray,
shot and killed more than 50 men, women and children at at least
six sites between August and October 1928, according to historians.

‘But WarlpiriAnmatyerre and Kaytetye people say that up to 170 people died.

No charges were ever laid; a board of inquiry set up to investigate the killings
ruled the party had “acted in self-defence”. …. ‘

Lorena Allam

August 25, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history | Leave a comment

August 24 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Trump’s coal plan – neither clean nor affordable” • The Affordable Clean Energy proposal does not disappoint coal executives: It lays out what the EPA appears to view as sufficient to meet statutory obligations set out in the 2007 Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, which said the EPA had to regulate […]

via August 24 Energy News — geoharvey

August 25, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment