Australian news, and some related international items

Protesters against national radioactive waste dump march on Joy Baluch AM Bridge

Marco Balsamo

PROTEST: ‘Hundreds of people from across the state came together to rally 
against the proposed national radioactive waste management facility. …

‘ The rally was organised by the Barngarla people, just two days after
the Supreme Court of South Australia granted an interlocutory injunction
on the community postal ballot.

Barngarla man Harry Dare said it was important for people of all backgrounds
to stand together against the facility.

‘“United we can fight. We can’t fight singularly,” Mr Dare said. …

Adnyamathanha woman Candace Champion was among the guest speakers,
calling on the government to listen to the opinions of the traditional owners.

‘“I do not want to bring a child into this world knowing that I’m going to leave them
more burdens and heartbreak than blessings and a safe environment,” she said.

‘“You can study your whole life in a classroom, but my family have
studied, witnessed, watched and grown on that land for 60,000 years.”’

Read more of Marco Balsamo‘s interesting reportback:

August 26, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Black Mist Burnt Country: art under the nuclear cloud of Maralinga, By Karen Hardy 24 August 2018 On September 27, 1956, the British exploded an atomic bomb on Pitjantjatjara land in South Australia. The place would become known as Maralinga, which means “thunder” in the now-extinct Garik Aboriginal language.

Black Mist Burnt Country tells the stories of the atomic tests in Australia in the 1950s and ’60s, revisiting the events and locations through the artworks of Indigenous and non-Indigenous contemporary artists across the mediums of painting, print-making, sculpture, photography, video and new media.

Now showing at the National Museum of Australia, it has been touring with great success since September 2016, opening then to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first test at Maralinga.

Curator JD Mittman, from the Burrinja Dandenong Ranges Cultural Centre, grew up “under the nuclear cloud” in Germany during the 1980s and when he came to Australia he was surprised to learn there had been atomic tests here.

In the collection of the small community arts centre he found a large canvas work by Jonathan Kumintjarra Brown entitled Maralinga Before the Atomic Test.

The question for me was what did ‘after’ look like?”

When he began his research he was surprised to find so many works concerning Australia’s place in the nuclear race.

Artist Arthur Boyd participated in anti-nuclear demonstrations in the 1960s and his Jonah on the Shoalhaven – Outside the City (1976), features a tiny mushroom cloud, blending biblical imagery with contemporary landscape and personal symbolism.

Sidney Nolan’s Central Desert: Atomic Test (1952-57) is part of a classic series of desert landscapes Nolan began in the late 1940s. He added a mushroom cloud on the horizon at a later date.

“This exhibition doesn’t look at any one artist’s body of work,” says Mittman, “but displays how varied the approaches were, how different the perspectives were, and what the original stories were.

“Every generation has taken a different approach.”

There are large canvases by Kumintjarra Brown, one Frogmen, shows three men in masks and protective suits, another Black Rain tells the tragic story of a group of Anangu people who were found huddled together, dead, in a crater near the bomb site.

Mittman says it’s important for Australians, particularly generations who may not have even heard of the testing, let alone those of us to whom Maralinga is a familiar word but were unaware of such details as then prime minister Robert Menzies did not even consult cabinet when he gave permission to begin the testing.

“And it’s not just a story of the past,” he says.

“There is great concern among the indigenous community, and I don’t want to speak on their behalf, about the ongoing repercussions of the testing on country.

“And it’s even more than that, the multi-media work from Linda Dement and Jessie Boylan builds a bridge between the past and the present. “There are 15,000 warheads in the world at present, many of them on planes, in submarines, ready to strike within minutes.

“The Cold War might have ended but the nuclear threat has not gone away.”

He says it’s somewhat fitting that the exhibition opens in Canberra in the same week the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons protest arrives in Canberra heading to parliament to urge politicians to ratify the nuclear weapon ban treaty.

Black Mist Burnt Country at the National Museum of Australia until November 18.

August 26, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, art and culture, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

What can we expect of Australia’s new Environment Minister?

It looks like being Melissa Price – who seems to have a good background in environment, and even believes in climate change!     On the other hand, she previously worked for Crossland Resources, (they may or may not be connected to Crossland Uranium Resources).

WA regional MP Melissa Price set to be new federal environment minister , WA Today By Nathan Hondros, 26 August 2018  Western Australian MP Melissa Price will be promoted to the environment portfolio as part of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Cabinet shake up.

Ms Price, who represents the North West seat of Durack – the largest single member electorate in the world, assisted former environment minister Josh Frydenberg in the role and is understood to have supported Mr Morrison for the Liberal party leadership……..

Ms Price was a lawyer before entering parliament, working as general counsel for CBH Group and Crosslands Resources Ltd.

She has served on parliamentary committees for Agriculture and Industry, Indigenous Affairs, Infrastructure and Communications, and Northern Australia.

As assistant environment minister, Ms Price has been responsible for climate adaptation and resilience, biodiversity, chemicals, waste, air quality and ozone policy, and was the director of Australia’s national parks.

August 26, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics | Leave a comment

Climate change is real. We must not offer credibility to those who deny it 

If ‘balance’ means giving voice to those who deny the reality of human-triggered climate change, we will not take part in the debate, say Jonathan Porritt, Caroline Lucas, Clive Lewisand 57 other writers, politicians and academics

We are no longer willing to lend our credibility to debates over whether or not climate change is real. It is real. We need to act now or the consequences will be catastrophic. In the interests of “balance”, the media often feels the need to include those who outright deny the reality of human-triggered climate change.

Balance implies equal weight. But this then creates a false equivalence between an overwhelming scientific consensus and a lobby, heavily funded by vested interests, that exists simply to sow doubt to serve those interests. Yes, of course scientific consensus should be open to challenge – but with better science, not with spin and nonsense. We urgently need to move the debate on to how we address the causes and effects of dangerous climate change – because that’s where common sense demands our attention and efforts should be.

Fringe voices will protest about “free speech”. No one should prevent them from expressing their views, whether held cynically or misguidedly. However, no one is obliged to provide them with a platform, much less to appear alongside them to give the misleading impression that there is something substantive to debate. When there is an article on smoking, newspapers and broadcasters no longer include lobbyists claiming there are no links to cancer. When there’s a round-the-world yacht race we don’t hear flat-earthers given airtime: “This is madness; they’ll sail off the edge!”

There’s a workable model for covering fringe views – which is to treat them as such. They don’t need to be ridiculed, just expected to challenge the evidence with better evidence, and otherwise ignored. As campaigners and thinkers who are led by science and the precautionary principle, and who wish to debate the real and vital issues arising from human-triggered climate change, we will not assist in creating the impression that climate denial should be taken seriously by lending credence to its proponents, by entertaining ideas that lack any basis in fact. Therefore we will no longer debate those who deny that human-caused climate change is real. There are plenty of vital debates to be had around climate chaos and what to do about it; this is simply no longer one of them. We urge broadcasters to move on, as we are doing.

Jonathon Porritt Chair, Sustainable Development Commission 2000-11  Continue reading

August 26, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Former coal industry boss is Scott Morrison’s chief of staff — RenewEconomy

Scott Morrison’s new chief of staff was deputy CEO for the Minerals Council, the country’s main coal lobby group, for 6.5 years. The post Former coal industry boss is Scott Morrison’s chief of staff appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Former coal industry boss is Scott Morrison’s chief of staff — RenewEconomy

August 26, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Morrison names leading anti-wind campaigner as energy minister — RenewEconomy

Scott Morrison splits energy and environment portfolios, appointing one of the country’s most prominent anti-wind campaigners as energy minister, and a former mining industry lawyer to environment. The post Morrison names leading anti-wind campaigner as energy minister appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Morrison names leading anti-wind campaigner as energy minister — RenewEconomy

August 26, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New technologies for flexibility enhancing the worldwide growth of renewable energy

August 26, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

August 26 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “How New Jersey can finance its bold new clean energy targets” • New Jersey had a major economic and environmental victory when Gov Phil Murphy signed a law that will soon make the Garden State an even greener. The Board of Public Utilities started work to establish a community solar pilot program within […]

via August 26 Energy News — geoharvey

August 26, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment