Australian news, and some related international items

South Australia’s Greens leader Mark Parnell urges a united stand against nuclear waste dump plan.

Last week, I went to Port Augusta and Hawker to meet with residents fighting against the Federal Coalition Government’s plans to build a national nuclear waste dump in South Australia.  It was great to see both the Kimba and Flinders Ranges communities working together to show that they are NOT the “willing” communities that the Government was hoping for.

This ill-conceived push by the Federal Government to dump low to intermediate level nuclear waste in regional South Australia has seen farmers, residents, business people, Traditional Owners, community campaigners and the Greens join together, united in their call for the dump to be dumped.

I was pleased to speak at the rally held in Port Augusta on 19 August, outlining the Greens’ continued opposition to the dump and highlighting the grossly mismanaged site selection process that the Federal Government has conducted and how divisive this has been to the affected South Australian communities.

I had timed my visit to the region to coincide with the ballot of local residents to gauge their views on the dump.  However, days before the ballot papers were due to be sent out, the vote at both locations was postponed following a Supreme Court injunction brought by the Barngarla people – the Traditional Owners of much of Eyre Peninsula including land in the Kimba region.

The Barngarla people successfully argued that it was potentially a matter of racial discrimination to allow property owners to vote in the ballot, but not Native Title holders.  Similar arguments apply to the Adnyamathanha people of the Finders Ranges, all of whom have strong attachments to the land, but most live outside the narrow area to be balloted. The case has now been referred to the Human Rights Commission.

Additionally, the people of Port Lincoln, Whyalla and Port Pirie are seriously concerned that they too have no opportunity to participate in the ballot.  The Greens want to see the community consultation and ballot extended to local Traditional Owners as well as those living in the proposed nuclear waste ports or along the nuclear waste transport corridor.

Everyone who is potentially impacted by this plan should be included and their voices should be heard.

To have your voice heard, make a submission to Federal Minister for Resources Senator Matt Canavan via email at by 24 September.

Let’s take this stand together.

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Misogynist and Cowardly – Australia’s Liberal govt passes the hard jobs on to women!

You would laugh about this, except that it makes you sick!!

The governing Liberal Party is well known to have a bullying and misogynist culture – even the new PM Scott Morrison seems to admit this.

But when it comes to the really hard tasks – they’re all too happy to pass these on to women!

Take the nuclear issue. While State and Federal governments keep mum about the plans to dump stranded nuclear wastes on to the beautiful  Flinders Ranges, they give the poisoned chalice of Environment  Minister to handle such problems – to a woman – Melissa Price.

Ms Price is also selected to deal with climate change issues. (mind you, Ms Price has some background in mining  industries , so she’ll probably have no trouble toeing the masters’ line)

But then – how to explain to the soon to be submerged neighbour nations that we’re not going to do a damn thing about climate change, – nor give any help to climate refugees?.  The solution? Prime Minister Scott Morrison chickens out of Pacific Islands Forum, sending Marise Payne instead, to mouth whatever platitudes her masters have composed.  .


August 31, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Environmental and flooding dangers to planned Flinders Ranges nuclear waste dump

Extract from Flinders University and Army expedition on the flooding of the land proposed for the Intermediate Level Radioactive Nuclear Waste Depot at Wallerberdina Flinders Ranges. Link also below.

“The water level and major ion content of the floodwaters in Lake Torrens were measured over the duration of the flood (March–December 1989), and the volume flow and major ion content of the flood in the Pirie-Torrens corridor which discharged into Spencer Gulf at Port Augusta and peaked on 17th March 1989 were recorded.…/abs/10.…/03721426.2015.1065467 

Standing only a few kilometres away from the proposed nuclear radioactive waste dump, with the magnificence of the Flinders all around us, was eery and beyond comprehension.

The inevitable nuclear waste containment failure resulting in a spill and speepage, will be catastrophic for the water table in this area and the Spencer Gulf. Senator Matthew CanavanDavid RidgwaySenator Rex Patrick Steven Marshall Grain Producers SA Port Lincoln Times Port Lincoln Tunarama Kangaroo Island Questions, Notices & Discussions No Radioactive Waste Facility for Kimba District ABC North and West ABC Eyre Peninsula Anti-Nuclear Coalition South Australia Friends of the Earth Australia Conservation Council of South Australia Australian Conservation Foundation Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association RNTBC ARA Merna Mora Station International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

August 31, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Michele Madigan – update on the struggle against nuclear waste dumping in the Flinders Ranges

Marchers unite against federal nuclear dump, Michele Madigan, 26 August 2018

There were, to quote Port Augusta’sTranscontinental,‘hundreds ‘ of us crossing the bridge on Sunday 19 August, the ‘younger generations’ in the forefront. The glory of the Flinders Ranges were well in sight to our east, the international grain farming land of Kimba 158km to the southwest. The constant cry ‘Not Flinders, Not Kimba, No waste dump is our call’ rang out.

Among the powerful speeches that followed were Harry Dare’s stirring words quoted above, as well as a spellbinding address by young Adnyamathanha woman, Candace Champion, who said: ‘I do not want to bring a child into this world knowing that I’m going to leave them more burdens and heartbreak … 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.’

In recent weeks there have been many developments in the federal government’s plan for a national radioactive waste management ‘facility’. In time for the planned vote by a tiny percentage of those who will be impacted by the site selection, the Resources Minister, visiting both regions, tripled to $31 million the amount which the federal government is offering the final site community. And instead of 15 promised jobs, there are now 45.

Paradoxes abound. The $31 million includes $3 million allocated for ‘Aboriginal economic and cultural heritage’ — awarded for a project which many Adnyamathanha say will destroy the Aboriginal culture of the region.

The proposed facilities design finally appeared three years into the campaign. Continue reading

August 31, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Prime Minister of Samoa scathing about Australia’s inaction on climate change

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele hits out at climate change sceptics during fiery speech, ABC News 31 Aug 18 By Pacific affairs reporter Stephen Dziedzic Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele has lashed out at climate sceptics and urged Australia to make deeper cuts to carbon emissions to help save Pacific Island nations from the “disaster” of climate change.

Key points:

  • Mr Sailele says “greater ambition” is needed to stop impact of climate change
  • He warns geostrategic competition is creating uncertainty for small Pacific countries
  • Australia, New Zealand and the US have been scrambling to reassert influence in the Pacific

Mr Sailele told the Lowy Institute in Sydney that climate change posed an “existential challenge” to low lying islands in the Pacific, and developed countries needed to reduce pollution in order to curb rising temperatures and sea levels.

“We all know the problem, we all know the solutions, and all that is left would be some political courage, some political guts, to tell people of your country there is a certainty of disaster,” Mr Sailele said.

The Prime Minister’s intervention came as some Coalition MPs press the new Prime Minister Scott Morrison to abandon Australia’s promise to cut carbon emissions under the Paris agreement.

New Foreign Minister Marise Payne is also expected to face questions about Australia’s climate change policies at the Pacific Islands Forum leader’s meeting in Nauru next week.

Senator Payne and Pacific leaders are set to sign the “Biketawa Plus” security agreement, which declares that climate change remains the “single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific”.

Several other leaders — including Fiji’s Prime Minster Frank Bainimarama and the Marshall Island’s President Hilda Heine — have also called on Australia to do more to cut emissions.

Mr Sailele told the audience that “greater ambition” was needed to stop the destructive impact of climate change.

“While climate change may be considered a slow onset threat by some in the region, its adverse impacts are already being felt by Island communities,” he said………

August 31, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment

Australia and other English-speaking countries following Trump to deny action on climate change

Oz is the only country in the world to adopt an ambitious price on carbon pollution and then promptly repeal it.

All this does not bode well for advocates of climate action. Extreme weather is battering Australia on all fronts: Carbon-warmed oceans are plundering its Great Barrier Reef, and a record-breaking drought is ravaging the country’s well-populated southeast. Yet even its center-right-led, middling attempt at a climate policy is withering on the vine. On Monday, in one of his first public appearances since taking office, Prime Minister Morrison declined to comment on whether climate change is intensifying the country’s drought.

The Global Rightward Shift on Climate Change, President Trump may be leading the rich, English-speaking world to scale back environmental policies. The Atlantic , AUG 28, 2018  Last Thursday, Malcolm Turnbull was the prime minister of Australia. By the end of this week, he’ll be just another guy in Sydney.

August 31, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment

Moderate Liberals angry at Morrison government’s stance on climate change

‘Mad’ and ‘morally irresponsible’: Liberal moderates roast new emissions stance, Canberra Times By Nicole Hasham, 31 August 2018,  Senior Liberal figures have labelled the Morrison government’s stance on climate change as “mad” and “morally irresponsible” as the party’s moderate wing reels at the ultra-conservative takeover of Australia’s energy policy.In his first speech as Energy Minister in Melbourne on Thursday, Angus Taylor reiterated the Morrison government’s intention to curb electricity prices, but made no mention of reducing greenhouse gas emissions created by burning fossil fuels for energy.

There will be no ideology in what I do … my goal, the goal of my department and the goal of the electricity sector must be simple and unambiguous – get prices down while keeping the lights on,” he said.

Mr Taylor did not take questions after the speech at the Council of Small Business of Australia summit in Melbourne, reportedly avoiding waiting media by retreating to a meeting room then leaving via a back door.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday confirmed that responsibilities for meeting Australia’s emissions reduction targets under the Paris treaty will now fall to new Environment Minister Melissa Price.

The Coalition’s plans to legislate emissions reduction as part of its energy plan were shelved in the final days of Malcolm Turnbull’s prime ministership following a backlash from conservative backbenchers who threatened to cross the floor.

Fairfax Media spoke to several moderate senior Liberal Party figures dismayed at the direction of the Morrison administration’s energy policy and concerned at the appointment of Mr Taylor, who has campaigned against wind farms and renewable energy subsidies.

A senior NSW government source said the federal Coalition’s avoidance of emissions reduction was “just putting off the inevitable”.

“[They] are going to have to deal with it because that’s what the Australian public wants. Kicking it down the road is unhelpful,” the source said.

It’s been 10 years now and we are still no closer to getting this issue resolved. Nobody in Canberra can hold their heads up high in regards to this.”

A senior NSW Liberal MP said any politician who acknowledged the science of climate change was “morally obliged to do something about it”…….

August 31, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

We do not need a special envoy [Tony Abbott],  we need our leaders to listen

Author: Luke Pearson  Luke Pearson is the founder and director of IndigenousX. 31  August 18

‘It is patronising because we do not need a ‘special envoy’ when we have
so many capable and talented Indigenous people in Australia
more than able to speak for ourselves.
We do not need a non-Indigenous individual to act as a ‘conduit’
between us and government, or to give advice on our behalf.
Especially not when that individual already did so much damage
to the Indigenous Affairs portfolio when he was in power.
The only solace we can take is that he has much less power in this new role.

‘In case you forgot, Tony Abbott  was responsible for disbanding
a wide array of Indigenous advisory groups which he
replaced with his handpicked ‘PM’ advisory group.
He took over half a billion dollars out of the Indigenous Affairs budget
with no real planning or reflection. … ‘

August 31, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Global warming is intensifying El Niño weather

Global warming is intensifying El Niño weather  29 August 2018 by John Abraham

As humans put more and more heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, the Earth warms. And the warming is causing changes that might surprise us. Not only is the warming causing long-term trends in heat, sea level rise, ice loss, etc.; it’s also making our weather more variable. It’s making otherwise natural cycles of weather more powerful.

Perhaps the most important natural fluctuation in the Earth’s climate is the El Niño process. Continue reading

August 31, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Media must take up the issue of climate refugees

Climate change and migration: the need for a new media narrative, Ecologist Maria Sakellari, 29th August 2018 People forced by climate change to relocate are described by the media as victims or as security threats. There is little information about vulnerable communities’ fight to secure a viable future. We need to challenge these representations to provoke policies that protect the inherent rights of people affected by climate change, argues MARIA SAKELLARI

Migration is one the most profound effects of climate change on human population.

Climate change impacts such as accelerating sea-level rise and weather extremes, like hurricanes and droughts, are happening with increased regularity and intensity. They cause damage to property, infrastructure and livelihoods and, ultimately, force people to leave their homes.

Yet, the news media connects climate induced migration with security, risk and victimisation, rather than with the plight of displaced people. This comes with consequences for policy options.

Vulnerable communities 

The destructive paths of the 2017 hurricanes in the Caribbean show that the most dramatic climate change impacts fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable in terms socioeconomic status, no matter which country they live in.

Developing countries, the least responsible for climate change, will be most dramatically and immediately affected.

International migration to wealthier and less vulnerable regions is one way in which vulnerable communities cope with the impacts of a changing climate.Victim or threat

Despite the severity of the issue, little of the real situation of climate change effects on vulnerable populations is reported in western mass media. While climate change has gained news coverage, media discourse on the social nature of climate change is limited, compared to energy or policy issues.

When climate migration gains traction in the media in countries like the USUK and Australia, those forced to relocate are described mainly as victims of a changing climate, required to abandon their homes or as potential threat to social order.

With regards to the security threat frame, the rationale is that climate change is projected to threaten natural resources, and bring already fragile societies to the brink of collapse.

This new wave of refugees will supposedly fuel crime rise, even though there is no empirical connection between migration and crime……….

How and why certain people and certain nations are more vulnerable to climate change impacts are neglected topics. Little is known about vulnerable communities’ political agency, their inherent rights and their actions to protect livelihoods, defend homeland and culture. ……

Almost a decade ago, in 2010, climate change induced migration was explicitly and formally recognized in the text of the Cancun Adaptation Framework, established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

However, the subsequent Paris Agreement has a reduced mandate, as it only refers generally to ‘displacement’ – without specifying what the term means – as part of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, which still lacks a coordinated framework for addressing the multiple challenges of climate migration.

The 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention, the principal international legal instrument for the protection of people forcibly displaced across international borders, does not cover climate change induced mobility.

The UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants in 2016 was assumed to be an important turn for climate migration policies. However, the resultant New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants failed to meet its aspirations.

The recent non-binding Global Compact of Migration makes reference to climate change induced migration but does not provide a specific protection to climate displaced people. ……….

As media coverage of climate migration issues is only slowly emerging, there is a window of opportunity to proactively influence the media agenda.

We need to empower journalists and media professionals to enable the emergence of climate change debates beyond the energy, policy and security frame, and push for policies that address historical injustices, protect human rights and contribute to the transformation of how climate change induced migration is perceived.

Vulnerable communities are determined of protecting their rights, cultures and livelihoods: we must embrace their narrative. 

August 31, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Warm water from far away has penetrated deep into the interior of the Arctic.

Archived’ heat has reached deep into the Arctic interior, researchers say  August 29, 2018

Yale University
Arctic sea ice isn’t just threatened by the melting of ice around its edges, a new study has found: Warmer water that originated hundreds of miles away has penetrated deep into the interior of the Arctic.

Arctic sea ice isn’t just threatened by the melting of ice around its edges, a new study has found: Warmer water that originated hundreds of miles away has penetrated deep into the interior of the Arctic.

That “archived” heat, currently trapped below the surface, has the potential to melt the region’s entire sea-ice pack if it reaches the surface, researchers say.

The study appears online Aug. 29 in the journal Science Advances.

“We document a striking ocean warming in one of the main basins of the interior Arctic Ocean, the Canadian Basin,” said lead author Mary-Louise Timmermans, a professor of geology and geophysics at Yale University.

The upper ocean in the Canadian Basin has seen a two-fold increase in heat content over the past 30 years, the researchers said. They traced the source to waters hundreds of miles to the south, where reduced sea ice has left the surface ocean more exposed to summer solar warming. In turn, Arctic winds are driving the warmer water north, but below the surface waters.

“This means the effects of sea-ice loss are not limited to the ice-free regions themselves, but also lead to increased heat accumulation in the interior of the Arctic Ocean that can have climate effects well beyond the summer season,” Timmermans said. “Presently this heat is trapped below the surface layer. Should it be mixed up to the surface, there is enough heat to entirely melt the sea-ice pack that covers this region for most of the year.”

The co-authors of the study are John Toole and Richard Krishfield of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The National Science Foundation Division of Polar Programs provided support for the research.

August 31, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Introducing RenewEconomy’s new electric vehicle website: — RenewEconomy

We unveil our new website focusing on electric vehicle news, analysis, road trips and reviews. The post Introducing RenewEconomy’s new electric vehicle website: appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Introducing RenewEconomy’s new electric vehicle website: — RenewEconomy

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Driven Podcast: By 2025, all new cars will be electric — RenewEconomy

Why all new cars will be electric by 2025, and why your next purchase could be your last. An interview with Tony Seba. The post The Driven Podcast: By 2025, all new cars will be electric appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via The Driven Podcast: By 2025, all new cars will be electric — RenewEconomy

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tsunami Defence at Fukushima Diiachi – a rebuttal of the Barry Brook position — Nuclear Exhaust

The source of the information in this post is the book “Fukushima – Japan’s Tsunami and the inside story of the nuclear meltdowns”, by Mark Willacy, 9781742612959, MacMillan by Pan MacMillan Australia Pty Ltd. Copyright Mark Willacy 2013. The TV interview in which Prof Brook gives his opinion, specifically in relation to tsunami protection (in […]

via Tsunami Defence at Fukushima Diiachi – a rebuttal of the Barry Brook position — Nuclear Exhaust

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

August 30 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “New ‘Affordable Clean Energy’ Plan Lands With A Thud” • The Trump administration announced its new “Affordable Clean Energy” rules for power plants last week, and while coal stakeholders may be excited, the verdict is already in from utilities: meh. Then California set a goal to be 100% free of emissions. [CleanTechnica] ¶ […]

via August 30 Energy News — geoharvey

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment