Australian news, and some related international items

‘Economic benefit’ from nuclear waste dump falsely pushed by Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

Paul Waldon Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 1 Oct 18, 
 The existential threat of nuclear waste can NOT be quelled with the promise of a few jobs. ANSTO is no rainmaker for Hawker, Kimba or any other part of SA they are a cancer.

ANSTO has a duty to deal with their waste, and as their name implies it should be done scientifically and not by shifting the waste to a backroom of the country.  However this is an industry that has shortcomings worldwide in the R&D arena, with one claim that Consolidated Edison’s of New York only principle innovation after 25 years of operating was to paint their smoke stacks red white and blue.

Moreover the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s cogent manufactured factoids lead the minority of locals to espouse to radioactive wastes for purely false economical reasons.

October 1, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

A common sense look at the cancer risk from ionising radiation in medical imaging

With the increasing availability and affordability of imaging technologies, people are getting more tests than they used to. Today, Americans receive more than 85 million CT scans each year, compared with 3 million per year in the 1980s.

Many of those tests may be excessive, argue some researchers, who have been trying to quantify the risks of our increasing use of ionizing radiation in medical imaging. A 2009 study by scientists at the National Cancer Institute estimated that 2 percent — or about 29,000 — of the 1.7 million cancers diagnosed in the United States in 2007 were caused by CT scans.

Should I worry about radiation exposure from X-rays, mammograms and other scans? WP, By Emily Sohn  September 30  2018  “…… while massive doses of radiation are known to be harmful, the small doses used in routine tests are usually safe, especially compared with other health-care choices people make without thinking twice.

“Radiation does have some risk,” says Russ Ritenour, a medical physicist at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. “But it is important for medicine. And in most cases, the risk is quite small compared to the risk of taking too much Advil over your life and other things like that.”……..

Added exposure, totaling another 3 mSV each year for the average American, comes from such man-made sources as power plants that run on coal and nuclear fuel, and consumer products including TVs and computer screens. But most of the extra radiation we get comes from X-rays and CT scans, Ritenour says. Continue reading

October 1, 2018 Posted by | General News | 2 Comments

‘Adani and the War Over Coal’ – a new book: Quentin Beresford spills the devious beans

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Adani and the War Over Coal’ — a pox on both their Parties, Independent Australia  John Biggs 30 September 2018  The story of the devious and secretive negotiations between Adani and Australian governments of both stripes is appalling, writes John Biggs. “…… Conservation groups, Indigenous people and, eventually, a strong majority of ordinary Australians are outraged. In this book, Dr Beresford brings his sharp research and writing skills to tell this story of the war over coal.Gautam Adani had close connections with India’s PM Narendra Modi, who protected Adani over environmental and human rights violations in India. Adani donated heavily to both major Australian parties, especially to the Coalition. The Abbott and subsequent Coalition governments pushed for Adani as hard as they could. At first, so did Labor, but then sort of didn’t, but if certain conditions are met, well, maybe .


The major issues in dispute, as Bereford see it, are as follows.

Climate change

If all the Carmichael coal is burned – here or anywhere – the carbon emissions would be more than Australia already produces. That would likely tip global warming irreversibly. The pro-Adani group deny this.

Great Barrier Reef

The Reef is already seriously endangered by climate change, drainage from fertilised farmlands, and starfish. The mine would make matters immeasurably worse, as dredging (authorised byLabor’s Tony Burke) has already indicated.

Julie Bishop even denied the Great Barrier Reef would be in any danger.

Beresford notes (p.361):

‘None of the major parties has been prepared to unequivocally put the reef’s long term health over the interests of the fossil fuel industry.’

Great Artesian Basin

The Great Artesian Basin, vital for Australian agriculture, would be seriously endangered by the mine, either through using the water or by puncturing and draining the Basin. Adani supporters say this is exaggerated, and anyway coal mining is a thirsty business.

Native title

Doongmabulla Springs is in the mining area and is of high cultural significance to the Wangan and Jagalingou peoples. However Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) that favour developers have been foisted onto the locals. These are currently under appeal.

Economic case

The costs of mining coal are now higher than the costs of producing renewables — and the difference is rapidly widening. With Adani’s projected costs, current debts and likely returns, Adani is predicted to lose crippling amounts of money if it proceeds.

Adani’s poor safety, criminal and environmental record

First in India and now here, Adani operations have already badly polluted land in the Carmichael region.


Given all of this, why on Earth would Australian governments be so determined to support the Adani project?

Beresford discusses these issues and others in depth. His findings and assertions are fully referenced, his arguments convincing.

While much of this is due to the shocking judgement and wickedness of individual people, Beresford sees (p.360) as even more important the way in which the coal wars have transformed politics: …….–a-pox-on-both-their-parties,11949

October 1, 2018 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

PM Morrison’s dodgy claim about Australia meeting Paris climate commitment

PM claims Australia will meet Paris target ‘in a canter’ despite emissions climbing
Morrison says rate of increase not as high as previous years and renewables investment will ensure Australia meets commitment,
Guardian,  Amy Remeikis, 30 Sept 18, Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise, but Scott Morrison seized on the silver lining, maintaining Australia would meet its Paris commitment, despite the government having no legislated instrument to help it get there.

Figures released on Friday showed Australia’s emissions increased 1.3% in the year to March 2018, up all sectors – except land use and electricity, where renewable technologies were having an impact on the latter.

The prime minister jumped on the rate of the increase not being as high as in previous years……..

Morrison said Australia would meet its Paris targets “in a canter”, largely based on investment in renewable energy technologies, despite concerns a lack of legislated instrument may impact investor confidence in the sector. …..

“We still have large-scale and small-scale policies there. We still have the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and we still have the Emissions Reduction Fund for the period that it’s currently for, and we’re on track to hit it.”…..

Critics of the government’s stance have repeatedly called for legislation to ensure Australia meets the targets it agreed to when Tony Abbott signed the nation up to the Paris agreement.

But with the national energy guarantee a casualty of the leadership spillwithin the Liberal party, the government has no legislated instrument to ensure emission reductions, and no plans to create one…..

He said lowering electricity prices remained the government’s priority and criticised Labor for its policy. ….Labor has said it will look to legislate a version of the national energy guarantee the government abandoned as policy to ensure Australia does meet its targets. The Greens announced its parliamentary team will take a “hard line” on making sure any future Labor government does not back down.

Research released earlier this month found that emission reductions targets were not responsible for driving up power prices.

October 1, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Australia’s solar hydrogen industry – CSIRO sees an export future

Sun shines on CSIRO’s cheap hydrogen industry, Brisbane Times, By Cole Latimer, 30 September 2018Curtin University researchers have developed a cheaper and safer way to bottle and store Australian sunshine as hydrogen fuel.

Researchers from Curtin University’s School of Molecular and Life Sciences have created a lower-cost and less toxic method of developing hydrogen fuel from solar energy, paving the way for the growth of a hydrogen industry in Australia.

Hydrogen is currently being touted by the CSIRO and the government as Australia’s next major energy export industry, valued at up to $1.6 billion by 2025, and as a potential replacement for natural gas and petrol.

Current methods for creating hydrogen from solar power involve running an electric current generated by solar panels through water and requires either highly toxic cadmium or very expensive platinum as a catalyst to kick off the process.

Curtin University’s Dr Guohua Jia said the new process uses an extremely common, and much safer material, zinc selenium, which is sold in many pharmacies around Australia as a vitamin supplement…….

The new development comes as Australia’s chief scientist, Alan Finkel, tours Japan and promotes a hydrogen energy partnership between the two countries.

The Office of the Chief Scientist said Dr Finkel “led a delegation of Australian industry and government leaders interested in pursuing Australia’s potential as hydrogen supplier on an official visit to Japan”…..

the department said. “The Hydrogen Strategy Group, chaired by Dr Finkel, reported to the Coalition of Australian Government energy ministers that Australia has the necessary resources to supply hydrogen produced by near zero-emissions methods, at scale, to Japan and like-minded nations.”……

October 1, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

White roofs – an effective cooler for houses

Another option is not to whitewash roofs, but to green them with foliage. This is already being adopted in many cities

There is a third option competing for roof space to take the heat out of cities — covering them in photovoltaic cells. PV cells are dark, and so do not reflect much solar radiation into space. But that is because their business is to capture that energy and convert it into low-carbon electricity.

Solar panels “cool daytime temperatures in a way similar to increasing albedo via white roofs,” according to a study by scientists at the University of New South Wales. The research, published in the journal Scientific Reports last year, found that in a city like Sydney, Australia, a city-wide array of solar panels could reduce summer maximum temperatures by up to 1 degree C.  …….

The lesson then is that light, reflective surfaces can have a dramatic impact in cooling the surrounding air – in cities, but in the countryside too. Whitewashed walls, arrays of photovoltaic cells, and stubble-filled fields can all provide local relief during the sweltering decades ahead.

October 1, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, General News | Leave a comment

A better roof paint to help cool houses

Times 28th Sept 2018 , In lists of history’s most significant inventions air conditioning is
regularly cited: a technology that lets us live and work in some of the most inhospitable places on the planet.
But what if we had missed a rather simpler solution: paint. Researchers have designed a paint that reflects 96 per cent of the sun’s heat, meaning it leaves a building’s walls 6C cooler than the surrounding air. They said that the paint, which they described in the journal Science, could greatly reduce the need for air conditioning.
In hot countries cooling buildings accounts for a significant proportion of electricity consumption – 17 per cent in the US alone. This means that it is a significant contributor to global warming. Although in several Mediterranean countries there is a tradition of painting buildings white, conventional white paint reflects about 80 per cent of visible light, and is bad at reflecting that in the ultraviolet and near-infrared parts of the spectrum.
The new paint was made after physicists at Columbia University in New York noticed an unusual effect in a polymer. When this polymer turned from liquid to a thin solid film, they found that under certain conditions it went from colourless to white. It had formed a spongey consistency, from which the whiteness was derived – in the same way that colourless water turns white when it forms snow.

October 1, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment