Australian news, and some related international items

Hobart mayoral candidate Anna Reynolds offers a practical and economic solar plan

Climate right for solar plan: Reynolds, HOBART residents and businesses would be able to install solar energy systems with no upfront costs under an initiative proposed by mayoral candidate Anna Reynolds. HELEN KEMPTON,   Sunday Tasmanian  OCTOBER 14, 2018

HOBART residents and businesses would be able to install solar energy systems with no upfront costs under an initiative proposed by mayoral candidate Anna Reynolds.

Ald Reynolds says the city should strive to double solar installations over the next five years.

Hobart is a poor performer compared with other Tasmanian local government areas with Sustainable Living Tasmania figures placing it 16th in terms of solar installations per capita.

“Council has taken action to install solar panels on its own buildings but there is so much more we can do,” Ald Reynolds said.

“I will advocate for a solar saver program to help Hobart residents, businesses and organisations install solar panels.

“Council will pay the upfront cost for the system and you, or your landlord, pay it off over 10 years, interest free.

“The savings made on energy bills will more than outweigh the payments to council, leaving you better off.”

The independent candidate’s push is backed by the chief strategist of climate advocacy group 350 Australia……..

October 15, 2018 Posted by | solar, Tasmania | Leave a comment

Solar and storage for “cost of a coffee a day” promised in WA VPP offer — RenewEconomy

Privately funded VPP project hopes to sign up 1000 homes and businesses in south-west WA to zero up-front cost deal for solar and battery storage. The post Solar and storage for “cost of a coffee a day” promised in WA VPP offer appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Solar and storage for “cost of a coffee a day” promised in WA VPP offer — RenewEconomy

October 15, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Barnaby Joyce calls the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “wrong and ridiculous” about coal

Barnaby backs coal unless Australians want nuclear power supply, Northern Daily Leader, Chris Bath 15 Oct 18 

October 15, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Toxic effects of Maralinga nuclear bomb testing continue

Menzies “immediately agreed to the proposal,” without consulting any of his cabinet colleagues or the Australian parliament. Indeed, until weeks before the first test was carried out, only three government ministers knew about it.

The most devastating effects were suffered by two groups: Australian and British soldiers working on the tests themselves, and the Indigenous populations local to Emu Field and the later testing site of Maralinga.

One prominent member of the testing team, Sir Ernest Titterton, later said that if Indigenous people had a problem with the government, they should vote it out, ignoring that Indigenous Australians did not have full political rights until 1967.

an Australian defense ministry report was leaked to the press, warning that large amounts of plutonium left at Maralinga could potentially be a target of terrorists.

those wrongs have not been fully addressed. Health problems stemming from the tests continue for those still living, and while the veracity of Lester and other victims’ stories has been acknowledged, what exactly happened to them remains unclear, the details of the nuclear test still kept top secret.
“To this day we don’t know what Totem I did, those records are still classified by the British,

October 15, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, reference | Leave a comment

As nuclear power declines worldwide, renewable energy races ahead

Likening nuclear power to that of a living organism, however, Mycle Schneider, the lead author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, told World Finance the industry was like a “dying species” due to the obvious reduction in new nuclear project launches in recent years.

This is seen clearly in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) annual World Energy Investment report, updated in July, which found that nuclear investment is falling fast.

Nuclear power continues its decline as renewable alternatives steam ahead, World Finance,  Author: Courtney Goldsmith, October 15, 2018

Once thought of as the primary answer to the globe’s renewable energy requirements, nuclear energy is now viewed unfavourably in comparison to solar and wind alternatives.

Last year, the largest nuclear power builder in history went bankrupt. Japanese conglomerate Toshiba’s prolific subsidiary Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy after revealing billions of dollars of cost overruns on its US construction projects. At the start of 2018, Toshiba agreed to sell the business for $4.6bn

The high-profile sale followed the French Government’s €5.3bn ($6.2bn) bailout of state-owned nuclear company Areva, which went technically bankrupt after a cumulative six-year
loss of $12.3bn.

These distress signals were noted in the 2017 World Nuclear Industry Status Report, which claimed the debate on nuclear power is over. “Nuclear power has been eclipsed by the sun and the wind,” the report’s forward read. “These renewable, free-fuel sources are no longer a dream or a projection – they are a reality [and] are replacing nuclear as the preferred choice for new power plants worldwide.” Continue reading

October 15, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

IN New Zealand, both sides of politics agree on action against climate change

‘Jaw dropping’: New Zealand offers lessons in tackling climate change, By Peter Hannam, Brisbane Times, 13 October 2018 Scott Simpson, New Zealand’s National Party environment spokesman, stunned a trans-Tasman investment meeting last week by stating that climate action was “too important to be playing politics with”.

Or rather, it was the Australian delegates who were shocked, so used are they to the toxic debates in Canberra.

“It made my jaw drop, that’s for sure,” said Emma Herd, chief executive of the Investor Group on Climate Change.

Also well-received was Mr Simpson’s comment that it was vital “for all of us and our grandchildren that we have a [climate action] framework that is enduring”, coming as it did soon after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had issued its latest report warning about the perils of even another half degree of warming.

That Mr Simpson hails from the centre-right opposition party roughly equivalent to our Liberal-National coalition only underscored the contrast between the nations.

New Zealand’s major parties, busy trying to thrash out a Zero Carbon Bill by year’s end, are dismayed by the absence of similar bipartisanship across the Tasman, James Shaw, climate change minister in the Labor-led government told Fairfax Media.

“We do tend to look at what’s going on in Australia politics, in particular in relation to climate policies, and we think, ‘We cannot afford to let this happen in New Zealand’,” Mr Shaw said. “It seems like a pretty strong lesson in what not to do.”……..

In government, the National Party signed up to the Paris climate accord and introduced an emissions trading scheme.

To remove the politics from the negotiations, all sides agreed to take advice on New Zealand’s targets from an independent climate commission. (Australia has a Climate Change Authority but all the original board members have been replaced since it was set up by the Gillard government and its role as an advocate for action has largely disappeared.)……

Mr Shaw (of the ruling Coalition ) said the Opposition could have exploited a potentially divisive policy – agriculture contributes half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions – but didn’t.

“They are playing an absolute straight bat,” he said. “There’s a genuine best effort to get a consensus outcome.”

New Zealanders, like Australians, have endured an increasing spate of extreme weather events, which the government attributes in part to climate change. These include a record hot year in 2016, droughts and a major forest fire last year.

“We’ve definitely had a lot more extreme rainfall events,” Nava Fedaeff, a climate scientist with the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), said. These include damaging ex-tropical cyclones hitting the nation, with the average jumping from less than one a year to three over the last summer season.

Farmers, who have in the past objected fiercely to taxes on methane, appear more ready to accept the need to act. DairyNZ, for instance, has welcomed the prospect of emissions targets enshrined in legislation to give the sector “much needed certainty”.

Trish Rankin, a dairy farmer managing 440 cows for a Maori-owned co-operative near Hawera in the Taranaki region of the North Island, said climate action “needs to be apolitical – it needs to be able to last over time”.

Ms Rankin said New Zealand farmers realise their social licence depends on them being good custodians of the land, and the principle extends to curbing emissions. Open consultations with experts have also helped.

“If you know they are listening to you, you’re more likely to listen to them,” she said.

Convergence ahead?

Bill Hare, director of Climate Analytics, notes New Zealand’s existing climate policies are insufficient, but the nation appears to be “moving to a much better space”.

Steps already taken include the ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration, and in prospect are five-year interim emissions targets and a more ambitious emissions trading scheme……..

New Zealand’s climate minister, Mr Shaw, says farmers – unlike Australian coal companies – have options.

“People are still going to want to eat in 30 years’ time, so the question is what do you produce and how do you produce it – not whether or not you’re going to produce food,” he said.

“But in 30 years’ time, you can pretty much guarantee no one in the world is going to use coal for anything.”

October 15, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Busting Barry Brook’s uninformed propaganda about Fukushima nuclear disaster

Prof. Brook is probably, in my opinion, clearly very inadequate when he researches things such as nuclear industry. He claims academic privilege when he communicates his mere opinions related to a field he possesses no training or little training or qualifications in. He can’t have it both ways. The privilege which springs from his actual qualifications may give him status in other things on campus. Away from the lecture theatre though, his opinions of the nature of nuclear industry have zero academic weight….“I’m an academic and therefore I am right” does not wash with me

2003 saw Prof. Shimazaki speak at the first meeting of the government’s Disaster Management Council. This council formed government disaster policy. He urged the council to study the Jogan earthquake of 869 and warned the Japanese Trench could generate earthquakes anywhere along Japan’s Pacific coast.

since 2008 TEPCO management had been busy suppressing THE SAME CONCLUSION of grave risk of 15 metre tsunamis hitting the Fukushima coast, made by TEPCO’s own engineers using simulations and mathematics. 

Expert fore warning of the 2011 Tsunami Ignored and Suppressed by Nuclear Authorities. Nuclear Exhaust 12 Oct 18 

this post is in progress. Not finished.

I am again going to contrast the statements made by Barry Brook in regard to the tsunami defences at Fukushima Daiichi with the facts as presented by Mark Willacy. These facts are published in Willacy’s book, “Fukushima – Japan’s tsunami and the inside story of the nuclear meltdowns”, Willacy, M., Pan Macmillan, copyright 2013, Mark Willacy.

An interesting aspect of the work of Barry Brook is this: The views expressed by Barry are very frequently attributed by Barry to people who are, according to Barry, experts in nuclear industry. I have heard Barry’s public broadcasts in which Barry makes this attribution. I have not heard Barry give the names of his advisors and friends in the nuclear industry. However it is extremely likely Barry is correct in his attributions. Barry’s statements of opinions and claimed facts can reasonably be assumed to have been provided to Barry by unnamed – as far as I am aware – experts in the nuclear industry. The credibility of Barry statements ride therefore upon the credibility of the nuclear industry.

Of course it is no surprise to hear Barry Brook mirror the statements of nuclear experts from around the world in 2011. The narrative of the global nuclear industry as broadcast by the mass media and the narrative provided by Barry Brook were, as I recall, mutually re-affirming.

Here again is a selected, partial transcript of Barry Brook’s Australian ABC TV interview (please watch the complete interview at the youtube link

“Prof. Brook: “I think they (events) show the vulnerability of any human infrastructure to the forces of nature. Especially when they are unleashed with such fury as they were with that massive earthquake, the largest one to hit Japan in recorded times, and a 10 metre tsunami. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect any infrastructure along a coastline like that to survive an event like that. But what it does highlight is that decisions were made back in the ‘60s, when that nuclear power plant was planned and built, they did not anticipate the scale of the natural disaster that occurred here.”

Prof. Brook: “They predicted up to a 6.5 metres tsunami and protected against that. But of course, as events turned out, the tsunami was even bigger than that………

In a previous post I pointed out that Willacy had found that Dr.Yukinobu Okamura, the director of Japan’s Active Fault and Earthquake Research Centre, had, in 2007, found evidence in the geologic record that the Fukushima coast had been hit by massive tsunamis in its past. (Fukushima, page 26)

I also pointed out that in 2008 TEPCO engineers using simulations and calculations discovered that tsunamis as high as 15.7 metres were possible at the site of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. (Fukushima, page 29)

This discovery by TEPCO engineers was suppressed by TEPCO management from the Japanese people and Japanese government until 7 March 2011, or 4 days before the 3/11 quake and tsunami disaster. (Fukushima, page 29) Continue reading

October 15, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

China’s waning nuclear interest

October 15, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Additional risk of diabetes exceeds the increased risk of cancer caused by radiation exposure after the Fukushima disaster. — Nuclear Exhaust

refer previous post. See original document at see also , “Diabetes and the Environment – Radiation” for an accounting of diabetes rates in high fallout areas due to the Chernobyl accident. PLoS One. 2017 Sep 28;12(9):e0185259. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185259. eCollection 2017. Additional risk of diabetes exceeds the increased risk of cancer caused by radiation […]

via Additional risk of diabetes exceeds the increased risk of cancer caused by radiation exposure after the Fukushima disaster. — Nuclear Exhaust

October 15, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Antarctic expedition runs on solar and plastic waste — RenewEconomy

Liesbeth and Edwin ter Velde are heading to Antarctica in a vehicle named Solar Voyager made from plastic waste and powered by the sun. The post New Antarctic expedition runs on solar and plastic waste appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via New Antarctic expedition runs on solar and plastic waste — RenewEconomy

October 15, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The “other” big battery that has quietly changed thinking about the grid — RenewEconomy

Another big battery has been changing the way people think about the grid, proving that thermal generators are not required to provide inertia, and eliminating blackouts. Now, everyone wants one. The post The “other” big battery that has quietly changed thinking about the grid appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via The “other” big battery that has quietly changed thinking about the grid — RenewEconomy

October 15, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October 14 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Investors Won’t Want to Miss This $10 Trillion Opportunity” • In the last five years, global enterprises have invested a stunning $1.5 trillion in renewable power. But the opportunity that lies ahead is monumental, with one estimate pegging the number at more than $10 trillion to replace the current carbon-based power systems. [Motley […]

via October 14 Energy News — geoharvey

October 15, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment