Australian news, and some related international items

Morrison government not recognising the climate impacts already hitting Australia

Governments not keeping pace with climate change impacts: scientist, Brisbane Times, By Tony Moore, February 5, 2019 — One of Australia’s leading scientists has warned the Queensland and federal governments that they are not keeping pace with the impacts of climate change.

Queensland’s recent extreme weather – bushfires, heatwaves, coral bleaching, drought, Cyclone Penny, Townsville’s floods – showed the state was clearly experiencing climate change, Professor Ian Lowe said.

“What I think is a reason for concern is that the science in the 1980s was saying that – if the [1980] climate models were right – by about 2030 there would be observable changes in climate that would be impossible to ignore,” Professor Lowe said.

“Now I think you could say that, if anything, the science of the time was being unreasonably cautious,” he said.

I think you would have to be in deep denial not to accept that there are unmistakeable signs of climate change.”

Professor Lowe is a member of the Queensland government’s senior climate change body, the Queensland Climate Advisory Council.

It is chaired by Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch, while Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, Natural Resources and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham and Queensland’s chief scientist are members. It has met only three times since 2017.

……. Professor Lowe listed coral bleaching, Townsville’s flooding, the Australia-wide heatwaves in January 2019, the unseasonal Queensland bushfires from October to December and the recent fires in Tasmania as examples of extreme weather, triggered by the changing climate.

Professor Lowe said the Queensland government was not “keeping pace” with measures to adapt to a changing climate, despite a string of reports since 2015.

“As I said before, there isn’t yet the sense of urgency that there should be, either in adaptation, or in mitigation,” he said.

He said the federal government was “in complete denial” over the impacts of climate change.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in Townsville on Tuesday, declined to say whether the torrential rain, described as a one-in-100-year event, was a demonstration of climate change…….

February 7, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

The Department of Industry an Innovation now spending much time and resources in Hawker.Why?



February 7, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Cost of insurance becoming unmanageable in Australia, due to climate change?

Could climate change make it harder to get insurance in Australia? ABC News The Signal , By Ange Lavoipierre and Stephen Smiley for The Signal, 6 Feb 19,  At the moment, Townsville is more or less underwater and large parts of Tasmania are on fire.

Key points:

  • There were anecdotal reports of premiums reaching $30,000 after the 2017 Lismore floods
  • There is a serious risk some places could become too disaster-prone to insure, according to an expert
  • Taxpayers could end up footing the bill

Summer in Australia has always been extreme, but some corners of the country are experiencing climate-driven disasters that are worse than ever — and more of them every year.

Those stories are told in extraordinary detail as they unfold, but once the world looks away, there’s the question of who’ll pay the bill.

So with fires, floods and crazy weather becoming more frequent and severe, is Australia on its way to being uninsurable?

The clean-up can take years and cost millions…….

Could we become too disaster-prone to insure?

The director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Australia Institute, Richie Merzian, says it’s a very real risk.

“We will get to a certain point, somewhere between say 3 degrees or 4 degrees above pre-industrial levels, and a world like that will see situations where cities, entire coastlines, do become uninsurable,” he said.

Mr Merzian said in that case “the basic safety net that’s provided by the private sector just becomes too prohibitively expensive”.

He said in that instance, the burden will fall back on the taxpayer.

“The Government is always the insurer of last resort and then you see these odd situations where everyone will have to pay to keep these towns operating,” Mr Merzian said.

“And we saw that with the Queensland flood levy, where the damages were so big the insurance industry couldn’t possibly cover it.”.

So can it be avoided?

Mr Merzian said it was possible, in the immediate future, to manage the risks to insurers in flood and fire-prone areas.

“Some insurers have basically decided to leave certain markets,” he said.

“Ideally the insurance [companies] that do want to stay in there need to work with the governments to make that happen.

“And that’s where you see more money and effort put into mapping the risks, improving zoning, building better codes and better safety measures.”

Mr Merzian warned that the difficult discussion about whether or not it was even appropriate to rebuild in some disaster-prone areas was not happening in enough places.

“There’s $88 billion at risk in terms of damage from coastal erosion in Australia … but no local council wants to go and tell people who have million-dollar beach houses, ‘you shouldn’t have built here’,” he said.

February 7, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Trump Uranium Quota Could Shutter Nuclear Plants, Trade Group Warns

 The Nuclear Energy Institute warns that a 25 percent quota on domestic uranium would send prices soaring and force nuclear plants offline. US News, By Alan Neuhauser, Staff Writer, Feb. 4, 2019, A TRUMP ADMINISTRATION proposal to institute quotas on domestic uranium could put the country’s nuclear power sector in a nuclear winter.

The administration is reportedly considering an import quota that would require U.S. uranium mining firms to provide a quarter of the domestic market. The Commerce Department began exploring the idea last year, citing national security concerns. However, critics of the proposal point out that much of the country’s uranium is supplied by close U.S. allies: Canada and Australia.

A quota is heavily opposed by the country’s nuclear power sector, which operates 98 reactors at 60 power plants across the country. This week the industry’s leading trade group stepped up its campaign against the measure, warning that a 25 percent quota would cause uranium prices to soar and force some reactors offline……..

February 7, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

$500 billion to modernise USA’s nuclear weapons – great for investors in Northrop,Boeing etc

Across this nuclear triad, the takeaway for investors is, there’s a lot of money on the table up for grabs………Definitely going to be a bullish sign for these defense contractors going forward.   

February 7, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Keeping South Australia nuclear-dump-free – a priority for Candace Champion, Greens candidate for Grey electorate

Greens announce new candidate for Grey electorate, Transcontinental, Amy Green 6 Feb 19 Port Augusta woman Candace Champion has joined the race for the seat of Grey at the next federal election.

Running as a candidate for The Greens, Candace is described as a passionate and driven young Aboriginal woman who can bring diversity to Australian parliament.

The 32-year-old expectant mother was born in Port Augusta and grew up with a large extended family.

Brought up in a close-knit family, Candace has many fond memories of her childhood growing up on the Eyre Peninsula – especially participating in local sports. ……

While her family has been a large source of inspiration throughout her life, her faith is also something that has had a big influence on who she is today.

Candace’s father was a minister and later on her mother followed suit.

“The church is and has always been a second home for me. Friday night Youth Group and Sunday Church hold special memories,” she said.

She is now an active member of the Uniting Church in Australia and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islanders Christian Congress.

Candace said she was inspired to run for government after witnessing the many issues her family, friends, country, communities and church continue to face. ……

She is deeply committed to child safety and keeping families together, a treaty with First Australians, and the protection of Australia’s beautiful country and waters.

“By running for the seat of Grey I hope to achieve real advocacy, I will advocate for equality, justice and change. I hope to create positive change in all areas of government and society,” Candace said……

Candace is also passionate about cleaning up politics – where corporate donations should be banned and making SA a no nuclear waste dump. ……

February 7, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Canavan takes cheap shots at the UN for Adani

“Canavan and Adani keep saying that Adrian Burragubba and the W&J Council don’t speak for the Traditional Owners. One thing is absolutely certain… Canavan and Adani don’t.

Neither Canavan nor Adani would know land rights if they fell over them. We will persist with our petitioning of various UN bodies because the legislation and processes in Australia fall well short of international laws and standards to which Australia is a signatory.

The Coalition Government has an appalling record on Aboriginal rights, and we operate under a worse native title regime today than when the UN CERD, more than 20 years ago, found the Howard government’s “10 point plan” changes to the Native Title Act were racially discriminatory.

The mining industry’s Resources Minister, Adani and the Coalition Government: fighters for Aboriginal Land Rights? Canavan must think we’re fools if we believe that. He is not going to run W&J business.”

February 7, 2019 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Anger in Ireland, about UK plans to dump nuclear waste close to Louth border

Beggars belief’: Potential for nuclear dumping close to Louth border, NUCLEAR DUMPING, David Lynch, 6 Feb 2019 Local Senator Ged Nash has raised concerns in the Seanad over reports that sites north of the border are being considered as nuclear waste dumps by the UK authorities.

Speaking in the Senate, he said: “I was extremely concerned to learn from residents in North Louth this week that an agency operating on behalf of the UK government has identified sites close to the border with Louth as a potential dumping ground for nuclear waste.

“This absolutely beggars belief. I am informed that the agency has shown a particular interest in areas of natural beauty such as the Ring of Gullion and an area known as Silent Valley in the Mourne Mountains.

The agency responsible has described the area as having all of the attributes of a ‘geological disposal site’. This is a euphemism for a nuclear dump.

“My understanding of these matters is that legally the Irish government must be consulted on any issue to do with the development of nuclear sites that may impact on Ireland.

“The health, environmental and security fears associates with such a site should be plain for all to see.

“I appeal to the government to oppose any such moves and I am pleased that the Leader of the House, Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer agrees that the government should oppose any such facility of this nature.”


February 7, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Bill Shorten’s climate change policy isn’t ‘ambitious enough’ – Zali Steggall

Zali Steggall says Labor needs to commit to stopping Adani coalmine, Guardian Katharine Murphy Political editor @murpharoo,  6 Feb 2019
Independent challenging Tony Abbott says Shorten’s climate change policy isn’t ‘ambitious enough’ The high-profile independent taking on Tony Abbott in Warringah at the coming federal election says Labor’s climate change policy needs to be more ambitious and include an explicit commitment to block the Adani coalmine.In an interview with Guardian Australia’s political podcast, Zali Steggall said the current policy outlined by Bill Shorten was on the right track, but she challenged the opposition to go further.  “I don’t think it’s ambitious enough.”

Steggall said Labor, given the potential for a change of government later in the year, needed to include a commitment to block the controversial Queensland coal project. “Our financial institutions aren’t prepared to lend or invest in coal projects, why should the Australia people’s money be invested?”

She said Labor, if it wins this year’s federal contest, needed to use whatever regulatory powers it had available to it to stop the project. “We need an orderly retirement of coal, I don’t think we should be entering new projects,” Steggall said.

“The attention should be with renewables, technology, clean transport, clean energy – not projects like Adani.”

Steggall, a barrister, and former Olympic ski champion, is one of a group of small l liberal independents taking on government frontbenchersin the federal election contest expected in May, and has put Abbott and the Coalition’s record on climate change front and centre of her campaign in the Sydney seat.

The environment movement, and activist groups like GetUp, also want Labor to strengthen its position on the Adani project, an idea Shorten countenanced seriously last year, before stepping back.

Private polling conducted for the environment movement and for the major parties suggests community concern about climate change is currently sitting at levels not seen since the federal election cycle in 2007…….

February 7, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Climate disruption is driving the migration of people from Central America

February 7, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

How Australia has lost the plot on adapting to climate change

February 7, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

NSW under pressure to move quickly on renewables, as coal clunkers fail — RenewEconomy

Major parties under pressure to produce a plan for energy transition as new data highlights growing failures of ageing fossil fuel generators. The post NSW under pressure to move quickly on renewables, as coal clunkers fail appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via NSW under pressure to move quickly on renewables, as coal clunkers fail — RenewEconomy

February 7, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gupta’s Simec pushes into Victoria, says “baseload” renewables to “change the game” — RenewEconomy

Simec Energy obtains licence to retail in Victoria, extending its reach to offer its “baseload renewable energy” product to businesses and large energy users. The post Gupta’s Simec pushes into Victoria, says “baseload” renewables to “change the game” appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Gupta’s Simec pushes into Victoria, says “baseload” renewables to “change the game” — RenewEconomy

February 7, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

February 6 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Why Oil Companies Have Suddenly Gone Missing In The Bond Market” • The US shale oil revolution was built on cheap capital from the bond markets. Frackers used tons of borrowed money to make enormous technological advances in drilling, and that sent oil output skyrocketing. But that trend has broken down in recent […]

via February 6 Energy News — geoharvey

February 7, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2018: The year fossil fuels began their inexorable decline — RenewEconomy

Renewable energy broke through the 20% market share threshold in 2018, for the first time since the 1970s. Meanwhile, coal and gas generation continued to fall. The post 2018: The year fossil fuels began their inexorable decline appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via 2018: The year fossil fuels began their inexorable decline — RenewEconomy

February 7, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment