Australian news, and some related international items

Climate and Nuclear News to 21 May – Australia

With bewildering rapidity, opinions on climate change action are shifting.   Corporate America is calling on Congress to pass big climate policy , while President Trump outright dismisses climate change as a serious issue.  Climate change action is a top priority for UK’s moderate Conservatives.  France is setting up a Citizens’ Convention
for the Climate. Despite record hot summer, in  Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s remorseless focus on costs outweighed climate concerns, and his climate-sceptic government was re-elected.

The media is, as usual, awash with articles about the “need” for nuclear power – to solve climate change. It’s like a religious belief for journalists to mention “zero carbon” or “clean” nuclear in otherwise well-researched articles.

International politics’ nuclear news can be scary.    Chilling similarity between out-dated nuclear weapons policies and world of Game of Thrones.    The escalating danger and unpredictability of nuclear weapons.   Border tensions continue between India and Pakistan.  Trump and Kim “in love”, but have few options now that discussions have collapsed. Donald Trump making belligerent statements on Iran. Danger of war – Israel vs Russia – could lead to nuclear war.


News Corpse – a propaganda machine for the mining industries.

NUCLEAR.  Warren Mundine, nuclear stooge, loses Gilmore election – the only Liberal loss in the country. PM Scott  Morrison would not rule out nuclear power.    Resources Minister Matt Canavan has failed to comply with an order to process information about the nuclear waste dump plan.  Why is UK govt covering up the records on nuclear bomb tests in Australia in the 1950s?


RENEWABLE ENERGY.  Australian Electric Vehicle industry faces 12 month policy wait



Ionising radiation as a cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Women poorly represented in, and disparaged by, the nuclear security “priesthood”.

Morrison’s reelection is a disaster for the future of the country — and the world.a.

May 21, 2019 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Warren Mundine, nuclear stooge, loses Gilmore election – the only Liberal loss in the country

The nuclear lobby was quietly gleeful when their puppet was chosen as candidate for Gilmore.  What a blow when this turned out to be a resounding defeat!

Federal election 2019: Labor bucks trend in NSW to scoop marginal seat of Gilmore  ABC News ABC Illawarra By Ainslie Drewitt-Smith  20 May 19,  Voters in Gilmore bucked the trend this federal election becoming the only seat in the country to turn its back on the Coalition and install a Labor MP.

Key points:

  • The seat of Gilmore in NSW has been held by the Liberal Party for 23 years but was won by the ALP after a 3.6 per cent swing
  • LNP candidate Warren Mundine conceded defeat on Sunday night
  • The National party candidate Katrina Hodgkinson says she’d love to stand for the electorate again

The seat on the New South Wales south coast has been held by the Liberal Party for 23 years but the ALP gained the marginal electorate following Saturday’s vote, with a swing of 3.6 per cent.

Fiona Phillips declared victory on the night.

It was her second tilt at federal politics after she previously lost her battle for Gilmore to former Liberal MP, Ann Sudmalis.

This time, Ms Phillips said she felt confident she had the support of the local community throughout the campaign.

“I think I’ve been campaigning since about 2014, I’m an absolute fighter for the community and that’s what I’ll continue to do,” Ms Phillips said…….

The Coalition put forward two candidates for the seat which was also contested by the Greens, an independent, the Christian Democratic Party and a United Australia Party candidate.

The Liberal candidate Warren Mundine was controversially hand-picked by Prime Minister Scott Morrisonto run in the regional seat after local branch members had already endorsed Milton real estate agent, Grant Schultz.

Mr Mundine refused to concede defeat until late on Sunday night………

May 21, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Melissa Price – Australia’s Minister For Coal – but don’t we need a Minister for the Environment?

Environment Minister Price under pressure to front the public, ,By Nicole Hasham, May 20, 2019   Australia has failed to deliver a major report to the United Nations on its progress in halting the extinction crisis as pressure mounts on Environment Minister Melissa Price to front the public over highly controversial election-eve decisions.Ms Price’s absence from the federal election campaign became a national curiosity. She refused scores of media interview requests, ignored challenges from her political rivals for public debates and did not appear at government announcements relating to her portfolio.

This prompted suggestions she was avoiding scrutiny of controversial approvals she granted just before the election, such as groundwater plans for the divisive Adani coal project and a contentious uranium mine in her home state of Western Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has indicated Ms Price will be re-appointed to the portfolio in his next cabinet.

The Department of the Environment and Energy, which Ms Price oversees, was due last December to present Australia’s sixth national report to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

The report would outline the government’s progress on conservation measures and in meeting the objectives of the convention, to which Australia is a party. However, it has not been delivered.

Australia has one of the world’s worst extinction records. The global crisis was highlighted in a shocking United Nations report this month that warned 1 million species on Earth were headed for extinction within decades.

The Morrison government has also failed to deliver an official plan to protect the nation’s animals and plants. A draft version of the plan, Australia‘s Strategy for Nature 2018-2030, was panned last year as a “global embarrassment” for its brevity and lack of specific targets.

Ms Price’s office did not respond to this publication’s questions or interview request.

Mr Morrison was grilled over the United Nations extinction report and appeared to stumble in his response, referring to government measures that do not exist.

Two days out from the election, Ms Price and Resources Minister Matt Canavan announced an independent audit of energy giant Equinor’s plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight, in response to deep concerns in South Australian coastal electorates.

Should Ms Price continue in the environment portfolio, she faces a number of persistent questions, including how Australia will meet its Paris climate targets if the government’s plans to use carryover carbon credits from the Kyoto period are deemed outside the rules.

In a statement, the department said it was working on the report to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and that this involved “an extensive co-ordination and consolidation process”. The department hopes to finalise the report this year.

The separate national biodiversity strategy was being revised and required agreement from state and federal environment ministers, it said.

Greens environment spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said Mr Morrison “must dump Melissa Price from the ministry … The climate and our environment can’t afford another term with Melissa Price as environment minister”.

May 21, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, environment, politics | Leave a comment

Why Adani is a proxy war and campaigners need to focus on transition — RenewEconomy

As campaigners and political parties digest elections results, the Adani mine has been labelled as a proxy war, and a failed campaign to engage rural Queensland voters about the future. The post Why Adani is a proxy war and campaigners need to focus on transition appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Why Adani is a proxy war and campaigners need to focus on transition — RenewEconomy

May 21, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The toll on workers’ health in the nuclear weapons industry

May 21, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Ionising radiation as a cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

May 21, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Sweden wants Detention of Assange, meanwhile USA seizes his property. DOES AUSTRALIA CARE?

May 21, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Coal industry lobbying Morrison govt to build new coal plants

Coal industry urges re-elected Morrison government to build new coal plants, Guardian,   Ben Smee  @BenSmee 20 May 2019 

The Coal Council calls on Labor to reverse many of its climate policies after strong election swings against it, The coal industry has begun lobbying the re-elected Morrison government to support hardline positions, including building new coal-fired power stations and weakening approvals processes for new mines.

The Coal Council of Australia released a statement on Sunday welcoming the election result, praising the Coalition for supporting coal, and calling on Labor to reverse many of its climate-focused policies towards the fossil fuel…….

Despite the election result, coal will likely remain a vexing issue where policies designed to win regional votes could also cost support in inner-city electorates. Research by the Queensland Resources Council, leaked to the Australia Institute in the days before the election, shows the sector is “nearing crisis” and that coal has created a negative perception.

Queensland Labor sources acknowledged Adani was likely decisive in Herbert, Dawson and Capricornia. But they cautioned against being sucked into the larger narrative, being pushed by supporters of coal, that Adani was an underlying cause for the party’s poor result across Queensland.

May 21, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

A former Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman now sees nuclear power as harmful

Washington Post 17th May 2019 , Gregory Jaczko served on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 2005 to 2009, and as its chairman from 2009 to 2012. Nuclear power was supposed to save the planet. The plants that used this technology could produce enormous amounts of electricity without the pollution caused by burning coal, oil or natural gas, which would help slow the catastrophic changes humans have forced on the Earth’s climate.
As a physicist who studied esoteric properties of subatomic particles, I admired the science and the technological innovation behind the industry. And by the time I started working on nuclear issues on Capitol Hill in 1999 as an aide to Democratic lawmakers, the risks from human-caused global warming seemed to outweigh the dangers of nuclear power, which hadn’t had an accident since Chernobyl, 13 years earlier.
By 2005, my views had begun to shift. I’d spent almost four years working on nuclear policy and witnessed the
influence of the industry on the political process. Now I was serving on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, where I saw that nuclear power was more complicated than I knew; it was a powerful business as well as an impressive feat of science. In 2009, President Barack Obama named me the agency’s chairman.
Two years into my term, an earthquake and tsunami destroyed four nuclear reactors in Japan. I spent months reassuring the American public that nuclear energy, and the U.S. nuclear industry in particular, was safe. But by then, I was starting to doubt those claims myself. Before the accident, it was easier to accept the industry’s potential risks, because nuclear power plants had kept many coal and gas plants from spewing air pollutants and greenhouse gases into the air.
Afterward, the falling cost of renewable power changed the calculus.Despite working in the industry for more than a decade, I now believe that nuclear power’s benefits are no longer enough to risk the welfare of people living near these plants. I became so convinced that, years after departing office, I’ve now made alternative energy development my new career, leaving nuclear power behind. The current and potential costs — in lives and dollars — are just too high.

May 21, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Scott Morrison’s remorseless focus on Labor’s costs outweighed climate concerns

May 21, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

UK’s moderate Conservatives put climate action as top priority

Guardian 19th May 2019 , Moderate Conservatives including Nicky Morgan and Amber Rudd are urging contenders for their party’s leadership to put the battle against the climate emergency at the forefront of the contest.

The 60-strong One Nation group of senior Tories, created as a bulwark against what they perceive as their party’s lurch to the right, is calling for the environment to form a central part of the leadership debate. The heat is on over the climate crisis. Only radical measures will work.

May 21, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

UK’s Times sees environment as a “vote-loser” in Australian election, despite record heat

Times 20th May 2019 The environment could be a vote loser if it is associated only with economic cost. In the Australian election what happened to Tony Abbott was supposed to be a metaphor for the campaign as a whole. In Warringah, the
former Liberal prime minister lost his seat to Zali Steggall, a climate change activist. Australia has just endured its hottest ever summer and storms and dengue fever are turning up in new locations.

This was supposed to be the first election in which climate change was the decisive issue. In the event, the ruling Liberal-National coalition is close to securing the 76 seats needed for a majority in the House of Representatives. The coalition – which has been, to say the least, inactive on climate change – had been trailing for three years and the exit polls handed the victory to Labor, which had run on a programme of higher taxes and lower emissions. In the immediate aftermath of their defeat Labour strategists admitted they did not know what had hit them.

May 21, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

France’s Citizens’ Convention for the Climate

Times 20th May 2019 , France will enter new democratic territory next month when 150 randomly
selected citizens will be asked to overhaul the country’s environmental policies, President Macron’s government announced yesterday.
The group will draw up plans on issues ranging from global warming to biodiversity which Mr Macron has pledged to implement, to put to a referendum or to turn into legislation that will go before parliament. The Citizens’ Convention
for the Climate is being organised in an attempt to meet yellow-vest protesters’ demands for MPs to be bypassed in a move towards direct democracy.
Yet the initiative is fraught with dangers for Mr Macron, who risks losing control of the political agenda. Some of his supporters fear that far from appeasing the campaigners, the process could inflame their  anger by reintroducing the fuel duty rises that ignited the protest movement in November.

May 21, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Energy Insiders Podcast: What’s the future for renewables in Australia? — RenewEconomy

Is Australia’s clean energy transition about to come to a crashing halt, or just hit a pause as the Coalition turns focus to coal? Clean Energy Council’s Kane Thornton discusses Morrison’s big win. The post Energy Insiders Podcast: What’s the future for renewables in Australia? appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Energy Insiders Podcast: What’s the future for renewables in Australia? — RenewEconomy

May 21, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian EV industry faces 12 month policy wait — RenewEconomy

Election means Australia’s electric vehicle industry – and consumers – will have to wait at least another 12 months for federal government to deliver EV strategy. The post Australian EV industry faces 12 month policy wait appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Australian EV industry faces 12 month policy wait — RenewEconomy

May 21, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment