Australian news, and some related international items

The week in climate/nuclear news

I am struggling to find good news – news that would be fitting for this festive week. Well, I guess that “bad” news is pretty much the definition of news, anyway.  As most people are behaving reasonably and decently, and many things are going well – that’s not noteworthy: then the unusual, the bad thing is, by definition, “news”.

On a positive note, Dr Helen Caldicott reminds us that although the nuclear-weapons nations are poised for ecocidal war, the path to peace is still possible;

       The United States of America urgently needs to rise to its full moral and               spiritual height and lead the world to sanity and survival. I know this is               possible because, in the 1980s, millions of wonderful people rose up                     nationally and internationally to end the nuclear arms race and to end the         Cold War.

       This, then, is the sound template upon which we must act.

On the climate front, my own country, Australia, is afire, with bushfires in every state. Australia is a “test case”- the continent most vulnerable to global heating, but also with a pretty much climate denialist government, lackeys of the coal industry.


In the media – the big events have been a rich mens’ yacht race, and cricket. And – Sydney’s to have a great fireworks night on 31st December; they hope it will be visible through the smoke haze   -oh well!

CLIMATE. Australia’s unprecedented bushfires, and the role of global heating.  Evacuation of thousands as Victoria’s bushfires merge. South Australia facing hightened bushfire conditions, as blazes continue. New Year heat wave threatens Australia with more bushfires.

‘Climate Emergency’ – the phrase that elicits anger and outrage. Thousands of Koalas Feared Dead in Australia Fires; Much Koala Habitat Already Destroyed By Deforestation.

Call to Prime Minister Scott Morrison – Time to stop pretending that you have a climate policy. Scott Morrison’s ‘brand’ damaged by silly cover-up of his Hawaii holiday.

NUCLEAR. Australian Parliamentary Report uses dodgy and incorrect nuclear information.  South Australia’s Liberals keen to weaken health and safety laws on uranium.   Uncle Kevin Buzzacott warns that the people, and the lizard are fighting back against BHP and its uranium mine.

Pastoralists relieved that Hawker is safe from threat of nuclear waste dump. Kimba is now the nuclear lobby’s target.

In water-scarce Australia, cooling water for nuclear power would become an impossible burden.  A reality check on the cost of nuclear power for Australia.     Nuclear Groundhog Day in Australia.

Australia’s dangerous subservience to the war-obsessed USA.


These 32 experts refute the claim that nuclear power is a sustainable method against climate change.    Busting the false claims of the thorium nuclear lobby.

Nuclear cost and water consumption – The elephants in the control room.The engaging of youth in the movement to end nuclear weapons.

Risks in incorporating artificial intelligence into nuclear weapons systems.

Ionising radiation damages brain connections.

Julian Assange “slowly dying” and “often sedated” in Belmarsh prison.

Renewables – Top 10 Utility Regulation Trends of 2019.

December 30, 2019 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australia’s lying Prime Minister, and our grim climate future

Diogenes went around Athens in daytime, with a lighted lantern. He was looking for an honest man.   He’d have an even harder time of it in Australian government circles.

We have a Prime Minister who is either stupid or dishonest. Presumably Scott Morrison is not stupid. It does take a certain rat cunning to weasel your way to the top, by ingratiating yourself with fossil fuel producers and religious bigots. I suppose the same goes for his self-serving underlings – Angus Taylor, Josh Frydenberg, Sussan Ley, and the rest of the pathetic Liberal Coalition pack.

I had thought that John Howard was our worst ever Prime Minister – he managed to do a lot to undermine workers’ rights, etc. Then we had Abbott – nasty , but fortunately achieved little. Poor old Malcolm Turnbull sold his climate-believing soul to get to be PM.

But Scott Morrison takes the cake.  He will be remembered for his prevention of real action on climate change.  Perhaps vilified by the next and later generations- for his Panglossian attitudes to global heating –  his rubbish about staying calm and praying for rain.   I wonder what his little daughters will think, one day, when they’re older, and things are even worse.

(at left – Dr Pangloss  –“Everything for the best, in the best of all possible worlds“)

Australia has stuffed up its opportunity to lead on clean energy, and to plan and work to adapt to extreme weather, to save its one big river system, to work for a clean, safe economy.


December 30, 2019 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australia’s unprecedented bushfires, and the role of global heating

December 30, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Uncle Kevin warns that the people, and the lizard are fighting back against BHP and its uranium mine

The Lizard’s Revenge  Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste In The Flinders Ranges. 30 Dec 19,

Uncle Kevin “The lizard has had enough and so have the people. And the old country has been ruined, devastated by BHP.
In 2020, we’ll be having serious meetings on the Borefield road, somewhere near Canegrass swamp.
BHP is one of the biggest miners in the world and Olympic dam at Roxby is the biggest uranium mine in the world. They are fully supported by the federal and state governments.
At Canegrass swamp people were tricked by WMC who started this development. We could not do anything about it back then in the 70s and 80s.
Olympic dam development is taking 42m litres of sacred artesian water from the Lake Eyre basin each day. This is going to be expanded to 50m litres per day for the next 25 years. We must stop this now.
Native title and ILUAS have made it harder for us. Our people are being tricked and this has been devastating for the Arabunna people who don’t want their land destroyed.
I am calling out for all people land and water protectors concerned about global warming and environmental destruction to come and help.
The lizard has had enough, come and help us close Roxby down. Dates will be announced, we’re thinking of June/July 2020.

BHP at Roxby are sucking the blood out of the land – the water of the great Lake Eyre basin.
And BHP wants more.
They are killing us.
Turning our mob against each other as they fight over the crumbs of the destruction.
Greed is poison. Their lust for the poison will kill us all unless we take a stand.
Lake Eyre is talking. Be aware.
Are u listening?

December 30, 2019 Posted by | aboriginal issues, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australia’s dangerous subservience to the war-obsessed USA

December 30, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Australia’s Liberals keen to weaken health and safety laws on uranium

Push to cut green tape for new uranium mines in South Australia,

29 Dec 19  “Unnecessary” green tape is choking the potential for lucrative new uranium mines in South Australia, the State Government says.

The Marshall Government is calling for Canberra to slash federal environmental approvals to pave the way for new mines as a once in a decade review of the nation’s environmental laws gets underway.

SA already has four of the country’s six uranium mines, which have produced 24,300 tonnes and $2.1 billion worth of uranium over five years.

But SA has made a submission to a federal inquiry into nuclear power calling for Canberra to axe the requirement for Commonwealth environmental approvals, in addition to state approvals, for new uranium mines.

It argues the removal of this duplication “will not diminish existing standards of regulation safety and compliance and will increase efficiency, reduce costs bourne by industry”.

It would also boost SA’s status as a “favourable investment destination”.

The submission notes “unnecessary” extra green tape is a “significant barrier to the viability of new uranium mine developments” in SA.

It also calls for changes to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to remove the ‘nuclear action trigger’ for uranium and other mines with naturally occurring radioactive minerals, to stop the need for federal approvals.

SA will push for the power to go it alone in a once in a decade review of the EPBC Act, currently being conducted by former ACCC chair Graeme Samuel.

A state government spokesman said SA wanted the federal and state approval duplications removed “so costs can be reduced and economic benefits increased”.

“The nature of our State’s geology means radioactive impurities found in other productive ores are inadvertently captured by the nuclear action trigger, and the review is an important opportunity to address this anomaly,” he said.

Two of SA’s uranium mines are operational, while Boss Resource’s Honeymoon mine is in the process of restarting.

BHP has also discovered copper, which uranium could potentially be found near, at the Oak Dam site 65km from its existing Olympic Dam mine.

New Liberal senator for SA Alex Antic has called for SA to look at using nuclear power generation along with a nuclear fuel waste storage facility, saying it could add

“billions of dollars from our participation in the nuclear fuel cycle”.

The state government’s submission said nuclear power was “unviable now and into the foreseeable future” in SA but noted it could be used in remote mining if small modular reactor technology advanced, although the state was currently looking at renewables with power storage for those situations.

The submission also highlighted that nuclear power could be viable in other states, which would create more demand for SA’s “significant” uranium deposits.

Senator Antic welcomed the possibility of next generation nuclear power technologies playing a role in SA’s future energy grid.

He hit out at nuclear power critics, saying: “Those who tell us that we are in the middle of a climate emergency can’t have their ideological cake and eat it too.”

“Nuclear power has proven to be virtually emission free, reliable, and safe.”

SA Chamber of Mines & Energy chief executive Rebecca Knol welcomed the call to slash “unnecessary duplication” of approvals, saying it could save an estimated $426 million in regulatory and operational costs.

It could help SA achieve its 3 per cent annual growth target, she said.

Mr Samuel is due to report to federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley by October.

A spokesman for the Minister said she had been clear that “stringent environmental protection” was fundamental to any review outcomes.


December 30, 2019 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Evacuation of thousands as Victoria’s bushfires merge

LIVE:  Victorian fires merge, thousands told to leave as fire danger worsens, 9 News, By Olivana Smith Lathouris • Producer Dec 30, 2019   With temperatures set to soar, around 30,000 residents and holiday-makers have been urged to evacuate in Victoria’s far east as fires rip through East Gippsland.

– Firefighters expecting bushfire conditions in NSW to deteriorate with high temperatures and strong winds forecast in the lead-up to New Year’s Eve.

– Sydney’s NYE fireworks display is expected to go ahead but a final decision will be made later today……

December 30, 2019 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Victoria | Leave a comment

Horror bushfire conditions for Australia’s New Year’s Eve

Horror conditions predicted for NYE as mercury rises. 30 Dec 19
Australians have been told to brace for catastrophic conditions as the heatwave continues, with the bushfire danger peaking on New Year’s.

Australians are in for a horror New Year’s Eve as a fresh heatwave engulfs at least three states, with temperatures expected to soar well past the 40C mark.

The NSW Rural Fire Service says about 2000 firefighters are preparing for peak bushfire conditions on Tuesday, warning travellers to monitor the fire situation before they leave home.

Massive fires continue to rage across NSW, with 85 fires burning statewide — 36 of which remain out of control.

Persistent, large bushfires at Gospers Mountain northwest of Sydney, Green Wattle Creek southwest of Sydney and the Shoalhaven area continue to burn, with authorities admitting only rain will put them out….

The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted the extreme heat will peak on the final day of the year, sparking fears of a last-minute cancellation of Sydney’s Harbour’s $6.5m pyrotechnics display. …..

But the City of Sydney confirmed this morning the fireworks would go ahead, despite the heightened bushfire risk…..


Meanwhile residents in Victoria’s far east have been warned to flee as an out-of-control blaze rages amid worsening fire conditions.

People in Goongerah and Martins Creek have been told to evacuate as a bushfire burning easterly towards their communities is still not under control today. …..

December 30, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

South Australia facing hightened bushfire conditions, as blazes continue

December 30, 2019 Posted by | climate change - global warming, South Australia | Leave a comment

‘Climate Emergency’ – the phrase that elicits anger and outrage

‘You have utterly no clue’: why ‘climate emergency’ is Australia’s ultimate outrage trigger At any level of Australian government, there is little so divisive as suggesting that a climate emergency be declared, Guardian  Ben Smee @BenSmee, Mon 30 Dec 2019 Earlier this year, Trudi Beck, a general practitioner from Wagga Wagga, wrote to councillors across New South Wales urging them to acknowledge the climate crisis and declare a local emergency.

Some responses were positive. Others less so.

Mark Hall, a Lachlan shire councillor and Baptist pastor, told Beck: “Stick to medicine – you have utterly no clue about climate science. Your email intrusion is truly not welcome.”

In Australia, as ever when it comes to climate policy, the process has been polarising and frustrating.

The leaders of one town might have recognised the climate crisis and committed to developing adaptation measures to help the community deal with the impacts of global heating. The next town over might have decided that climate change has nothing to do with local government business such as carting rubbish or fixing potholes.

“We went from talking about the climate emergency, to now all of a sudden we’re living in it,” says Sarah Mollard, a general practitioner from the coastal NSW town of Port Macquarie.

“It was incredibly unsettling to experience the sky going from blue to red in the space of a few hours. It’s extraordinarily unsettling to be in your home and see smoke haze in your home. This is my home, this is my safe space, and I can’t keep my children safe in it.”

A few months ago, Mollard and other community members began to lobby for the Port Macquarie council to declare a climate emergency. In September, a relatively benign council motion to develop a “climate change action plan” was deadlocked at four-all. The mayor’s casting vote shelved the idea indefinitely…….

Newcastle, the home of the world’s largest coal export port, has declared an emergency and has a policy to work towards a just transition. The Wollongong City c-ouncil – which along with Newcastle was for decades an industrial and steelmaking hub – has also recognised the climate crisis.

In Queensland, where climate politics is most fraught amid a rush to support coal exports, only the Noosa council has declared an emergency. It also set a zero net emissions target by 2026…….

Conservative Wagga Wagga, home of the deputy prime minister, Michael McCormack, earlier this year declared a climate emergency. A few weeks later, after an increasingly nasty debate, councillors rescinded that declaration.

Outraged councillors would later demand the mayor, Greg Conkey, drive an electric vehicle to Sydney and back. He did and has said the journey was a success.

Beck had been instrumental in building local support in Wagga Wagga, and in July, while the city was locked in debate about the declaration, she contacted other council areas soliciting support…….

So far, 84 jurisdictions in Australia covering about a quarter of the population – mostly cities and local government areas – have declared a climate emergency. The first elected body in the world to act, Darebin council in Victoria, is credited with starting a movement that is now supported by governments representing 800 million people worldwide, including the European Union and Bangladesh.


December 30, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | 1 Comment

Youth to The Front for Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Youth to The Front for Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,  J Nastranis, InDepth News, 24 Dec 19, NEW YORK (IDN) – UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his Agenda for Disarmament on May 24, 2018 underlined the need to establish a platform for youth engagement. This would include “a cadre of youth from around the world,” who will work assiduously to promote disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control in their communities.Engaging with youth groups and community organizations in support of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals with synergistic linkages to youth, disarmament and non-proliferation education and conflict prevention is the second pillar of the platform for youth engagement.

The third pillar are disarmament and non-proliferation training modules hosted on the online dashboard of the Vienna bureau of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) targeting young diplomats and other youth leaders for knowledge enhancement and capacity-building.

On September 24, 2018 the Secretary-General launched Youth 2030: The United Nations Youth Strategy accentuating that young people are “agents of change” and that the young generation is “the ultimate force for change” and proposing actions to promote youth engagement.

The Secretary-General tasked his Envoy on Youth, in conjunction with the UN system and youth themselves, to lead development of a UN Youth Strategy. Its aim: scale up global, regional and national actions to meet young people’s needs, realize their rights and tap their possibilities as agents of change.

On December 12, 2019 the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution on Youth, disarmament and non-proliferation. The resolution was introduced by the Republic of Korea and co-sponsored by 42 additional governments including a mix of nuclear-armed, nuclear allied and non-nuclear countries.

The resolution calls on governments, UN agencies and civil society to educate, engage and empower youth in the fields of disarmament and non-proliferation. As such, it aims to provide impetus for non-governmental organisations to develop youth-focused and youth-led programs in cooperation with the United Nations and with support of governments.

The platform for youth engagement and diverse programmes launched by the Secretary-General have been reflected the deep concern of the young people about existential threats posed not only by global warming but also nuclear weapons which are the most inhumane and indiscriminate weapons ever created. They violate international law, cause severe environmental damage, undermine national and global security, and divert vast public resources away from meeting human needs. ……..

December 30, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Thousands of Koalas Feared Dead in Australia Fires; Much Koala Habitat Already Destroyed By Deforestation — Mining Awareness +

“The main driver of the loss and fragmentation of koala habitat are the weak and permissive laws passed by state, federal and local governments which allow excessive tree-clearing and deforestation. Without the right species of eucalypts and other trees, koalas have no homes or food… Urban growth and infrastructure development in NSW and Qld are […]

via Thousands of Koalas Feared Dead in Australia Fires; Much Koala Habitat Already Destroyed By Deforestation — Mining Awareness +

December 30, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

OPTIMISM SEEMS A BIT MISPLACED AT THE MOMENT – Marilyn Armstrong — Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

I started reading an article about what’s going on in Tasmania and Australia. The apocalyptic heat. The fires. The dying animals. The dying giant kelp. Dead koalas falling from the trees. I got about halfway through the article and couldn’t read anymore. I am trying to keep my hopes up but it’s hard going. We […]

via OPTIMISM SEEMS A BIT MISPLACED AT THE MOMENT – Marilyn Armstrong — Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

December 30, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Amazon at a Tipping Point — limitless life

The Amazon at a Tipping Point Dear Friends, Mr. Robert Hunziker has sent me the following alarming and important article on the serious crisis of the Amazon.The article warns us as follows: “According to the scientists, current trends threaten (1) to turn parts of the rainforest into savanna, (2) devastate wildlife, and (3) release billions […]

via The Amazon at a Tipping Point — limitless life

December 30, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

December 29 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “With A Million Species At Risk, What Do We Save?” • A decade-long project to save one of the world’s most endangered birds has finally found success, as two chicks hatched. But with an estimated million species at risk worldwide and nothing like the money and resources to save them all, how do […]

via December 29 Energy News — geoharvey

December 30, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment