Australian news, and some related international items

Radio 3CR interviews Dave Sweeney, on matters nuclear

City Limits   Interview with Dave Sweeney, Radio 3CR  12 Aug 20   (incomplete notes from this interview.)

Dave Sweeney.  on Hiroshima/Nagasaki anniversary. There have been many nuclear  bombs dropped, for testing, causing health and environmental problems, and two dropped on city populations.  The 75th anniversary of atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is more than a commemoration.. This anniversary is one for looking ahead –  as  four more nations have ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons  – that will put increased pressure on nuclear states.
There have been  recent strong criticisms of the reasons put forward for the atomic bombing.
There’s also scrutiny on  the deterrence theory- the logic of MAD –  Mutually Assured Destruction .   This  is not a logical or safe method of national security –  there are so many dangers – risks of accidents, of inept political leadership. Nuclear weapons cause a state of uncertainty,  and  haemorrhage tax-payers money away from human needs. Nuclear weapons dramatically undermine security.  They are an existential threat. These weapons and humans cannot coexist.
Here’s the good thing about the Treaty – for the first time, a U.N. treaty gives the same choice to non nuclear states –  they are given as much say as USA or China, as the nuclear weapons states.  Nuclear weapons are not a necessary security tool, but a global danger.
When 50 nations have ratified this Treaty, it will become international law.
Australia is playing an enabler role, and faces the question-  do  we want to be a supporter of the rogue nuclear weapons states?  There is growing parliamentary support from the Labor Party ALP and Greens, and even at least one Liberal, for Australia to sign up to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
We need to ramp up the  pressure on the Australian government .
We can have a highly developed military alliance with U.S. and still adhere to this Treaty
If USA did give up nuclear weapons, there are ways to do this –    one option is to downblend weapons material for nuclear reactors. Or the fuel can be securely stored.
Last week the USA approved  $80 billion yearly  towards extra nuclear weapons.

There are 15000 nuclear weapons globally – most of them under the control of authoritarians –   Putin and Trump  The sabre-rattling as  the USA election approaches is deeply concerning.

The delegitimising these weapons is not a discussion on geopolitical topics, but a realisation that we risk losing everything.  We need to de-escalate the dangerous nuclear race – the Treaty provides a pathway to de-escalation.
About the  Ohio nuclear scandal. Money allegedly flowed to bail out nuclear reactors, in state where wind power is proving better and cheaper.
The company, FirstEnergy is shrinking.  Their old nuclear reactors need retiring. Money was poured into political campaigns – especially to the House  speaker, Larry Householder, who then blocked moves for citizens who wanted to overturn the law favouring propping up nuclear power. The democratic process was skewed – in a wicked lack of concern for public opinion, for the public good   Householder and his offsider are charged with racketeering. It’s about subsidies to failing nuclear reactors –  the  push to suck from public purse -it’s  happening in Ohio Southern Carolina, California, New York.
If it were a community desire question, a technical question – nuclear power would be closed down.
But the political pressure is on.  – in the USA a new agency is set up –  pushing a mass of public money – explicitly linking nuclear energy to national security.
Politics remains in USA a lot like politics in Australia – trapped in  hostage to dirty energy industries.
On Australia’s radioactive waste –  now the focus is on the Kimba area, South Australia: a Senate Inquiry is now considering it. The new amendment would select Napandee and prevent any legal challenge . Minister Keith Pitt is keen to close the door on any legal review. An  Aboriginal group was excluded from the decision
“Native Title”gives no right to say no. That needs to be changed.  ACF and  environmentalists are pushing to prevent this Act amendment  being passed.
On  Rio Tinto’s blowing up of heritage Aboriginal sites. The laws that permit this should be changed, to protect Aboriginal heritage.
About strategic minerals – these are rare earths,  linked to much modern technology. China dominates much of this trade. Australia is being seen as a steady provider of rarecearth elements and lithium
Renewables are seen as clean energy. Interest, investment in lithium has surged beyond uranium.   None of this is without challenge, and that needs to be addressed.   It can’t go ahead with the profit driver being the sole driver for renewable energy.
On “green tape”. The Mantra of deregulation remains very strong.  For example, there’s  a review of environmental constraints by the Productivity Commission, and the Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.  There’s a prevailing  mood to return to exploitation at any cost – as part of post-Covid recovery –  a free market private profit nightmare. An ugly scenario that people do not need.  Interview on international nukes, dirty vs clean energy and environmental laws

August 13, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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