Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian town of Kimba dumping the tourism industry, in favour of nuclear waste dumping?

Paul Waldon Fight To Stop A Nuclear Waste Dump In South Australia– 8 Oct 20 

“KIMBA.” A name of aboriginal origin meaning “Brush Fire.” A town 1,700 kilometers west of ANSTO, Lucas Heights.
A commercial centre where an uninformed dichotomy are prepared to embrace radioactive waste to the detriment of family, friends and neighbours. Waste that will forever overshadow the region once held as a poster child for its cereal, sheep and cattle production in a clean and green environment.
Kimba features include the Gawler Ranges, Whites Knob and a big galah outside the “Halfway Across Australia Gem Shop,” aka a tourist information center. Hey, but don’t let that hang you up, the same information can be acquired at the Adelaide central market.
Unfortunately the Gawler Ranges Wilderness Safaris maybe a casualty with a loss of clientele as other businesses may too, but take solace and remember the town will still have forever radioactive waste to worship and any views of the ranges or views from the knob can be seen on the computer back in the safety of the big smoke.

October 8, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Paul Waldon ponders – on Kimba waste dump, and the risks of nuclear pollution to water

Paul Waldon Fight to stopa nuclear waste dump in South Australia, 8 Oct 20
Environmental Working Group (EWG) investigation recently released a report that 170 million Americans drink radioactive tap water, while a Trump nominee hid cancer risks with faked data.
Think about that for a moment…….. that’s half of America’s population. Yet you may also say that it’s only a small population that depends on local water supplies on South Australia’s west coast.
Now give thought to the crops, livestock and any other produce that relies upon water in the vast local environment of Kimba and the west coast, this could be food that’s bound for your table and that of loved ones.

October 8, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Paul Woldon ponders ” Everybody in South Australia has a right to a say on nuclear waste dumping”

Paul Waldon-Fight to stop a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, 8 Oct 20
Remember when Reachtel conducted a poll in late 2015 and asked 3144 people if they would accept a plan for a radioactive nuclear dump in South Australia, and only 18.3% of people supported it.
I can guarantee that the 3144 people asked, didn’t reside in Kimba, as I’m pretty damn sure (working on percentages) that of “all” the people that were willing to embrace it, none live anywhere near Kimba or Hawker at the time, thus we have NIMBY.
My point of claim. Everybody, yes everybody in South Australia has the right of say as not to tarnish the state with a radioactive dump.

October 8, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia needs a permanent war crimes investigation unit

Australia needs a permanent war crimes investigation unit, The Age, By Rawan Arraf

October 7, 2020 — The public has been shocked by revelation after revelation of serious allegations of war crimes committed by Australian special forces in Afghanistan. There’s been a steady stream of statements from the Defence Minister and, most recently, the Chief of the Army, preparing us for worse to come.

At the conclusion of Justice Paul Brereton’s Afghanistan inquiry we know there will be more referrals to the Australian Federal Police for criminal investigation of war crimes allegations.

We know so far that Brereton’s inquiry has investigated more than 55 incidents of alleged unlawful killings and cruel treatment of Afghan civilians and captured combatants. We know that the AFP is investigating at least three incidents, and it has been put on notice to prepare for more.

Our legal centre was established to push Australia to undertake more investigations and prosecutions into international crimes and to contribute to the global effort to end the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of these crimes. It has been saying for some time that the AFP needs specialist training, skills, and resources to undertake such investigations. Experience shows that authorities often find the challenges involved in investigating and prosecuting crimes committed extraterritorially daunting, and consequently choose not to prioritise these cases………….

Rawan Arraf is principal lawyer and director of the Australian Centre for International Justice, a legal centre that has been working with survivor and victims’ communities on criminal complaints to the Australian Federal Police.

October 8, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia now the worst OECD country for climate change action

Back of the pack: Australia now the worst OECD country for climate change action, The New Daily, Cait Kelly, 7 Oct 20, Australia has become the worst-performing of all OECD countries when it comes to climate change, and will soon become a global pariah unless federal policies change fast, experts warn.It comes as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the first democratic leader to outline a green-centred plan for rebuilding the country and creating jobs when the coronavirus crisis ends.

One of Australia’s leading experts in climate change, Professor Will Steffen said the UK’s announcement has left Australia in the dust.

“The UK is the first country to put forward a concrete plan but other OECD counties, particularly the Nordic ones – Denmark, Norway and Sweden – already have advanced plans,” he told The New Daily. 

“We and the United States are stumbling around while most European countries are trying to get it done.”

He said depending on how the US election plays out, Australia could soon become an outlier.

We’re pretty much alone now and who knows how the US is going to go,” Professor Steffen said.   If the election changes the government, you’ll see much more action on climate change. They’ve got great wind resources. They’ve got enormous tech capability. If they get the politics right, they could change fast.

We have enormous renewable sources, but we’re being held back by politics.”

The stark warning we have fallen behind the pack comes as new analysis from WWF reveals that in terms of committing to stimulus spending on renewables, Australia lags even further behind.

We are currently spending five times less than the conservative UK government and 10 times less than South Korea – a major trading partner……….

The government has focused Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19 on fossil fuels, namely gas. …….

October 8, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Trump’s COVID infection shows why it’s time to retire the nuclear football

Trump’s COVID infection shows why it’s time to retire the nuclear football, Bulletin of the Atomic SCientists By Tom Z. Collina, October 6, 2020   President John Kennedy took powerful pain medications. President Richard Nixon was a heavy drinker. President Ronald Reagan had dementia. And now President Donald Trump has the coronavirus. These conditions can significantly impair one’s ability to think clearly. And yet, as president, each had—or, in Trump’s case, still has–the unilateral authority to launch US nuclear weapons within minutes.

President Trump is followed 24/7 by a military aide that carries the “football,” the briefcase that holds all he would need to order the immediate launch of up to 1,000 nuclear weapons, more than enough megatonnage to blow the world back into the stone age. He does not need the approval of Congress or the secretary of defense. Shockingly, there are no checks and balances on this ultimate executive power.

President Trump took the nuclear football with him to Walter Reed Medical Center, where he received treatment for COVID-19. According to Trump’s doctor, the president’s blood oxygen levels had dipped. And this, according to independent health experts, can impair decision-making ability. He is taking dexamethasone, which can cause mood swings and “frank psychotic manifestations.” Yet as far as we know, at no point did the president transfer his powers to the vice president, as allowed under the 25th Amendment.

To state the obvious, we should not entrust nuclear launch authority to someone who is not fully lucid. (Reagan transferred authority temporarily before planned surgery, as did President George W. Bush before a medical procedure that required his sedation.) A nuclear crisis can happen at any time, including at the worst possible time. If such a crisis takes place when a president’s thinking is compromised for any reason, the results could be catastrophic. ……..

If the president or his advisors have reason to believe that Trump’s thinking may be compromised, nuclear launch authority should be transferred to the vice president, Mike Pence. If Pence also gets COVID, the football could then be passed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Pro Tempore of the Senate Chuck Grassley, and the secretaries of State, Treasury and Defense, in that order.

But kicking the football down the line does not solve the problem—and in fact shows why the system is broken. Does anyone really believe that the president pro tem of the Senate or the Treasury Secretary has spent much time preparing for nuclear war? And even if they had prepared, the central dilemma remains: All humans are imperfect, and we should not trust the fate of the world to any one person.

The whole concept of giving the president unilateral nuclear authority is built on the false assumption that Russia might launch a surprise first strike. In fact, Russia has never seriously considered a first strike against the United States for a simple reason: It would be national suicide. Both sides have to assume that an attack would provoke an unacceptable nuclear retaliation. Both nations, and much of the rest of the globe, would be obliterated. Starting such a war would be insanity………

It is time to retire the nuclear football. The only thing standing between us and nuclear holocaust is one man with COVID on heavy meds. That is the plan? Ending sole authority is better than entrusting it to any individual. In a vibrant democracy, no one person should have the unchecked power to destroy the world.


October 8, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Pressure on U.S. Congress to reinstate research on links between nuclear stations and cancer

This is a scientific endeavor which will improve our understanding of cancer, the leading cause of death in California,” the petition states. “It is especially important for women, children, and the human fetus who are much more vulnerable to the biological effects of harmful ionizing radiation.”

More modern studies in Europe have found that children living within 3 miles of nuclear power plants had double the risk of developing acute leukemia as those living farther away, with the peak impact on children ages 2-4.

Activists push Congress to revive probe into links between nuclear plants and cancer

Nuclear Regulatory Commission killed study in 2015 after spending five years and $1.5 million on the effort,   Orange County Register,  By TERI SFORZA | |  October 5, 2020 Scientists and activists were stunned back in 2015 when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission pulled the plug on what was designed to be the best study of cancer near nuclear power plants ever done. Continue reading

October 8, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Morrison government again fails on climate ation, snubs renewable energy

Professor, School of Economics, The University of Queensland  When it comes to action on climate change, Tuesday’s federal budget delivered by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was a real – though not unexpected – disappointment which favoured polluting technologies over a clean energy future.It included money to upgrade a coal-fired power station in New South Wales, and confirmed A$50 million previously announced to develop carbon capture and storage. The government will also spend A$52.9 million expanding Australia’s gas industry.

But investment in renewable energy was largely shunned. Notably, the government allocated just A$5 million for electric vehicles. It confirmed funding for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for another decade, but the money is far less than what’s needed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the Morrison government abandon long-held dogma on debt and deficits. However, the federal budget shows when it comes to climate and energy, the government is singing from the same old songbook.

A techno-fix

The budget doubled down on the Morrison government’s rhetoric of “technology, not taxes”, by choosing preferred technologies for investment.

This “picking winners” approach would have some chance of addressing climate change if it were based on a comprehensive analysis of the best path to zero emissions. But instead, the government has largely made offerings at the altars of technologies worshipped by the conservative side of politics.

The government will spend an as-yet undisclosed sum, possibly A$11 million, to refurbish the Vales Point coal-fired power station. The commitment to this coal infrastructure, co-owned by prominent Liberal party donor Trevor St Baker, is a disgraceful misuse of public money. It will also do little to halt the steady decline of coal-fired power generation.

As previously announced, the government will spend A$52.9 million to support the gas industry, which Frydenberg says will lower prices and support more manufacturing jobs. It includes money for gas infrastructure planning and to open up five gas basins, starting with Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory.

The budget confirms A$50 million for carbon capture and storage (CCS) to fund projects to cut emissions from industry. But proving the viability of large-scale CCS projects is extremely difficult, as experience in the United States and Canada has shown. In this context, allocating just A$50 million to get the technology off the ground is simply laughable.

History suggests the spending offers little return on investment. Research by the Australia Institute in 2017 revealed federal governments have spent A$1.3 billion in taxpayers’ money on CCS projects, with very little to show for it.

Renewables snubbed

Meanwhile, last night’s budget largely shunned investment in renewable energy.

The budget confirmed A$1.4 billion in ARENA funding for a further ten years, including a pretty paltry A$223.9 million over the next four years. Separately, the government will also seek to pass legislation to change ARENA’s investment mandate, enabling it to fund gas and carbon capture projects.

The government has allocated a tiny A$5 million towards electric vehicle development, including money towards a manufacturing facility in South Australia. It’s good to see electric vehicles on the government’s radar. But the commitment is dwarfed by investment overseas, including a reported US$300 billion set aside by global car makers over the next decade to bring electric vehicles to mass production.

The measly spending on clean energy technology does not make economic sense. The renewable energy sector is standing by to slash emissions and deliver lower energy prices – if only the right policy environment existed.

The budget was also an opportunity for the government to ditch its irrational opposition to carbon pricing. Recent research has comprehensively shown carbon pricing slows growth in greenhouse gas emissions.

Vehement carbon pricing critics, such as conservatives Tony Abbott, Craig Kelly and Barnaby Joyce, are now either discredited or out of parliament altogether. And scores of countries around the world have implemented some form of price on carbon.

A global outlier

Most obviously, the budget was an opportunity to commit to net-zero emissions by 2050, as many developed countries have done.

The Morrison government has already used dodgy accounting tricks to meet Australia’s Paris Agreement commitment – reducing emissions by 26% on 2005 levels. The absence of a net-zero target suggests the government intends to allow emissions to grow indefinitely after 2030.

This approach is out of step with many of Australia’s international peers. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, now the clear favourite to win the US election in November, is campaigning on what has been described as “the most aggressive climate platform” ever put forward by a presidential nominee.

October 8, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

October 7 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Nuclear Energy – The High Cost Of A Dying Industry” • Nuclear energy has had a seriously rough year. In an article by, the author asked a question: “Why is nuclear energy so expensive?” The nuclear sector, OilPrice says, simply can’t compete with the flood of low cost natural gas and renewables. […]

October 7 Energy News — geoharvey

October 8, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

City of Newcastle has gone wind and solar, now it’s time to look at EVs and charging — RenewEconomy

Having effectively dealt with emissions from electricity sources, transport emissions are the next biggest challenge for the City of Newcastle. The post City of Newcastle has gone wind and solar, now it’s time to look at EVs and charging appeared first on RenewEconomy.

City of Newcastle has gone wind and solar, now it’s time to look at EVs and charging — RenewEconomy

October 8, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WA’s third-largest wind farm, Warradarge to reach full output by end of October — RenewEconomy

WA’s third largest wind farm, the 180MW Warradarge project, officially opened, using some of the largest turbines deployed in the state. The post WA’s third-largest wind farm, Warradarge to reach full output by end of October appeared first on RenewEconomy.

WA’s third-largest wind farm, Warradarge to reach full output by end of October — RenewEconomy

October 8, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Europe’s new climate target would mean near total exit from coal by 2030 — RenewEconomy

Proposed new climate target for Europe would result in the near total elimination of coal fired generation by 2030, experts say. The post Europe’s new climate target would mean near total exit from coal by 2030 appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Europe’s new climate target would mean near total exit from coal by 2030 — RenewEconomy

October 8, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment