Australian news, and some related international items

This week’s climate, nuclear, coronavirus news – Australia and more

The World Health Organisation has reported 338,779 new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded last week, a new daily record.

World press freedom endangered, if UK extradites Julian Assange to America.  Assange extradition case could esrablish a dangerous legal precedent.

This election isn’t just about you, America.  The world’s climate future – much depends on America’s presidential election.   Trump’s psychopathology a threat to US democracy and to global stability.

Some bits of good news – The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Goes To The World’s Largest Hunger Program.    A New Generation of Young Poll Workers is Stepping Up to Protect the Elderly From COVID-19


Murdoch media monopoly – an ‘arrogant cancer on our democracy’.

Pretty despicable -tax breaks for company exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia, UAE.

Australia needs a permanent war crimes investigation unit.

CLIMATE. Australian government has Zero interest in the climate .   Morrison government again fails on climate ation, snubs renewable energy.  Australia now the worst OECD country for climate change action.  China’s dramatic plan for switch to renewables – a warning to Australia‘s fossil-fuel economy.  Net zero emissions target for Australia could launch $63bn investment boom.   Queensland election – all about climate, coal, and minority parties.

NUCLEAR – Labor likely to amend the Nuclear Waste Bill, removing certainty about the Napandee dump happening.  Divisions in Labor, over nuclear waste dump plan.  Australian government’s controversial Nuclear Waste Bill delayed – not yet debated in Senate till atleast November 9.   Federal government hiding its toxic nuclear waste Act under the cover of budget fuss.

Uranium. Clean-up for Ranger uranium mine. Rum Jungle mine still a polluted mess.  Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association gets $millions from uranium mining: need for Royal Commission into Native Title.

RENEWABLE ENERGY.  Solar meets 100 per cent of South Australia demand for first time.


Why climate change is a time bomb. – Climate future depends on what action humans take.  Greta Thunberg: ‘Get everyone to vote for Joe Biden’.  Global and European temperature levels for September – hottest on record.

Countries that have included nuclear in their green stimulus plans may want to rethink their strategy.  Major study finds that renewables lower emissions substantially, and nuclear power does not. Nuclear power, irrelevant to climate change – and in fact, hinders climate action.

Promises, promises — the media keeps  buying the tired old nuclear spin, marketing small reactors.

U.S. and Russian negotiators try to salvage arms control pact.

14 million tonnes of plastic on ocean floor – more on the coasts.

Former world leaders urge those now in power to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Pro nuclear bias in  articles in Google headlines.-news.

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Assange extradition case could esrablish a dangerous legal precedent

Crumbling Case Against Assange Shows Weakness of “Hacking” Charges Related to Whistleblowing

The charge against Assange is about establishing legal precedent to charge publishers with conspiring with their sources, something that so far the U.S. government has failed to do because of the First Amendment.

October 10, 2020 Micah Lee  THE INTERCEPT, By 2013, the Obama administration had concluded that it could not charge WikiLeaks or Julian Assange with crimes related to publishing classified documents — documents that showed, among other things, evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan — without criminalizing investigative journalism itself. President Barack Obama’s Justice Department called this the “New York Times problem,” because if WikiLeaks and Assange were criminals for publishing classified information, the New York Times would be just as guilty.

Five years later, in 2018, the Trump Administration indicted Assange anyway. But, rather than charging him with espionage for publishing classified information, they charged him with a computer crime, later adding 17 counts of espionage in a superseding May 2019 indictment.

The computer charges claimed that, in 2010, Assange conspired with his source, Chelsea Manning, to crack an account on a Windows computer in her military base, and that the “primary purpose of the conspiracy was to facilitate Manning’s acquisition and transmission of classified information.” The account enabled internet file transfers using a protocol known as FTP.

New testimony from the third week of Assange’s extradition trial makes it increasingly clear that this hacking charge is incredibly flimsy. The alleged hacking not only didn’t happen, according to expert testimony at Manning’s court martial hearing in 2013 and again at Assange’s extradition trial last week, but it also couldn’t have happened.

The new testimony, reported earlier this week by investigative news site Shadowproof, also shows that Manning already had authorized access to, and the ability to exfiltrate, all of the documents that she was accused of leaking — without receiving any technical help from WikiLeaks. …….

the charge is not actually about hacking — it’s about establishing legal precedent to charge publishers with conspiring with their sources, something that so far the U.S. government has failed to do because of the First Amendment………

Whether or not you believe Assange is a journalist is beside the point. The New York Times just published groundbreaking revelations from two decades of Donald Trump’s taxes showing obscene tax avoidance, massive fraud, and hundreds of millions of dollars of debt.

Trump would like nothing more than to charge the New York Times itself, and individual journalists that reported that story, with felonies for conspiring with their source. This is why the precedent in Assange’s case is so important: If Assange loses, the Justice Department will have established new legal tactics with which to go after publishers for conspiring with their sources.

October 12, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, media, politics international | Leave a comment

Kimba’s potential water problem, if radioactive waste dump goes ahead

Paul Waldon   Fight to Stop a Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia   12 Oct 20, Know Your Environment.
Tanks are a static water supply and they’re common in an agriculture environment, if that environment embraces radioactive waste it would be fair to say monitoring of such water is imperative. Remember not everyone in a rural environment is connected to government monitored mains water.
Any person with business acumen can see $3,000 x 1,100+ residents of Kimba for monitoring equipment will erode any government sweeteners pretty quick.

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

As Julian Assange faces extradition to USA, global press freedom is endangered


October 12, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, media, politics international | Leave a comment

Murdoch media monopoly – an ‘arrogant cancer on our democracy’

A cancer’: Kevin Rudd calls for royal commission into ‘Murdoch monopoly’, The New Daily,  Cait Kelly, 10 Oct 20, 

October 12, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, politics | Leave a comment

Climate change, nuclear weapons, global health – the American election MATTERS

Can the world survive four more years of Donald Trump? 
 From climate change to nuclear weapons to global health — this election isn’t just about you, America
By POLITICO 10/8/20 This article is part of a special report, The Global Election.

A second term could set Trumpism in concrete

In the middle of a devastating pandemic, recurring nationwide protests and a bitter presidential election — not to mention the president’s own COVID-19 diagnosis — Americans can be forgiven for losing track of what Donald Trump’s presidency has meant beyond their borders. But the list of changes he has wrought abroad is not short.

A world order designed to function through slow consensus and underwhelming compromise, on a good day, has had virtually no coping mechanism for the American president’s disruption. In the name of putting America first, Trump has pulled out of one global deal after another, unpredictably reversing course on some of America’s biggest global priorities and moral commitments. He has snubbed democratic leaders and longtime allies while cozying up to Vladimir Putin and other autocrats. While the most important Western institutions — NATO, the European Union, the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization — are still standing, it’s an open question whether they will be able to survive another four years of pummeling and disinvestment by the world’s superpower.

So, what really happens if the world gets a second Trump term? ……….

Here’s what the world should expect if Trump remains commander in chief.

  • By Ryan Heath………. Some of the outlook is unsettling: Trump is already undertaking a nuclear buildup and seems set on dismantling the one remaining treaty between the world’s two main nuclear powers. And there is a real fear that a second Trump term would embolden the authoritarians around the world who have lined up to support him. ……..

Emissions come back, and America bows out

The climate crisis is a slow-moving disaster that hinges on single pivotal moments. Right now, the global community is planning around the year 2050, when experts say humans need to all but eliminate greenhouse-gas emissions to avoid the worst effects of global warming. But the biggest dates on the immediate calendar are November 3 and 4.

Reelecting Donald Trump on November 3 would put America, and possibly other countries, on a new and hard-to-reverse course away from that emissions goal……

 his abandonment of the Paris deal is still not official.

That pullout will be final on November 4, the day after the election.

A second Trump term would likely have a far bigger impact than the first, both domestically and abroad. The president would have more time to defend his deregulatory agenda in court, which could lock in rules that allow more pollution from power plants, leaking oil and gas wells, cars and refrigerants 

…… If the United States pulls out entirely, the Paris deal could start to fall apart, much as the earlier Kyoto Protocol climate treaty did without U.S. involvement. Saudi Arabia, whose economy depends on petroleum, has long played a role in trying to unpick the U.N. process from within. Some diplomats worry the Saudis would see the U.S. departure as the moment to walk out entirely. What will President Jair Bolsonaro do with Brazil? An exodus of such major players would leave the deal increasingly toothless. …………

Joe Biden is largely promising a reversal of the Trump approach. His platform calls for a $2 trillion investment to clean up the power grid, electrify the transportation sector, and aid minority and low-income communities disproportionately impacted by pollution. And he has pledged to rejoin the Paris accord and put the United States on track toward net-zero emissions by 2050 — though the details of how that will work, in an American economy still reeling from the pandemic, are far from clear.

  • By Catherine Boudreau and Karl Mathiesen

US becomes an ever more unreliable ally

…………The far more likely threat is that Trump would remain as NATO’s most influential leader, sowing uncertainty and chaos from within. “It is likely he would persist in disrupting, both politically and militarily,” said retired Lieutenant General Douglas Lute, who was U.S. ambassador to NATO from 2013 to 2017, and is now chief executive of Cambridge Global, a strategic consulting firm. ……

For military commanders, it’s Trump’s sheer unpredictability that is most unnerving. The worst possibility is unilateral military action, which Trump has shown a willingness to take with no warning to allies, as when he withdrew U.S. forces from northeastern Syria. …… — By David M. Herszenhorn

Nuclear weapons. A direct strike on the treaty system

On an existential global threat that often feels like a back-burner issue in U.S. politics, Donald Trump has quietly moved America into much riskier territory — and faces a decision point before February that has nuclear experts of both parties worried…….

If he stays this course in a second term, Trump will have made permanent the biggest nuclear buildup since the Cold War — while simultaneously unraveling the treaties that have steadily reduced the nuclear threat since the end of the Cold War.

A Biden presidency likely would pivot the United States back to its earlier approach, quickly. Biden and his advisers have pledged to extend New START without preconditions before it expires, and to scramble to rebuild some of the previous deals that Trump walked away from. Biden has also expressed support for declaring a “no first use” policy when it comes to nuclear weapons — replacing, for the first time, the purposely vague U.S. position on when it might actually resort to their use. Also, his advisers support proposals to pursue an agreement with Russia to take both nations’ nuclear weapons off “alert” status, a step that arms control advocates believe would do more than anything else to reduce the danger of an accidental nuclear exchange. …………

October 12, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Queensland election – all about climate, coal, and minority parties

‘Queensland paradox’ pushes coal and climate to centre stage of election campaign, Guardian,   Ben Smee @BenSmee, Sat 10 Oct 2020 
As Labor and the LNP try to woo regional and metro voters with at-times contradictory messages, minor parties thrive

On Sunday in Clermont – in the dusty heart of Queensland – the coal fanatic Liberal National party senator Matt Canavan and the mining magnate Clive Palmer will hold a rally, mocking the convoy of climate protesters who made a somewhat unwelcome voyage north last year.

Three days earlier, almost 1,000km away in Brisbane’s trendy western suburbs, the Greens announced state election plans to provide free school meals, funded by a $55bn increase to mining royalties.

Somewhere in between lies what the University of Queensland political scientist Glenn Kefford calls “the Queensland paradox” – the challenge for major parties to woo voters in both Toowong and Townsville with different, sometimes contradictory, messages.

“The state might appear a certain way to outsiders but it’s really interesting and diverse,” Kefford says.

……… complexity has been writ large since the writs were issued this week: a series of events has widened a philosophical rift within the LNP; prompted some of Australia’s largest resources companies to quit their statewide lobby group; and placed the Greens at the centre of the election narrative.

As Labor and the LNP attempt to “walk both sides of the street”, divisive issues including coalmining and climate change have again been pushed to the forefront of the campaign………

Avoiding the third rail

Of course, it’s impossible to talk about Queensland, coal, climate and the election without mentioning the third rail of that debate: Adani.

On the eve of the election, Labor sought to neutralise a potential campaign problem by signing a long-delayed royalties deal for Adani’s under-construction Carmichael coalmine.

Polling released this week shows Labor extending its dominance over the LNP in greater Brisbane. The party also hopes to pick up seats on the Gold Coast and the southern Sunshine Coast.

Of most concern to Labor strategists are the party’s regional seats, including the working-class regional cities of Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton and Gladstone, where voters swung fiercely towards the Coalition at the 2019 federal election.

The premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, began her hi-vis “jobs, jobs and more jobs” campaign by hopping across north Queensland, pushing a pro-mining message.

Kefford said Labor appeared to be attempting to address failures from last year’s federal election campaign in north and central Queensland by running messaging tailored to suit local campaigns in regional areas……….

‘Frankenstein majority’

Queensland politics has become known for its embrace of minor parties,………

“There’s a good chance of [a hung parliament], there’s no doubt,” Kefford said. “The major parties, they have to rationalise what they’re doing and be strategic about their messaging. They can’t be everything to everyone.”

October 12, 2020 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Net zero emissions target for Australia could launch $63bn investment boom

October 12, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Ice melt projections may underestimate Antarctic contribution to sea level rise

October 12, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Solar meets 100 per cent of South Australia demand for first time — RenewEconomy

Solar power met 100 per cent of South Australia’s demand on Sunday for the first time. It won’t be the last. The post Solar meets 100 per cent of South Australia demand for first time appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Solar meets 100 per cent of South Australia demand for first time — RenewEconomy

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia could lose $265bn in green investment without zero emissions target — RenewEconomy

Investor group says size of Australia’s green investment opportunity could total $1 trillion by 2050, if governments embrace a net zero by 2050 target. The post Australia could lose $265bn in green investment without zero emissions target appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia could lose $265bn in green investment without zero emissions target — RenewEconomy

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October 11 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “New York Pathways To Bus And Truck Electrification” • To achieve New York’s ambitious climate and clean energy goals outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York needs to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, the largest source of emissions in the state. [CleanTechnica] ¶ “Robert Redford: […]

October 11 Energy News — geoharvey

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October 10 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “A Nine-Point Plan For The UK To Achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions” • The last six months have seen a growing realization that decarbonizing our societies is technically possible, relatively cheap, and potentially of major benefit to society, and especially to less prosperous sectors. Here is a sensible portfolio of nine actions for […]

October 10 Energy News — geoharvey

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment