Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Labor Party’s removal of Mark Butler as Shadow Environment Minister – an ominous sign for the nuclear-free movement

Noel Wauchope 30 Jan 21, Anthony Albanese’s removal of Mark Butler as Shadow Environment Minister is an ominous sign – for the environment, the climate, and for a nuclear-free Australia. Having followed the Labor Party’s efforts (or lack thereof) on nuclear issues, over several years, I am not optimistic. When I wrote individually to each ALP politician, a few years back, I got standard answers from all, just quoting Labor policy, but not answering my question. Only Mark Butler and Sam Dastyari gave me straight answers, affirming their personal anti nuclear opinion. Labor has a sad history of caving in on uranium/nuclear issues.

As new climate spokesman, Chris Bowen has good climate change and environment credentials, and good ideas on connecting clean energy technologies with employment opportunities. BUT, this appointment looks like a Labor swing to the Right, and appeasing the fossil fuel fans (and ? the nuclear fans)

Labor leader Anthony Albanese used to be a strong anti-nuclear force in Labor. The former leader, Bill Shorten, was ever ready to make a deal with the nuclear lobby, if he thought that would help him win.  But – what has happened to Albo lately ?

January 29, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina reviews, politics | Leave a comment

All-Africa Conference of Churches welcomes Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty

All-Africa Conference of Churches welcomes Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty All-Africa Conference of Churches salutes the recent coming into force of the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), hailing it as further inspiration to work for a nuclear-weapons-free world.

By Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ  The first-ever Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) came into force on 22 January 2021 after years of negotiations. The Treaty, welcomed by many as a step towards ridding the world of nuclear weapons, was signed four years after it was adopted by the UN in 2017.

Hailing this recent development, the All-Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), in a statement on Tuesday, expressed its support, together with the rest of the ecumenical community, for the Treaty which now becomes international law.

The ecumenical body said that the Treaty “ushers in the possibilities of heralding a new world free of the threats and tensions that have been characterized by the battle to develop and hold nuclear weapons.”

No safe hands for nuclear weapons

In the Tuesday statement, AACC stated its belief “that the very holding and potential threat of use of nuclear weapons is immoral,” adding that it looks forward to the day “when the world will be freed of these weapons permanently.”

“There are no safe hands for these weapons,” added AACC. “The accidental or deliberate detonation of a nuclear weapon would cause severe, long-lasting and far-reaching harm on all aspects of our lives and our environment throughout the world.”

At the same time, these technologies are “part of structures and systems that bring about great suffering and destruction” and have been the cause of “major tensions and threats of widespread devastation.”

TPNW: inspiration for a nuclear-weapon-free world

In the wake of the entry into force of the Treaty, AACC said that at a time when the world desperately needs fresh hope, the TPNW inspires us to work towards fully eliminating “the threat of nuclear weapons, and to create conditions for peace, justice and well-being.”

AACC also pointed out that the treaty addresses the disproportionate impact of nuclear weapons on women and indigenous peoples, as well as the “importance of victim assistance and healing environmental harms in a groundbreaking way.”

Citing the example of the hibakusha – survivors of the two nuclear attacks launched at Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II – AACC noted that their courage and perseverance serve as “the inspiration, guidance and moral foundation” in the quest for a world without nuclear weapons.

Appeal to States

Highlighting that none of the nine nuclear global powers, and many countries with defense pacts with them have signed or ratified the Treaty, AACC pointed out that a lot of work still remains to be done.  As at its entry into force, the TPNW was signed by 86 countries and ratified by 51.

n this regard, AACC appealed to the ecumenical global community to make its contribution, in whichever way possible, to participate in the global work for peace, justice and respect for life.

Concretely, the ecumenical body is urging all States to sign and ratify the TPNW, as well as join the first meeting of the State parties scheduled for next year. AACC further calls for decisive action “to strengthen the power of the TPNW upon its entry into force, and to work for peace, cooperation and common security.”

“We must not be discouraged at the slow pace, but become even more determined to push for a better world,” AACC said. “This is part of our mission and we know God is on our side.”


Founded in Kampala, Uganda, in 1963, the AAAC is an ecumenical association that today has 173 member churches present in 40 African countries, representing over 120 million Christians on the continent. Its headquarters is in Nairobi, Kenya.

January 29, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Avoiding a ‘Ghastly Future’: Hard Truths on the State of the Planet

Avoiding a ‘Ghastly Future’: Hard Truths on the State of the Planet, Yale Environment 360

A group of the world’s top ecologists have issued a stark warning about the snowballing crisis caused by climate change, population growth, and unchecked development. Their assessment is grim, but big-picture societal changes on a global scale can still avert a disastrous future.

Within the lifetime of anyone born at the start of the Baby Boom, the human population has tripled. Has this resulted in a human endeavor three times better — or one-third as capable of surviving? In the 1960s, humans took about three-quarters of what the planet could regenerate annually. By 2016 this rose to 170 percent, meaning that the planet cannot keep up with human demand, and we are running the world down.

“In other words,” say 17 of the world’s leading ecologists in a stark new perspective on our place in life and time, “humanity is running an ecological Ponzi scheme in which society robs nature and future generations to pay for boosting incomes in the short term.” Their starkly titled article, “Underestimating the Challenges of Avoiding a Ghastly Future,” reads less as an argument than as a rain of asteroids encountered in the course of flying blind on a lethal trajectory. The authors’ stated goal is not to dispirit readers. “Ours is not a call to surrender,” they write, “we aim to provide leaders with a realistic ‘cold shower’ of the state of the planet that is essential for planning to avoid a ghastly future.”

Put on your shower cap and step into the cold. Humans have altered about 70 percent of Earth’s land surface and ocean. …….

Referring to the loss of living diversity and abundance, the authors note: “The mainstream is having difficulty grasping the magnitude of this loss, despite the steady erosion of the fabric of human civilization.” But I think the problem is that the fabric of human civilization has been built and fueled precisely by causing erosion of the living world. The pain of other living things is seldom humanly felt, their interests seldom considered, their intrinsic values discounted. (I am still asked “why we should care” about whether even iconic creatures such as right whales, for example, vanish forever.)

Worth noting is that the authors are overwhelmingly ecologists. As am I. This may account for their perceiving a grim future versus the rosy future offered by techno-optimists. Ecologists understand the world as interdependent relationships among diverse living and non-living systems…….

Ecologists understand that building an ever-larger human enterprise has resulted from putting more of the world through a macerator at the expense of the rest of life on Earth and generations unborn. On a planet that is finite, such an enterprise faces inevitable limits.  ……

Most economists and politicians catastrophically confuse growth and improvement as synonymous…….

If there is one silver bullet, that bullet is full citizenship and empowerment of women……..

The point of “Avoiding a Ghastly Future” is that we all must recognize the enormity of these problems. But the authors believe that reality can be faced without sowing “disproportionate” fear and despair. They say the necessary choices will entail “difficult conversations about population growth” and “the necessity of dwindling but more equitable standards of living.”……..


January 29, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Why nuclear power is a bad way to balance renewable energy

Why nuclear power is a bad way to balance renewable energy
See the YOUTUBE video:

David Toke, Ian Fairlie and Herbert Eppel from 100percentrenewableuk discuss how nuclear power effectively switches off wind and solar power and how a 100percent renewable energy system is much better for the UK than one involving nuclear power

The Government, backed by a lot of public policy reports paid for by pro-nuclear interests, constantly pushes out the view that nuclear power is ‘essential’ to balancing wind and solar power.

But what they never mention is the massive waste of renewables that occurs in such a scenario.

Under the scenarios planned by the Government nuclear power is paid very high prices to generate power even when there is excess electricity, which pushes renewables to close down.

The Government also refuses to undertake serious investigations of how a system that uses excess renewables to create short and long term storage is a much better way of organising our energy needs rather than wasting more money on building nuclear power statitons.

If you agree the aims of 100percentrenewableuk please join the discussion via our email group.


January 29, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

“World first”: South Australia achieves 100pct solar, and lowest prices in Australia — RenewEconomy

South Australia now boasts cheapest grid power in Australia, thanks to its dominant share of wind and solar, and a world-first milestone of having solar meet all its electricity demand. The post “World first”: South Australia achieves 100pct solar, and lowest prices in Australia appeared first on RenewEconomy.

“World first”: South Australia achieves 100pct solar, and lowest prices in Australia — RenewEconomy

January 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Owning “good” energy shares really paid off last year — RenewEconomy

The average “good” energy share in our random portfolio was up over 100% last year, and this performance has continued into January. The post Owning “good” energy shares really paid off last year appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Owning “good” energy shares really paid off last year — RenewEconomy

January 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January 29 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Climate Crisis Gets Help From Millions Of Tiny Little Heat Pumps” • Just as President Biden unleashes a torrent of new climate crisis orders, the US DOE is out with a new roadmap for achieving a carbon neutral US by 2050. Decarbonizing the energy and industrial sectors would cost about $1.00 per person […]

January 29 Energy News — geoharvey

January 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment