Australian news, and some related international items

Still hoping that WordPress can be workable, but it looks unlikely.

I can’t believe that WordPress’s new Block editor really eliminates useful features of the old Classic editor. I’m hoping that they just made it more difficult to find them ‘

Well, I was given a hint on how to change my posxts from the vile new WordPress Block editor, – back to the user-friendly Classic editor.

But no – darned if they haven’t plugged off that escape hole. So we are all stu ck with the new unfriendly one.

March 26, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Zealand speaks out against UK’s expansion of nuclear weaponry. Toady Australian govt stays silent

New Zealand ‘disappointed’ over United Kingdom’s plans to expand nuclear arsenal, Stuff, Thomas Manch, Mar 26 2021  

New Zealand says the United Kingdom’s plan to boost its nuclear armoury by 35 warheads “undermines” the global disarmament effort.The United Kingdom had previously committed to reducing its nuclear arsenal to 180 weapons. But after a review its defence and foreign policy upon leaving the European Union, the country decided to embrace nuclear weapons as a “deterrent” and increase its arsenal from “up to 225” warheads to “up to 260”.

Disarmament and Arms Control Minister Phil Twyford told Stuff that New Zealand officials had contacted their counterparts in Britain to express their disappointment.”On so many foreign policy issues, the Brits are our mates, basically. But this is very disappointing. And it comes to the time when the world is hoping that nuclear disarmament is going to get back on the agenda,” he said.He said the British bid to increase their arsenal undermined the decades-old Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to which Britain was a signatory.

“The non-proliferation treaty is based on the idea that the nuclear weapon states including Britain will reduce their arsenals, and in return for that other countries won’t develop nuclear weapons, that’s the bargain that was struck.

“[This] undermines the efforts of countries around the world, including New Zealand, to promote the disarmament.”New Zealand has long been an advocate for nuclear disarmament, after the country declared itself a nuclear-free zone in the 1980s, banning nuclear armed and propelled ships from its waters.”There’s no doubt that heightened strategic rivalry has made the international climate much more difficult than in recent years, for a whole host of different multilateral things, including trade, but certainly disarmament and arms control.

But the answer to that is not to start some new arms race. The answer is to redouble our efforts to negotiate.”I know that it won’t just be New Zealand, it will be lots of other countries that are saying to the Brits, ‘This is not the direction we should be heading in’.”Twyford said the world was in “quite a risky, vulnerable situation”, as efforts to reduce the nuclear arsenal held by both the United States and Russia – 90 per cent of the world’s warheads – had slowed.New Zealand would be pushing for countries to sign up to the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in the coming year, he said. This new treaty asked countries to declare that nuclear weapons were illegal under international law………

March 26, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tokyo Olympic Games torch relay starts, but most Japanese want it cancelled

Tokyo Olympic torch relay begins in Fukushima as Japan tries to boost confidence in the delayed event

ABC, By North Asia correspondent Jake Sturmer and Yumi Asada in Fukushima, 26 Mar 21, “………..Japan remains sceptical of the scandal-ridden Games

Organisers hope this relay — and stories like Reina’s — will shift the mood in favour of the Olympics in Japan.

Opinion polls have consistently shown that a majority of Japanese want the Games postponed or cancelled.

Sexism scandals haven’t helped either.

The president of the Organising Committee, Yoshiro Mori, resigned after saying women talked too much in meetings.

Then the creative director of the opening and closing ceremonies Hiroshi Sasaki resigned after suggesting well-known Japanese comedian Naomi Watanabe could play a role in the ceremonies as an ‘Olympig’………….

March 26, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The nuclear weapons issue is a women’s issue

During Women’s History Month, thank women for preventing nuclear disaster (Commentary) 26 Mar 21, By Wendy Yost | Syracuse Peace Council Wendy Yost, of Syracuse, writes on behalf of the Nuclear Free World Committee of the Syracuse Peace Council.

Depending on how old you are, you may remember the 1950s and ’60s “duck and cover” drills in elementary school and signs leading to the atomic bomb shelters in public buildings. Or you may remember the Cuban Missile crisis when the world came dangerously close to nuclear war. Then, and now, most of us probably had or have no true idea of the devastation that such a war would bring.

During Women’s History month, we should thank women for bringing some sanity to the insanity of the Cold War. In 1961 Bella Abzug and Dagmar Wilson founded “Women Strike for Peace.” Their goal was to stop nations from nuclear testing. The movement brought 50,000 women in 60 different cities together in protest. Coretta Scott King served as the organization’s delegate to an international disarmament conference in 1962. The public pressure brought by these women and the near-disaster of the Cuban Missile crisis helped bring the Soviet Union, United Kingdom and U.S. together to sign the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, prohibiting nuclear testing underwater, in outer space and in the atmosphere in 1963. This marked the beginning of a series of hard-won international agreements that have helped prevent nuclear war since the 1960s.

Bella Abzug framed the nuclear issue as a women’s issue in saying “… We are entitled to our shared economic resources of the country. We are entitled to equal pay for comparable work … We are entitled to have some hope for our family with a decent environment. We are permanently entitled to world peace, which is the only way in which we can rebuild and restructure this society to make it for all people.”

These words ring true for our time. In 2021, women are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic in lost wages and increased responsibilities for childcare, education, and emotional support for stressed kids. While our predominantly male Congress has debated the country’s ability to afford childcare subsidies, extended unemployment benefits, child tax credits and support to reopen schools safely, our government spends approximately $67.5 billion per year on nuclear weapons. At the same time, the world has become less safe from nuclear weapons as international agreements have ended and diplomacy has been hollowed out and denigrated by the Trump administration.

There are hopeful signs as the Biden administration has recommitted efforts to end the nuclear threat by already negotiating an extension of the New START Treaty with Russia, reviving efforts to negotiate with Iran over nuclear weapons, and committing to reduced U.S. expenditures on nuclear weapons of annihilation. Notably, Biden has nominated several women to senior positions that involve nuclear non-proliferation including Bonnie Jenkins as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and Mallory Stewart as Senior Director for Arms Control and National Non-Proliferation for the National Security Council. These appointments are historic in nature for appointing women to top positions who have spent their careers working for peace, security and nuclear non-proliferation.

Let’s have Women’s History Month in 2021 be a time for women (and men) commit to making history by working for a world that is safe from nuclear weapons and a world where resources are committed to life-affirming programs and policies. This means supporting, expecting and demanding that the new administration meet and exceed its commitments to quell the threat of nuclear war. Visit and or to learn more and take action.

March 26, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Morrison government seeks greater powers to direct taxpayer funds into gas pipelines — RenewEconomy

Forms to the NAIF, designed to give the Morrison government a greater ability to channel its $5 billion funds into gas infrastructure, pass the lower house. The post Morrison government seeks greater powers to direct taxpayer funds into gas pipelines appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Morrison government seeks greater powers to direct taxpayer funds into gas pipelines — RenewEconomy

March 26, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why Australia doesn’t need new baseload to replace old coal — RenewEconomy

As federal parliament prepares to undertake yet another review of Australia’s future energy system needs, experts explain why new baseload is not one of them. The post Why Australia doesn’t need new baseload to replace old coal appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Why Australia doesn’t need new baseload to replace old coal — RenewEconomy

March 26, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Forcing gas generation into NSW is a loser policy — RenewEconomy

The federal government’s attempts to force new gas generation into NSW is sign of just how badly it’s running energy policy. In truth, there is no real policy. The post Forcing gas generation into NSW is a loser policy appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Forcing gas generation into NSW is a loser policy — RenewEconomy

March 26, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

March 26 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Assisting Evolution: How Much Should We Help Species Adapt?” • It may no longer be enough to protect species from a changing environment – we may have to assist in their evolution if they are to survive the 21st Century. To protect natural species, it has come to the point that it may […]

March 26 Energy News — geoharvey

March 26, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment