Australian news, and some related international items

Sloppy and unconvincing pro nuclear propaganda from the Australian Nationals and the Murdochracy

The Australian nuclear promotion is less persuasive. Coming predominantly from Murdoch media, the content of nuclear propaganda is sloppy, inaccurate, and at times downright weird

The Nationals and Murdoch media support nuclear power ahead of COP26, Independent Australia,By Noel Wauchope | 9 September 2021.

On 1 September 2021, Senator Matt Canavan called for Australia to boycott the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow in November. 

Was he speaking on behalf of the coal or oil industries? Well, not exactly. 

This was the latest and strangest call from Australia’s noisy little band of pro-nuclear promoters. Canavan was responding to the news that the nuclear industry has been banned from having exhibits at COP26. He complained that the Climate Summit was a ”sham” for excluding nuclear power, a view supported by MP Ken O’Dowd.

O’Dowd said that nuclear power should be at the top of the climate agenda. Other National Party notables, David Littleproud and Bridget McKenzie, recently spoke out for nuclear power.

Like the nuclear industry worldwide, they are now taking up the cause of climate action with a vengeance. The nuclear lobby’s motives are clear. First, they likely want the tax exemptions and other subsidies that come with being declared as clean and sustainable. Secondly, they need that seal of approval, the public respectability which goes with acquiring the clean and green label.

The global lobby’s most persuasive argument is that a nuclear reactor’s operation generates a lot of electricity, with only a minuscule production of CO2

They don’t, of course, talk about the processes of the nuclear fuel chain from uranium mining through to demolition of dead reactors and disposal of wastes. Their favourite phrase ”emissions-free energy” doesn’t count emissions of radioactive strontium-90.

The Australian nuclear promotion is less persuasive. Coming predominantly from Murdoch media, the content of nuclear propaganda is sloppy, inaccurate, and at times downright weird. The Australian newspaper provides two outstanding examples

The first is this eye-catching article Savvy activists cast nuclear benefits in a fresh green light  subtitled:

‘For baby boomers, nuclear weapons and nuclear energy were conflated as an existential risk. This created an irrational fear that persists today.’

From the outset, the argument is an attack on anti-nuclear activists, instead of arguing the case for nuclear power.

The hero of the piece is Zion Lights, formerly of Extinction Rebellion, who created her own pro-nuclear group, Emergency Reactor.

She works closely with Michael Shellenberger, who, himself, has lost the support of the general nuclear lobby, due to his many inaccurate statements. Zion Lights and The Australian go into a lengthy digression on the foibles of the baby boomers, who have ‘conflated nuclear weapons and nuclear energy as an existential risk that could wipe out humanity’.

The health effects of the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters are minimised and renewable energy is rubbished as being ineffective.

The author, Claire Lehmann, concludes that the too-slow movement towards carbon neutrality is the fault of the misguided anti-nuclear baby boomers.

The second article is ‘Nuclear stacks up — cue the meltdown‘ by Greg Sheridan, who starts by accusing Australians as being ‘environmental outliers’ for prohibiting nuclear power…………..

the main thrust of this pro-nuclear argument moves on to an attack on Labor, the Greens and so forth:

‘… the deadly, wretched, wholly negative, nihilistic scare campaigns and demonising that the ALP left and its Green allies have conducted against nuclear energy.’

There is no attempt to address any of the worrying issues that surround nuclear power  costs, safety, environmental damage, radioactive waste. He reminds us that Bill Gates backs nuclear power. Well of course Gates does  he owns a nuclear power company, Terra Power.

He also quotes the European Union (EU) as backing nuclear power. While several EU countries do have nuclear power, the EU as a whole is not recommending nuclear powers as a climate solution. In fact, the nuclear industry is banned from exhibiting at the green zone at COP26………

As I write this comes the breathtaking news that the Murdoch media is changing its attitude to global warming. From a rather crude sort of climate denialism, they will likely move to supporting technical “climate fixes” spruiked by the fossil fuel industries. This is a more subtle way of sabotaging real climate action. 

Perhaps we can expect them also to provide something more credible on the nuclear issue in the future.,15496

September 9, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, media, politics

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