Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Another episode in the unlawful spying and harassment of Julian Assange and his legal team, by the UK and USA governments

Julian Assange’s Australian lawyer who counts Amal Clooney and Amber Heard as friends says she has reached settlement with government ‘over breach of her human rights after it admitted she was likely put under covert surveillance’

  • Jennifer Robinson has reached settlement with Government over surveillance 
  • She said it accepted covert surveillance of her ‘likely breached her human rights’
  • She was one of the three lead claimants in a complaint against the Government 
  • She said it raises ‘grave concerns’ over interference with ‘journalistic material

By JESSICA WARREN FOR MAILONLINE, DAILY MAIL, 10 June 2022

One of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange‘s lawyers has reached a settlement with the Government after it accepted it was likely she was the subject of ‘covert surveillance which breached her human rights’, she said.

Jennifer Robinson welcomed a statement by the European Court of Human Rights which she said meant the UK Government has ‘accepted her rights were breached by surveillance’.

She was one of the three lead claimants in a complaint against the UK Government which went to the court.

Ms Robinson said the UK Government has reached a ‘friendly settlement’, admitting there was reasonable cause to believe she was the subject of surveillance.

She said: ‘The UK Government has now admitted that its surveillance and information-sharing arrangements with the US violated my rights. That includes in relation to the protection of confidential journalistic material.

‘This follows a pattern of unlawful spying on Julian Assange and his legal team, and it raises grave concerns about government interference with journalistic material and privilege.

‘It also raises serious questions about what information the UK and US governments have been sharing about Mr Assange’s case against extradition to the US.’

The development came as Mr Assange awaits a decision by Home Secretary Priti Patel on whether he should be extradited to the United States. 

Ms Robinson, who works from the respected Doughty Chambers in London, has represented Assange for some 12 years.

She is the go-to barrister for the rich and famous, and counts the Hollywood elite among her inner circle, travelling to George and Amal Clooney’s wedding on a speedboat with actor Bill Murray.

In 2019, she was named international pro bono barrister of the year and prior to lockdown, was pictured at events with Prince Charles and Cherie Blair.

She has also appeared on BBC Question Time and supported Amber Heard during the Johnny Depp’s libel case against The Sun newspaper in 2020…………………. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10901023/Julian-Assanges-lawyer-reached-settlement-government-breach-human-rights.html

June 11, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Peter Dutton’s claim he planned to buy US nuclear subs is ‘political point-scoring’, defence experts say

These are sensitive negotiations and I think the great concern here is that Peter Dutton has basically worked against the national interest in an attempt for some domestic political point-scoring.”

Liberal leader is in damage control after his comments raised eyebrows, one analyst saying ‘there’s no way this is a plan’ Guardian. Paul Karp @Paul_Karp Fri 10 Jun 2022

Experts are critical of Peter Dutton’s claim he planned to buy two US nuclear submarines to plug a looming capability gap, as the Liberal leader goes into damage control over the disclosure.

Dutton has been accused of “political point-scoring” and being “unhelpful” in a campaign to pressure Labor’s Richard Marles to rule out other options to plug the gap between the retirement of Collins class submarines and Australia’s plan to build a nuclear fleet.

On Thursday Dutton, the former defence minister, revealed a plan he devised before the election to buy two Virginia-class submarines by 2030, claiming he had “formed a judgment the Americans would have facilitated exactly that”.

The comments raised eyebrows, both because Australia had not formally decided whether to opt for US or UK nuclear submarines and because experts have suggested it is unlikely the US would give up two of its own submarines by 2030.

Marles labelled the intervention “rank politics” and “completely inconsistent with everything Peter Dutton was doing and saying in government”…………….

Marcus Hellyer, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told Guardian Australia Dutton had “put out an idea or concept”.

There’s no way this is a plan, it hasn’t been agreed by the US government, nor Australia, nobody has actually agreed to it.”

“If it were a plan it would be a pretty serious kind of breach or leak [to disclose it].”…….,

“No boats are available before 2030 unless the US gives up its own – that would be quite remarkable – the US has been clear there is no way they can build additional submarines.”

The chair of defence studies at the University of Western Australia, Dr Peter Dean, also expressed concerns about Dutton’s intervention.

“I’m sure that the UK wouldn’t be happy to learn from a newspaper article that, potentially, their submarine is not an option and I’m sure there’s plenty of people in the US Congress, the Pentagon and other parts of the US who were very interested to read these possible developments,” Dean reportedly told the ABC

These are sensitive negotiations and I think the great concern here is that Peter Dutton has basically worked against the national interest in an attempt for some domestic political point-scoring.”…………….  https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jun/10/peter-duttons-claim-he-planned-to-buy-us-nuclear-subs-political-point-scoring-defence-experts-say

June 11, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Kerry Schott: why new coal or nuclear plants are a dumb idea

Mark Ludlow AFR, 7 June 22, ”…………………………………………It seems whenever there is an energy crunch or crisis, supporters of a nuclear industry say it would be the solution to Australia’s energy woes? Do you think nuclear will ever be an option in Australia?

My view of it, at the moment, is it’s a price thing. The last plant the English built cost an enormous amount of money. It’s much more expensive than coal.

It’s the cost of building the plant and dealing with the waste. Once up and running it’s not too bad, but the capital costs and the operating cost of dealing with the radioactive waste is a problem.

If you’re in the UK or France you have a population of 50 million. We don’t have that many people.

And the small-size modular plants they talk about are not being built because they are expensive.

Having gas as a standby is far cheaper. And nuclear, like coal, has to run all the time.

You still have the problem that it’s producing radioactive waste and not being dispatched.

Any other solutions to smooth out the bumps in the transition to a low-emissions economy?

The other thing we need is more transmission. To get prices down you need more zero-cost power, which is the wind and the sun. So, you need more of that in and need more transition.

Yes, there is a cost of transmission, but it’s bringing in many gigawatts of renewable energy at zero cost. So net-net, it’s a benefit.

The danger of building too much transmission is very slim because it takes ages to build it for starters. If anything, we’re lagging in the race rather than getting ahead of it……………………………  https://www.afr.com/companies/energy/kerry-schott-why-new-coal-or-nuclear-plants-are-a-dumb-idea-20220607-p5arru

June 11, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, politics | Leave a comment

Nuclear energy does not stack up economically- Labor Senator Tony Sheldon

Nuclear energy ‘doesn’t stack up’ economically, https://www.skynews.com.au/opinion/chris-kenny/nuclear-energy-doesnt-stack-up-economically/video/3e02c64737aafec67a9c82349c30c4db Labor Senator Tony Sheldon says nuclear energy does not “stack up economically”.

“If it was going to work … the market would be jumping up and down and knocking over our doors right now, right at this minute, to put nuclear energy in place,” he told Sky News Australia.

“The reality is, the energy market itself is saying that is not the best option.

“It is cheaper to have renewables, it’s cheaper to have eventually hydrogen and we have to make sure we have the coal and gas mix.”

June 11, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Australia to update U.N. Climate Submission

Australia to update UN climate submission

Australia will submit a more ambitious set of climate targets to the United Nations.

June 11, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian warming outpacing global average by 35pc: IEA 

Australian warming outpacing global average by 35pc: IEA 

Australia’s temperatures are rising more rapidly than the global average, according to an IEA assessment that warns of fallout on energy systems

June 11, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bowen slams Morrison and Taylor for hiding extent of Snowy 2.0 delays — RenewEconomy

Delays in the government-funded Snowy 2.0 could have big impact on timing of coal plant closures and shape of energy policy. The post Bowen slams Morrison and Taylor for hiding extent of Snowy 2.0 delays appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Bowen slams Morrison and Taylor for hiding extent of Snowy 2.0 delays — RenewEconomy

June 11, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Forgotten fuel: Australia’s failure on energy efficiency is a global embarrassment

In Europe, the mantra is “energy efficiency first” and the IEA calls energy efficiency the “first fuel.” In Australia, it is the “forgotten fuel” – to our great cost. The post Forgotten fuel: Australia’s failure on energy efficiency is a global embarrassment appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Forgotten fuel: Australia’s failure on energy efficiency is a global embarrassment — RenewEconomy

June 11, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

June 10 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion:  ¶ “Australia’s Energy Crisis: How Can Such An Energy-Rich Country Be So Poor?” • A decade of mismanaging the energy transition by the previous federal government has left Australia in a dire situation. The previous energy minister, Angus Taylor, pilloried South Australia for its push to renewables. Now, it has the cheapest electricity in […]

June 10 Energy News — geoharvey

June 11, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ukrainian nationalists’ massacre of 100,000 Poles approaching 80th anniversary — Anti-bellum

The First News (Poland)July 11, 2019 Over 100,000 slaughtered with axes, pitchforks, scythes and knives: The Wołyń massacre started 76 years ago today and lasted for two years Today marks 76 years since the coordinated attack by Ukrainian nationalists on 99 Polish towns and villages in Wołyń. Between 1943 and 1945, members of the Ukrainian […]

Ukrainian nationalists’ massacre of 100,000 Poles approaching 80th anniversary — Anti-bellum

June 11, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ukraine’s high casualty rate could bring war to tipping point

Ukraine is not short on bravery and determination. Western support is still in place, as shown by the UK announcement to supply a handful of – perhaps three – multiple rocket launchers this week, even if Kyiv said almost immediately it wanted many times more. But it is Russia’s forces that have found a way to advance in the Donbas, raising the question of whether the three-month war is at another turning point.  

Ukraine’s high casualty rate could bring war to tipping point

Analysis: Kyiv’s fighting strength is stretched, yet Russia could now benefit from a pause in fighting, Guardian  Dan Sabbagh in Kyiv 10 June 22, ”……………………   The sheer number – more than 20,000 casualties a month – raises questions about what state Ukraine’s army will be in if the war drags on into the autumn. The same is true for the Russians too, of course. But the invaders already control large chunks of Ukraine, and they can pause the fighting with the territorial upper hand.

……………………………………………..Western officials prefer not to discuss the impact of the war on the defenders, instead highlighting the problems for the Russians in their briefings. This week, one of those officials said their estimate was that the invaders had lost “15,000 to 20,000 dead”, out of an invasion force that was 150,000 or more. Yet despite this, Moscow’s army has still not lost its offensive capability.

But they chose not to provide similar estimates for Ukraine, which can create a lopsided impression that the Russians are faring worse. In fact, with an artillery overmatch of 10 or 15 to one, according to the Ukrainians, it may well be that the invaders’ casualty rate is far lower at the moment, because they are able to deal death from a greater distance to defenders who cannot see them.

Ammunition is certainly running short on the Ukrainian side, again by their own admission. Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, has said Ukraine is using 5,000 to 6,000 artillery rounds a day, and has “almost used up” its stockpile of Soviet 152mm standard shells. It is now relying on Nato-standard 155mm howitzers; it is unclear how many of these it has.

Commanders have told the Guardian that Ukraine struggles for some basic equipment such as encrypted radios (where mobile phones work, it is not uncommon to rely on the secure Signal app instead) or advanced sights and optics of the types commonly used by western militaries.

Ukraine is not short on bravery and determination. Western support is still in place, as shown by the UK announcement to supply a handful of – perhaps three – multiple rocket launchers this week, even if Kyiv said almost immediately it wanted many times more. But it is Russia’s forces that have found a way to advance in the Donbas, raising the question of whether the three-month war is at another turning point.  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/10/ukraine-casualty-rate-russia-war-tipping-point

June 11, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

World can make massive energy savings, reduce emissions through energy conservation measures

With the world facing an almost unprecedented energy crisis, the
International Energy Agency (IEA) aims to once again put energy efficiency
at the forefront of policymakers’ agenda.

During its 7th Global Energy
Efficiency Conference hosted in Sonderborg, Denmark, the IEA has sought to
convince policymakers worldwide of the merits of energy efficiency policies
while providing a policy toolkit to go with it. “Energy efficiency is a
critical solution to so many of the world’s most urgent challenges,”
said Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director.

According to an IEA analysis presented during the conference, the world could achieve massive
energy savings by the end of the decade through increased ambition while
simultaneously reducing CO2 emissions. 

Euractiv 8th June 2022 https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/iea-presents-energy-efficiency-push-to-make-russias-gas-oil-obsolete/

June 11, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Climate action is going in the right direction, but what now? What is a realistic aim?

 The world’s 1.5°C climate goal is slipping out of reach – so now what?
Scientists say it is still theoretically possible to limit global warming
to 1.5°C, but realistically that now seems practically impossible.

Should we admit our failure and double down on holding warming below 2°C? As
scientists frequently point out, 1.5°C isn’t a cliff edge. It isn’t a
precisely calculated moment at which we know we will hit tipping points
that turn the Amazon into a savannah or commit Antarctica’s ice sheets to
a rapid collapse.

While most scientists maintain that 1.5°C is still
technically possible, the majority of those New Scientist spoke to think
the goal will be missed. The idea of conceding that prospects for hitting
1.5°C are dead might seem irredeemably gloomy.

But it is worth remembering
the path we were on before the world adopted the goal in 2015. Five years
earlier, climate pledges globally had us on track for up to 5°C of warming
by 2100, an apocalyptic level that would be almost impossible to adapt to,
given that we are already struggling to do so after heating Earth by just
over a degree.

Humanity shifted the goalposts at Paris, prioritising 1.5°C
over 2°C. We have made significant progress to even have a chance of
landing somewhere between the two. History may yet judge failure on 1.5°C
as a success, given how much the rallying cry has dragged societies in the
right direction. 

New Scientist 7th June 2022https://www.newscientist.com/article/2323175-the-worlds-1-5c-climate-goal-is-slipping-out-of-reach-so-now-what/

June 11, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment