Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Harsher anti-protest laws targeting environmentalists are putting greed before green 

Guardian, Bob Brown 27 June 22,

Penalties for peaceful action are now the same as for aggravated assault.

Last Friday dozens of armed New South Wales police officers raided a camp near Sydney and arrested two environmentalists. One was Aunty Caroline Kirk, an Aboriginal elder. She was charged with “wilfully obstructing and intimidating police”.

“I can’t run, I can’t climb,” she said. “All I can do … is teach my culture. Why are they doing this?”

The answer lies in the showdown of our age between greed and green.

At the heart of this is greenophobia, the fear of things green, including environmentalists. It involves the blighted idea that people should be stopped from taking action to defend the environment, especially if it gets in the way of making money.

It has infected the world of natural resource extractors and they have found the established political parties around the world extra helpful. So, in this year’s Queen’s speech, Boris Johnson announced a bill to jail peaceful UK protesters for up to 10 years. The proposal of those measures was one of the triggers that brought 400 alarmed scientists out to support environmental activists last year.

Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, is a greenophobe who is letting the Amazon rainforest and its Indigenous cultures be destroyed. His nation has descended into environmental lawlessness in which two rainforest defenders, British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian Indigenous advocate Bruno Pereira, were murdered this month. Globally, 220 environmentalists were murdered last year and thousands more were injured, terrorised or imprisoned. Most of the perpetrators have not been arrested or charged.

MMG’s lobbying helped influence the Tasmanian parliament to vote last week for harsher penalties for the defenders of the Tarkine and its giant masked owls. A clear majority of Tasmanian MPs want MMG to get its toxic waste dump in the Tarkine and Tasmania’s defenders of nature to get a cell in Risdon prison.

Tasmania’s laws match those of NSW, with penalties of up to $11,000 for peaceful environmental protest and double that, or two and a half years in jail, for a second offence. Had these laws been in place in other jurisdictions at other times, the Franklin River would be dammed, the Daintree rainforest razed and much of Kakadu national park mined.

Victoria has also introduced legislation, one aim of which is to deter scientists who have previously gone into the highlands and found forests with protected species – such as the greater glider and the state’s critically endangered faunal emblem, the Leadbeater’s possum – being logged. That’s illegal. While the loggers faced no charges, the intention of the new laws is to stop or arrest those scientists next time.

In Newcastle last year a young man was sentenced to a year in jail for delaying a coal train. The court did not hear the assessment of the former chief scientist at Nasa who told the US Congress that, in this world of dangerous global heating, transporting coal is a criminal activity.  

Greenophobia is percolating down. On the Monday before Aunty Caroline’s arrest, 100 or so officers raided Blockade Australia’s camp for peaceful protest at Colo near Sydney after four undercover officers who failed to identify themselves “feared for their lives” – though the police had the guns and the people in the camp, including the children, had none……………………………..

Corporate PR machines, with the rightwing media ready to go, are developing greenophobia to divert attention to their business wellbeing and away from the graver threat of the collapse of Earth’s biosphere, including through global heating and species extinctions. As the NSW attorney general, Mark Speakman, put it: “What we are stopping, or criminalising even further, are protests that shut down major economic activity.” It’s money before the planet.22

The new federal environment minister, Tanya Plibersek, is now Australia’s most powerful environmentalist. She will decide if MMG should treat its toxic wastes inside or outside the Tarkine rainforest. In doing so she will also decide if Tasmania’s environmentalists will face the new draconian sentences there. Those penalties, for peaceful environmental action, are now the same as for aggravated assault or for threatening neighbours with a shotgun.

Such laws may be tested in the high court as earlier laws were, after I was among those arrested in Tasmania’s Lapoinya rainforest in 2017. The court found those laws unconstitutional because they took away the right to peaceful protest. Meanwhile the Lapoinya forest was flattened and burnt, along with its rare wildlife. No one was arrested for that… The court found those laws unconstitutional because they took away the right to peaceful protest. Meanwhile the Lapoinya forest was flattened and burnt, along with its rare wildlife. No one was arrested for that.

If MMG’s needless waste dump is given the go-ahead I, for one, will help defend that vital forest, its owls, kingfishers and Tasmanian devils. They can take us out of nature but they can’t take nature out of us.

As for the “terrifying” Aunty Caroline, I would like to meet her and thank her. She may not be able to run or climb but she is an inspiration.  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jun/27/harsher-anti-protest-laws-targeting-environmentalists-are-putting-greed-before-green-bob-brown

  • Bob Brown is a former senator and leader of the Australian Greens and is patron of the Bob Brown Foundation……

June 28, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, environment | Leave a comment

Assange’s wife sounds alarm over his treatment

Assange’s wife sounds alarm over his treatment,  https://www.rt.com/news/557738-assange-wife-treatment-extradition-us/ 27 June 22.WikiLeaks founder was subjected to ‘especially cruel’ treatment after extradition to US was approved in UK, Stella Moris has said.

Julian Assange was strip-searched and moved to a bare cell on the very day the UK Home Secretary Priti Patel approved his extradition to the US, the WikiLeaks founder’s wife, Stella Moris, told journalists on Thursday. The 50-year-old remained there for a weekend as prison guards searched his own cell, she added.

“Prison is a constant humiliation but what happened on Friday felt especially cruel,” Moris, who married Assange in March, has said, adding that the guards had told their inmate that it had all been done “for his own protection.”

According to Moris, the guards were looking for any things that could be used by a person to take their own life. In the bare cell where Assange was placed, the guards checked his status every hour until he was allowed to return to his cell on Tuesday.

The WikiLeaks founder currently remains in the maximum security Belmarsh Prison in south-eastern London, having been placed there in April 2019 as the UK was deciding on his extradition to the US. On June 17, Patel approved his transfer to US custody.

A British court had initially refused the extradition request on the grounds that Assange may otherwise kill himself, or that he’d be subjected to inhumane treatment in US detention. But Washington successfully appealed the ruling, offering the UK assurances that the Australian’s rights would be observed.

“The fact he is imprisoned while this outrageous extradition proceeds is a grave injustice in itself. He needs to deal with all that, while preparing for a complex appeal to the High Court,” Moris said. Assange still has a right to appeal the decision within 14 days of June 17.

“This kind of thing never becomes more tolerable. Any person would find it degrading. The mental strain on Julian is enormous as it is, having to process what is essentially a death sentence,” Moris said, adding that extradition to the US would “drive him to take his own life.”

It is not some “regular discussion about mental health,” she has insisted, adding that “we are talking about driving a person to take their own life.”

Moris, who has two children with Assange, has vowed to “use every available avenue” and “every waking hour fighting for Julian until he is free.” John Rees, a leading member of the campaign aimed at making the authorities free Assange has also branded Patel’s ruling “illegal” and said the WikiLeaks founder’s supporters “need to redouble our efforts to stop the extradition.”

The UK Home Office said last week that the British courts “have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr. Assange,” adding that they also believed his rights would be observed.

Assange has been a target for the US since 2010, when WikiLeaks published a trove of State Department cables and Pentagon documents that depicted alleged war crimes committed by US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has since been accused of attempting to hack Pentagon computers and is charged under America’s Espionage Act, over WikiLeaks’ publication of classified materials. If extradited to the US, he might face up to 175 years behind bars.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Fast-tracking Australia toward nuclear subs

(ED I like this one: it is appealingly silly )

 https://spectator.com.au/2022/06/fast-tracking-australia-toward-nuclear-subs/ Tom Lewis 27 June 22, The path to Australia acquiring nuclear submarines is being portrayed as too steep. We could get ourselves one Virginia-class nuclear-propelled submarine within a year or two if we pursued a less formal approach. And then we could get another, and another, very quickly…

The Australian Submarine Officer Pipeline Act, for Australian sailors to train on US nuclear-powered submarines, recently became part of the US military budget negotiations. Memorandums of understanding like this are showing that the path is being cleared. But here’s a way to make it easier.

It would involve the Defence Minister and the Chief of Navy going to America with a can of paint, a White Ensign, 90 of the best Australian apples, and 45 of our best Navy submariners. The paint is to paint over the nameboard of an existing Virginia with the new name – I suggest HMAS Taylor after a sailor who fought to the end in battle aboard HMAS Yarra in the second world war. The White Ensign is to fly from the fin as it leaves harbour for Australia. And the apples are to give a taste of Australia to the 90 United States Navy crew who would accompany our 45 on their first trip back to Australia.

Step through (or sail, if you like), how this fairly informal process might work. It basically would involve the USN loaning us a submarine. It could be an older Virginia, taken up from service immediately. The sailors are a loan too. They would be to initially man the submarine and train our people once here. To make it formal, call it a lease and draft up who pays for what over the terms.

Before the Defence Minister and CN leave America, they could sign a purchase order for a new Virginia. The Americans have them coming off the production line every six months. The purchase order should be accompanied by a gift of money to speed up the production line a bit. That way we could ask General Dynamics Electric Boat to accelerate matters a bit. America is a nation that put a man on the moon in less than a decade from announcement to landing. When they’re pushed they can work miracles. In the second world war they produced 324,750 military aircraft – a capacity unmatched by any other country in the world. Turning up the heat somewhat on the Virginia-class line should be possible.

On the way back across the Pacific, the Americans would be showing their new Aussie mates the handling requirements for a nuclear. Making firmer friends with the American people has a double purpose. It should be possible to speed up both the number of Americans working within our Navy and – with their governmental approval – advertising for experienced submariners to come and work Down Under.

In an acknowledgement of the increased tension of the times, we wouldn’t even need to necessarily purchase a new Virginia. We could purchase another operational boat. If this seems like our submarine force would be becoming almost part of the US Navy, then so be it. We have fought alongside the Americans since the first world war, and we have no better friend. Who better than to show us the way into this new capability? (A capability which we definitely must have.)

There is no better deterrent against a possible enemy than having submerged submarines at sea for months at a time. They could be anywhere, and the enemy must guard against that. Having a nuclear lie deep and quiet is infinitely better than having diesel-electric boats, which must come to periscope depth regularly to run their diesels to recharge their batteries.

This informal approach would allow Australia to have at least two nuclear boats online within a year or two. Of course, we’d try for more as soon as we could. Their presence should not be any cause for alarm. We have had nuclear boats alongside our wharves before – the author recalls sleeping aboard USS Houston in Darwin as part of Navy work. There are, however, a host of doubters who will raise a host of alarms. Some of these are necessary – what to do in the event of a major reactor leak (which the USN has never had by the way)? Others are minor – would more port security be needed?

Other ‘concerns’ are negligible. For example, one doubt that some have raised is whether Australia needs ‘a nuclear industry’ to operate these vessels. In the main though it is an engine we are acquiring, a nuclear one indeed, but although much more complex, only an engine. And it is one that doesn’t need the equivalent of a tank of diesel on the wharf, as the nuclear reactor core life is estimated at around 33 years.

We are underway down this path already. The Aukus security pact between Australia, America, and the UK, which was released in September 2021, set 18 months for the three nations to develop a path for Australia to acquire nuclear submarines. All this does is clear some rocks out of the way. For we need nuclear submarines now, not in 10 years.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NATO to add Finland, Sweden, prepare Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea — Anti-bellum

NATOJune 27, 2022 Secretary General: NATO to agree “fundamental shift” in defence posture NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday (27 June 2022) said NATO leaders meeting in Madrid this week are set to sign off on key decisions, including a new Strategic Concept, a major strengthening of NATO’s deterrence and defence and greater support […]

NATO to add Finland, Sweden, prepare Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea — Anti-bellum

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ERA looks at funding options for Ranger

 https://www.australianmining.com.au/news/era-looks-at-funding-options-for-ranger/?fbclid=IwAR0d8ZOC6Sw7adxsNmSSEDnOWzZ319hiuqJB4clv0bQtKX5INnhiTtalqeY June 27, 2022 Ray Chan Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) is reviewing all available options to ensure that the forecast increase in the cost of rehabilitation of its Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory will be adequately funded.

In January 2021, ERA – in which Rio Tinto holds 86.3 per cent shares – ceased all mining and processing activities at Ranger after 40 years of operation. It was Australia’s longest continually operating uranium oxide producer.

ERA said it was committed to delivering a positive legacy for Traditional Owners and for all Australians for the future, with its closure plan outlining the path for progressive rehabilitation, which began in 1981, with final rehabilitation to be completed by January 2026.

But given ERA’s current cash on hand position, it said an urgent interim funding solution was required.

The company is engaging with its substantial shareholders in relation to a potential interim entitlement offer to raise ongoing funding for the rehabilitation of the project, the size, price and structure of which are still to be determined.

The operations of ERA are located on Aboriginal land and surrounded by, but separate from, Kakadu National Park. ERA respectfully acknowledges the Mirarr, Traditional Custodians of the land on which the Ranger project area is situated.

During its lifetime, Ranger produced in excess of 132,000 tonnes of uranium oxide.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Northern Territory, uranium, wastes | Leave a comment

Tanya Plibersek declares environment ‘is back front and centre’ in Australia at UN ocean conference

Tanya Plibersek declares environment ‘is back front and centre’ in Australia at UN ocean conference Environment minister receives enthusiastic welcome in Lisbon and flags five blue carbon projects to safeguard ocean health

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Greens are our best hope for the urgent climate action we need

The Greens are our best hope for the urgent climate action we need

Richard Barnes

The Greens have the right and the duty (a “mandate” if you will) to use the numbers in which they were elected by Australian voters, to go hard on getting the climate policy outcomes they proposed.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WA targets more than 1,000 standalone power systems, with $37m funding boost — RenewEconomy

WA tips another $37m to deploy 180 standalone power systems across the state, as it aims for 1,000 over four years. The post WA targets more than 1,000 standalone power systems, with $37m funding boost appeared first on RenewEconomy.

WA targets more than 1,000 standalone power systems, with $37m funding boost — RenewEconomy

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Quinbrook to build one of UK’s biggest batteries at site of old coal power station — RenewEconomy

Quinbrook to build 460MWh big battery in south Wales as part of plans to transform old coal fired power plant into a sustainable energy park. The post Quinbrook to build one of UK’s biggest batteries at site of old coal power station appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Quinbrook to build one of UK’s biggest batteries at site of old coal power station — RenewEconomy

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Could a storage target or a capacity incentive provide a lifeline for solar thermal? — RenewEconomy

The renewed focus on dispatchable power and long-term energy storage could help jumpstart an Australian solar thermal industry. The post Could a storage target or a capacity incentive provide a lifeline for solar thermal? appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Could a storage target or a capacity incentive provide a lifeline for solar thermal? — RenewEconomy

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bigger and better wind turbines to overcome climate caused wind droughts — RenewEconomy

A shift to bigger and better wind turbines could significantly boost capacity factors, overcoming climate change driven reductions in wind availability. The post Bigger and better wind turbines to overcome climate caused wind droughts appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Bigger and better wind turbines to overcome climate caused wind droughts — RenewEconomy

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How offshore wind could influence AEMO’s 20-year green energy blueprint — RenewEconomy

The ISP will go down as the pivotal model for the energy transition, the one that irreversibly moved the dial. Here’s how it might accommodate offshore wind. The post How offshore wind could influence AEMO’s 20-year green energy blueprint appeared first on RenewEconomy.

How offshore wind could influence AEMO’s 20-year green energy blueprint — RenewEconomy

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Eva Bartlett: Here’s what I found at the reported ‘mass grave’ near Mariupol


 https://www.sott.net/article/467261-Eva-Bartlett-Heres-what-I-found-at-the-reported-mass-grave-near-Mariupol Eva Bartlett, RT Thu, 28 Apr 2022, According to recent Western media, Russian forces have buried up to 9,000 Mariupol civilians in “mass graves” in a town just west of the Ukrainian city. These reports use satellite imagery as supposed evidence and repeat the claims of officials loyal to Kiev that “the bodies may have been buried in layers” and “the Russians dug trenches and filled them with corpses every day throughout April.”

I went to the site in question and found no mass graves.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

to Bella Lack – being called a ”snowflake” is a badge of honour

Most teenagers would take offence at being labelled a snowflake, the
disparaging moniker given to young people perceived to be too easily
offended by un-PC terms or environmental damage. For Bella Lack, who at
nineteen-years-old is already one of the UK’s leading environmental
activists, the label is a badge of honour.

“Is it fragile to care about
the future of the planet and our species? I don’t think so,” she says.
“I think it’s quite a powerful term to be honest, because lots of
snowflakes create a snowstorm.” In the UK, the youth climate movement is
largely credited with pushing the UK government to set a target for net
zero emissions by 2050, and for introducing swathes of new environmental
legislation to curb the use of disposable plastic.

Bella has quickly
emerged as one of the leading lights of Britain’s youth activist circles.
She is an ambassador for the Born Free Foundation, spent her teenage years
campaigning on everything from palm oil to circus animals, and spent 2020
filming wildlife documentary Animal alongside Jane Goodall. Her Twitter
account boasts 138,000 followers.

 iNews 27th June 2022

https://inews.co.uk/news/environment/bella-lack-teenage-activist-why-people-list-snowflake-generation-1705469

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Greta Thunberg has warned that the world faces “total natural catastrophe” unless citizens take urgent action

Greta Thunberg has warned that the world faces “total natural
catastrophe” unless citizens take urgent action as she made a surprise
appearance at Glastonbury festival. The 19-year-old activist led chants of
“climate … justice” after delivering a rousing speech from the
Pyramid stage which painted an apocalyptic picture of the future of the
planet.

To cheers from thousands of festival-goers, Thunberg said: “We
are approaching the precipice and I would strongly suggest that all of
those who have not yet been greenwashed out of our senses to stand our
ground. “Do you not let them drag us another inch closer to the edge.
Right now is where we stand our ground.”

 Guardian 25th June 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/25/greta-thunberg-makes-surprise-appearance-at-glastonbury-festival

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment