Australian news, and some related international items

For Warmongers It’s Always 1938: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Hawks always say our geopolitical situation resembles that of 1938 so that any call for de-escalation, diplomacy or detente can be portrayed as “appeasement”. It’s never 1919, when the conditions which would give rise to World War Two were put in place, or any of the early 20th century years when the trajectory toward World War One could have easily been turned away from.

Our fetishization of World War Two has eclipsed from memory the fact that it was the single worst thing that ever happened on this planet. The trauma it inflicted upon our species still reverberates through our collective consciousness to this day, and avoiding it would have been objectively good. 

Even if we fully espouse all the grandiose ego-stroking Anglo-American narratives about WWII, you don’t want to have a modern Churchill and FDR bravely standing against the forces of evil. What you want is for such a stand to be unnecessary, because the conflict was avoided. 

But that’s not how you score political points in Washington and London. That’s not how you pull ratings as a news outlet. That’s not how you sell weapons as an arms manufacturer, and it’s not how you advance hegemonic agendas as an empire. That’s why peace doesn’t get a voice…………………………………..

So it looks like Ukraine has begun using US-made weapons to strike Russian territory. At a time when dangerous escalations between nuclear superpowers is an almost daily occurrence, this one stands head and shoulders above most of the others and deserves special attention. There are many, many potential scenarios which could spark a nuclear exchange, but the US/Ukraine/NATO alliance continually pursuing a line of attack into Russia is by far the most surefire way to get there. Let’s hope that option remains off the table.

❖……………………. Western powers aren’t censoring Russian media to protect our minds from Russian propaganda, they are censoring Russian media because it interferes with western propaganda.

If we were being told the truth about this war there wouldn’t be such a wildly unprecedented push to censor, intimidate, troll and silence anyone who asks if we’re being lied to……………………

July 26, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

France should “rethink the temperature thresholds of rivers”

 Nuclear: with the heat wave, “we should rethink the temperature thresholds of rivers”, says the ASN chief inspector. The news sparked heated controversy: faced with heat records, the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) and the Ministry for Energy Transition granted an environmental waiver for four nuclear power plants: Saint-Alban, Golfech, Le Blayais and Le Blayais. Bugey.

Until July 24, these sites will be authorized to exceed the regulatory levels of water temperature discharged into the rivers and rivers in which they feed, in order to be able to operate if necessary for
the electricity network. For La Tribune, the ASN chief inspector, Christophe Quintin, discusses the reasons for this derogation, its implications and the lessons to be drawn from it.

 La Tribune 21st July 2022

July 26, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Western states join New Mexico in resisting nuclear waste storage without state consent

Adrian Hedden, Carlsbad Current-Argus, 29 July 22

A group of governors from across the American West signaled their disapproval of storing spent nuclear fuel in their states without their consent, as two companies plan to do so in New Mexico and Texas despite opposition voiced by both states.

In southeast New Mexico, Holtec International proposed building a temporary storage site near Carlsbad and Hobbs known as a consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) to hold up to 100,000 metric tons of high-level nuclear waste transported from reactors around the country………………………………………………………………………………………………….

the governors of Texas and New Mexico – one Republican and one Democrat – stood staunchly opposed to the projects, arguing they could imperil nearby fossil fuel and agriculture operations.

A bipartisan group of congresspeople from Texas and New Mexico also questioned the projects, introducing legislative bills that would bar such activities by the federal government without the state consent.

The Western Governor’s Association recently passed a resolution demanding the federal government require host states to support CISF projects before they can be built.

The resolution, passed June 30, argued no CISFs should be sited, built or operated within a state without written consent from that state’s governor………………………………

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made similar statements regarding the project in his state, and Texas lawmakers passed a bill last year against the proposals.

“No consolidated facility for nuclear waste, whether interim or permanent, or privately or federally owned and operated, shall be located within the geographic boundaries of a western state or U.S. territory without the written consent of the current Governor in whose state or territory the facility is to be located,” read the resolution from the Western Governors Association.

It also called on the federal government to devise regulations that include state consent when siting and licensing facilities to store nuclear waste.

July 26, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CSIRO reminds our leaders that it’s the climate science that counts — RenewEconomy

If Australia legislates its climate targets and then misses them, what happens? The CSIRO “future world” report reminds us the outlook is grim. The post CSIRO reminds our leaders that it’s the climate science that counts appeared first on RenewEconomy.

CSIRO reminds our leaders that it’s the climate science that counts — RenewEconomy

July 26, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 30 Energy News — geoharvey

World: ¶ “PM Tells Workers To Stop Wearing Ties To Save Energy” • Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called on workers in the public and private sector to stop wearing ties, as an energy saving measure in the heat. He said the move will ensure people stay cooler and therefore lower energy costs, because air […]

July 30 Energy News — geoharvey

July 26, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TODAY Busting the poorly informed pro-nuclear hype of Spectator Australia

Today I encountered, for the first time the magazine “Spectator Australia”. I was drawn to it by the tantalising title of its article (25/7/22) “Politicians destroy nuclear when the world needs it most.”, by Alan Moran. The main message of the article seems to be that the stringent safety regulations are an unnecessary handicap to the nuclear industry, and cause unnecessary costs.

I was tempted to check on what sort of a magazine ”Spectator Australia” is. Crikey reported that :

The Spectator presents a stridently — often rabidly — ideological conservative perspective on Australian politics and society. ”

Much earlier, The Guardian reported on its British parent:

The magazine cleaves to a purple-faced, right-wing, pro-fox-hunting, climate-change-denying, insidiously Islamophobic worldview” 

Ah well – that helps to explain this article. Here are just a few of my reflections on the article:

Nuclear power is reliable and safe” – as long as you don’t count Mayak, Santa Susanna, Church Rock, Chornobyl, submarine accidents, Windscale. Three Mile Island, Tokaimura, Fukushima …

“Deaths related to the industry are small” – yeah, when you don’t count the deaths caused by persistent exposure to radiation – especially amongst nuclear workers. Later-developing cancers are not as newsworthy as sudden accidental deaths.
”Demonisation”, presumably by fanatic anti-nuclear people , has caused the downfall of the nuclear industry? Well, well – I had no idea that we were so effective. I thought that it was caused by the unaffordable costs. the intractible waste problem, the nuclear weapons proliferation problem.

“risk aversiveness to whatever safety problems there may be” – that phrase speaks volumes – this mansplaining macho author isn’t even interested in knowing about risks!

Costs? Well the Fin Review and CSIRO don’t agree with this author 

He quotes France – does he not know that France is in one hell of a pickle – nationalising the industry, shutting down reactors because of the heat, and the corrosion?

UK – he quotes Rishi Sunak – as Chancellor Sunak advised Boris against the big nuclear spend ! This article is a load of ignorant poppycock!

July 26, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina reviews, media, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Nancy Pelosi’s planned trip to Taiwan – ‘Unprecedented, foolish, dangerous’ -says former Australian Prime Minister

Due to the sensitivity of travelling to Taiwan – which neither America nor Australia officially recognises diplomatically, no serving president, vice president or prime minister has visited the democratic island of 24 million people.

Unprecedented, foolish, dangerous’: Keating attacks Pelosi’s planned trip to Taiwan, The Age, By Eryk Bagshaw. July 25, 2022,

Singapore: Former prime minister Paul Keating has accused US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of inflaming tensions with Beijing and risking a military conflict by planning to visit Taiwan next month.

Pelosi, who sits behind President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in American political seniority, would be the highest-level serving US official to visit Taiwan since the White House established diplomatic ties with Beijing in 1979.

Keating said in a statement on Monday evening that it was hard to imagine “a more reckless and provocative act”.

“Across the political spectrum, no observer of the cross-straits relationship between China and Taiwan doubts that such a visit by the Speaker of the American Congress may degenerate into military hostilities,” he said.

“If the situation is misjudged or mishandled, the outcome for the security, prosperity and order of the region and the world (and above all for Taiwan) would be catastrophic.”………………………

Keating has been critical of US and Australian policy toward Beijing, arguing that Taiwan’s future was a civil matter for China, and it was not “a vital Australian interest”. But that argument has been resisted by the Coalition, Labor and Taipei which have developed stronger unofficial ties in the past decade through trade offices, while officially maintaining Australia’s “one-China policy”.

Due to the sensitivity of travelling to Taiwan – which neither America nor Australia officially recognises diplomatically, no serving president, vice president or prime minister has visited the democratic island of 24 million people.

Biden last week publicly rebuked Pelosi’s plans for the trip. “The military thinks it is not a good idea right now,” he said.

Keating said a visit by Pelosi would be “unprecedented – foolish, dangerous and unnecessary to any cause other than her own”.

“Over decades, countries like the United States and Australia have taken the only realistic option available on cross-strait relations. We encourage both sides to manage the situation in a way that ensures that the outcome for a peaceful resolution is always available,” he said.

“But that requires a contribution from us – calm, clear and sensitive to the messages being sent. A visit by Pelosi would threaten to trash everything that has gone before.”

The Financial Times, which first reported Pelosi’s plans to travel to Taiwan last week, said the Biden administration had been warned privately by Chinese officials about a potential military response to her visit. Pelosi has not publicly confirmed her plans, despite members of Congress being invited to travel with her.

There has been no official comment from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen or Foreign Minister Joseph Wu since the potential visit by Pelosi was first reported, highlighting the sensitivity of the situation………….

July 26, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Government to rewrite climate bill to win over Greens

The Age, By Mike Foley, July 25, 2022 , The Albanese government is promising to rewrite its signature climate reforms to secure support from the Greens including a change to make clear its target of 43 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 is a minimum that could be upgraded over time.

Labor’s concession on the eve of the first parliamentary session is a crucial bargaining play as the new government seeks support for its first major bill.

While the government previously stated that its 43 per cent target would not put a limit on its climate action, Greens leader Adam Bandt is concerned the original draft did not spell that out and could have acted as a cap on emissions’ reduction.

Labor has agreed to make clear in the bill that 43 per cent is a minimum only, but has stopped short of some of the Greens’ biggest demands, such as phasing out coal and gas exports, and it remains to be seen if this rewrite of the bill is enough to lure the minor party across the line.

Bandt told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald the changes would be a starting point for negotiations.

“The Greens are pleased the government has listened to some of our concerns about the bill, and we are continuing negotiations about remaining issues, including the opening of new coal and gas mines,” he said.

The Greens want to set a target to cut emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 and hit net zero by 2035. Bandt has called Labor’s target “weak”.

draft of the climate change bill obtained by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age earlier this month revealed the proposed legislation was largely symbolic because it would only enshrine an emissions target and oblige the federal government to make an annual progress report to parliament.

Responding to the earlier draft, Bandt had demanded the Labor government “Dutton-proof” the targets against any future government’s plans to wind them back, calling for commitments to raise the ambitions to be written into the laws……………………………..

Labor’s bill is expected to come before the lower house on Wednesday where Labor has enough votes to pass it on its own. The bill is set to reach the Senate by September and because the Coalition has vowed to vote against the draft laws, Labor will need all 12 votes from the Greens plus one crossbencher, which will most likely come from ACT independent David Pocock who is open to Labor’s proposal.

Another change proposed by Labor would also insert the new emissions target into the objectives and functions of key agencies such as CSIRO, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Infrastructure Australia and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Even if the Greens and the Coalition decide to block Labor’s bill, Labor can deliver its key measures to cut carbon emissions without new legislation by increasing renewable energy projects and capping industrial pollution.

The bill does not contain specific mechanisms to ratchet up emissions reductions, such as the use of existing safeguards mechanism to force tougher carbon pollution caps on the 215 biggest industrial polluters in the country……………..

July 26, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Should we include a climate-change trigger in national environmental law? — Sustainability Bites

Should we include a climate-change trigger in Australian environmental law?The public are crying out for it but the politicians won’t touch it. Here’s why. (And some of the reasons to resist are quite valid.)

Should we include a climate-change trigger in national environmental law? — Sustainability Bites

July 26, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s three richest men are spending their billions on green energy transition — RenewEconomy

Surprise bid for renewables and storage developer Genex by Scott Farquhar and wife Kim Jackson tells two interesting stories about Australia’s green energy transition. The post Australia’s three richest men are spending their billions on green energy transition appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia’s three richest men are spending their billions on green energy transition — RenewEconomy

July 26, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

High anxiety as Japan takes another step toward releasing wastewater from crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into sea.

China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau) still have import bans in place.

concern about whether the discharge of enormous amounts of wastewater could set a bad precedent for dealing with future nuclear accidents.

CBS News BY LUCY CRAFT, 25 July 22, Tokyo The fishing industry around Japan’s Fukushima coast expressed disappointment and resignation over the weekend as long-expected plans to start releasing treated wastewater into the ocean from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant moved one step closer to reality. The drastic measure has been adopted as the only practical way out of a dilemma that’s plagued the damaged plant for more than a decade……………………..

The unprecedented, controversial disposal operation is likely to take decades.

Since the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered meltdowns in three of the plant’s reactors, operator Tepco has struggled to manage the vast amount of contaminated water — a combination of reactor cooling water, rainwater and groundwater, all irradiated as it flows through the highly-radioactive melted reactor cores – accumulating at the facility.

As a stopgap, the grounds surrounding the damaged reactors have been converted into a giant tank farm, with more than 1,000 storage vessels holding 1,310,000 tons of wastewater.

Tepco has long warned that it will run out of storage space as soon as spring 2023, and that the structures are hampering the technologically challenging work of decommissioning the plant. The temporary storage solution is also highly vulnerable to any future natural disasters……………

Before construction of the undersea tunnel can even begin, however, Tepco’s proposal must win backing from the regional government in Fukushima Prefecture and the two affected towns of Okuma and Futaba. A Fukushima fish processing company representative told the Asahi newspaper, “to be honest, even if we oppose this, I don’t feel like we have any chance of overturning the decision.”

After years of painstaking efforts to convince the Japanese public and the rest of the world that their seafood is safe, the local fishing industry fears the ocean release will tarnish their brand anew. Tokyo has promised to buy catches if the industry suffers reputational damage.

Of the 55 countries and regions that imposed restrictions on imported Japanese food after the Fukushima Daiichi catastrophe — including the U.S. — five (China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau) still have import bans in place.

Regulators solicited public comment and said they had received more than 1,200 responses, including people voicing concern over whether the undersea tunnel would be earthquake-safe, and what was being done to protect workers.

Tokyo has said levels of tritium — the one isotope that can’t be filtered out — will be diluted to below 1/40th of the allowable level for discharge in Japan, and 1/7th the WHO ceiling for drinking water.

Still, some experts have called for greater transparency, fearing unintended consequences of the operation. There is also concern about whether the discharge of enormous amounts of wastewater could set a bad precedent for dealing with future nuclear accidents.

July 26, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Deterrencelessness: Nuclear threats neither credible nor viable By John LaForge 25 July 22,

Threatening to make attacks with nuclear weapons is known as “deterrence” when the United States does it, but it’s called madness, blackmail, or “terrorism” if Russia, China, or North Korea does.

U.S. Air Force thermonuclear weapons, about 100-to-150 of them known as B61s, are stationed at two NATO bases in Italy, and at one NATO base each in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, and Turkey. These 170-kiloton H-bombs — 11 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb — are always described euphemistically as “theater” nuclear weapons, defensive ones that

are a “deterrent” to aggression.

Of course, Russian aggression in Ukraine has shown nuclear “deterrence” to be an expensive, destabilizing, terroristic fraud. That our high, holy, sacrosanct, and unquestionable arsenal of “deterrence” did not deter Russia on February 24, 2022 is dreadfully, painfully, catastrophically obvious. Yet the nakedness of the deterrent-less Emperor has hardly been acknowledged.

In the ghastly maw of ongoing war in Ukraine, the needless provocation of stationing U.S. thermonuclear B61 H-bombs at six NATO base’s facing Russia could hardly be more frightening. Then, as if to scream “fire” in the crowded auditorium, NATO’s ministers on June 30 issued their latest “Strategic Concept,” a public relations version of the alliance’s ongoing threat to wage indiscriminate, uncontrollable, and poisonous mass destruction using U.S., French and British nuclear warheads.

The Strategic Concept’s soothing, cotton candy version of NATO’s open embrace of nuclear terrorism is this: “NATO will take all necessary steps to ensure the credibility, effectiveness, safety and security of the nuclear deterrent mission.”

At the moment however, the B61 hydrogen bombs stationed at Germany’s Büchel air base cannot credibly be a part of the “mission” since they can’t be attached to Germany’s Tornado fighter jets. This is because the base’s runway is being rebuilt. Until 2026, Büchel’s 33rd Fighter-Bomber Wing of Tornado jets are based at the nearby Nörvenich air base.

For Kathrin Vogler, a Left Party member of the German Parliament in 2021, this is a chance to denuclearize Germany. The politician told the daily paper Rhein-Zeitung last year that “From June 2022 to February 2026, flight operations at Büchel Air Base will be largely discontinued and transferred to the Nörvenich military airfield…. This was confirmed to us by the German government in our minor inquiry. As far as we know, the 20 or so nuclear bombs stored at Büchel will remain there.”

This means that German nuclear sharing will effectively not take place for four years from 2022,” Volger told the paper.

“This exposes the argumentation of the German government, which repeatedly claims that nuclear sharing is an important part of NATO’s deterrence strategy. In fact, maintaining it and thus also the Büchel nuclear weapons site is pure symbolic politics, albeit with high risks for the population. Therefore: The suspension of nuclear sharing must become a phase-out, [and] now would be a good opportunity to do so,” Volger said last year.

Proven useless, nuclear weapons can now be discarded

The June 30 NATO “concept” says, “The fundamental purpose of NATO’s nuclear capability is to preserve peace, prevent coercion and deter aggression.”

As of February 24, 2022, NATO’s nuclear weapons arsenal’s “fundamental purpose” has been utterly delegitimized, politically pulverized, and militarily reduced to ashes. The alliance’s nuclear arsenal can finally be removed without any loss of face, much less any loss of security.

NATO’s latest “concept” accidentally acknowledges the uselessness of retaining nuclear weapons in its recognition that, “The strategic nuclear forces of the Alliance, particularly those of the United States, are the supreme guarantee of the security of the Alliance.”

This is the terrible farce of nuclearism. If nuclear weapon threats guaranteed any security at all, none of the tens of billions of Euro-dollars’ worth of military training, weapons, mercenaries, cyber warfare, or intelligence assistance that NATO partners and Russia are now pouring into Ukraine would be necessary.

Nuclear-armed alliances are a thing of the past which must be and now can be abolished. Under the auspices of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, along with the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, international law provides a pathway, training wheels, guide rails and a motorcade — courtesy of the great majority of the world’s governments — to a world where conflict and even wars don’t endanger whole civilizations and the biological integrity of life on earth.

John LaForge, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is Co-director of Nukewatch, a peace and environmental justice group in Wisconsin, and is co-editor with Arianne Peterson of Nuclear Heartland, Revised: A Guide to the 450 Land-Based Missiles of the United States.


July 26, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 25 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion:  ¶ “Another Sign Hybrid-Electric Aircraft Are The Future” • Pratt & Whitney Canada has signed an agreement with consulting firm Ricardo to co-develop hybrid-electric aircraft technology. This is not a level or stage of development that CleanTechnica typically covers. However, it seemed to deserve a brief note due to what it signals about the […]

July 25 Energy News — geoharvey

July 26, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment