Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The Australian nuclear lobby is at it again. Nine right-wing rural senators push to change the laws on nuclear activities

Senator Matt Canavan has a chequered history when it comes to his attitudes and statements on energy and resources

Sept 2021 Canavan cold on the push for nuclear power – and talked up the prospects of coal exports. “Obviously, if we can’t find a long-term solution for that level of waste it’s pretty hard to fathom that we could go beyond that for the production of nuclear energy that does produce a larger amount and more waste of a higher category to manage.”

Augus 31 21 Canavan tweeted called on Australia to boycott Glasgow, labelling the conference a “sham” 

August 28 21 – lead the charge in his party’s anti-science war, with the CSIRO a main target

August 11 21 “Myself and Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd, we’re happy to have a nuclear power station in our backyard.”

Canavan was called out, in March 21 for his inaccurate hype about small nuclear reactors

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“On 27 October 2022 the Senate referred the Environment and Other Legislation Amendment (Removing Nuclear Energy Prohibitions) Bill 2022 to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 31 March 2023.

The close date for submissions is 12 December 2022.

About this inquiry:

The bill would amend the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 to remove the prohibition on the construction or operation of certain nuclear installations; and Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to remove the prohibition on the Minister for Environment and Water declaring, approving or considering actions relating to the construction or operation of certain nuclear installations.  https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/Nuclearprohibitions?fbclid=IwAR1ZJyT5tShsXWXm9q2XGv4aHPnN7r_gj6V1VNNNmET3YAfCQWG7RSJ21bQ

The leader is this push is Senator Matt Canavan, Strangely, Canavan resigned from the task of being in charge of the nuclear waste dump program, in order to pursue his own politcal ambitions in a spill in the National Party.

Others include Jacinta Yangapi Nampijinpa Price– Country Liberal Party, (Northern Territory)
David Julian Fawcett – Liberal Party, (SA),  Alex Antic – Liberal (SA) David Van -Liberal Party (Victoria), Ross Cadel – National Party (NSW), Gerard Rennick – Liberal National Party ( Queensland)

  ·Note from Kazzi Jai – at Fight to stop a nuclear waste dump in South Australia

I’ll get back to you on this, but judging by last Thursday’s Senate Estimates, it sounds like there is again a push for nuclear energy by vested interests….Seems people like Matt Canavan – the Senator who RESIGNED from being Minister in charge of the dump SO THAT HE COULD PURSUE HIS OWN POLITICAL AMBITIONS in a spill in the Nats….and now crows about putting SCIENCE into these debates AND NOT POLITICS – absolutely LAUGHABLE….anyway he OPENED the Global Uranium Conference 2022 last week

AND he was in my opinion disruptive in the Senate Estimates sitting, interjecting when Minister Ayres was answering a question FROM A DIFFERENT SENATOR! Matt Canavan was given A LOT OF LATTITUDE in my opinion from the Seat…..GIVEN ALSO THAT BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT ARE NOT RULED BY THE COALITION! Seems OLD HABITS die hard!

November 12, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Australia “should not face intimidation from so-called allies under the auspices of defense cooperation”

Australia “should not face intimidation from so-called allies under the auspices of defense cooperation,” said Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. “The TPNW offers the best chance for lasting global peace and security and a clear road map for nuclear disarmament.”

So Irresponsible’: US Condemned for Warning Australia Against Joining Anti-Nuclear Treaty.

Australia “should not face intimidation from so-called allies under the auspices of defense cooperation,” said one advocate. https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/11/08/russia-us-eye-nuclear-arms-reduction-talks-in-coming-weeks-kommersant-a79313 JULIA CONLEY, November 9, 2022, Anti-nuclear weapons campaigners rebuked the Biden administration on Wednesday over its opposition to Australia’s newly announced voting position on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which could signal the country’s willingness to sign on to the agreement.

As The Guardian reported, the U.S. Embassy in Canberra warned Australian officials that the Labour government’s decision to adopt an “abstain” position regarding the treaty—after five years of opposing it—would obstruct Australia’s reliance on American nuclear forces in case of a nuclear attack on the country.

Australia’s ratification of the nuclear ban treaty, which currently has 91 signatories, “would not allow for U.S. extended deterrence relationships, which are still necessary for international peace and security,” the embassy said.

The U.S. also claimed that if Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government ratifies the treaty it would reinforce “divisions” around the world.

Australia “should not face intimidation from so-called allies under the auspices of defense cooperation,” said Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. “The TPNW offers the best chance for lasting global peace and security and a clear road map for nuclear disarmament.”

The TPNW prohibits the development, testing, stockpiling, use, and threats regarding the use of nuclear weapons.

The Australian chapter of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) noted that Albanese’s vocal support for achieving nuclear disarmament puts him in line with the majority of his constituents—while the U.S., as one of nine nuclear powers in the world, represents a small global minority.

According to an Ipsos poll taken in March, 76% of Australians support the country signing and ratifying the treaty, while only 6% are opposed.

Albanese has won praise from campaigners for his own anti-nuclear advocacy, with the prime minister recently telling The Australian that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear saber-rattling “has reminded the world that the existence of nuclear weapons is a threat to global security and the norms we had come to take for granted.”

“Nuclear weapons are the most destructive, inhumane, and indiscriminate weapons ever created,” Albanese said in 2018 as he introduced a motion to commit the Labour Party to supporting the TPNW. “Today we have an opportunity to take a step towards their elimination.”

Labour’s 2021 platform included a commitment to signing and ratifying the treaty “after taking account” of factors including the development of “an effective verification and enforcement architecture.”

Australia’s decision to change its voting position comes as the U.S. is planning to deploy nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the country, where the weapons will be positioned close enough to strike China.

Gem Romuld, Australia director of ICAN, said in a statement that “it’s no surprise the U.S. doesn’t want Australia to join the ban treaty but it will have to respect our right to take a humanitarian stance against these weapons.”

“The majority of nations recognize that ‘nuclear deterrence’ is a dangerous theory that only perpetuates the nuclear threat and legitimizes the forever existence of nuclear weapons, an unacceptable prospect,” Romuld added.

Beatrice Fihn, executive director of ICAN, called the U.S. embassy’s comments “so irresponsible.” “Using nuclear weapons is unacceptable, for Russia, for North Korea, and for the U.S., U.K., and all other states in the world,” said Fihn. “There are no ‘responsible’ nuclear armed states. These are weapons of mass destruction and Australia should sign the TPNW!”

November 12, 2022 Posted by | politics international | Leave a comment

The definitive case against nuclear subs

Australia needs submarines, but conventional ones are more than adequate for the nation’s security. Australia’s north is archipelagic, which means smaller, shorter-ranged submarines can close maritime avenues of approach.

Australia needs submarines, but conventional ones are more than adequate for the nation’s security. Australia’s north is archipelagic, which means smaller, shorter-ranged submarines can close maritime avenues of approach.

The Saturday Paper, Albert Palazzo -adjunct professor at UNSW Canberra. He was a former director of war studies for the Australian Army. November 12, 2022

It’s more than a year since Australia scuttled its submarine deal with France in favour of the nuclear-powered submarine arrangement Scott Morrison announced as part of the AUKUS agreement. There’s been a change of government and more announcing, yet any real detail on why we need such boats, how we’ll get them, which ones they’ll be and how much they’ll cost remains unknown. What has become increasingly clear, however, is that these warships are a massive boondoggle for which there is little strategic justification.

Australia maintains its defence forces to provide for the nation’s security. Every capability the Australian Defence Force acquires undergoes a detailed decision process that includes an examination of how the weapon meets national security requirements. With the nuclear-powered submarine program, however, Australia’s starting point was an announcement confirming the acquisition and the AUKUS agreement, an order of proceedings that conveniently bypassed the messy and challenging aspects of justification for the purchase.

Perhaps skipping this phase was necessary because the rationale given for the acquisition is unsound. At best, it is a desire to be seen to be supporting the ANZUS Treaty. What is not being asked is whether support for the alliance should be the main basis for the acquisition of such expensive platforms with such narrow utility.

Like a kid in a lolly shop, Australia has been given permission to buy the biggest treat on display … What is missed, however, is that being in the inner sanctum generates a massive obligation – and some day that bill may fall due.

What does Australia intend to do with its fleet of nuclear-powered submarines? The answer seems to be that we’ll project power into the East and South China seas, in order to deter our largest trading partner, China, from taking actions inimical to Australian and American interests.

If China is a threat today, why is the government planning to acquire a platform that will not be available for 15 years or more? Shouldn’t the priority be on more readily available weapons? These would include off-the-shelf conventional submarines, additional long-range strike missiles, and drones of all kinds.

Even once Australia has acquired its entire fleet of eight submarines, only two or three are likely to be available for operations at any one time. Deterrence necessitates the ability to intimidate one’s opponent. China is a large country with great industrial depth and a population accustomed to hardship. It also has 66 submarines of its own and more on the way. It is hubris to expect Australia will be able to intimidate a great power, at least on its own.

More worryingly, the seas in which Australia aims to operate are within China’s anti-access/area denial zone, an area guarded by missiles, mines, aircraft and ships, and of such lethality that even the United States is unsure it could penetrate without massive losses. Even if our future submarines did get inside this defensive zone, they would not last long. Essentially, these submarines should not be expected to return home.

Survivability is an important criterion for such an expensive purchase. Enthusiasts point to the better survival potential of nuclear-powered submarines because they remain submerged for longer periods, thereby making detection harder. By contrast, conventional subs must periodically surface to recharge their batteries. But this is an advantage that is fast becoming irrelevant. Sensor technology is improving and becoming pervasive, as demonstrated daily in the war in Ukraine. It is a very big gamble to act on a presumption that sub-surface sensors will not improve in the 15 to 20 years before Australia’s submarines become operational. In fact, a study from Australian National University’s National Security College expects that before 2050 the oceans will become fully transparent to hunters from above. 

Any defensive advantage currently possessed by nuclear-powered submarines will be gone.

More questions need to be asked: What is the strategic benefit of being able to operate off the Chinese coast? How do nuclear-powered submarines improve Australia’s security? And are there better options for the nation’s defence?

The answers to the first two questions are: “There is none” and “They don’t.” The third answer is: “Yes, there are indeed better options.” Australia needs submarines, but conventional ones are more than adequate for the nation’s security. Australia’s north is archipelagic, which means smaller, shorter-ranged submarines can close maritime avenues of approach. …………

Supporters of the nuclear-powered submarine pay too little attention to the project’s opportunity cost. According to experts at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the eight planned submarines will cost at least $116 billion, and likely much more – upwards of $200 billion, according to some analysts. Australia needs submarines, but conventional ones are more than adequate for the nation’s security. Australia’s north is archipelagic, which means smaller, shorter-ranged submarines can close maritime avenues of approach………………………….. more https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2022/11/12/the-definitive-case-against-nuclear-subs

November 12, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

A Father Fights for His Son & What’s Left of Democracy

The film Ithaka, about the quest of Julian Assange’s father to save his son, makes its U.S. premiere on Sunday in New York City. It is reviewed by Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

To the extent that the media has covered the tragedy of Julian Assange at all, the focus has been on politics and the law.

Consortium News, which has provided perhaps the most comprehensive coverage of the prosecution under the Espionage Act of the WikiLeaks publisher, has also focused more on the case and less on the man.

The great issues involved transcend the individual: war, diplomacy, official deception, high crimes, an assault on press freedom and on the core of what little democracy is left in a militarized and money-corrupted system.

Assange supporters sometimes also overlook the person and concentrate instead on the larger issues at stake. Ironically, it has been Assange’s enemies and detractors who’ve long focused on the person in the worst tradition of ad hominem assaults.

He has been attacked to deflect public attention from what WikiLeaks has revealed, from what the state is doing to him and to hide the impact on freedom in the media and standards in the courtroom.

There has been a steady and organized stream of smears against Assange, from ridiculous stories about him smearing feces on Ecuadoran Embassy walls to the widely reported falsehood that he was charged with rape. That case was dropped three times before any charges were filed, but the “rape” smear persists.

These personal attacks were planned as far back as March 8, 2008 when a secret, 32-page document from the Cyber Counterintelligence Assessment branch of the Pentagon described in detail the importance of destroying the “feeling of trust that is WikiLeaks’ center of gravity.” The leaked document, which was published by WikiLeaks itself, said: “This would be achieved with threats of exposure and criminal prosecution and an unrelenting assault on reputation.”

An answer to these slurs and the missing focus on Assange as a man is Ithaka. The film, which makes its U.S. premiere Sunday night in New York, focuses on the struggle of Assange’s father, John Shipton, and his wife, Stella Assange, to free him.

f you are looking for a film more fully explaining the legal and political complexities of the case and its background, this is not the movie to see. The Spanish film, Hacking Justice, will give you that, as well as the more concise exposition in the brilliant documentary, The War on Journalism, by Juan Passarelli.

Ithaka, directed by Ben Lawrence and produced by Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, humanizes Assange and reveals the impact his ordeal has had on the people closest to him.

The title comes from the poem of that name by C.P. Cavafy (read here by Sean Connery) about the pathos of an uncertain journey. It reflects Shipton’s travels throughout Europe and the U.S. in defense of his son, arguably the most consequential journalist of his generation.

The story begins with Shipton arriving in London to see his son for the first time behind bars after the publisher’s rights of asylum were lifted by a new Ecuadoran government leading to him being carried out of the embassy by London police in April 2019.

“The story is that I am attempting in my own … modest way to get Julian out of the shit,” Shipton says. “What does it involve? Traipsing around Europe, building up coalitions of friendship.” He meets with parliamentarians, the media and supporters across the continent. Shipton describes the journey as the “difficulty of destiny over the ease of narrative.”……………………………

We learn that Julian Assange’s frustration with the inability to stop the 2003 Iraq invasion, despite the largest, worldwide anti-war protests in history, motivated him to start WikiLeaks.

The releases he published about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, leaked by Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, were published not only by WikiLeaks but by its partners at The New York Times, Die Spiegel and The Guardian, yet only Assange has been prosecuted.

The main focus of the film is the extradition hearing in Westminster Magistrate’s Court that began in February 2020 and ended in September of that year…………………………

One of several scenes that drives home the personal side of the story is audio of Assange speaking from Belmarsh Prison to Stella about what children’s books to read to their two sons. The toll it is taking on her is seen as she breaks down emotionally during the recording of a BBC interview that has to be paused.

“Extraditions are 99 percent politics and one percent law,” Stella says. “It is entirely the political climate around the case that decides the outcome. And that is shaped by the media. For many years there was a climate that was deliberately created through false stories, smears; through a kind of relentless character attack on Julian to reduce that support and make it more likely to successfully extradite him to the United States.”

“This is the public narrative that has been spread in the media for ten years,’ Nils Melzer, the now former U.N. Special rapporteur on torture, says in the film.


“No one has been able to see how much deception there is. Why is this being done? For ten years all of us were focused only on Julian Assange, when he never wanted it to be about him. It never was about him. It was about the States and their war crimes and their corruption. That’s what he wanted to put a spotlight on – and he did. And that’s what made them angry. So they put the spotlight on him.”

“He just needs to be treated like a human being,” says Stella, “and be allowed to be a human being and not denied his dignity and his humanity, which is what has been done to him.”

Ithaka makes its first theatrical showing in the U.S. at the SVA Cinema, 333 W. 23rd St, New York, N.Y., on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 7:45 pm. There will be a Q&A following the first screening with Ben Lawrence, Gabriel Shipton, Adrian Devant, cinematographer Niels Ladefoged, and John Shipton.

For ticket information: https://docnyc.net/film/ithaka/  https://consortiumnews.com/2022/11/11/a-father-fights-for-his-son-whats-left-of-democracy/

November 12, 2022 Posted by | civil liberties, legal, media, politics international | Leave a comment

Memo G20 – there is a greater enemy than China to fight

But Australia’s biggest diplomatic effort is going into creating a bifurcated world, preparing to fight another war for another imperial power, surrendering our sovereignty and our military in the process – and happy to remain in the rear on climate.

The Albanese Government shows no sign of changing course, plunging ahead with Australia’s biggest defence spend – submarines designed to sit off China’s coast as part of an offensive force – and hosting American long-range strategic bombers.

Michael Pascoe, The New Daily, 12 Nov 22,

When Earth faces an existential threat in the movies – aliens, rogue asteroids, that sort of thing – human beings unite to fight Armageddon.

Turns out real life isn’t like that.

Right now our quality of life and, for many millions, perhaps billions of people, their actual lives are in imminent danger. So what policy is Australia championing in the face of global disaster?

As a middle power that, in the past, has sometimes punched above its weight, what influence are we trying to exert to save the world? Unite and fight the killer aliens? Pool our talents to divert the asteroid? Nah.

We’re pushing for a hopelessly divided world, ignoring the real problem to fiddle about with less challenging matters, concentrating on supporting one superpower’s economic interests over another.

Tipping Points

Earth is approaching horrific climate change tipping points. It’s not a matter of an extra few tenths of a degree, some more monster bushfires and extra floods.

It’s about sudden collapse in the systems that sustain us.

But Australia’s biggest diplomatic effort is going into creating a bifurcated world, preparing to fight another war for another imperial power, surrendering our sovereignty and our military in the process – and happy to remain in the rear on climate.

The United States’ determination to exert its global primacy isn’t the main game. Much of the world understands that, but not our insular Anglosphere and certainly not the group think that pervades Canberra.

Once Australia hoped to be a bridge between the US and China. That hope was dashed by the gross ineptitude and crass stupidity of the Morrison government, leaping at the opportunity to out Sinophobe the Americans, locking Australia into America’s confrontational agenda.

The Albanese Government shows no sign of changing course, plunging ahead with Australia’s biggest defence spend – submarines designed to sit off China’s coast as part of an offensive force – and hosting American long-range strategic bombers.

“It makes sense to actually normalise the relationships,” Mr Albanese said before heading off to Asia for ASEAN and G-20 summits and, hopefully, a meeting with President Xi.

“We want to see a stabilisation in the relationship.”

Upping the ante

Upping the offensive weaponry ante seems a strange way of normalising a relationship while demanding China roll back the trade penalties imposed after Morrison’s diplomatic blundering. (And regarding Mr Albanese’s alleged “$20 billion” trade sanctions – the figure is bogus. Our wine industry has certainly been hurt, but our other commodity exports have had no trouble finding other markets paying just as well, if not better. Ask any coal miner.)

Back in the main game, climate change doesn’t seem to figure as a headline issue for Mr Albanese at the G20. And it seems not to be for US President Biden ahead of his meeting with President Xi.  He is more interested in establishing rules for dividing the world.

Meanwhile, the COP27 climate change summit is underway in Egypt. All the news coming out of it ranges from bad to worse.

Joe Biden is dropping in on his way to Asia. Prime Minister Albanese is skipping it. The approaching climate change tipping points are a very real threat to Australia. Despite what you’re likely to hear on television and read in the mainstream newspapers, China is not.

We won’t be serious about climate change until it is seen as a human problem, not one with national borders. Like COVID, borders don’t register with greenhouse gases. One of the issues at COP27 is rich nations (high carbon intensity people) needing to pay to help poor nations (low carbon intensity people) move to sustainable energy.

Caught in bizarre inertia

Australians are among the world’s very worst polluters. Our previous and present governments prefer not to look at the problem like that, the Albanese government is content with being a little less worse on climate than the coalition governments of the previous nine years…………  https://thenewdaily.com.au/opinion/2022/11/12/michael-pascoe-g20-china/

November 12, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Climate change, not China, is Australia’s real security danger

The definitive case against nuclear subs The Saturday Paper, Albert Palazzo -adjunct professor at UNSW Canberra. He was a former director of war studies for the Australian Army. November 12, 2022 “……………………………………………………………. Too many security officials hold to the mistaken belief that China is the most significant threat Australia faces. In fact, climate change deserves the top spot. Climate scientists, United Nations officials and military commanders themselves, including current US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, consider climate change an existential threat to survival. Any threat posed by China is much more limited. At worst, China’s challenge to the US-led world order could result in America’s withdrawal from the Western Pacific. Climate change could lead to the end of the human project and take countless other species down with us.

China represents, at most, a second-order threat, but it is China that draws the obsessive focus of much of the current generation of security thinkers. It does not make sense for Australia to invest so much in a weapon system that has no utility against the nation’s most dangerous threat, yet this is what is happening.

Advocates of nuclear-powered submarines also propose that constructing these vessels in Adelaide will help sustain a sovereign shipbuilding industry. In fact, the opposite is the likely result. Once in service these vessels will actually increase Australia’s dependence on the US and foreign contractors. This is because many of the sub’s critical components, weapons and systems will be made by foreign parties. Australian sailors might even need shadow US sailors to co-staff technical positions until Australia generates enough nuclear-savvy personnel of its own.

The government has announced it will invest between $168 billion and $183 billion in what it has called a national naval shipbuilding enterprise, with the goal of sustaining and growing a domestic shipbuilding capability and securing Australian jobs for the future. Such a capability is a noble goal, but what has been left unexplained is why it should be such a priority compared with foreign-dominated industries that are more critical to the nation’s future wellbeing.

Last summer, for example, Australian transport risked grinding to a halt as a result of the urea crisis, which led to a serious shortage of AdBlue, a vital diesel fuel additive. Without AdBlue, the nation’s fleet of long-haul trucks would have stopped moving, resulting in supermarkets running out of food, farmers not harvesting their crops and the mining industry coming to a halt. Yet there has been no talk of taxpayer-supported AdBlue production in Australia. Similarly, many medicines are imported, as are a host of important everyday items, such as baking powder and matches. Unlike shipbuilding, these industries apparently warrant no support.

If one wanted a truly sovereign defence industry, then the product that might mandate the level of support proposed for the subs is microchips. Virtually all military and civilian technology contains chips, yet Australia is happy to remain fully reliant on overseas suppliers for this most important of components. Establishing a domestic industry would require a huge subsidy, as well as additional investment in tertiary education and precursor manufacturing processes. Without these chips, however, no weapon system is truly sovereign.

So why the nuclear-powered subs, if they make so little sense? The obvious answer is to support the alliance. Instead of aiming for self-reliance, Australia has always preferred to seek the protection of a great power. But there is another reason: like a kid in a lolly shop, Australia has been given permission to buy the biggest treat on display. Nuclear-powered subs are one of America’s most closely guarded technologies. If Australia gets them, it will be a clear sign that, like Britain, we have been admitted to a very exclusive club, the inner sanctum of US security. What is missed, however, is that being in the inner sanctum generates a massive obligation – and some day that bill may fall due. https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2022/11/12/the-definitive-case-against-nuclear-subs

November 12, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear Industry’s big lobbying push pays off at COP27, as politicians spout pro nuclear propaganda

The nuclear-military-industrial-government-complex must be paying up very big bucks for the lobbying effort at the climate conference – selling the lie that nuclear is clean and renewable.

Glowing pro nuclear recommendations from US presidential climate envoy John Kerry, Egypt’s oil minister Tarek el-Molla, French President Emmanuel Macron – it all sounds so good, doesn’t it?

IEA executive director Fatih Birol could hardly control his enthusiasm for nuclear – “nuclear is making a comeback”, with countries like the Netherlands, Poland and developing countries in Asia-Pacific finding a renewed appetite for new nuclear deals.

And yet, and yet, if you listen carefully, they cover their backs with the recognition that nuclear is really unaffordable, – “budget constraints” – they call it

Cop 27: Nuclear energy in focus,
 https://www.argusmedia.com/en/news/2389700-cop-27-nuclear-energy-in-focus 10 Nov 22

Finance day at the Cop 27 UN climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh this week saw more focus put on developing nuclear energy, which has been touted in some quarters as the fuel for a carbon-free system and energy security.

IEA executive director Fatih Birol said on the sidelines of the summit that “nuclear is making a comeback”, with countries like the Netherlands, Poland and developing countries in Asia-Pacific finding a renewed appetite for new nuclear deals. The IEA, which had predicted an atomic comeback in November last year, was no longer alone in “trying to show the world that nuclear has its place when it comes to addressing energy security and climate change”, Birol said.

But he lamented delays in delivery and budget constraints associated with the nuclear industry. He said international financial institutions have “failed” to aid developing countries with clean energy financing, and said: “I wouldn’t give them a passing grade”.

At Cop 27 there have been some signs of progress. The US Export-Import (Exim) Bank said it would provide a $3bn loan to Romania for construction of two units at the country’s 1.4GW Cernavoda nuclear power plant. The bank handed two letters of interest to Romania’s energy minister Virgil Popescu at the summit, outlining an initial $50mn loan to support development of a second phase of the new units, and a subsequent loan of $3bn that will cover the bank’s total contribution to the project.

US presidential climate envoy John Kerry called this financing a “bolster” for energy security and said it will help “expand carbon-free energy” in Romania.

Egypt’s oil minister Tarek el-Molla said at Cop 27 that the country is on track to achieve its goal of increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix, and that nuclear energy should be included in this. Construction at the country’s first nuclear power plant at El-Dabaa, northwest of Cairo, started in July.

Earlier in the week, French President Emmanuel Macron said nuclear energy, alongside renewables, was an important pillar for countries such as South Africa to move away from coal, and said Paris would invest €1bn in helping South Africa achieve that goal.

Countries like Romania, South Africa and Egypt adopting or increasing their nuclear generating capacity are essential if the IEA is to be proven right that there will be a doubling of capacity between 2020-50, as it estimated in its global pathway to net zero emissions by 2050.

“When we look at the world, electricity demand growth comes from emerging countries,” Birol said in Egypt. “And for these emerging countries to build large scale nuclear power plants may be a bit challenging for many reasons, including financial, in the first down payment and the technology.” He stressed the need for small modular reactors to be commercially available before or around 2030, which he said would give a “very good chance” for emerging economies to meet growing power demand.

By Florence Schmit, Nader Itayim and Rithika Krishna

November 12, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

EU Needs $460 Billion Investment Just To Maintain Nuclear Power Capacity, let alone build new

Oil Price.com By Tsvetana Paraskova – Nov 11, 2022, 

The European Union will need up to $462 billion (450 billion euros) in investment just to keep the current level of its nuclear power generation capacity, the EU Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, said at a nuclear energy forum this week……..

This year, a year when surging energy prices have highlighted the importance of energy security, the EU is particularly focused on its nuclear power availability.

According to the EU modeling, nuclear power generation will account for around 15%-16% of the EU’s power output in 2030 and 2050, Simson said.

The EU needs a stable generation capacity, at the level of just over 100 GW, in the coming decades. Yet, a lot of investment will be needed to keep that generation capacity in the future.

“Our analysis shows that without immediate investment, around 90% of existing reactors would be shut down around the time when we need them most – in 2030,” Simson noted.

The EU will need between $360 billion (350 billion euros) and $462 billion (450 billion euros) of investment just to maintain the current generation capacity, and another up to $51.3 billion (50 billion euros) in the long-term operation of existing reactors, according to the EU commissioner………   EU Needs $460 Billion Investment To Maintain Nuclear Power Capacity | OilPrice.com

November 12, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

G20 leaders to denounce use, or threat, of nuclear weapons – draft (?a pious hypocrisy in opposition to the UN Nuclear Ban Treaty)

The nuclear weapons countries, and their craven supporters deserve a hypocrisy certificate

Among the G20 countries are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, – all of whom have nuclear weapons and make veiled threats to use them

Australia, Canada, and the European Union also belong – supporting the ‘nuclear umbrella’ that might defend them.

Then there are Japan and Saudi Arbia – itching to get nuclear weapons themselves

By Jan Strupczewski

BRUSSELS, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies will next week denounce the use of, or any threat to use, nuclear weapons, according to an early draft of a G20 statement seen by Reuters.

G20 leaders are meeting in Indonesia on Nov 15-16 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine will top their agenda.

“Many members strongly condemned Russia’s illegal, unjustifiable and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine, and called on it to immediately end the war,” the draft, which may change and would need Moscow’s approval for unanimity, said.

“The use, or threat of the use, of nuclear weapons is inadmissible.”

Concern about possible nuclear escalation during Russia’s war in Ukraine surged after two speeches by President Vladimir Putin in which he indicated he would, if needed, use such weapons to defend Russia……….

The leaders are also to say they would support all efforts conducive to a “just” peace.

November 12, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A bigger-than-ever pack of fossil fuel lobbyists at COP27

New research from CEO, Corporate Accountability and Global Witness shows
there were over 100 more fossil fuel lobbyists registered to attend the
COP27 climate talks in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, than last year in Glasgow,
UK. Data analysis of the UN’s provisional list of named attendees
identified at least 636 fossil fuel lobbyists, affiliated with some of the
world’s biggest polluting oil and gas giants such as Shell, Chevron and BP.
This is an increase of over 25% from COP26, showing a rise in the influence
of the fossil fuel industry at the climate talks that are already rife with
accusations of civil society censorship and corporate influence.

 Corporate Europe 10th Nov 2022

https://corporateeurope.org/en/2022/11/cop27-100-more-fossil-fuel-lobbyists-last-year

 There are more than 600 fossil fuel lobbyists at the Cop27 climate
conference, a rise of more than 25% from last year and outnumbering any one
frontline community affected by the climate crisis.

 Guardian 10th Nov 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/10/big-rise-in-number-of-fossil-fuel-lobbyists-at-cop27-climate-summit

 Gas producers and their financial backers see Cop27 as an opportunity for
discussions about rebranding natural gas as a transition fuel rather than a
fossil fuel, experts have said. The push is coming from the host Egypt and
its gas-producing allies amid a global energy crisis compounded by
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

 Guardian 11th Nov 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/11/gas-producers-using-cop27-to-rebrand-gas-as-transitional-fuel-experts-warn

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‘Subpoenas’ Served on US Weapons Manufacturers

These four corporations are representative of the modern-day piracy that is the U.S. war industry, a corporate capture of U.S. foreign policy, the Congress, the Departments of Defense and State, and the U.S. economic system. 

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2022/11/11/subpoenas-served-us-weapons-manufacturers BRAD WOLF, November 11, 2022

What is it like to be so ashamed of the company for whom you work that you cannot bring yourself to admit you work there? Ashamed of the products they manufacture, the innocent people those products kill, the hundreds of billions of dollars of public taxpayer money squandered in a gluttonous pursuit of profits?

This is life as seen on November 10th, 2022, at Raytheon Technologies in Arlington, VA. Members and supporters of the Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal, a public tribunal, served “subpoenas” on four United States weapons manufacturers charging them with War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, Theft, and Bribery.

The other three corporations served that same day were Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and General Atomics. These four corporations are representative of the modern-day piracy that is the U.S. war industry, a corporate capture of U.S. foreign policy, the Congress, the Departments of Defense and State, and the U.S. economic system.

Raytheon Technologies occupies a towering office building in Arlington, a stone’s throw from the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery, two sites commemorating death and the utter failure of war. Though the Raytheon building has its corporate logo plastered in blood-red letters at the top, once inside no sign exists evidencing this corporate war profiteer. No name, no logo, no receptionist. A sad attempt to hide their dealings in the black art of war.

When asked, security guards refused to acknowledge Raytheon was in the building. Of the dozens of employees who passed, none would admit they worked at Raytheon, averting their eyes as they hurried away. When police arrived to escort the Tribunal members and supporters off premises, the police would not acknowledge Raytheon was headquartered there. Just like the employees, they had their orders. Keep quiet, admit nothing.

It was silent as a tomb except for the voices of the Tribunal members speaking the truth about the trail of suffering and death Raytheon and its corporate brethren have left across Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia, and the Palestinian Occupied Territory. Meanwhile, these Merchants of Death have left the United States financially, morally, and spiritually bankrupt.

Raytheon Technologies has a market capitalization of $96 billion. According to Macrotrends, Raytheon Technologies revenue for the quarter ending September 30, 2022 was $16.951B, a 4.55% increase year-over-year. For 2021 it was $64.388B, a 13.79% increase from 2020, for 2020 was $56.587B, a 24.78% increase from 2019, and for 2019 was $45.349B, a 30.68% increase from 2018. In four years, they have garnered almost a 70% increase in revenue. Marketing death is good for profits if you can live with yourself. Apparently, given their silence, many Raytheon employees struggle with this very issue.

Raytheon builds some of the most destabilizing, destructive, and expensive weapons on earth. The Hypersonic Missile which travels in excess of five times the speed of sound — Mach 5 — covering vast distances in minutes. It is “hard to stop and flies nimbly to avoid detection and dodge defensive countermeasures.” All these are attributes which make the missile so destabilizing to a foreign leader who has only minutes to determine whether they are being attacked with a nuclear weapon.

Raytheon makes the Peregrine Air-to-Air Missile which they claim “increases firepower, penetrates bad weather, and goes the distance.” Add to that their plans to use “high power microwaves” in war and we see the epitome of a Merchant of Death.

Boeing, General Atomics, and Lockheed Martin are the same. They too revel in blood money as they build for war and drain the U.S. economy. In fact, some $8 trillion in U.S. taxpayer money has been given to U.S. defense contractors over the last twenty years.

The U.S. War Industry plays a key role in fomenting war with their congressional lobbying, not just pushing for weapons contracts but influencing military strategy, thereby exacerbating and prolonging the anguish of civilians bearing the brunt of these wars of choice. On the issue of war in particular, Congress must be answerable to its citizens, not a handful of corporations.

With their silence on November 10, these weapons manufacturers revealed their shame. Their corporate mission statement is “War Begets Profit.” For the Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal, the mission statement is “Come War Profiteers, Give Account.”  Stand before a Tribunal and be judged.

And so, what is it like to give your talents to a corporation which hides its very existence, to give all your efforts and education and experience in the creation of weapons which kill indiscriminately? Their loss of words, their averting eyes, the damning silence offered in their corporate crypt, is the devastating answer.

November 12, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Concealing US Militarism By Making It Sacred

The depth of the militarization of the United States and the harshness of its wars abroad have been concealed by converting death into something sacred, writes Kelly Denton-Borhaug in an address to U.S. veterans on Veterans Day. 

Consortium News. November 11, 2022 By Kelly Denton-Borhaug
TomDispatch.com

Dear Veterans,
I’m a civilian who, like many Americans, has strong ties to the U.S. Armed Forces. I never considered enlisting, but my father, uncles, cousins, and nephews did.

As a child I baked cookies to send with letters to my cousin Steven who was serving in Vietnam. My family tree includes soldiers on both sides of the Civil War. Some years before my father died, he shared with me his experience of being drafted during the Korean War and, while on leave, traveling to Hiroshima, Japan. There, just a few short years after an American atomic bomb had devastated that city as World War II ended, he was haunted by seeing the dark shadows of the dead cast onto concrete by the nuclear blast.

As Americans, all of us are, in some sense, linked to the violence of war. But most of us have very little understanding of what it means to be touched by war. Still, since the events of Sept. 11, 2001, as a scholar of religion, I’ve been trying to understand what I’ve come to call “U.S. war-culture.” For it was in the months after those terrible attacks more than 20 years ago that I awoke to the depth of our culture of war and our society’s pervasive militarization.

“American civilians deceive themselves by insisting that they’re a peaceful nation desiring the well-being of all peoples.”

Eventually, I saw how important truths about our country were concealed when we made the violence of war into something sacred. And most important of all, while trying to come to grips with this dissonant reality, I started listening to you, the veterans of our recent wars, and simply couldn’t stop.

Dismantling the Justifications……………………………………………………

U.S. political leaders annually approve a military budget that’s apocalyptically high (and may reach a trillion dollars a year before the end of this decade). The U.S. spends more on its military than the next nine nations combined to finance the violence of war.

Political leaders in the U.S. and many citizens insist that having such a staggering infrastructure of war is the only way Americans will be secure, while claiming that they’re anything but a warring people. Analysts of war-culture know better. As peace and conflict studies scholar Marc Pilisuk puts it: “Wars are products of a social order that plans for them and then accepts this planning as natural.”     

Learning War Is Like Ingesting Poison

I’ve personally witnessed the confusion and conflicted responses of many veterans to this mystifying distortion of reality. How painful and destabilizing it must be to return from your military deployment to a society that insists on crassly celebrating and glorifying war, while so many of you had no choice but to absorb the terrible knowledge of what an atrocity it is.

“War damages all who wage it,” chaplain Michael Lapsley wrote. “The United States has been infected by endless war.” Veterans viscerally carry the violence of war in their bodies. It’s as if you became “sin-eaters” who had to swallow the evil of the conflicts the United States waged in these years and then live with their consequences inside you…………………………………………

The unimaginable losses to families, communities, infrastructure, and culture in the lands where such conflicts have been fought in this century are invisible to most citizens, while typical Veterans Day commemorations recast you as messianic redemptive figures who “have paid the price for our freedom.”

“War-culture in this country leaves us with a residual collective trauma that weighs us all down and is only made worse by a national blindness to it.”

But to convert war-making into something sacred means fashioning a deceitful myth. Violence is not a harmless tool. It’s not a coat that a person wears and takes off without consequences.

Violence instead brutalizes human beings to their core; chains people to the forces of dehumanization; and, over time, eats away at you like acid dripping into your very soul. That same dehumanization also undermines democracy, something you would never know from the way the United States glorifies its wars as foundational to what it means to be an American.

Silencing and Commodifying Veterans……………………………………………………………………

Addiction to War

More often than not, the invisible wounds of returning veterans are shrouded in silence. For some of you, unbearable pain led to disastrous consequences, including self-harm, loss of relationships, isolation, and self-destructive risk-taking. At least 1-in-3 female members of the armed forces has experienced sexual assault or harassment from fellow service members.

More than 17 of you veterans take your own lives every day. And you live with all of this, while so much of the rest of the nation fails to muster the will to see you, hear you, or face honestly the American addiction to war.

The truths about war that you might tell us are generally rejected and invalidated, cementing you into a heavy block of silence. Military chaplain Sean Levine describes how the U.S. must “deny the trauma of its warriors lest that trauma radically redefine our understanding of war.” He continues, “Blind patriotism has done inestimable damage to the souls of thousands of our returning warriors.”


If we civilians paid attention to your honesty, we would find ourselves slammed headlong into a conflict with a national culture that glorifies war, conceals the political and material interests of the titans of weaponry and war production, and successfully distracts us from the depth of its destruction.

We civilians are complicit and so lurch away from facing the inevitable revulsion, sorrow, mourning, and guilt that always accompany the reality of war.

An Alternative for Veterans Day  

Honestly, the only way forward is for you to tell — and us to compassionately take in — the unadulterated stories of war. ……………………..  https://consortiumnews.com/2022/11/11/concealing-us-militarism-by-making-it-sacred/

November 12, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

To those who sneer at activists blocking roads: what are you doing to save the planet?

To those who sneer at activists blocking roads: what are you doing to save the planet?

Polly Toynbee

The Tories’ despicable plan to imprison protesters is unlikely to stop those who fear imminent climate catastrophe

November 12, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Let’s Hear Voices from Fukushima: “I feel like a tree in my garden is gone and my roots have been pulled out” — nuclear-news

Vol. 41: Talk Session “Let’s Hear Voices from Fukushima! vol.41 Report (Part 2) “I feel like a tree in my garden is gone and my roots have been pulled out” (Kazue Watanabe) October 26, 2022Let’s Hear from Fukushima!” In the first part, Fumio Horikawa, who evacuated from the town of Namie in Fukushima Prefecture to […]

Let’s Hear Voices from Fukushima: “I feel like a tree in my garden is gone and my roots have been pulled out” — nuclear-news

November 12, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November 11 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “How To Donate Solar Panels And Wind Turbines To Ukraine” • The Global 100% Renewable Energy Platform Global100RE and the World Wind Energy Association initially made the call for support buying and deploying solar panels and wind turbines to help the people of Ukraine back in March. Here’s how you can reach out […]

November 11 Energy News — geoharvey

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