Australian news, and some related international items

Josephite South Australia Reconciliation Circle’s advice to the Senate Inquiry on Radioactive Waste Bill

It’s not too late to send in your submission, closing date is 9 April.  Submissions can be sent by following simple steps on the link below.   Also on this link are published some of the submissions received.

THIS EXCELLENT SUBMISSION COVERS ALL IMPORTANT ASPECTS.   I publish it in full, and urge you to read it all

Josephite S.A. Reconciliation Circle
on Kaurna Land Submission No. 7 
Solidarity, Justice, Advocacy, Reconciliation
The Secretary
Senate Standing Economics Legislation Committee of Inquiry
National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill 2020
1. Introduction and Summary The Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle is an advocacy group based in
Adelaide. A number of our members have many decades of involvement with Aboriginal peoples in South
Australia and elsewhere and a long time involvement and concern for environmental matters. Under the
leadership of our mentor and Chairperson, the late Kaurna/Narrunga Elder Dr Alitya Wallara Rigney, and
together with other Aboriginal South Australians, as a group of Josephite, Carmelite Sisters and Associates
we have worked together as a social justice group for 16 years regarding political structures,
environmental concerns and cross-cultural awareness.
Our members begin our submission to this Inquiry with reference to the Object of the Act noting the
significance of the words and phrases – controlled; and safely and securely managed:
Object of Act
(1) The object of this Act is to ensure that controlled material is safely and securely managed by
providing for:
(a) the specification of a site for a radioactive waste management facility; and
(b) the establishment and operation of such a facility on the site specified.
(2) By ensuring that controlled material is safely and securely managed, this Act, among other
things, gives effect to certain obligations that Australia has as a party to the Joint Convention,
in particular, Australia’s obligations under Chapters 3 and 4 of the Joint Convention.
The Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle submits that the only way long-lived intermediate radioactive
waste can be ‘controlled’ and ‘safely and securely managed’ in Australia is for it to presently remain in
the federal facility at Lucas Heights where the nuclear experts are and where the necessary safety
measures and skilled personnel are at optimum levels. We question the sense, the expense and the risks
of transporting long lived intermediate nuclear waste (LLILW) from where it is temporarily housed at
Lucas Heights with the nuclear experts, 1700 kilometres across the country to be temporarily stored in a
regional, yet to be built, facility. We submit that this proposal is the antithesis of safe and secure
management. Given that most of Australia’s intermediate level nuclear waste comes from Lucas Heights
we believe that it should be kept there, at least until a final disposal solution is established. Short term
proposals for the storage of Australia’s nuclear waste will leave insoluble problems for present and future
generations. There are no present plans for its permanent disposal.
We support in the meantime an independent scientific inquiry of experts to decide the safe next step to
contain the LLILW nuclear waste component of this proposed project.
Submission headings as requested: 1. Introduction and Summary, 2.Traditional Owners, 3. Current Plan
fails to represent International Best Practice, 4. The Nuclear Medicine debate wrongly used to justify the
need for a NRWM Facility, 5 Kimba as an international grain farming area, 6.The Restrictive Voting Area, 7.
The Flawed Consultation processes, 8.The Need for Consultation in the chosen Port and along Transport
routes, 9 State legislation to be overriden. 10. Conclusion. 11. Recommendations.
2. Traditional Owners. Importantly, the proposed NRWM Facility presents an unacceptable threat to
impose nuclear waste against the express will of the Barngarla People, compromising their Indigenous
rights and interests. The broad Australian community has an obligation to respect and to protect
Aboriginal rights and interests. This must be reflected in the Senate Inquiry’s considerations, Report and
Findings. In addition to their express opposition, the Barngarla People’s heritage, Song Lines & Story Lines,
are protected by the SA Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 as Indigenous cultural values.
Shamefully, the federal government has decided to move ahead despite the unanimous opposition of the
Barngarla Traditional Owners, native titleholders over the area. Excluded from the Kimba ballot last year,
Barngarla people engaged the Australian Election Company to conduct a confidential postal ballot. Not a
single Barngarla Traditional Owner voted in favour of the dump.The Barngarla initiated a legal action
protesting their exclusion. ‘We took action because our human rights have been overlooked. We feel
ignored on our traditional lands and unheard and unrecognised by the Kimba Council,’ said Mr Jason
Bilney, chairperson of the Barngarlaarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation. Mr Bilney said the land
and waterways held storylines with significant connections to Barngarla people.1
With the Barngarla appeal recently denied, Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle members join the Barngarla
to wonder at the standing human rights legislation has in our nation when such rights can be so easily be
legislated away without redress. As Barngarla Traditional Owner Jeanne Miller laments, Aboriginal people
with no voting power are put back 50 years, ‘again classed as flora and fauna.’2 If the results of the two
ballots are combined, the overall level of support falls to just 43.8% of eligible voters (452/824 for the
government-initiated ballot, and 0/209 for the Barngarla ballot) ‒ well short of the government’s
benchmark of 65% for ‘broad community support’.3

We agree that the Federal Minister holds a draconian discretion under the National Radioactive Waste
Management Act 2012 (NRWM Act) to over-ride both Federal and State Aboriginal Heritage Acts. Sections
12 & 13 of the NRWM Act state that: “the significance of land in the traditions of Indigenous people … has
no effect to the extent that it would regulate, hinder or prevent” actions that are authorised by Section 11
Selecting the site for a facility.4
The present Bill calls on the Senate to vote to instigate these wide ranging Federal powers to override
Indigenous people’s traditions, rights and interests, as set out in and protected by any State law: On the
contrary Federal claims to “not impose a facility on an unwilling community” 5,should exclude sites where
the Native Title representative body opposes siting of nuclear waste facilities on their traditional lands.
We call on Inquiry members and after that our Australian Senators to refuse to take such action
‘authorised ‘ by overriding human rights. We agree that such is unacceptable in a modern era.
In this entire situation we put to the Inquiry Pope Francis’s words as particularly apt: ’It is essential to
show special care for Indigenous communities and their cultural traditions. They are not merely one
minority among others but should be the principal dialogue partners…When they remain on their land,
they themselves care for it best. Nevertheless in various parts of the world, pressure is being put on them
to abandon their homelands to make room for agricultural or mining projects which are undertaken
without regard for the degradation of nature and culture.’ Pope Francis Laudato Si 6
3. Current Plan fails to represent International Best Practice
The NRWM Facility plan for “indefinite storage” of ANSTO nuclear fuel wastes and Intermediate Level
Wastes is not consistent with longstanding advice of the regulator ARPANSA, Radiation Health & Safety
Advisory Council and of the Nuclear Safety Committee (NSC) on International Best Practice (p.16).
We note also that the Nuclear Safety Committee (NSC) has advised (2013) that dual handling transport
for interim storage as named in our Introduction above “does not represent International Best Practice”
and “also has implications for security” and for safety. 7
The nuclear regulator ARPANSA states these wastes require radiation shielding, safe handling and
security, and isolation from people and from the environment for over 10,000 years.
We note that the Bill amends the Act to specify SA as a nuclear waste state and Napandee near Kimba as
an above-ground interim Nuclear Waste Store. However for the past four years no other states have been
under consideration for the deposition of Australia’s most toxic material. From the original 26 nominated
sites, the final three selected were all from South Australia. Surely a political rather than a scientific
As SA environmentalist David Noonan is clear: ‘In 2015 ANSTO purpose-built an “Interim Waste Store”
(IWS) at Lucas Heights with a conservative design operating life of 40 years to take reprocessed nuclear
fuel waste shipments from both France and the UK. The IWS received the French waste in Dec 2015 and
can take the UK waste due in 2020’s. The regulator ARPANSA has said it expects separate Licence
Applications for the above ground Nuclear Store and for the Low-Level Waste Disposal Facility.8
The regulator ARPANSA has said it expects separate Licence
Applications for the above ground Nuclear Store and for the Low-Level Waste Disposal Facility.8
The “National Radioactive Waste Management Facility” (NRWMF) is really two dumps in one with a Low-
Level radioactive waste disposal site (including wastes that require isolation for up to 300 years) which is
also primarily over 95% for Federal gov. wastes.
The above ground Nuclear Store is primarily over 95 % for Federal nuclear wastes. While a detailed plan
for the less toxic low level waste has been submitted, it is astonishing to our members that the federal
government and its department officials have shown and continue to show scant regard for these safety
and security values in practice by the startling failure to provide any planned facility design for the
deposit of the far more dangerous LLILW. We wonder if all Members and Senators voting on the Bill
realise that this is the case.
Legislation names as indefinite (“for approx. 100 years”) above ground Nuclear Waste Store that is to be

imposed on to SA. It is a main thrust of our submission – to regularly transport 1700 kms and then simply
store the nuclear waste, toxic for 10,000 years, above ground in a yet to be designed facility in regional SA
– that this ‘plan’ is unconscionable and must change. Waniwa Lucy Lester Yankunyjatjara Elder brings
attention to Intergenerational justice: Do we have the right to condemn future generations to poisoning
the land?9

4. The Nuclear Medicine debate wrongly used to justify the need for a NRWM Facility As time has gone
on in this process, federal government officials and representatives have increasingly ramped up the
government’s nuclear medicine defence for the NRWM Facility.
Our submission therefore quotes from the following medical experts exposing this defence:
1)Dr Bill Williams, Medical Association for the Prevention of War “As health organisations, we are appalled
that access to nuclear medical procedures is being used to justify the proposed nuclear waste dump. Most
waste from these procedures break down quickly and can be safely disposed of either on site or locally.10
2)Nuclear Radiologist Dr Peter Karamoskos. “Linking the need for a centralized radioactive waste storage
facility with the production of isotopes for nuclear medicine is misleading. The production of radioactive
isotopes for nuclear medicine comprises a small percentage of the output of research reactors. The
majority of the waste that is produced in these facilities occurs regardless of the nuclear medicine isotope
production.” 10
3) Dr Susi Andersson GP Hawker Flinders Ranges SA (November 2019) ‘Misinformation and
misunderstanding about the most dangerous intermediate level nuclear waste (LLILW) destined for the
proposed NRWMF (National Radioactive Waste Management Facility) continues. The use of nuclear
medicine in hospitals does not produce any nuclear waste that will go to a NRWMF.The ‘Australian
Radioactive Waste Management Framework’ shows that at January 2018 the volumes of ILW to be stored
at a NRWMF to be1771 m3. Of this just 13m3 (less than 1%) comes from ‘Industry, hospitals, universities’,
in all states and territories. Little if any LLILW is stored in hospitals…The use of nuclear medicine produces
only low level waste which sits a while then goes to the usual (non radioactive) waste streams. The
manufacture of nuclear medicine produces LLILW and LLW (Low level waste ) but that happens and stays
at Lucas Heights. X-rays and CTs produce no radioactive waste. The ‘heads’ of radiotherapy devices will
National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020
[Provisions]  be radioactive waste but the modern ones need to be returned to the manufacturer when obsolete and
all manufacturers are overseas.’11
5 Kimba as an international grain farming area. Kimba farming land is an important part of South
Australia’s just 4.5 per cent agricultural cropping land. This flawed Federal government process has
seriously divided and damaged the Kimba agricultural and town community and presents a reputational
and material impact risk to their livelihood and community cohesion.
*Kimba farmer James Shepherdson names the long term implications of the one off federal government
promise of payment: ‘Farmers are under scrutiny and at the beck and call of buyers and brokers, and to
risk what is an $80m income for this district every 12 months, for a one-off $20m payment, that’s
absurd.The people in favour (of the facility being built), I can see it from their point of view, they want
financial prosperity for the town and area, but to risk it all just for a bit of prosperity is madness.
“Seeing as this is the entire nation’s waste, and we all share the responsibility of nuclear medicine, why
shouldn’t it be a national decision? 12

*Farmer Peter Woolford, President of No Radioactive Waste Dump on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA
summarises the seriousness of the local divisive campaign: ‘if you want to know what intimidation is, you
stand between people and money.’13
*Tom Harris who has been farming in Kimba for over 50 years has named with some distress the current
doubt by insurance agents regarding his insurance viability because of its proximity of his farm to the
nuclear storage site; this may jeopardise his sons’ succession.13
*Barry Wakelin, the retired Coalition federal member, is another of the farmers fiercely opposing the plan
and the danger to the Kimba international grain markets. In the face of groundwater, transport and
serious, hugely long-term safety risks, Wakelin insists, ‘This is a national issue, not something that a
regional community should be left to deal with.’14

6.The Restrictive Voting Area The final deciding Kimba vote was confined to a restricted area from the
central Kimba Council. As well as the Barngala people being excluded many farmers were also.James
Shepherdson notes, ’We’ve got people who are closer to the site than the township of Kimba is, but aren’t
in the council boundary, who did not get a vote.’16 One farming couple opposed to the facility were denied
a vote even though just a road separates their farm from the proposed site
On December 5th 2019 farmer Terry Schmucker outlined the historical process which eventuated in such a
restricted vote: ‘Both nominated sites near Kimba are closer to the council boundary than the Kimba
township or the centre of the district. I live at Cootra which shares councils. Our farm is 8 km from the
waste site and I did get a vote but my immediate neighbors don’t. If the 50 km radius was applied at
Kimba like it is at Hawker the vote would fail at these waste sites. Our neighborhood is split in half by the
vote here. Volunteers from our neighbourhood that are members of the local fire service attend incidents
around the waste dump site area and yet most didn’t get a vote. We have already been through this once
already where everyone was on equal terms. The minister at the time has already ruled there was not
broad community support. However the landholder that nominated his land the first time then
renominated a different part of his farm and his friends and family within the Kimba council moved for a
vote of only the council area. The community funding has now been restricted to the Kimba council area
only. Because of this people are looking at the large inducement not the radioactive waste issues.’ 17
Explaining the wideranging effect on markets of assocation by location to the NRWMF, Tom Harris
declares ‘At the least, the entire Eyre Peninsula should have been consulted. It’s not only the grain
exports, you’ve got to realise there’s the fishing industry at Port Lincoln, there’s oysters out of Cowell. The
Eyre Peninsula is isolated, but it’s a very healthy, productive area for South Australia and creates a lot of
wealth. A lot more wealth than any waste dump could ever provide for SA. ‘!
7. The Flawed Consultation process. Much has been made of the fact by government personnel that
there were ‘years of consultations’ with the stakeholders in the Kimba locality. Unfortunately as our members
 are only too aware from knowledge of the years of dissatifaction experienced by locals in both
proposed SA regions opposed to the project, the consultations were, in fact, only in the form of
information about already decided government plans with a determined resistance to hear considered
and factual genuine objections from those opposed.
Our Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle in fact had personal experience of this approach.Following our
letters of concern about the whole issue to the then Minister, a meeting was convened by Minister
Canavan with our own members and two members of the relevant government department. A
consistent line of dismissal of our informed comments and objections by members was the pattern of the
meeting. As one member recalled, ‘ I remembered the emphasis seemed to be on avoiding or stalling
replies to our comments and questions. I also remember one man actually speaking over us when we
made comments. I thought then it was a “political” meeting to find out more about us and with attempts
to influence us to withdraw our objections.‘19
8.The Need for Consultation in the chosen Port and along Transport routes 1) In July 2018 the Federal
government within their departmental documentation named Whyalla or Port Pirie as required nuclear
waste ports facing decades of shipments of ANSTO reprocessed nuclear fuel waste imports to SA: Two
shipments of nuclear fuel waste in 130 tonne TN-18 casks are intended in the first 2 years of operations
including a shipment of reprocessed nuclear fuel wastes from UK in the early 2020’s and a shipment from
Lucas Heights, then multiple future shipments direct from France. 20
The affected Eyre Peninsula, Whyalla and transport route communities have been denied a say on these
Federal plans and now face potential serious reputational risks and material impacts. The Whyalla City
Council states there has had no advice from Federal or SA governments on use of the Port. Whyalla is
targeted for nuclear waste shipments and should have a right to refuse untenable plans.
2) Some 100 x B-Double truckloads (see p.179 Government documents) of Intermediate Level Wastes
(LLILW) are also to be trucked into SA, primarily from Lucas Heights, in the first four years of Nuclear
Store operations in SA. 21 That there has been no consultation at all to those communtities along the
transport routes mean that Federal government processes are a direct breach of advice from the Nuclear
Safety Committee. In a letter to ARPANSA CEO Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson (Nov 2016), Nuclear Safety
Committee Chair Dr Tamie Weaver stressed the “ongoing requirement to clearly and effectively engage all
stakeholders, including those along transport routes…such engagement “is essential”. 22
State Rights Overridden The proposed nuclear waste facility is illegal under South Australia’s Nuclear
Waste Facility (Prohibition) Act, introduced by the SA Liberal Government in the year 2000 and
strengthened by the SA Labor Government in 2002. The federal government is expected to take the
draconian and unacceptable step of using regulations to specifically override the SA Nuclear Waste Facility
(Prohibition) Act. South Australians are opposed to the proposed nuclear waste facility: a 2015 survey
found just 15.7% support for a nuclear waste dump, and a 2018 survey found that those who strongly
agreed with stopping the dump outnumbered those who strongly disagreed by a factor of three (41:14).
Submission 7
Conclusion The first three months of the current year 2020 have proved beyond all doubt that the future
of the planet and its peoples is in unprecendented crises. In this scenario our members, many of whom
have spent a lifetime in the education of young people declare It is unconscionable that the present
federal government by proposing an interim storage above ground facility in country South Australia
should be passing the responsibility and bestowing high risk down the road for next generations to deal
with. Now is the time for a genuinely safe plan for Australia’s long term intermediate nuclear waste. The
time for cavalier action in the face of real evidence and human and environmentally linked risk is over.
This is a project full of huge risks in an unprecendented time of enormous risks. It must not go ahead.
1. The Senate Economics Legislation Committee should recommend the withdrawal or rejection of the
National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill 2020 and repeal of the National
Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Act.
Alternative Recommendations
1 The Committee should assess the compatibility of the Act, the Bill and the proposed nuclear waste
facility with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in particular the principle of free,
prior and informed consent.
2. Given that the government has consistently failed to provide any logical justification for doublehandling
of intermediate-level waste, the Committee should recommend that intermediate-level waste
stored at ANSTO’s Lucas Heights site should remain there until a long-term solution is realised.
3.The Committee should recommend that the Bill is withdrawn, and the federal government’s nuclear
waste agenda put on hold, until such time as public opinion among other relevant stakeholders is
determined (including state-wide opinion in SA; and opinion along potential transport corridors).
Thank you for receiving and heeding our Submission
Michele Madigan for the Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle
25th March 2020
Footnotes as requested
1. Jason Bilney Chair BDAC Sarah Martin The Guardian 26th February 2020
2. Jeanne Miller video link :
3. Kim Mavromatis general email 6/2/20
4. NRWM Act Section 12 and 13 and Section 11
5. Frequent saying of former Minister Canavan quoted in notes and audios of various consultations
eg Hawker SA, Kimba SA Quoted in M Madigan Eureka Street Marchers Unite against federal
nuclear dump 27/8/2018
6. Pope Francis Laudato Si An Encyclical Letter on Ecology and Climate 2015
7. Nuclear Safety Committee International Best Practice p 16 2013
8. David Noonan Briefinf document email 27/2/20
9. Waniwa Lucy Lester, Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle meeting convened with Department
representatives. Bethany, St Joseph’s Convent Kensington SA 2018
10. Bill Williams and Dr Peter K Friends of the Earth Friends of the Earth Nuclear medicine and the
proposed national radioactive waste dump
11. Dr Susi Andersson email to Michele Madigan Quoted in 23rd November 2019 Responses to
Farmers and Traditional Owners decry SA nuclear vote 20th November Eureka Street
12. James Shepherdson Stock Journal February 6, 2020
13. Peter Woolford Speech at Kimba SA Rally Feb 2nd 2020 M Madigan notes
14. Tom Harris Speech at Kimba SA Rally Feb 2nd 2020 M Madigan notes
15. Barry Wakelin Speech at Kimba SA Rally Feb 2nd 2020 M Madigan notes
16. James Shepherdson Stock Journal February 6, 2020
17. Terry Schmucker, December 5, 2019 Written Response to M Madigan Eureka Street article
Farmers and Traditional Owners decry SA nuclear vote November 20th 2019
18. Tom Harris as above
19. Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle member email 20/2/20 in preparation for Circle submission
20. Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Government 18 page Information document
researched by David Noonan
21. David Noonan Briefing document
22. NSC Chairperson Dr Tamie Weaver Letter to Dr Carl- Magnus Larsson CEO ARPANSA November

April 7, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

To 7 April – Nuclear and climate news

Global problems intertwine. Global heating contributes to epidemics of infectious diseases, by promoting the spread of disease vectors, like mosquitoes.  There is no established link between covid-19 and climate change. However, the way we are altering the planet will make the spread of some diseases more likely.  National responses to the coronavirus pandemic bring the opportunity to tackle climate change.  To get a perspective – the climate crisis is a greater catastrophe than Coronavirus.

The current story of Captain Brett Crozier, captain of the nuclear aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, illustrates the moral poverty of the secretive nuclear culture, and the moral poverty of USA’s nuclear commander-in-chief, Donald Trump. The ship, with nearly 5000 crew, had a number of cases of coronavirus. The captain wrote to the Navy, begging to have the sailors evacuated, a plea which was rejected. Later, the sailors were evacuated, but the captain was fired.  President Trump explained that what Crozier did “was terrible” .

But that’s just one nuclear ship – what about the world’s nuclear ships and nuclear submarines? How safe  are they, with warship crews now falling victim to COVID-19 ?

Some bits of good news –   Another Roundup of Positive Updates on the COVID Outbreaks From Around the World. Earth’s Ozone Layer Continues to Repair Itself. (Also – if you can persevere with  the video “Sam and the Plant Next Door”- it’s  quite uplifting. )


The importance of strengthening the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC). Submissions due by 17 April.

Doctors warn on coronavirus danger for Australian citizen, Julian Assange, imprisoned without conviction, in a coronavirus incubator.

NUCLEAR. Outlandish claims made by Byron Shire Councillors, (Greens!!) promoting mobile Small Nuclear Reactors.

CLIMATE. Finally, Australia’s energy network planning will include climate policies.     Australia has what it needs to go “all in” and reach zero emissions by 2035.  Under cover of pandemic, fossil fuel interests unleash lobbying frenzy. Sorry to disappoint climate deniers, but coronavirus makes the low-carbon transition more urgent.  Big swings to the Greens in Brisbane wards elections.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Northern Territory offers $6,000 grant for home batteries, cuts solar tariff.  NT plans big battery in Darwin to cut gas costs and accelerate solar. NSW approves critical Snowy 2.0 factory as more energy experts call for project halt. Final Government approvals for core lithium to move on first lithium production in the NTSolar constraints could be relaxed before end of April, clearing path for new projects. Rooftop solar charts another big month, but Covid-19 clouds future.  How your home battery can help keep the grid stable and prices down.


Despite propaganda from nuclear/coal front group, Breakthrough Institute, NOW IS the time to talk about climate changeThe Climate Crisis Will Be Just as Shockingly Abrupt as the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Put people and health before nukesNew hypersonic weaponry complicates Nuclear Arms Control Regime. Noam Chomsky on the urgent need to eradicate nuclear weapons.

Covid 19 and government responses are affecting nuclear construction world-wide. The nuclear industry and the impact of coronavirus.   A creeping catastrophe: the world’s nuclear reactors are getting dangerously old.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Under cover of pandemic, fossil fuel interests unleash lobbying frenzy — RenewEconomy

Oil and gas sector, including in Australia, ramps up lobbying for financial support and the repeal of environmental regulations due to Covid-19 pandemic. The post Under cover of pandemic, fossil fuel interests unleash lobbying frenzy appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Under cover of pandemic, fossil fuel interests unleash lobbying frenzy — RenewEconomy

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sorry to disappoint climate deniers, but coronavirus makes the low-carbon transition more urgent — RenewEconomy

There is every reason to expect that the virus crisis will strengthen and accelerate the imperative to transition to a low-carbon world by mid-century. The post Sorry to disappoint climate deniers, but coronavirus makes the low-carbon transition more urgent appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Sorry to disappoint climate deniers, but coronavirus makes the low-carbon transition more urgent — RenewEconomy

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Northern Territory offers $6,000 grant for home batteries, cuts solar tariff — RenewEconomy

Northern Territory to provide $6,000 grant for homes and businesses to install battery storage, funded by a cut in the solar feed in tariff. The post Northern Territory offers $6,000 grant for home batteries, cuts solar tariff appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Northern Territory offers $6,000 grant for home batteries, cuts solar tariff — RenewEconomy

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Contrary to the schills for the polluting industries – NOW really Is the time to be talking about climate change

This is exactly the time to be talking about climate change, Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Editor, Green Biz Group, Green Biz,  March 31, 2020 –  I rarely get exasperated from reading environmental business media, but a quote last week in a Bloomberg article about sustainability and the U.S. economic crisis got me headed in that direction.

The quote came from Ted Nordhaus, co-founder of the Breakthrough Institute, a research group whose founders, self-described environmentalists, have made a career out of being gadflies — for example, arguing in favor of nuclear power and natural gas, arguing against putting a price on carbon emissions and claiming that there’s no real limit to the earth’s carrying capacity, or that energy efficiency doesn’t work because of something called the “rebound effect.”

I’ll leave it to you to proceed down the wormhole of websites critiquing the group’s analyses. Suffice to say that the Breakthrough Institute has become a darling of the anti-science, pro-pollution conservative right, which frequently cites its work in order to attack environmentalists and climate scientists and their fact-based policy recommendations.

Here’s last week’s quote, in reference to the notion of integrating climate measures into congressional appropriations as we rebuild the economy reeling from the coronavirus pandemic:

…  he says. “It would be tone-deaf to talk about climate change now.”

It’s a specious ploy often used by conservatives. Following a mass shooting, it’s not the right time to talk about gun control. Following a hurricane, it’s not the right time to talk about climate-exacerbated weather events. Following the police shooting of an unarmed black man, it’s not the right time to talk about race relations and inequality.

Of course, later on, when it’s presumably “the right time,” the public’s fickle attention likely has moved on to other front-burner topics.

Just because a problem isn’t in the news doesn’t mean it somehow has been solved. All of the above challenges remain, pandemic or not. And, to varying degrees, they all need to be kept alive, even amid other pressing priorities.

So, Nordhaus is dead wrong: This is exactly the right time to be talking about climate change.

In fact, we need to be talking unapologetically about climate, the clean economy, renewable energy, resilient food systems, sustainable mobility, the circular economy and the Sustainable Development Goals with more vigor than ever…….

April 6, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

A salute to Captain Brett Crozier as a hero

This story says nothing about this being a nuclear-powered ship. But underlying this whole thing is the fact of the (probably necessary) culture of secrecy that surrounds all things nuclear. This is yet another example of how the nuclear culture means that it is “preferable” for people to die, rather than have the truth get out.


Captain Crozier Is a Hero, Theodore Roosevelt, my great-grandfather, would agree.  By Tweed Roosevelt, Mr. Roosevelt is a great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt and the chairman of the Theodore Roosevelt Institute at Long Island University. April 3, 2020  

On Monday, Capt. Brett Crozier, the commander of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, sent a letter to the Navy pleading for permission to unload his crew, including scores of sailors sickened with Covid-19, in Guam, where it was docked. The Pentagon had been dragging its feet, and the situation on the ship was growing dire.  “We are not at war,” he wrote. “Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our sailors.”

After the letter was leaked to The San Francisco Chronicle, the Navy relented. But on Thursday, it relieved Captain Crozier of his command.

In removing Captain Crozier, the Navy said that his letter was a gross error that could incite panic among his crew. But it’s hard to know what else he could have done — the situation on the Theodore Roosevelt was dire.

Ships at sea, whether Navy carriers or cruise ships, are hotbeds for this disease. Social distancing is nearly impossible: The sailors are practically on top of one another all day, in crowded messes, in cramped sleeping quarters and on group watches.

It is thought that a sailor caught the virus while on shore leave in Vietnam. Once on board, the virus took its now predictable course: First a sailor or two, then dozens, and all of a sudden more than 100 were sick.

Captain Crozier received orders to take the ship to Guam, but he was not given permission to offload most of the sailors. The virus was threatening to overwhelm the small medical crew aboard. There was not much time before sailors might start dying.

The captain felt he had to act immediately if he was to save his sailors. He chose to write a strong letter, which he distributed to a number of people within the Navy, demanding immediate removal from the ship of as many sailors as possible. Perhaps this was not the best approach for his career, but it got results…….

The acting secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly, summarily fired the captain, not for leaking the letter (for which he said he had no proof), but for showing “extremely poor judgment.” Many disagree, believing that Captain Crozier showed excellent judgment. He left the ship Thursday night to a rousing hero’s sendoff………

April 6, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The wrong crisis stopped the Olympics — Beyond Nuclear International

The Games are postponed but what took them so long?

via The wrong crisis stopped the Olympics — Beyond Nuclear International

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NT plans big battery in Darwin to cut gas costs and accelerate solar — RenewEconomy

Northern Territory finally endorses big battery for Darwin grid, which will deliver 5-year payback and help expansion of solar power needed to meet 50% renewables target. The post NT plans big battery in Darwin to cut gas costs and accelerate solar appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via NT plans big battery in Darwin to cut gas costs and accelerate solar — RenewEconomy

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


TRUMP BROKE FAITH WITH CAPT. CROZIER AND ALL OUR SAILORS,  Crooked,  KEN HARBAUGH / APR.3.20  More than a dozen members of Congress on Friday condemned the U.S. Navy’s decision to dismiss the Commanding Officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Earlier this week, in a memo leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle, Capt. Brett Crozier accused the Navy of jeopardizing the lives of his crew, by failing to take swift action to mitigate an outbreak of COVID-19 aboard his ship. “Keeping over 4000 young men and women aboard the TR,” he wrote, “is an unnecessary risk and breaks faith with those Sailors entrusted to our care.” ….

How did we reach this point, with the commanding officer of one of America’s most powerful warships pleading for the lives of his crew? The U.S. Navy, like the rest of America’s military, is rigidly hierarchical. It has to be. Deployed forces must be relied upon to carry out the orders of their commander in chief. From day one, every service member learns the importance of adhering to the chain of command. But what happens when the most unreliable link in that chain is its very first one?

President Trump has demonstrated, time and again, that he has no qualms about using the military to advance his personal political ends. He routinely stages uniformed personnel as props for partisan speeches. He treats deployments like political theater, as when he dispatched elements of the 82nd Airborne to the southern border to stoke fears of an immigrant invasion. And he undermines discipline and unit cohesion, pardoning war criminals convicted by military juries.

The rot may start at the top, but it reaches downwards………..

The current crisis aboard the USS Roosevelt lays bare the dangers of blind obeisance to President Trump. When the COVID-19 virus first began to impact the military’s overseas operations, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper warned commanders not to take any action that might surprise or embarrass the White House, or challenge the president’s messaging about the crisis. For those on board the USS Roosevelt, the downstream effect of that order may well be deadly.  …….

How do we support these leaders, those with the courage to challenge blatantly political directives that needlessly endanger the lives of those they lead? To begin with, we must acknowledge what civilian control of the military actually means. It is not simply allegiance to the president. It requires Congress to perform effective oversight. Now, more than ever, America needs its elected representatives to hold military leaders accountable.

By law, every service member has a right to alert any member of Congress about issues within the military, provided no classified information is exchanged. For those in uniform who may not trust their own representatives, there are plenty of young veterans now in Congress (including one bad-ass female Navy pilot), who have no patience with the sycophancy infecting the Pentagon. Many of these representatives have come to the defense of Capt. Crozier.

Most importantly, the American public must do its part. We must remain alert whenever our armed forces are misused by the president. The American military belongs to us, not him. In his letter, Capt. Crozier alludes to the absurd politics behind the catastrophe unfolding aboard the USS Roosevelt. “This will require a political solution,” he writes, “but it is the right thing to do. Sailors do not need to die.” ………..

Ken Harbaugh is a former Navy pilot and nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives. Follow him on Twitter at @Team_Harbaugh.


April 6, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Donald Trump blasts Brett Crozier, Captain of the Theodore Roosevelt nuclear-powered aircraft carrier

‘He shouldn’t be talking that way’: Trump rips ousted Navy captain, Politico, 5 Apr 20

The president criticized Capt. Brett Crozier in harsh terms for a letter he wrote to Navy leaders notifying them of a spike in coronavirus cases among sailors on his carrier.  Trump said he fully supported Crozier’s removal….

“I thought it was terrible, what he did, to write a letter. I mean, this isn’t a class on literature. This is a captain of a massive ship that’s nuclear powered. And he shouldn’t be talking that way in a letter,” Trump said……

More than 150 Roosevelt crew members have so far tested positive for Covid-19, the Navy said on Saturday. Forty-four percent of the crew has been tested, while more than 1,500 sailors have moved ashore as a smaller crew remains on board to sanitize the ship and keep its essential systems running.

Democrats in the House and Senate are now asking the Pentagon’s top watchdog to investigate whether Modly acted improperly [in firing Captain Crozier]. In a letter to acting Pentagon Inspector General Glenn Fine, 17 Senate Democrats, led by Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, requested a probe of both Crozier’s firing and the carrier’s outbreak……. ……

April 6, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

NSW approves critical Snowy 2.0 factory as more energy experts call for project halt — RenewEconomy

Snowy 2.0 tunnel segment factory gets planning approval as environmental groups and energy experts call for project to be halted, pending independent review. The post NSW approves critical Snowy 2.0 factory as more energy experts call for project halt appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via NSW approves critical Snowy 2.0 factory as more energy experts call for project halt — RenewEconomy

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trump Administration is using a pandemic to hand out gifts to its favorite polluters

April 6, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Wildfires threaten Chernobyl radioactive area

April 6, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Harmful Contacts with our Living Earth and Redounding Shots Across the Bow — robertscribbler

About two-thirds of all infectious diseases in humans have their origins in animals. Scientists say the ability of a virus to mutate and adapt from animals to the human system is very rare, but the expansion of the human footprint is making that rare event much more likely. — Jeff Berardelli Contact — the state or […]

via Harmful Contacts with our Living Earth and Redounding Shots Across the Bow — robertscribbler

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment