Australian news, and some related international items

Dennis Matthews on “Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail” final episode

Dennis Matthews, 24 Aug 15 Watched the final episode tonight. The Canadian-Australian physicist comes up with the inevitable physicists conclusion, we need nuclear energy. This program takes the cake for outright sneekiness. After looking at the aftermath of Chernobyl and Fukushima any normal person would have no alternative but to conclude that nuclear is a non-starter.

Along the way, the physicist-turned-journalist contradicts himself when he acknowledges that in cases of (ionising) radiation it is difficult to make a connection between cause and effect and that (like asbestos) the deaths may come many years after the event, yet a few minutes later he definitively claims that no one was killed by (ionising) radiation at Fukushima. This is straight out of the nuclear industry handbook.

He also interviewed a pro-nuclear medical researcher who was allowed to state unchallenged that low doses of (ionising) radiation MAY be good for you and that the human species has adapted to background ionising radiation. Given that we have, at the moment, no way of distinguishing many cancers and birth defects caused by ionising radiation from those caused by other agents (e.g., chemical) then these are outrageous statements and do no credit either to the medical researcher or to the scientific credentials of the journalist.

All-in-all a fairly crude attempt to sway public opinion. Given its timing I would have to conclude that this is another piece of pro-nuclear propaganda timed for the Scarce debacle.


August 25, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Climate expert Connie Hedegaard in Australia to discuss Paris talks

Map-Abbott-climateHear-This-wayEurope’s former Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard on Paris climate talks

In December this year, world leaders will gather in Paris in an attempt to nut out a global emissions pact.

Many countries, including Australia, have recently announced their pledges for reducing emissions post 2020.

But late last week, the EU warned that the technical talks were proceeding too slowly, and even lagging behind the political announcements.

Europe’s former and first ever Climate Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, is in Australia for a series of speaking engagements.

Connie Hedegaard joins Fran Kelly on RN Breakfast.

August 24, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

The devil in the Trans Pacific Partnership – ‘Investor State Dispute Swttlement’

Hear-This-wayInvestor State Dispute Swttlement : The devil in the trade deal

logo-anti-TPPISDS, a provision in trade agreements that allows foreign investors to sue host governments, has become a ticking time bomb inside trade agreements like the soon to be signed Trans Pacific Partnership. Jess Hill investigates.

The Trans Pacific Partnership is the biggest trade deal in history: 12 countries, including Australia and the United States, that account for 800 million people and 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. After languishing on the negotiating table for years, the TPP could now be signed within weeks. …

What is ISDS? Put bluntly, it’s a provision that allows foreign investors to sue governments for policy decisions that harm their investments.

ISDS shows up in thousands of international agreements, including dozens that Australia has already signed. In 2011, the Productivity Commission warned that ‘experience in other countries demonstrates that there are considerable policy and financial risks arising from ISDS provisions’. ISDS is widely expected to be included in the Trans Pacific Partnership.

What could be defined as ‘harming’ a company’s interests? It could be something patently unfair, like a government nationalising a privately owned factory. But it could also be something done in the public interest, like banning a chemical, imposing strict conditions on a coal mine, or putting a moratorium on coal seam gas exploration.

July 27, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

South Australia’s agriculture in danger from nuclear developments

Hear-This-wayFormer agricultural scientist Phillipa Rowland shares her concerns about nuclear energy in South Australia   ABC Rural |Clint Jasper  Phillipa Rowland points out that even though nuclear accidents occur infrequently, the consequences are enormous, and this risk pattern must be factored into the debate about South Australia’s long term energy mix.


May 26, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | 1 Comment

AUDIO: Aboriginal concerns over South Australia’s plans to store nuclear wastes

Hear-This-wayKarina Lester from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands explains her community’s concern about nuclear waste dumps. ABC Rural  Clint Jasper, 25 May 15 Karina Lester is concerned people living in remote communities like the APY lands won’t have the same voice in the debate about South Australia’s long term energy mix. She’s also concerned about the likelihood of nuclear waste storage facilities being built in remote outback locations.


May 26, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | 1 Comment

AUDIO: Paris climate deal faces hurdles

climate-changeHear-This-wayNew climate deal faces hurdles

Originally broadcast on Thursday 21 May 2015 7:30PM, repeated Sunday 24 May 2015 10:00AM

With six months to go until the next global climate treaty talks in Paris, environmentalist and former US vice president Al Gore has declared that “the future of the world depends” on their outcome. Lord Nigel Lawson, former energy secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s government, delivers his assessment of the prospects of the world reaching a new climate deal. (29min 20sec)

(Background information about Lord Nigel Lawson and the Global Warming Policy Foundation is available on the DeSmogBlog website at: and – and on the SourceWatch website at: and The program presenter, Tom Switzer, is an Adjunct Fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs –his profile is available at:

May 24, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Latest research on battery energy storage

battey TeslaHear-This-wayDeveloping new batteries for cars, houses, devices and the grid

Saturday 23 May 2015

Bigger, better and cheaper batteries promise to change our world. Their capabilities will determine how we use small devices, what cars are produced, and how energy is supplied to households.  But are some battery technologies approaching their limits? Where to next?  The answer is new materials. We hear excerpts from this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in San Jose where speakers report on the latest lines of research, the challenges ahead and the prospects when current hurdles with batteries are overcome.

May 24, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Podcast – Impacts of uranium mining in Australia and abroad

podcastSmRadioactive Responsibility – Impacts of uranium mining in Australia and abroad 18 April 2015  Download MP3

Safeguarding radioactive materials from impacting public and environmental health and from military use is essential for a safe and healthy future. But as the risks increase, big business and government seeking short-term profit are seen to be distancing themselves further from their responsibility to keep these materials from endangering life on earth.

Lauren Mellor (Environment Centre of the Northern Territory) brings us an update on the Ranger uranium mine and Kumar Sundaram (Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace in India) talks about the latest developments in the negotiation for a nuclear deal between Australia and India.

– See more at:



May 6, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Hear This Podcast: Tilman Ruff on “Stumbling in the Dark”

Hear-This-way  “Since nuclear weapons entered our world, everything has changed, whether we like it or not, ready or not.” – Tilman Ruff

In this beautifully sad and compelling essay ‘Stumbling in the Dark, Reaching for the Light,’ which is written and read by Tilman Ruff, we hear about the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons, which is our greatest existential challenge of all time. Weaved throughout a dark and emotive soundscape, Ruff tells us how our basic and most fundamental human rights are at risk while roughly 16,000 nuclear weapons still exist in the world.


April 24, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

AUDIO: solar powered help for cyclone-ravaged Vanuatu

Hear-This-wayAUDIO: A solar powered recovery  31 March, 2015 ABC Radio New England North West 
By Tawar Razaghi  An Armidale-led campaign to solar power the Cyclone Pam recovery When Cyclone Pam tore through the south pacific island of Vanuatu almost two weeks ago, the wild weather left most of the country without access to clean water, food and electricity.

It captured the attention of Armidale resident and solar businessman Rob Taber. He’s since begun collecting second hand solar panels to donate to Vanuatu in the hope of restoring basic power to the island.

Mr Taber proposed the idea at Australia’s Solar Energy Industries Association state conference and says he received overwhelming support from members and it’s now a national campaign.

“I put to the conference that maybe we have solar panels in warehouses, even second hand panels that are tested, that are quite okay, that we could send to Vanuatu,” Rob Taber said……..

If you would like to help, you can contact the Solar Energy Industries Association or by email at

April 2, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

AUDIO Bypassing Big Power

Hear-This-wayAUDIO Bypassing Big Power, Radio National  The government, the opposition and the senate crossbenchers continue to wrangle on what level the Renewable Energy Target should be.

But, as technology improves, how widespread is the move by consumers to bypass big power?
A look at the current state of consumer-driven renewable energy.

March 27, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Impasse on Renewable Energy Target (Abbott’s coal-fired government likes it that way)

Hear-This-wayAUDIO: Stand-off continues on Australia’s renewable energy target ABC Radio PM Stephanie Smail reported this story on Monday, March 16, 2015 MARK COLVIN: The stand-off over Australia’s renewable energy target continues, despite a looming deadline that could see some companies facing hefty penalties.

In Canberra today, business, clean energy groups and unions indicated they weren’t happy with the current target on offer from the Coalition.

They were meeting the Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. But the Environment Minister Greg Hunt insists that he’s still confident a consensus will be reached.

Stephanie Smail reports. …….

March 18, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Response of Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara women to Nuclear Commission

Hear-This-wayRose and Karina Lester on Nuclear Commission March 2015 .Interview with Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara interpretation  Duration 45:25  |  Recorded on 20 February 2015.Download Audio (62.3 MB)

This interview is with Karina and Rose Lester about their response to Premier Weatherill’s establishment of a Royal Commission into the use of Nuclear Energy in South Australia.

 Karina and Rose tell us about how nuclear energy has affected Aboriginal communities in the past and they share the direct experience of their own family.

They urge people to find out about the Commission and to get involved and to have their voices heard.

The interview responses are in Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara language, with short summaries provided in English.

March 16, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | 1 Comment

ABC Radio broadcast on “Merchants of Doubt”

Hear-This-wayAUDIO ABC Radio National Science Show program broadcast–doubt/6286330      7 March 2015

The book Merchants of Doubt is now a film. In Merchants of Doubt, historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway explain how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. In chapters addressing tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, and DDT, Oreskes and Conway expose this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how the ideology of free market fundamentalism, aided by a too-compliant media, has skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.  (from


March 9, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

AUDIO: How will the Queensland election result impact the state’s solar energy?

Hear-This-wayHow will the Qld election result impact the state’s solar energy?

Thursday 5 February 2015

With the wait to find out who will govern in Queensland almost over, the fate of the renewable energy sector will soon be learned.

If Labor forms government, it will be a welcome result by the sector, which is hopeful of a turnaround in its fortunes in the state.

The ALP made a number of promises favourable to the sector in the campaign, including a solar target of a million homes by 2020.

But in a cash strapped economy, will they deliver?

Guests John Grimes  CEO of the Australian Solar Council

Credits Producer Cathy Van Extel

February 6, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment