Australian news, and some related international items

Much of Australia might simply become too hot and dry for human habitation

January 16, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

The prosecution of Julian Assange – a travesty of justice

January 16, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Australia’s fire-driven storms are pumping smoke into the stratosphere

Australia’s fire-driven storms are pumping smoke into the stratosphere,  15 January 2020 By Adam Vaughan  Thunderstorms generated by the Australian bushfires are very likely to have pumped as much smoke into the stratosphere as a volcanic eruption.

Blazes across the country in the past few weeks have been so intense they have generated their own weather. They create rising air mixed with ash and smoke that results in thunderstorm clouds above the fires called pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCbs).

Some of these are strong enough and rise high enough to have channelled smoke into the stratosphere, a plume of which has crossed the Atlantic Ocean in an eastward direction. NASA says this plume has now made a full circuit around the Earth. There were at least 20 pyroCbs between 28 and 31 December, and more on 4 January, some of which injected smoke into the stratosphere.

The scale of the smoke in the stratosphere has now been calculated by David Peterson at the US Naval Research Laboratory, who is presenting his preliminary findings to the American Meteorological Society at a meeting in Boston later today.

“It’s very likely on a volcanic scale,” he says. “The big thing here is really the impact that this is having on the stratosphere.” Although not of the scale of the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, the largest in modern history, the effect is similar to a more moderate eruption, Peterson says.

In 2017, Peterson found that Canadian wildfires put as much smoke as a volcano into the stratosphere. He is now working to apply the same technique to the Australian fires and thunderstorms. “At this point I can tell you that this event is one of the largest, it’s very near the top. I can’t say for sure if it’s the biggest,” he says, in terms of the amount of smoke injected into the stratosphere.

While it is well known that a volcanic eruption can put enough aerosols into the atmosphere to have a cooling effect, the different chemistry of pyroCbs means the impacts of the fires on global temperatures aren’t yet entirely clear.

They may have a warming or cooling effect, and it isn’t known how long the smoke will persist at heights of between around 10 and 50 kilometres high, which is roughly where the stratosphere starts and finishes. Peterson says the biggest question is what role proyCbs are playing in the climate system. Some of the smoke plumes are also getting high enough to affect the ozone layer.

We may have answers to some of these unknowns soon though, thanks to NASA flying a plane earlier this year through the upper level of a pyroCb generated by US wildfires. “It wasn’t as massive as these Australia plumes but fortunately at an altitude the aircraft could get to it,” says Peterson. The resulting direct observations of the chemistry will, along with satellite measurements, help unlock the answers.

Alan Robock at Rutgers University in New Jersey says any potential cooling effect from the bushfire smoke is unlikely to be huge at a global level, but could cause cooling of several degrees Celsius at a local level. If the Australian pyroCbs produce twice as much smoke as those from Canada in 2017, “it still would not be a large or long-lasting impact on climate,” he says.

However, the smoke can persist in the stratosphere for half a year or longer, as at such heights it can be heated by the sun and lofted even further up, prolonging its lifetime.

“This is the same process we have modelled in our studies of the climatic consequences of nuclear war in which much more smoke from burning cities and industrial areas would be lofted into the stratosphere and last for years,” says Robock. As such, analysis of the smoke from the bushfires could help improve simulations of the impact of nuclear Armageddon.

Our knowledge of pyroCbs is at an early stage. These thunderstorms and the smoke they put into the stratosphere have only been detectable via satellite instruments since the early 2000s, and previously were thought to be the result of volcanic eruptions, until analysis traced them back to wildfires.

January 16, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, reference | Leave a comment

World Economic Forum focusses on climate change, Australia snubs the Forum

January 16, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment

Australian Nuclear Technology and Science Organisation, (ANSTO), jumps on the bushfire propaganda bandwagon

Today, 15 January, there was a ’round table” meeting, (I think in Canberra) of “top scientists” on the urgent need to develop new bushfire adaptation and mitigation techniques.

And guess who’s at the top of the list in these TOP SCIENTISTS ON CLIMATE CHANGE. Why, none other than The Australian Nuclear Technology and Science Organisation, (ANSTO)

Of course, ANSTO is prominent in promoting the lie that nuclear power is the solution to climate change. They’ve put in submissions to parliamentary inquiries, You can bet that they’ve got one in now, to the Victorian Inquiry (submissions close 28 February.) One must admire the timing of the nuclear lobby’s manipulations, and the speed with which they are jumping on the bushfire-fix bandwagon.

January 15, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina reviews, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

New short films show the shocking impact of nuclear waste plan on the Kimba community

Kimba community members speak on nuclear debate, Rachel McDonald 10 Jan 2020,

The stories of Kimba farming families and local townspeople opposed to the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in the district have had their story documented in a message to wider Australia.

Port Pirie filmmaker Kim Mavromatis has released a series of mini-documentaries over the past three months telling the stories of communities impacted by the four-year process to determine whether the facility had broad community support at Kimba or Hawker.

Mr Mavromatis said he had been following the debate around both the waste facility and the SA nuclear fuel cycle process, and he believed the communities involved were only given one side of the story throughout consultation.

“At the end of the day… the government weren’t doing the right thing by the people,” he said.

“The people that are fighting back really need to be heard.”

He said as a member of the Port Pirie community he had also been concerned that his community, which could potentially see the waste transported through their town or port, had not had the same opportunity for consultation as the Kimba and Hawker communities who late last year participated in community ballots to measure support for the proposal.

In one of Mr Mavromatis’s videos, Kimba locals and members of the No Radioactive Waste Facility for Kimba District group spoke about why they remained opposed to the proposal, and the impact the years of uncertainty and community debate has had on them personally.

Among those featured were neighbours of the proposed sites.

Secretary of the group Toni Scott said through the years they had discussed ways of getting their message out to a wider audience, and while it was difficult for many to tell their story there were still many people across the wider Eyre Peninsula and the state who needed to know what was going on as a final decision looms.

“We’re at the stage now where we really want to create as much awareness as we can,” she said.

“We’re hoping people can relate to it.”

Many of the interviewees featured are visibly emotional in the film, which Mrs Scott said was an unintentional outcome of individuals being encouraged to share their stories openly.

“Those raw emotions just came out… I think it’s important for people to see that and realise how affected members of our community actually are,” she said.

Mr Mavromatis said it was “shocking” to see first-hand the impact on the community.

“It’s their livelihood, it’s their future, it’s their kids’ future and it’s permanent,” he said.

The filmmaker has also created a documentary about the impact of the process on the Barngarla people, who in an independent ballot last year voted 0% in favour of the facility.

Mr Mavromatis said the lack of genuine engagement with the traditional owners, who are native title holders of areas neighbouring both proposed sites, was a “total disgrace.”

A rally is planned for Kimba on February 2, with Kimba community members encouraging the wider state to join them.

“We are asking people from Eyre Peninsula and SA to join us in a peaceful protest so the minister (Resources minister Matthew Canavan) can get the message that Kimba is not the right place and farming land is not the right place,” Mrs Scott said.

The video series can be found at

January 14, 2020 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Scandalous that the Australian government plans a nuclear waste dump on our precious, scarce, agricultural land

Kim Mavromatis Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch Australia 14 Jan 2020, Why on earth would you think Agricultural farmland is a good place to dump radioactive nuclear waste ?????? ARPANSA (the regulator) don’t think so – they state in their own guidelines and Site Selection Criteria, that the proposed Radioactive Nuclear Waste Dumps should not be placed on Agricultural land, in the immediate vicinity of land with significant Natural Resources, or Outdoor Recreational use???
When you know that only 4.5% of South Australia’s land is Agricultural cropping land – why on earth does Scomo’s Federal govnt want to dump / introduce toxic radioactive nuclear waste on Agricultural Farmland near Kimba and Lake Gilles Conservation Park – which has an Export income for Kimba farmers of up to $80 million per year? And $778 million income for Eyre Peninsula farmers (18/19 RDA Whyalla and EP Report) ???????

January 14, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Bureau of Meteorology chart shows how temperatures have soared in Australia over the past century

January 14, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Coalition right wing unhappy, as moderate Liberals seize on PM Morrison’s comments about cutting emissions.

Coalition MPs split over Scott Morrison’s apparent shift on climate policy, Moderate Liberals seize on PM’s comments to argue the government will do more to cut emissions but conservatives push back, Guardian  Sarah Martin 13 Jan 2020 Chief political correspondent   Moderate Liberals have seized on Scott Morrison’s apparent shift on climate change policy to argue the government will do more to cut emissions, as some conservatives push back against any “symbolism” that could damage the economy.

In a sign of the challenge facing the prime minister as he seeks to “evolve” climate change policy, government MPs have split over the prime minister’s comments on the weekend that the Coalition wanted to reduce emissions “even further” than current commitments.

While saying Australia’s 2030 emission reduction targets remain government policy, Morrison said he wanted to do “better” and would only rely on the use of carryover credits from the Kyoto protocol if needed.

Australia is the only country relying on carryover credits to meet its Paris 2030 target of 26% to 28% of 2005 levels by 2030, which critics say do not represent the cuts required to limit global warming to as close to 1.5C as possible.

Katie Allen, the Liberal MP for the Victorian seat of Higgins, welcomed Morrison’s remarks, telling her constituents that she would be a “strong voice” in the party room for stronger action on climate change…….

The self-styled modern Liberal MP Tim Wilson also endorsed Morrison’s comments, saying the commitment at the last election to “cut emissions, but not jobs” was a baseline for action.

“The prime minister has rightly identified there’ll be more evolution of policy to cut emissions, but not jobs, and I look forward to contributing to that important evolution,” Wilson told Guardian Australia.

Dave Sharma, the MP for Malcolm Turnbull’s former seat of Wentworth, said he was “pleased to hear” Morrison’s comments on the importance of responding to climate change and promoted the government’s plan to “continue to evolve our policies with a view to reducing our emissions further”…..

But as moderates welcomed the shift, conservative MPs were warning against a change in policy.

The Queensland Nationals MP Llew O’Brien told the Courier Mail that if Australia went beyond its current commitments, it would be “pure symbolism at the expense of the economy”.

The former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce also issued a thinly veiled warning that the government risked a backlash in the bush if it moved to ramp up emission reduction targets……..

The divide comes as Morrison insists the role of climate change is “not in dispute” within his ranks, despite several MPs denying the role of a warmer planet as an underlying cause of the severe bushfire season.

The Nationals MP George Christensen was the latest to promote his view that climate change was not a factor, telling his supporters on Facebook that climate change is not “a bogey man who can go around lighting bushfires”…..

The Liberal MP Craig Kelly last week caused a storm of controversy
 after appearing on UK television to argue that there was “no link” between climate change and Australia’s drought.

Following the appearance, Morrison told his MPs that backbenchers should not do any international media interviews.

January 14, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Australia can have zero emissions and still profit from minerals, says Ross Garnaut

January 14, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, politics | Leave a comment

It is a big MISTAKE to equate COAL MINING with jobs

Marie Paech- 13 Jan 2020

It is a big MISTAKE to equate COAL MINING with jobs
1. Australian Tourism employs 10 times more Australians than does mining
2. There are job vacancies in the setting up and maintaining renewables
3. Australia has an opportunity to Lead the World manufacturing and building the equipment and technological infrastructures and components required to set up renewable and sustainable community and economy e.g.. Let’s build Australian Made solar panels instead of importing them
4. Build our own iron ore processing plants run by green hydrogen/hydro/wind/solar/ To make aluminium Keeping profits and jobs in Australia
5. Build sustainable industry, farming, tourism, land management, water management and houses, towns and cities, Leed the world in recycling and green energy transport solutions Manufacture electric cars, buses, commercial vehicles There are so many jobs to be had and created in zero emissions
The world would flock here and pay us to advise and share our sustainable progressive technology and solutions
6. Eco tourism would not only create even more jobs for Austalians boosting the industries that benefit ie. restaurants, bakeries, farmers etc The tourism industry would bring even more billions of $$$$ into Australia

January 14, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, employment, energy | Leave a comment

When traditional Aboriginal owners are included in the vote, support for Kimba nuclear waste dump drops to 43%

Kim Mavromatis   Fight To Stop A Nuclear Waste Dump In South Australia
Scomo’s Fed Govnt Radioactive Nuclear Waste Dumps process excluded Barngarla traditional owners from the Kimba ballot – so Barngarla organized their own independent vote and this is the combined Broad Community Support Yes Vote %.
Barngarla traditional owners and Kimba Farmers Speak out – watch these short films :
“Barngarla Speak Out” :
“SAVE SA Farmland – Kimba, Eyre Peninsula” :

January 13, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Climate protests in London, Berlin, Madrid, Copenhagen and Stockholm target Australian government

Climate action protesters angry over Australia’s bushfires rally across Europe      BY EUROPE CORRESPONDENT BRIDGET BRENNAN AND ROSCOE WHALAN IN LONDON

Thousands of people have taken part in demonstrations across Europe, taking aim at what they say is the Australian Government’s lack of action on climate change during the bushfire crisis.

  • Demonstrations organised by Extinction Rebellion were held in London, Berlin, Madrid, Copenhagen and Stockholm
  • The protesters called for stronger action on climate change in response to the Australian bushfires
  • Protesters in London rallied outside Australia House, while protesters chanted outside the Australian embassy in Berlin

Protesters stopped traffic in London and turned out at rallies in Berlin, Madrid, Copenhagen and Stockholm to show their support for victims of the disasters.

At the Strand in London, hundreds gathered outside Australia House, where the High Commission of Australia is located, calling for stronger action on climate change as part of a protest organised by Extinction Rebellion.

Anne Coates travelled from Sheffield, north of London, to attend the rally.

She began to cry when she spoke about watching the effect of the disaster on people who had lost relatives and homes.

“It’s just too much for your heart. You just can’t live with it. It just gets worse and worse every day,” she said.”Absolutely devastating to watch it. It’s like hell. And it seems like governments around the world are in a race to drag us down to hell.”

She said Prime Minister Scott Morrison was “a laughing stock around the world”.

“We’re absolutely furious with him. And I don’t know what’s it going to take. Governments should be listening,” she said.

Many people wore koala hats to represent the massive loss of wildlife in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Fi Radford from Bristol carried a sign which said “koalas not coal”.

“We’re here to say to the Australian people, challenge your Government on the evidence they’re giving you,” she said.

“Australia, you are custodians of precious species that exist nowhere else in the world. Overturn your Government, they’re leading you to destruction.”
Among the protesters were some of the tens of thousands of Australians living in London.
Harley McDonald-Eckersall from Melbourne said she had been watching on in horror at what has been unfolding in Australia.

“It’s been so horrible being away … Australians are extraordinarily resilient — like our First Nations people who have survived genocide and are still caring for the environment,” she said.

Australian Dylan Berthier said he believed the catastrophic conditions in Australia were a wake-up call for the world.

“I think a crisis of this magnitude is a global crisis. I think world leaders have a responsibility to call on the Australian Government to enact new policy that will actually prevent this from happening in the future,” he said.

In Germany, protesters chanted outside the Australian embassy in Berlin.

One man carried a sign which read “Aloha from Berlin” in reference to Mr Morrison’s maligned trip to Hawaii when the bushfires were burning in December.

The climate action group Extinction Rebellion organised the protests across Europe.

They followed rallies around most capital cities of Australia on Friday, with thousands of protesters criticising Mr Morrison’s handling of the fire emergencies in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Bushfires ‘a warning to the whole world’: UK politicians

The bushfire emergency has been front-page news in the UK for weeks — and has forced Tourism Australia to temporarily pull its new $15 million advertising campaign, fronted by Kylie Minogue.

When the UK Parliament returned earlier this week, Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said what had been happening in Australia should act as a “wake-up call for the world”.

Last year, the Conservative Government in the United Kingdom passed legislation to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 — one of the most ambitious targets set by a major economy.

But many environmental groups have said 2050 is not soon enough.

Labour leadership contender Clive Lewis told the House of Commons: “So as Australia burns, as millions in African states face climate-driven famine, and floods have swept the north of England, will this Government give a damn about this existential threat and act, not posture?”

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, who is vying to become the new opposition leader, has criticised the Morrison Government.

“I hope that the horrendous wildfires in Australia, brought on by record temperatures, with such devastating impacts for the human and animal populations in New South Wales, will not just wake up Scott Morrison’s Government to its wilful inaction over climate change, but serve as a warning to the whole world,” she said.

Earlier this week, outspoken British television presenter Piers Morgan cut short an interview with Liberal MP Craig Kelly on Good Morning Britain.

Climate change and global warming are real and Australia is right now showing the entire world just how devastating it is,” he said.

“And for senior politicians in Australia to still pretend there’s no protection is absolutely disgraceful.”

In an address to Vatican diplomats this week, Pope Francis also criticised climate inaction.

“Many young people have become active in calling the attention of political leaders to the issue of climate change. Care for our common home ought to be a concern of everyone,” he said.

“Sadly, the urgency of this ecological conversion seems not to have been grasped by international politics, where the response to the problems raised by global issues such as climate change remains very weak and a source of grave concern.”

January 13, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment

Dramatic drop in P.M. Scott Morrison’s popularity, over his climate stance

January 13, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Australia’s costly failure to address global warming risk mitigation

Paul Richards 13 Jan 2020, Failing to address global warming risk mitigation was always going be costly.

The sooner there is something started, the less it will cost.

From this perspective, the cost has already been far too high;

• 27 human deaths and
• 2,000 homes have been destroyed across
• 103,000 sq km [10.3 million hectares] burned out where a
• 1 billion wild mammals, birds and reptiles have perished

Bushfires started in late September 2019, and it will go until early April 2020, and that is just one extreme type of climate change event.

January 13, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment