I don’t know which is the worst news this week – climate or nuclear. But I am going away for a week on a boat, WITH NO ACCESS TO ANYTHING DIGITAL. I can’t wait. I’m taking one of those old things we all used to use – A BOOK.
But I digress:
CLIMATE. I hardly know where to start. I think that the worst thing is connected with the collapse of journalism – as articles appear denouncing climate scientists as “frauds”. This, despite the 97 percent scientific consensus on climate change.
NUCLEAR. Remarkable apathy prevails, as nuclear weapons tensions hot up.
CLIMATE and ENERGY
- Climate change report: Australia’s heatwaves to be hotter, longer and more frequent.
- Chief Scientist Alan Finkel warns of Trump’s Stalin-like attack on science.
- Cory Bernardi spouts the climate denialism of American right-wing “think tanks”. “Alternative facts” form the basis of Trump and Turnbull’s energy policies.
- Attack on both climate and tax-payers’ money – subsidies to coal power. Taxpayers would put up 21 times more subsidy for Carmichael coal mine, than they would for renewables. Traditional Owners act to defeat Adani’s invalid Indigenous Land Use Agreement.
Fossil fuel generators, not renewables, are to blame for high electricity prices. Australian Energy Council warns on likely electricity problems in New South Wales. Australian Energy Market Operator now confident of wind power security in South Australia. Queensland govt will back renewable energy, not new coal-fired power stations.
Powershop electricity customers funding community renewable energy.
Western Australian Greens propose solar battery rebate scheme.
NUCLEAR A responsible global citizen would not sell uranium to Ukraine.
- On nuclear waste dumping: America’s Dept of Energy more truthful than South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission.
- High Level Nuclear Waste IS planned for South Australia’s Federal Dump.
- France’s ANDRA waste company propagandising rural South Australia, but their French nuclear waste dump leaked radioactivity into wine growing area.
- Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) propagandising to Aborigines.
- Jeff Baldock could make $$$s from #nuclear waste dump, but poses as community benefactor.
- ENuFF SA (Everyone for a Nuclear Free Future SA) made a real nuisance of themselves, and asked some very hard questions of Australia’s nuclear authorities.
- South Australia’s Liberal leader Steven Marshall wants nuclear power.
Western Australia.Ruling in favour of challenge against Noongar Indigenous land use agreement may lead to amendment of Native Title Act.
- about his choice of Steve Bannon on the National Security Council – “Unsupervised by people who know what they’re doing. Trump and Bannon could bring the world closer to a nuclear holocaust.“
- Pentagon urges Trump to expand nuclear weapons, ready for “limited” atomic war.
- Thanks to Trump’s comments on climate change and nuclear arms we are once again close to nuclear war.
- USA intelligence agencies to study whether the Russian and Chinese leadership could survive a nuclear attack
- Dangerous steps by Russia and Trump on nuclear arms control
Meanwhile the global nuclear industry is in financial crisis. And Fukushima nuclear reactor radiation at highest level since 2011 meltdown.
Trump is having his impact on climate change news and action, too.
Joint Statements on Climate Change from National Academies of Science Around the World.
CLIMATE. Well, Prime Minister Turnbull and Resources Minister Matt Canavan have flung themselves well and truly into the embrace of the coal industry. They have set up a task force to promote coal. They are setting up a $5 billion fund for ‘clean-coal’ power stations, and plan to use the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to fund “clean coal”, seeing that no private investor would take that risk. New “clean” coal plants would cost $billions in taxpayer subsidies, and not clean anyway.
Australia’s national government falters on climate policy. Victoria races ahead.
South Australia is in position to be renewable leader, stabilise Australia’s energy system with supergrid. Snowy Hydro turns to solar
Solar power now taking off in a big way in Western Australia.
Federal nuclear waste dump plan ( This is not just a South Australian issue – it’s national.) Extracts from Hansard show how the Australian government seeks to deceive the public on the definition of “High Level Nuclear Wastes”
Kimba Mayor wants a referendum first, before any decision on nuclear waste dump. South Australian property owners offer land for nuclear waste – at Napandee and Lyndhurst, near Kimba. Community survey shows strong local opposition to Federal nuclear waste dump at Barndioota, South Australia. Nuclear propaganda group to visit Port Augusta.
Federal govt embarrassed over backlash to its plan to expand Shoalwater Bay military training area.
Much as I hate joining the throng paying attention to that global narcissist, I must admit the fact that Donald Trump’s statements and actions are provoking reactions in America and around the world. On many important issues, such as torture, and religious discrimination, people are responding with alarm. Equally worrying are his policies on climate and nuclear matters, and his attacks on science and journalism.
I am reminded of a kindergarten teacher, explaining the real message of a child’s bad behaviour “How bad to I have to be before somebody stops me”
I did get some macabre amusement from this news item- Under Trump, nuclear lobby to dump the argument about climate change.
NUCLEAR. Federal nuclear propaganda group to visit proposed nuclear dump towns in South Australia. Federal govt announces bribes to these communities. Dishonest spin from ANSTO and government, about Spain’s nuclear waste program. Good riddance to the Trans Pacific Partnership: it could have furthered nuclear waste import plans.
- Victoria is a world leader in energy efficiency.
- Australian conservative MPs, Cory Bernardi etc, urge Turnbull to scrap the Renewable Energy Target.
- Renewable energy groups mobilise as ERM’s RET shortfall looms as major test – this is a complex story, but points to the way in which the Turnbull government is undermining renewable energy.
- A new, intelligent renewable energy culture for Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), with new leader ?
As I write, there’s a sort of an anxious lull in climate and nuclear news. Indeed, in other news, too. The media world seems to be waiting for the next event, on January 20, concerning a certain narcissistic American. I’ve decided to leave him out of this week’s newsletter, except, perhaps, for a picture (attached).
The exception in all this is Fukushima. Not that you find anything about this in the mainstream media. However, the news is getting out in alternative, and some Japanese media: workers’ cancers: Thyroid Cancer Patient Group : Designation of radioactive waste lifted: Fukushima ‘voluntary’ evacuees: Fukushima foodstuffs.
CLIMATE. 90% of rural Australians say their lives are already affected by climate change. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation picks climate sceptic for Western Australian election. Australian Resources Minister Matt Canavan’s fantasy about “low emission” coal.
RENEWABLE ENERGY. Some considerations about Australia’s clean transition to renewable energy. Tony Abbott calls for ditching Renewable Energy Target: PM Turnbull disagrees. Smarter, cheaper solar plants are halving Australian solar farm capital intensity. Utility scale investment marks the surge in wind and solar power in Australia. Potential of Queensland solar farm– to make this State the energy capital of Australia. Melbourne trams to be powered by solar energy by end of 2018.
Federal waste dump plan. Scrutiny on Hansard reveals the Australian government’s confusion about nuclear wastes.Australian government’s pro nuclear propaganda to South Australia’s Barndioota residents. Flinders Ranges Community survey – 79% do NOT want the Federal nuclear waste dump.
State nuclear waste import plan. Ben Heard and Barry Brook spruik for nuclear reprocessing at Port Augusta. Old nuclear spruikers never give up – Bob Hawke, Ron Walker, Hugh Morgan. South Australian Liberal leader stresses that the Royal Commission nuclear waste import plan was economically risky.Derek Abbott explodes the Royal Commission proposal for a nuclear waste dump.
Western Australia. In an act of ?religious faith, Western Australian govt backs uneconomic uranium industry. Aboriginal Traditional Owners speak out against Yeelirrie uranium mining approval.
Tasmania. Tasmania’s Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom speaks out for nuclear weapons ban.
A week away from Donald Trump taking over the USA Presidency, and it’s anybody’s guess as to how bad the repercussions of that will be, for climate action, nuclear safety, and the public good. If there happen to be some accidental unintended benefits for they public good, I doubt that these will compensate for the world’s most powerful nation being run by the lead bully boy for corporate America. Barack Obama retires graciously, claiming that “we did”. Perhaps more accurately “we tried”.
Record loss of sea ice in 2016-both Arctic and Antarctic.
Alexei Yablokov, grandfather of Russian environmentalism, dies at 83
Australian not-for-profit, the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) installs solar household systems in East Timor villages.
Loss of Great Barrier Reef will be part of major collapses of ocean ecosystems.
Australia and USA trail behind in renewable energy, as China and India lead.
ACT. Australian Capital Territory prepares for role as clean energy hub and exporter of renewable technology
South Australia. Pro nuclear former Senator Sean Edwards to run for South Australian Parliament, considers leadership of S.A. Liberals . Prominent wealthy nuclear industry fans back former Senator Sean Edwards.
Western Australia. W.A. govt approves Toro Energy’s Wiluna uranium mine, as uranium prices continue to decrease. Western Australia leads the world in wave energy. Heat records smashed in 2016 in many Western Australian towns.
Northern Territory. Darwin’s hottest year on record.
Tasmania. Tasmania needs to be better prepared for climate change and weather extremes.
We start the year with some concerning new evidence on climate change. Global warming is happening faster than previously estimated. Climate Change threat to global ocean circulation might be worse than we thought. The tipping point for climate change is nigh upon us.
The nuclear scene remains one of anxiety about the arms race. There are the nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan, with fear about ISIS. There’s anxiety about the situation when the Trump administration takes over in America.
On the so-called “peaceful” nuclear industry a rather distressing tendency is becoming evident. That is simply, that despite overwhelming evidence that the industry is an economic disaster, Britain, France, and in some States, America, are pressing on with it. The argument is always “JOBS”. It reminds me of the Bertolt Brecht play “Mother Courage and Her Children” – in which the mother continues her job, as that job gets all her children killed, one by one.
World Health Organisation confirmed that low dose radiation increases cancer risk.
CLIMATE. 2016 was Australia’s year of record-breaking extreme weather. It’s also tipped to be Australia’s hottest year. Turnbull government admits that Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are increasing. Australia has its very own Minister For The Coal Industry- Matt Canavan Determined local protests against Adani coal mine.
Queensland Government moving fast towards its renewable energy target.
NUCLEAR. Things seem still quiet, with the defeated push for nuclear waste importing to South Australia. The proponents are now regrouping for a new campaign. Ben Heard leads the propaganda push.
The Federal plan for a nuclear waste dump in South Australia – the Australian government plays dirty tricks with language on High Level nuclear Wastes (HLW) – it is done with deceptive labelling. The government will hold a webinar on nuclear waste dump project on 23 February.
Here are my predictions for 2017 . They are not all that cheerful. But I am comforted by that fact that I usually predict most unreliably. I pronounced that Hillary Clinton would win the US presidency by a landslide.
But – here goes, anyway :
CLIMATE news. The anthropocene is here with a vengeance, and will be evidenced by continued weather extremes – droughts in Africa, India and other places, floods elsewhere, the continued creeping sea level rise, affecting island nations, and low-lying ones, like Bangladesh. Most worrying of all, the continuance of extraordinary changes in temperature in the Arctic, with effects on ocean currents.
With climate-denying politicians in power, at the national level, action on climate change will be stalled, to some degree. However, at the level of states, local councils, and cities, increased adoption of renewable energy will mean that meaningful climate action goes on with renewed vigour. At the grassroots level, more homes and businesses will adopt solar and wind technologies, as well as smart energy conservation – a trend already apparent in Australia, and parts of Europe and USA, as well as in developing countries, where off-grid energy becomes a boon to millions. Public disillusion with climate denying leaders will rise.
NUCLEAR news. The world will limp on, avoiding nuclear war by a whisker, especially in relation to India and Pakistan. However, there will be encouraging developments in the international nuclear disarmament movement, with an impressive conference in March.
In America, more nuclear power stations will close, due to their diseconomics. Nuclear power development in China will continue to slow down, for reasons of cost, water shortage, and even public opposition. India’s growing solar energy success will threaten its nuclear development. Britain, however, will be a focus, as France, China, South Korea, even Russia will push desperately for Hinkley, Moorside, Bradwell nuclear projects, which will have to be subsidised by taxpayers.
Fukushima will continue to be a running sore with no cure in sight, while Japan and the world happily look forward to the 2020 Olympics.
The nuclear waste problem will continue to dog USA, and efforts to even trial new solutions like deep bore drilling will meet public opposition, even without any radioactive trash. Some countries, e.g. France, with existing nuclear power stations will look to closing them down. At the same time, there’ll be a continuing frenzy to try to market nuclear power to non nuclear countries.
The proponents of “New Nuclear”, particularly of Thorium and of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors will continue to pretend that they help Big Nuclear by supposedly dealing with the waste problem. But in reality, they’ll be rejoicing at the plight of Big Nuclear, and toting their still non existent new gimmicks to governments. In particular, they’ll want America to weaken its safety regulations.
Above all, the nuclear lobbyists and publicists will hammer their lie that nuclear power can stop climate change. Not only is that not true, but also, that claim becomes increasingly irrelevant as climate change races ahead. – simply no time for that “solution” anyway.
But that won’t stop the “New Nuclear” lobby. They’ll bring out a film – THE NEW FIRE glossy, expensively made, sophisticated – to push the new gee whiz nuclear kids on the block. Their various front groups, e.g Weinberg Next Nuclear , “Breakthrough Energy Coalition” and Australia’s “Bright New World” will continue to pose as charities, and gain tax exempt status.
I’d love to think that journalists and academics will see through the spin. But I am not optimistic, following a year when spin brought Brexit and Donald Trump’s rise. (Even if Trump gets bored, and chucks the job in to run a personal media circus, the USA will still be run by climate denying Republicans. )
Journalists and academics will continue to spout the nuclear lies – about low dose ionising radiation being OK , and above all, keep hammering the message of nuclear being “clean” and “low carbon” . They know where the money is. The public at large will believe them, despite the efforts of the anti nuclear movement, and of a few brave, outspoken journalists and academics.
2016 brought a new word – the Anthropocene. It has been the year in which many of us realised that the planet has been irrevocably changed- by the human species. Of the wide-ranging effects of human activities, climate change is the one that has now become the most terrible threat. People around the world are trying to change our destructive ways: individuals, town councils, city mayors, states, and, to a much lesser degree, national governments work to conserve energy and promote renewable energy generation.
Countering that, the polluting industries have used their think tank front groups, and mainstream media, to confuse the public, and deny the science.
In November 196 countries participated in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh, to develop agendas for carrying out the the Paris Agreement of 2015. But international action was hampered by the presence of fossil fuel companies, and even more, by the election of climate sceptic Donald Trump to the USA presidency.
The nuclear disarmament movement was boosted on October 27, when—by a vote of 123 for, 38 against, and 16 abstaining—the First Committee of the UN agreed “to convene in 2017 a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.”
Nuclear power issues focussed on both the decline of the nuclear power industry, and the desperate efforts of the industry to survive. Notably in Britain, a clearly uneconomic pro nuclear programme has been pushed, with the gigantic Hinkley white elephant in the lead. In America, subsidising of nuclear power is a contentious issue.
Meanwhile. nuclear countries, unable to make the nuclear industry profitable, and unable to deal with its toxic wastes, have persisted in their marketing drive to export nuclear technology. The target countries are many, but South East Asia is a prime example. That campaign for SE Asia suffered a setback when South Australians rejected an ill-advised government push to commercially import nuclear wastes – a plan that was intended to solve the problem for new nuclear stations in South East Asia.
Within the nuclear lobby, a quiet battle has gone on between the conventional Big Nuclear Reactor industry, and the campaigners for Small Nuclear Reactors. The latter reactors do not exist, but their hype is everywhere, particularly led by Bill Gates and various nuclear front groups. Unfortunately, Gates has bought into the nuclear lobby’s deception about nuclear fixing climate change.
So – we end the year with climate change not just looming, but already here, endangering us and other species. The extraordinary attention given to Donald Trump and his impact on global climate and nuclear policy leaves us with very worrying questions.
Not really. For USA and world politics, most observers are aghast at the team of billionaires that Donald Trump is picking for his administration. In particular, the consequences for climate action look dire.
On the nuclear scene, the facade of success is being maintained by the industry, especially in the UK. where the global industry’s big hope, Hinkley C nuclear project, struggles on. Behind the scenes, the “new Small Nuclear” proponents, often led by Bill Gates, quietly sabotage the “conventional Big Nukes” , and promote small nuclear reactors as “clean”. More about that later.
Julia Gillard on the need for education funding.
Increasing threat of computer hacking on nuclear plants.
David Noonan dissects the draft ARPANSA Information for Stakeholders on nuclear radioactive waste facility.
Local councils, consumers, energy companies lead the way to clean energy.
- Prime Minister Turnbull’s lack of priniciple – kowtows to extreme right on climate change. PM Turnbull under fire for his slavish dedication to the coal industry.
- Senator Nick Xenopohon slams ‘clueless and incompetent’ energy monitor Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). AEMO’s “Black System” report (about South Australia’s electricity blackout) gets some serious criticism.
- Report finds 100% renewable grid “reliable, robust and stable”.
South Australia. 1835 (and counting) South Australians sign up to No Nuclear Waste Dump for SA. 25 prominent South Australians sign up to Ben Heard’s Bright New Nuclear Bullshit. Taiwan rejects the claim that it would help South Australia to set up a nuclear waste dump. Treaty discussions between Aboriginal nations and South Australian government. Growing food in a desert.
Queensland. The Australian tax-payer is the sole investor in Adani’s coal export plans. Greens urge Queensland government to reject $1 billion taxpayer-funded loan for Adani coal rail line. A month ahead of schedule, Queensland’s huge new solar farm is up and running.
New South Wales. Sydney Lord mayor Clover Moore orders decisive action on climate change.
Western Australia‘s Premier (like South Australia’s) risks political oblivion in promoting nuclear power
Australian Capital Territory (ACT) – jobs growth with renewable energy.
12 Dec 16 Australian nuclear lobbyists have had remarkable success in making themselves famous internationally, which is probably their main aim. . Barry Brook set this off, with a thin veil of environmentalism covering his dedication to the nuclear industry, in Brave New Climate. He got a heap of well-meaning environmentalists to sign up to a pro nuclear letter.
Now Ben Heard has gone a step further, with HIS nuclear front group – Bright New World. He’s got 25 important people to sign up to a pro nuclear campaign for South Australia. As with Brook’s disciples, some of these people seem quite altruistic and disconnected with the nuclear and mining industries.
Others do not:
Dr Ian Gould: chairing South Australia Energy and Resources Investment Conference 23-24 May 2017 Adelaide, geologist with 40 years experience in the minerals industry in diverse and senior positions, mainly within the CRA/Rio Tinto Group, current Chancellor of the University of South Australia and was awarded an AM in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to mining.
David Klingberg is a South Australian businessman, civil engineer and former Chancellor of the University of South Australia. director of ASX listed companies E & A Ltd and Centrex Metals Ltd. Klingberg is chair of a technical sub-group working on the Australian Government‘s National Radioactive Waste Management Project.
Dr Leanna Read is South Australia’s Chief Scientist, Expert Advisory Committee of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission in South Australia.] Read is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering,[which advocated for nuclear power in Australia in August 2014.. Read is also the Chair of the South Australian Science Council.
Stephen Young director or Chairman on a number of companies including ,Electricity Trust of South Australia, Australian Submarine Corporation ,The University of Adelaide ,E&A ltd and its Subsidiaries.
Mr Jim McDowell Chancellor of the University of South Australia Jim McDowell is currently Chair of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and non-Executive director of a number of private and listed companies. He advises the Federal Government in a number of areas of Defence and Defence Procurement. He is a member of the First Principles Review of the Department of Defence and is currently on the Expert Advisory Panel for the Future Submarine. Formerly CEO OF BAE Systems Australia, the nation’s largest defence contractor.
Michael John Terlet Primary qualification in Electrical EngineeringNon Executive Chairman of Sandvik Mining and Construction Adelaide Ltd, a Director of Australian Submarine Corporation Pty. Ltd. Served as the Chief Executive Officer at AWA Defence Industries, Chairman of SA Centre for Manufacturing, Defence Manufacturing Council SA (MTIA)
Graham Douglas Walters AM, FCA Mr. Graham Douglas Walters, AM, FCA, serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Minelab Electronics Pty Ltd. Mr. Walters serves as Chairman and Director at Minelab International Pty Ltd.
You might wonder what this news item is doing on an antinuclear page. Well,it’s not because I’m a great fan of Julia Gillard. However, I was so pleased to see what she is now doing. I am convinced that education is the basic requirement for human society to survive.
America would not have got president elect Trump if that country had a decent, nation-wide, eductaion system. No wonder the under-priveleged battlers hate “the elites” – including the well-educated people who make fun of them.
The nuclear lobby, the climate deniers, thye bigots of all persuasions, will put it over a poorly educated puiblic.
Education funding must be raised across globe or world will face crisis, Julia Gillard says ABC News, 11 Dedc 16 The world is facing a crisis if countries do not increase their education budgets and get more children into school, warns former prime minister Julia Gillard, now chair of global education funding agency the Global Partnership for Education (GPE)……..
“One of things we have learned is that we can overcome these problems if we try,” Ms Gillard told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“This isn’t the equivalent of saying let’s go to Mars or let’s go to Pluto. This isn’t something that no human being has done before.
“It’s not that at all. If every country was improving its education system as the rate of the top 25 countries — in their income band — then we would solve all these problems and be on track to have a learning generation with every child in school.”
Ms Gillard, who was speaking ahead of a two-day conference on children’s rights in New Delhi, said it was imperative both domestic and overseas financing were made available as one of the first efforts to get children into school.
She said 20 per cent of government budgets, or 6 per cent of gross domestic product, would be an indication a country was trying to make a real difference to the education of children, yet many countries were failing to achieve that level.
According to the Education Commission, low- and middle-income countries’ expenditure on education was $US1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) in 2015, but should have been almost three times that, at $US2.7 trillion by 2030.
Ms Gillard said foreign aid was also meagre, with only 3 per cent of overseas assistance going towards education…..
“Education is a pretty patient investment in quite an impatient world. People want to see quick results. It takes years to educate a child.
“But if this continues, we will see a generation which simply doesn’t have the skills and capacities to make a life for themselves and the next generation of children will be less likely to survive infanthood, less likely to be vaccinated and less likely to go to school themselves.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-11/education-funding-must-be-raised-across-globe-gillard/8110204?pfmredir=sm
- Father Christmas will most likely be homeless in a couple of years. Alarm among scientists at ‘Extraordinarily hot’ Arctic temperatures. Problem of carbon release as permafrost melts.
- For 2016, Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations are Rising at the Fastest Rate Ever Seen.
- Climate Change will lead to uncontrollable migration.
- The climate-water conflict – climate change increases risk of nuclear war.
- Insurance companies losing ability to manage risks, as climate change brings extreme weather events.
Finkel Report recommends emissions trading, warns on Australian govt’s climate policy chaos. Australian govt promotes coal and nuclear, despite public opinion and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank policy. Australia’s electricity industry strongly calls for a carbon price, and switch to clean energy. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull talks complete rubbish on climate policy. Australia’s gutless Minister for Environment and Energy – Josh Frydenberg.
Australia’s dangerous uranium deal with India. Two Australian uranium mining companies going down the gurgler? According to Bob Hawke, Aborigines can get a decent life only if Australia imports nuclear waste?
South Australia. Australian government’s nuclear waste dump for Barndioota – a sly prelude for importing nuclear waste.
Queensland. Traditional Owners construct ‘legal line of defence’ against Adani and Qld Govt. Not justified, not financially viable – Adani’s huge coal mine project. Australian Labor says No to Adani coal loan.
New South Wales. Sydney students pioneer a shared solar and battery system for apartment block.
Victoria. Barwon Water and the City of Greater Geelong investigate solar array for landfill site. New 116-turbine wind farm for the Wimmera, Victoria. MP James Purcell calls for nuclear power for Portland, Victoria.
Northern Territory appoints too many mining representatives to its Mining Advisory Committee
Western Australia. Toro Energy, uranium miner, CEO Vanessa Guthrie chucks away the poisoned uranium chalice.
Media attention continues to focus on Donald Trump. He seems happy in the spotlight, even if the revelations are about his conflicts of interest, and the unsuitability of officials that he’s appointing. Trump himself hardly matters, really, as the Republicans will be in charge in the White House, Congress and Senate, and are dominated by anti-science, climate deniers, and hawkish militarists.
Meanwhile the impacts of climate change continue, and their repercussions for society, and world security are becoming realised. Uncontrollable climate change could be triggered by Arctic ice melt. Military experts warn on refugee crises and need to combat climate change. With Temperatures Hitting 1.2 C Hotter than Pre-Industrial, Drought Now Spans the Globe. Biggest-Ever Coral Die-Off Reported on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Pope Francis urges national leaders not to wreck the climate change pact.
People power, not Trump, has killed the Trans Pacific Partnership.
NUCLEAR. As I write, South Australians are organising for a demonstration outside Parliamant House for a rather joyful requiem for the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission’s plan to turn that State into the world’s nuclear toilet. The Dump is Dumped – for now, anyway. Citizens demand action to enforce South Australian Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000.
But then, there’s the Federal government’s plan for a nuclear waste at outback Barndioota. They duplicitously claim that this is for “medical” wastes, but it is in fact for the intermediate and high level processed wastes returning to Lucas Heights from France and UK. Kimba, South Australia, may rejoin the discussion on hosting a federal nuclear waste dump. Tiny outback town divided over plan for federal nuclear waste dump.
CLIMATE and RENEWABLE ENERGY . No real action from Federal govt in its new “response plan” on the Barrier Reef. Firefighters Alliance calls for action on climate change. Prime Minister Turnbull out of step with Australian public on environment. Smart planning now will enable reliable renewable electricity. Australian solar power technology sold to China, by CSIRO.
United Nations uphold their ruling in favour of Julian Assange.
Northern Territory. Yingiya Mark Guyula is Confirmed as the Member for Nhulunbuy.
Victoria. Need to examine Australia’s electricity system – Victorian network fault.
Western Australia. Western Australian town to host large renewable energy grid.
Much as I would love to completely ignore the Trumpomania that now grips the media, and at the same time, seems to paralyse political action, I just can’t – because climate and nuclear policies worldwide now stagnate, like ships in the doldrums, waiting for the new wind – of Trump’s inauguration on January 20 2017.
The Marrakech climate talks, (follow-up to the 2015 Paris climate summit) produced the “Marrakech Action Proclamation”, and some ambitious national programmes, but were described as producing “defiance towards Trump, but little else”. Global green movement prepares to fight Trump on climate change. Trump’s climate denial is just one of the forces that points towards war.
Unease amongst world leaders over Donald Trump’s nuclear policies, and appointments.
On nuclear weapons, the UN General Assembly First Committee voted on Resolution A/C.1/71/L.41 (L.41) States adopted the resolution to hold negotiations on a nuclear ban treaty in 2017. Here at least, some ray of light regarding Trump’s attitude of wanting to negotiate with Russia and North Korea. –Perhaps Secretary General Ban Ki-moon can leave his office with an important victory at the end of his term by seizing this opportunity and encouraging the ‘deal maker’ in Trump to move forward with a US-Russia rapprochement, clearing a pathway for the elimination of nuclear weapons as well as putting an end to the hostilities on the Korean peninsula.
CLIMATE. Turnbull govt – hails climate accord while rejoicing in coal industry! Trump plans to scrap NASA climate research: Australian scientists support NASA. NASA politely debunks Australian climate denying crank Senator Malcolm Roberts. Missy Higgins urges us all – read Naomi Klein’s “This Changes Everything”. Australian doctors warn about climate change and health.
NUCLEAR. Australian uranium fuelled Fukushima. Now about to fuel dangerous Ukraine nuclear reactors.
South Australia. The saga of the South Australian nuclear waste import plan continues – Michele Madigan. Michael West casts a satirical searchlight on South Australia’s nuclear waste import plan. Scarce and his pro nuclear Royal Commission not looking credible. Sunday Mail survey reveals opposition to nuclear waste dump. Political mystery of South Australian Labor tying the State’s prosperity to a nuclear waste toilet. Solar thermal plant is the best solution for Port Augusta.
Victoria to ban fracking.
There’s an uncanny echo of the 1930s in the rise of extreme right wing politics in the Western world today. “I will make America great again” – says Donald Trump. And how many other strident voices are gathering mass support with a similar simplistic message, in other countries?
Donald Trump – the triumph of narcissism. Like the attention-seeking child in the classroom, with all eyes upon him, Trump captures the attention of the world, (this probably his main goal). Some hope that, as USA President, his intelligent, gently spoken, kindly, side will prevail. Ralph Nader doubts this.
Prime Minister Turnbull toes the complacency line, in the rush to “normalise” Trump. Why he’s a “businessman, like Turnbull” “, and of course we all know that businessmen are the best people to run the country! In a radio interview Turnbull criticised the “elite media” three times. I think that he means the ABC, SBS, and any media that has the effrontery to criticise the government, or praise Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs. “Elite” is now a dirty word, implying intelligent and well-informed- we can’t have that attitude!
CLIMATE. Australia Labelled A ‘Laggard’ On Cutting Climate Pollution. Australia near the bottom of the list in international climate policies. Michael Marmot on the health risks of climate change. Former liberal leader John Hewson urges Turnbull govt to switch to a bright renewable energy future.
NUCLEAR Introduction to the newest South Australian nuclear front – Ben Heard’s ‘Bright New World’. Australia on the wrong side of nuclear disarmament history. Helen Caldicott, Australian hero of nuclear-free New Zealand.
- Well the Labor government’s Nuclear Waste Importing plan is, in the words of the Liberal Opposition Leader, “all but dead and buried”. Liberals now on the path to election victory in 2018, riding on rejection of the waste plan. (You can bet your boots that the Liberals will embrace the nuclear industry at a later stage, when it’s politically safe to do so). Senator Nick Xenophon– nuclear waste dump “a stinker of an idea” – bury it forever.
- An inside story from South Australia’s Nuclear Citizens Jury. South Australian Treasurer Koutsantonis sulking about “elites” influencing Nuclear Citizens Jury. South Australia’s ‘Community Views Report’ reinforces a resounding “NO” to nuclear waste storage.
- Poor old Labor Premier Jay Weatherill. He was reported as saying he would ” make South Australia great again”. Now where have I heard that before? Weatherill’s nuclear plebiscite idea – a desperate ploy to get a different answer? Anyway, Weatherill’s not giving up on the nuclear waste import plan. But there are rumblings of mutiny within the Labor Party.
- There are huge legal obstacles – State, National, International, – to that rashly devised nuclear waste import plan. Europe’s new rules about exporting nuclear waste are RELEVANT TO AUSTRALIA. Also, the Nuclear Economics Consulting Group reported on the diseconomics of the plan.
Queensland. Urgent need for public education and action on fluoridation of Queensland’s water.