Climate change is an emergency – NOW . While some of us have for decades campaigned against the acute and chronic danger of nuclear weapons and nuclear power, I am having to admit that the climate change issue is urgent, in an even more powerful way. That’s because climate change has crept up on the world in an insidious way, so that now it is just about at the tipping point, just about irreversible.
One could argue that, short of a global catastrophe – a nuclear war, the world might still stop the nuclear horror “later on”. There is no “later on” for climate change.
We must fight both of these horrendous global threats.
CLIMATE. It’s winter, so we don’t notice it really, but much of Australia is experiencing an “exceptional” record run of steamy August weather as experts tip 2016 to be the warmest year since records began. Australia had its warmest autumn on record. Media coverage given to serial climate denying pest Sen. Malcolm Roberts.
NUCLEAR. It’s South Australia, as usual. The South Australian Parliament’s Joint Committee on Findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission (NFCRC) is underway. Although 4 of the 5 Committee members are actually pro nuclear, the Committee is subjecting the NFCRC to a much needed scrutiny. This is one of the few processes going on, where the NFCRC personnel are not in control. The plan to bring international nuclear wastes to South Australia is particularly interesting to Parliament from the financial point of view. It is doubtful that it will bring the financial bonanza that its chief, Kevin Scarce has touted. Submissions to South Australia Parliament are overwhelmingly opposed to nuclear waste importing.
Meanwhile the other processes continue, the propaganda forums, the move to get rid of laws that prohibit the nuclear industry. Premier Weatherill off to Finland next month to study nuclear waste project. But interestingly, the Liberal Opposition leader Steven Marshall has pulled out of this trip.
Western Australia. Environmental groups put a winning argument against the Yeelirrie uranium project. Aboriginal people will fight planned Vimy uranium mine, despite EPA’s approval of it. Native title win for the Ngurra Kayanta people.
RENEWABLE ENERGY. Industry Minister Greg Hunt attacks renewable energy, but Energy Minister Frydenbereg supports it. Victorians, including Liberals want an urgent shift to renewable energy. Senator Nick Xenophon calls on South Australia, Victoria to set up an electricity trading scheme .
NUCLEAR. An eerie silence on the national scene. One would think that nothing is happening in the nuclear machinations in Australia. Only something is. In the rest of August alone there will be 23 more nuclear propaganda forums run by thy South Australian government. (wonder what all this is costing the tax-payer?) The whole thing is ignored in the mainstream media, though there have already been many such forums. One propaganda session in Port Pirie, was directed at an indigenous community, and that did not go down well!
The South Australian government is pressing on with its goal of removing legal restrictions on importing nuclear wastes. They’re holding a “Simplify Day” on November 15, to “repeal out-dated and redundant legislation”. Like The Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000?
Meanwhile the South Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee on Findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission continues. The hearings are up on their website, but so far the Submissions cannot be accessed.
CLIMATE and RENEWABLE ENERGY.
- Farmers welcome partial backtrack on CSIRO climate cuts, but call for all jobs to be reinstated.
- Western Australian farmers see solar off-grid savings opportunity.
- Community energy projects take off: Climate Council urges leadership for rural areas.
- Clean Energy Finance Corporation helps North Melbourne Football Club go solar.
- AGL Energy plans green power boost.
- South Australia: Electricity market’s unstoppable move away from coal-fired “base-load generation”.
6th August – Hiroshima Day. Rather lost in the Brazil Olympics hype, but not forgotten by the hibakusha and other survivors, and families of victims of the nuclear bombing, and of those others, world-wide, who care.
State of the Climate Report documents shattering of environmental records.
London. Prime Minister Theresa May suddenly threw a spanner in the works of the world’s largest nuclear power programme – Hinkley Point C – for Somerset, England. Just days before, France’s State-owned company EDF had given approval to build the project. The EDF decision was fraught, too, with unions opposing it, and senior managers urging delay. Everybody, including Tories, knows that the project is, economically, a white elephant. Why do the French and UK governments want to go on with it? Complicated politics, l’honneur, and like Macbeth -in too deep to get out?
And then there’s the global nuclear lobby, ever there with political campaign funding and propaganda, and desperate for Hinkley to be the flagship of a new world-wide nuclear renaissance.
There’s also, however, the “small nuclear” lobby, like an aggressive little chihuahua, snapping at the heels of Big Nuclear. They wouldn’t mind if Hinkley fizzled out – it would prove that their (still only on paper) Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) and PRISMS, will fix British energy, climate change, and the global nuclear waste problem.
New York. The global nuclear industry is taking comfort from the latest decision in New York. The New York State Public Service Commission, backed by the Governor, approved a $7.6 billion bailout of aging nuclear power plants, including them in a “Clean Energy Standard”. It is hoped that this will kick off a nuclear revival.
Western Australia‘s Environmental Protection Agency rejects Cameco’s Yeelirrie Uranium project.
South Australia. Nick Xenophon says only a referendum is adequate to resolve South Australia’s nuclear waste decision. Goodbye and good riddance to nuclear stooge Senator Sean Edwards. Festering doubts on impartiality of Nuclear Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce.
Today’s Age discusses the planned Australian Royal Commission into Juvenile Justice in the Northern Territory. The appointed Commissioner, Brian Martin, has resigned because he recognised a perception of bias by the community, however well qualified he might be for the position.
The South Australian Royal Commissioner, Kevin Scarce, was not only not qualified, with no legal background, but IS clearly perceived as biased.
Kevin Scarce has a conflict of interest, as a shareholder in Rio Tinto, and as a member of CEDA (the Committee for Economic Development In Australia). CEDA’s Policy Perspectives of Nov 2011 clearly supports and promotes the growth of South Australia’s nuclear industry. The Royal Commissioner selected predominantly pro-nuclear experts for the Commission’s Advisory Committee.
Speaking in November 2014 at a Flinders University guest lecture, Scarce acknowledged being an “an advocate for a nuclear industry”.
Mark Kenny, writing in The Age today says:
Indeed, Martin acknowledged this [public confidence] was the crucial factor – irrespective of the facts. He observed if any public doubts about the impartiality or commitment to the unvarnished truth were allowed to “fester” during the commission’s long months, its outcomes would be compromised.
I’m having a little trouble, concentrating this week. It’s bad enough that Australia is ignoring the nuclear threat, and the climate change threat. These are national, global matters – at least we will, as Tom Lehrer said “all go together when we go”. However, the news on how this country, this government, supports utter cruelty to children, especially Aboriginal children, and to refugees, – this personal barbarism to individuals – how on earth can Australians ignore this?
Independent inquiry finds that the ABC is not biased.
BHP Billiton’s costs for Brazil mine disaster – $3 billion and rising.
Back at the nuclear/climate front –
CLIMATE. Well, our new coal/nuclear enthusiast Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg has been making some pro renewable energy noises. I could almost feel sorry for him, although I can’t stand him, because he’ll be under attack now from the incumbent energy industry. The Turnbull government is unlikely to stand up to the coal and nuclear lobbies, and their bought friends in Parliament. Complete ecosystem collapse in sections of Great Barrier Reef.
As usual it’s all about SOUTH AUSTRALIA. They’re having Parliamentary Inquiry into nuclear waste importing. No need to get excited about this – the Committee members include 5 pro nuclear MPs and one anti-nuclear (Mark Parnell of The Greens). Global nuclear industry promoters influencing SA nuclear waste plan.
Meanwhile the government has launched its nuclear publicity juggernaut – this very day. Fortunately South Australian Greens prevented a law that would give full rein to taxpayer funded nuclear promotion.
- Wind and solar are NOT responsible for the doubling of wholesale energy prices in South Australia.
- Canberra solar project co-located with wind farm.
- Queensland’s Mt Emerald wind farm – construction to start in December.
- Tough new guidelines for New South Wales wind farms.
- Nick XenophonTeam backs 40% renewables.
- Solar and battery mini grid hits Melbourne suburbs.
It’s not too late to comment on this appalling nuclear lobby plan to make South Australia the world’s nuclear toilet. Yes, the South Australian govt will probably ignore you. However, as with Facebook, Twitter, and comments all over the place – the pro nuclear shills are active on this site, too – at http://nuclear.yoursay.sa.gov.au/discussions/nuclear-community-conversation-share-your-initial-thoughts-on-the-royal-commission-s-final-report
CLIMATE and NUCLEAR.
Federal Politics Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wasted no time in gifting to the nuclear and coal industries – the new Minister For Environment and Energy – Josh Frydenberg. Australia rates rather poorly on UN Sustainable Development Goals. Turnbull govt still backing Trans Pacific Partnership. Warning to Australia against being USA ‘deputy sheriff’ near China.
South Australia holding Parliamentary Inquiry in the nuclear waste importing plan. No report so far, but evidence was given by Craig Wilkins (Conservation Council Of South Australia), and by independent campaigner David Noonan.
Premier Jay Weatherill is launching a pro nuclear extravaganza. The tax-payers of this cash-strapped State are forking out at least $13 million this campaign to blanket the State with nuclear propaganda. First the Royal Commission fed them with a biased report recommending nuclear waste importing. Then a Citizens’ Jury was fed very dubious economic, health and safety information on this.
The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Consultation and Response Agency, (made up of nameless people) are sending out teams to 101 cities and towns to carry the pro nuclear message to the population.
Renewable energy. In South Australia the Liberal Coalition opposition appears to be behind the feeding of misinformation on wind energy, to the Murdoch media. In other States, the Coalition attacks renewable energy, and Murdoch media continues to publicise this. Nick Xenophon wants inquiry in South Australia’s renewable energy issues.
South Australia is set to get world’s biggest solar + storage project. Canberra’s solar farms with sun- tracking technology. Victoria to get record-breaking wind farm. Queensland: Catholic schools recognised by Vatican for solar energy success.
CLIMATE – ho hum – according to the mainstream media, well, climate just wasn’t an issue in the recent election. We face the prospect of another Liberal government toeing the line of its vehement climate denialist members. Australia takes quite a part of the blame in the disgraceful global web of climate denialism.
NUCLEAR – a South Australian special. The Weatherill Labor government organised 4 days of a so-called “Citizens’ Jury”. It was run by small South Australianall-female firm DemocracyCo. They probably shouldn’t have taken the job on, seeing that it was firmly set that this would not be any kind of a real jury. The job of the Citizens’ Jury was to make no verdict, no recommendations, but just to produce a summary of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission’s recommendations .
Which they did. Premier Weatherill is now touting their report as if it were the decisions of the Citizens’ Jury. The Jury people were intelligent, kept to their narrow brief, and produced this report.
DemocracyCo ran the Citizens’ Jury in a competent, well organised and fair manner. Because of the particular brief – it seemed natural that Royal Commission (RC) personnel were all about, and that most witnesses tended to be closely aligned with the nuclear lobby.
The good side of all this, is that South Australian citizens are becoming aware of this nuclear con job. There are critical comments all over the place, and especially sent to the RC’s own website. The Aborigines are not impressed.
There’ll be another Nuclear Citizens’ Jury in November. It will be interesting to see how that one works out, and what effect will result from South Australia’s coming nuclear propaganda avalanche.
(I’m correcting a previous version of this post, here) The South Australian government already rushed through legislation that overturned South Australia’s legislation against spending money on nuclear industry development, (making this retrospective of course – to cover the $millions already spent)
The next step is to overturn the whole Act, or at least those parts of it which prohibit importing a nd storing foreign wastes.
Weatherill is quoted in THE AUSTRALIAN today as saying ”
“they (the Citizens’ Jury) are asking us to also change the legislation to undertake that work”.
That is a lie. The jury was merely repeating what the Nuclear Royal Commission said. The jury kept to their brief – no decisions or recommendations – just regurgitate what the Commission said.
I write as the dreary Australian election campaign draws to a close. It will be a grim scene for present, but especially future, Australians, if the Liberal Coalition government is re-elected. Prime Minister Turnbull, whatever interest he might have had in the past, in environment and climate change, has shown himself to be in the grip of the climate denying, Abbott-led right wing politicians. We all thought Turnbull would move in a positive direction. It would be almost a relief to have Abbott back – know thine enemy.
- Former Liberal leader Hewson says climate change should be dominant election issue.
- The powerful influence of mining companies on Australia’s political parties.
- Climate protest march in Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate of Wentworth.
- Clean Energy Finance Corporation now being used as Coalition election slush fund.
- For women, climate change is an election priority.
Environmental policy threatened by Trans Pacific Partnership: this election could decide.
Labor is a lot better, on climate and nuclear issues. I will be handing out how-to-vote cards for the Greens. A vote for the Greens does not take votes away from Labor, as Greens give their first preference to Labor. That compliment is not returned, however, showing that Labor is somewhat scared of the Greens. One of the many great Greens candidate is in a South Australian electorate – Indigenous elder Dr Jillian Marsh – for Grey
Federal election candidates oblivious about the South Australian nuclear waste plan. Fiona Stanley surveyed candidates on climate change. She got good responses from minor parties, small response from Labor, and nothing from the Coalition.
Malcolm Turnbull backs importing foreign nuclear waste. Taxpayers $100,000,000 to be spent up front BEFORE any decision on South Australia nuclear waste importing. Blow to South Australian govt: BHP categorically rejects any role in nuclear waste importing. Citizens Jury: the ever climbing costs of Jay Weatherill’s nuclear waste dream. Protest outside South Australia’s Nuclear Citizens Jury.
Mark Diesendorf on Risks, ethics and consent: Australia shouldn’t become the world’s nuclear wasteland. Nigel Carney analyses intrinsic flaws in the Nuclear Royal Commission. The (anti-nuclear) Lizard dances in Adelaide. China as market for agriculture, could be finished if nuclear waste dump goes ahead
Dr Helen Caldicott – a prophet With Honour outside her own country. (Why isn’t she asked as a witness to the South Australian Nuclear Citizens’ Jury?)
Port Augusta protest against federal government’s plan for dumping Lucas Heights nuclear wastes at Barndioota.
RENEWABLE ENERGY Australians Saving $1 Billion Per Year through Solar Energy. A solar energy revolution in mining. Canberra’s community- owned solar farm to be largest in Australia. New South Wales leading the nation with large scale solar farms.
This Citizens jury panel is worse than I expected it to be. As for the link to “streaming” – it does not lead you there. It leads you to the Nuclear Royal Commission’s page where you’re invited to “register for discussion”. So much for public access to the hearings. This is a charade of the Citizens Jury Process.
To have any credibility a Citizens Jury on this nationally important matter should be televised, or at very least available as video, audio and transcript.
So you have to look back on their record – in Wikipedia, or better still, in this fine article by Independent Australia’s intrepid investigative journalist Sandi Keane – The Liberal Party’s nuclear dreams: The strange case of Dr John White and Ignite -display/the-liberal-partys-nuclear-dreams-the-strange-case-of-dr-john-white-and-ignite,6270
It might be a waste of time questioning Labor Party politicians and candidates on what they think about importing nuclear waste – Labor policy is strongly anti nuclear.
It’s probably good to question Nick Xenophon Team – as they are still making up their minds about this.
Waste of time questioning Greens – their opposition to the Nuclear Fuel Chain is rock solid.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA With the the rest of the nation paralysed in a sort of deadly dreary election campaign, the South Australian government is getting on with its push for a nuclear waste importing industry. It’s appointed SA-based startup business DemocracyCo, led by Emily Jenke, to run the Nuclear Citizens Jury on June 25-26. 10 randomly selected South Australians will be able to sit in and watch proceedings, chosen from those who register for this at Citizens Jury Viewing
The ‘pie in the sky’ financials of the South Australian Nuclear Royal Commission’s Report.
Senator Nick Xenophon, whose team might hold balance of power federally, after July 2, has stated his opposition to the waste import dump plan. “I can’t see the benefits are there that outweigh the risks”. “I don’t support importation of high-level waste.”
CLIMATE Most Australian prioritise Great Barrier Reef over coal industry.
Australian Greens set out plan for a solar South Australia.
NUCLEAR Our national survey of Labor politicians and election candidates: email and phone responses are dribbling in. Indications are that Labor politicians are in general very much opposed to any change in Labor’s anti nuclear policy, and especially to importing radioactive trash.
Labor leader Bill Shorten ambivalent at the least, about Australia importing nuclear waste
Greens propose a more rational way to deal with Lucas Heights’ returning nuclear wastes.
Labor would reinstate funding to environment legal centres.
Renewable energy. Solar change brings economic, social benefits to remote indigenous community Renewables Could Boost Australian Employment by 50% – NFP Report. Batteries an energy game changer. Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews has ambitious plan for boosting wind energy. Melbourne’s world first renewable energy project. Ever-growing boom in rooftop solar energy in New South Wales.
With 3 weeks to go until the federal election, watching the performance of our major parties is a pretty unedifying sight. If I hear the words “Jobs and Growth” one more time, I will do an Elvis Presley, and throw a tomahawk at the TV set. (Did Elvis really do that? But I digress) Today PM Turnbull mouthed a few motherhood statements about climate, but no policy there. Labor is better, with a promising renewable energy policy. (Of course, neither are breathing a word about Australia importing nuclear waste. Nor is Nick Xenophon, the rising star who might hold the balance of power after the election) ) The Greens have an economically sound renewable energy plan.
I have emailed all Labor MPs, Senators and Candidates, asking each if they want to hold to Labor’s strong anti-nuclear policy, which bars importing nuclear waste, or if they would agree to change it. Few replies, so far, and most replies simply dodge the question Australians! You could send your own t or use the sample at the end of this email. Contact details for Australian politicians and candidates are here.
On the State scene, South Australian Labor Premier Weatherill and Liberal Opposition Leader Steven Marshall are off together for a little nuclear lovefest in Finland, to look at Finland’s (not yet operative) nuclear waste repository.
The planned South Australian high level nuclear waste one will need to be up to 28 times the size of Finland’s. That’s around 112 square kms or 5,500 Adelaide ovals, 400 metres underground – and that’s not taking into consideration the 470,000 m3 of low and intermediate level nuclear waste.
Sample email to Australian Labor politicians
- Labor will:
- Vigorously and totally oppose the ocean dumping of radioactive waste;
- Prohibit the establishment of nuclear power plants and all other stages of the nuclear fuel cycle in Australia;
- Fully meet all Australia’s obligations as a party to the NPT; and
- Remain strongly opposed to the importation and storage of nuclear waste that is sourced from overseas in Australia.
It’s SOUTH AUSTRALIA again. You might all be getting sick of hearing about South Australia’s nuclear woes. But, spare a thought for the indigenous people of South Australia! They’ve been through all this before – and now again – the nuclear lobby planning to radioactively trash their homeland! And a thought for the decent, aware people of South Australia, who also fight to prevent their State, and their country being radioactively trashed.
It’s Submission Time Yet Again. Submissions about nuclear waste dumping will be received up until 1st July by the new JOINT COMMITTEE ON FINDINGS OF THE NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE ROYAL COMMISSION , Parliament of South Australia. Great timing, just the day before the federal election – so they hope that nobody will notice. Except perhaps again for all those nuclear companies, who have already sent in their secret submissions to South Australia’s shonky Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission.
South Australian ‘Citizens’ Jury’ to kick off expensive nuclear publicity juggernaut. Nuclear ‘Citizens Jury’ will be a farce if it relies solely on that biased South Australian Royal Commission. However, New DemocracyCo’s co-CEO Emily Jenke says Citizens’ Jury not about manufacturing nuclear consent.
NORTHERN TERRITORY. Rum Jungle still polluted 45 years after uranium mine was closed
Pro coal, pro nuclear John White still quietly running Liberal govt’s resources policy.
Australia covered up plight of Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania wilderness and Kakadu in UN Report
ELECTION 2 JULY
- Major political parties downplay environment as election approaches.
- Australian Conservation Foundation’s environment election scorecard.
- Transition to renewable energy favoured by most voters.
- Labor’s community solar hubs would benefit renters and pensioners. Labor’s renewable energy plan won’t cost taxpayers – Shorten. Labor will not support Adani’s proposed $16 billion Carmichael coalmine.
- Greens energy plan to generate $53 billion of investment in Queensland.
- Coalition electorates have highest proportion of solar powered homes
Infrastructure Victoria draft report includes nuclear power as an option.
Nuclear ‘Citizens Jury’ will be a farce if it relies solely on that biased South Australian Royal Commission
A big limitation of this so called first “Citizens’ jury is that it will take its information from the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission. But there are important aspects that are almost completely glossed over in that Commission. For example – they barely mention the dangers of transporting radioactive trash. That is an issue of high concern internationally.
Quoting a recent UK report on the dangers of a radioactive accident or of a radioactive attack – “The report on nuclear security, compiled by Dr David Lowry, a senior research fellow with the US Institute for Resource and Security Studies, argues that nuclear materials transported by road, rail, sea and air are also potential targets.”
If the “Agenda Setting Jury” is going to rely only on that biased pro nuclear Commission for the topics for discussion, then the whole thing will be a farce