Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Religious leaders urge ScottyFromMarketing to move Australia away from fossil fuels

February 20, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Ethics – Australia and the climate and nuclear threats

It would be funny, if it were not so serious. Australia, the continent already experiencing the effects of global heating, and with a government now contemplating starting the nuclear industry,  – seems to be sleeping on, in comfortable ignorance about what is happening.

We all know – it is dinned into us daily –  that it’s all about economics.( And sport).  All our actions are justifiable if they can be show to further economic growth.

Who dares mention ethics?

What if decisions and actions were determined by the principle of acting decently and truthfully?

Then politicians, academics, journalists and other opinion leaders would have to speak clearly in plain words, about bushfires, the Murray Darling rivers, floods, and pollution.  Then solutions would be chosen for environmental protection, and for the public good.  The public good would include our Pacific neighbours, and indeed, Australia’s role in the global community.

Of course, there would be costs –  changes in lifestyle, in employment, in our use of energy and other resources, in increased taxation. It would require fairness to disadvantaged groups, and to those most affected by extreme weather.

It’s about time that ETHICS came back into public thinking and action.

Australia is now led by a man who is ignorant of all but advertising and marketing slogans. Our politicians, obsessed with one aim, to keep their seats in Parliament, cannot be relied upon to understand the ethics of Australia’s situation – as the canary in the mine of climate and nuclear threats.

Still – there are thousands of Australians, especially indigenous Australians, and many groups like the Australian Conservation Foundation, and Friends of the Earth who do “get it”, and who lead the pressure on governments to really face up to these dangers.

November 28, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Paying a small tribute to Fr Denis Edwards RIP (March 5th) and his love of Earth and All connected

I am opposed to an international waste dump in SA, because I believe we are called by God to love and to respect this land as a gift, and to protect its integrity for future generations. As Pope Francis has insisted, “intergenerational solidarity is not an option, but a basic question of justice.” He insists on the priority and fundamental role of indigenous peoples in all such decisions about the land: “For them land is not a commodity but rather a gift from God and from their ancestors who rest there, a sacred space with which they need to interact if they are to maintain their identity and values”  (Laudato Si’, 146).”

Professor Denis Edwards Theology, Australian Catholic University, Priest of the Archdiocese of Adelaide

Paying a small local tribute to Denis and his memory- from  No Dump Alliance website. 
Thank you Denis
Michele Madigan
Acknowledging Ngarrindjeri Ruwe

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, religion and ethics, South Australia | Leave a comment

6 Australian religious anti-war protesters may face 7 years gaol for peaceful Pine Gap protest

An American Spy Base Hidden in Australia’s Outback, NYT   The trials — and the Australian government’s uncompromising prosecution of the protesters — has put a spotlight on a facility that the United States would prefer remain in the shadows.

— Margaret Pestorius arrived at court last week in her wedding dress, a bright orange-and-cream creation painted with doves, peace signs and suns with faces. “It’s the colors of Easter, so I always think of it as being a resurrection dress,” said Ms. Pestorius, a 53-year-old antiwar activist and devout Catholic, who on Friday was convicted of trespassing at a top-secret military base operated by the United States and hidden in the Australian outback.

November 25, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Unity in Christian churches: bishops of Townsville speak out against Adani coal megamine

Catholic, Anglican bishops unite in opposition to Adani mega-mine, By Nicole Hasham
Brisbane Times, It may have the Turnbull and Palaszczuk governments firmly in its corner, but the Adani super-mine is facing a formidable new opponent: the Christian faith.

The Catholic and Anglican bishops of Townsville have issued a joint statement to their followers criticising “projected mega-mining developments across Queensland, especially the Galilee Basin”, and accusing politicians and big business of failing to protect the common good.

The bishops’ message puts them head-to-head with Adani, the Indian mining behemoth behind the $16.5 billion Carmichael mine proposed for the Galilee Basin. It also puts them at odds with the local council and state and federal governments, which resoundingly support the project.

Adani has located its regional headquarters in Townsville, and the statement will fuel debate in the already divided community over what would be Australia’s biggest coal mine.

The Right Reverend William Ray of the Anglican Diocese of North Queensland, and the Most Reverend Timothy Harris of the Catholic Diocese of Townsville, issued the statement to their parishes on Saturday.

They cited Pope Francis’ groundbreaking encyclical on the environment in June 2015, in which he said “the Earth, our home, is beginning to look … like an immense pile of filth”.

“We, too, as bishops in north Queensland, have concerns about many global and local issues that are impacting negatively on our environment and which require greater dialogue, examination, prayer and action,” the statement said.

The bishops said human dominion over the planet should be understood as “responsible stewardship”, especially to future generations…..https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/federal/catholic-anglican-bishops-unite-in-opposition-to-adani-megamine-20171030-gzaqxf.html

November 1, 2017 Posted by | Queensland, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Religious leaders in active opposition to Adani coal mine project

NSW religious leaders join Adani protests, Herald Sun Dominica Sanda and Greta Stonehouse, Australian Associated Press, June 5, 2017 Ten Buddhist and Christian leaders rallied inside the Darling Harbour office on Monday holding signs with messages including “People of faith say rule out Adani” and “Grandpa what did you do about global warming?”

June 7, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

The Ethics of the Nuclear Waste Import Plan

Ethics - nuclear 1Risks, ethics and consent: Australia shouldn’t become the world’s nuclear wasteland. The Conversation, ,  Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, UNSW Australia, June 28, 2016 

“……..One of the assumptions underlying the royal commission’s ethical argument is that nuclear power will continue to be a low-carbon energy source.

However, the life-cycle CO₂ emissions from conventional nuclear power will increase greatly as high-grade uranium ore is used up and low-grade ore is mined and milled with fossil fuels. This limitation could be avoided only if mining and milling are done with renewable energy or if new fuel is produced in fast breeder reactors, but neither of these options appears likely on a commercial scale within the next 20 years.

Second, the royal commission assumes that those countries that lack sufficient indigenous renewable energy cannot be supplied by trade of renewable electricity via transmission lines or renewable liquid and gaseous fuels delivered by tanker. After all, countries that lack fossil fuels or uranium are supplied by sea trade.

Third, it assumes that it is ethically a good thing to foster the expansion of an energy technology that has risks with huge potential adverse impacts, possibly comparable in magnitude to those of global climate change.

The risk with the highest impacts could be its contribution to the proliferation of nuclear weapons (for details see the Nuclear Weapon Archive and chapter 6 of Sustainable Energy Solutions for Climate Change) and hence the likelihood of nuclear war that could cause a nuclear winter…….. https://theconversation.com/risks-ethics-and-consent-australia-shouldnt-become-the-worlds-nuclear-wasteland-61380

June 29, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

The ethics of burdening future South Australians with nuclear wastes?

A high-level nuclear waste dump for SA   What is our moral obligation?

nuclear-future
Conservation Council of South Australia

The argument goes: surely SA has a moral obligation to import nuclear waste…

…because we mine uranium?

Uranium mining is only the first of many stages in the nuclear fuel chain. Mined uranium is converted, then enriched, then made into fuel and then used in nuclear power plants. All through this process, there are companies and other countries generating income and profits.
Why is it that companies are very happy to take the profits from their activities, but always try to push the costs (financial, environmental and social) back on to the public? For years, tobacco companies tried to dodge their disastrous impact on the health system until governments forced them to be held to account.
Surely the nuclear industry should be required to use some of its profits to invest in processing its waste into cleaner forms before it is placed in permanent storage? If it can’t do that, what is our moral obligation to continue to supply uranium to an industry that is not willing to take responsibility for its own waste?
And if we accept the logic that we are ultimately responsible for the waste products associated with our exports, shouldn’t we apply it to all our export products, like copper or steel? And shouldn’t other countries be held similarly accountable for the waste produced from their exports?

…because we are more geologically and politically stable than other places?

High-level nuclear waste stays dangerous to humans for tens of thousands of years. To put that into context, the Crusades happened 700 years ago, and the pyramids in Egypt were built around 4,500 years ago. To claim that SA will be politically stable based on just the last 200 years of parliamentary democracy is ridiculous.
Equally, SA is not the only region in the world with these characteristics and our geological stability is not all that is claimed. According to experts like Dr Mike Sandiford from the University of Melbourne, Australia is less tectonically stable than a number of other continental regions. The melting of ice sheets as a result of global warming is predicted to increase earthquakes and other seismic activity.
The US has regions that are just as stable as SA, and, unlike us, they produce high-level nuclear waste. So, using this logic, don’t they have a greater moral obligation to create a solution?

…because we benefit from x-rays?

The proposed high-level waste dump has nothing to do with waste from nuclear medicine. That is part of a separate (Federal) process to develop a dump for Australia’s domestic low and intermediate-level waste.

If we want this decision to include moral considerations (as it should), we might ask ourselves about the ethics of burdening thousands of generations of future South Australians with the cost and risk of managing highly radioactive waste, when any economic benefits are long gone.

March 19, 2016 Posted by | religion and ethics, South Australia | 1 Comment

Australia’s shame. Cardinal Pell criticising Pope Francis over Climate Change policy

a-cat-CAN

 

Dunno about you, but I am just as ashamed of this Australian Catholic Cardinal as I am of Australia’s Prime Minister Abbott

Cardinal George Pell criticises Pope Francis over climate change stance , SMH, July 19, 2015  Kerrie Armstrong Cardinal George Pell has publicly criticised Pope Francis’ decision to place climate change at the top of the Catholic Church’s agenda.

Cardinal Pell, a well-known climate change skeptic, told the Financial Times the church had “no particular expertise in science”.

“The church has got no mandate from the Lord to pronounce on scientific matters,” he said,

“We believe in the autonomy of science.”

 His comments come a month after Pope Francis released an historic encyclical calling on humanity to fight global warming……….Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Pell to reform the Vatican’s finances nearly 18 months ago.  http://www.smh.com.au/world/cardinal-george-pell-criticises-pope-francis-over-climate-change-stance-20150718-gifhjt.html#ixzz3gZqkYfTP

July 22, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese holds forum “Transitioning to Renewable Energy”

Maitland-Newcastle diocese takes up Pope Francis’ support of environmental issues http://www.maitlandmercury.com.au/story/3135438/catholic-church-forum-on-renewable-energy/ June 9, 2015, The Hunter’s involvement on the transition to renewable energy will come into focus during a public environmental forum preceding a letter from Pope Francis on environmental issues. The Social Justice Council of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle will host the public forum “Transitioning to Renewable Energy” at St Pius X High School on Wednesday night.

A group of Maitland students, ­teachers and residents will attend.

The forum follows Pope Francis’ announcement that his highly anticipated encyclical letter on environmental issues to be released on June 18. Continue reading

June 10, 2015 Posted by | New South Wales, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Pope Francis and Bishop Saunders on Australia’s inhumane Aboriginal policies

“Severing the ties of Aboriginal people from their land and thus their culture, spirituality and very foundation of their being, is unethical, immoral, un-Christian and heartless.”

Australia’s human rights record shambolic according to Pope Francis and Bishop Saunders http://thestringer.com.au/australias-human-rights-record-shambolic-according-to-pope-francis-and-bishop-saunders-9207#.VI8joNLF8nk by The StringerDecember 14th, 2014 Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, Bishop Christopher Saunders says Australia’s human rights record is being undermined by inhumane policies. Bishop Saunders pointed to the asylum seeker asylum policies which deny refugees sanctuary and the push by the Western Australian Government to close up to 150 of the State’s 274 homeland (remote) communities. He is also concerned that the South Australian Government may follow Western Australia’s lead and close as many as 100 communities. Continue reading

December 14, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Does Australia have any ethical banks?

ethics

 Market Forces, an Australian ethical banking advocacy group, says the company [Westpac]  has invested in fossil fuels. Market Forces reckons between them, the big four, “ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac have loaned almost $20 billion to fossil fuel projects in Australia.”…….The advocacy group, Market Forces, is suggesting that Australians concerned the ethics of their current bank, particularly those funding the fossil fuel industry, should consider moving their hard earned dollars to a institution more in line with their personal values. Their campaign is known as Divestment Day. On October 18, they’re asking Australians to consider the ethics of their bank and switch, if necessary.

On the money when it comes to ethical investing   WARREN MCLAREN, ABC, 6 OCT 14 “………….Does Australia have any ethical banks?

Ethisphere thinks so. In its global register of what it labels as the World’s Most Ethical (WME) companies, the 2014 compilation included five banks. Impressively three of those were Australian. This was Westpac’s seventh consecutive year, on the eight-year-old list. NAB nabbed a fourth year, and Teachers Mutual was a first timer.

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values is an international organisation whose member banks have combined assets of approximately $100 billion in 25 countries. Earlier this year it held its annual conference in Melbourne, even though it has but only one Australian member: bankmecu.

Formed from an amalgam of over 50 credit unions bankmecu was Australia’s first customer owned bank, and is currently its largest. Not surprising for a customer owned bank, their customer approval rating have been greater than 90 per cent for more than a decade.

That’s not to suggest that bankmecu has the market all to their lonesome. The Australian Customer Owned Banking Association includes 96 such member institutions. Continue reading

October 8, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

The immorality of Australia sending uranium to India

India-uranium1After Fukushima, is it moral for Australia to sell uranium to India?  by  Monday 29 September 2014 theguardian.com

With Australian uranium in the reactors at Fukushima during the meltdown, is it moral to sell the asbestos of the 21st Century to India? “………Although the Fukushima disaster seems confined to Japan, the story of this particular nuclear disaster started in a big yellow truck in an Australian uranium mine.

Continue reading

October 1, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Australia’s Pine Gap now an intrinsic part of USA’s drone killing system (and a terrorism target, too)

Map-Aust-Target1Pine Gap communications facility’s operations ‘ethically unacceptable’, Professor Des Ball says, ABC News By Dylan Wench 12 Aug 14  A senior strategic analyst has called for the Federal Government to rethink the Pine Gap communications facility, saying some of its work now is “ethically unacceptable”.Australian National University Professor Des Ball previously supported the joint Australia-US communications facility near Alice Springs, but changes to its role since the Al Qaeda attacks in 2001 have changed his mind.

“I’ve reached the point now where I can no longer stand up and provide the verbal, conceptual justification for the facility that I was able to do in the past,” he said.

Pine Gap is the jewel in the crown of Australia-US intelligence sharing, detecting nuclear weapons and intercepting communications around the globe. But for the past decade it has also been involved in the US drone program, which has killed thousands of militants and some civilians in countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Iraq.

“We’re now locked into this global network where intelligence and operations have become essentially fused,” Professor Ball told 7.30. “And Pine Gap is a key node in that network – that war machine, if you want to use that term – which is doing things which are very, very difficult I think, as an Australian, to justify.”…….

“We’ve already entered into a new phase of warfare where intelligence and unmanned vehicles of various sorts, under the water, killer satellites in space, are being fed from intelligence sources like Pine Gap – still one of the two biggest stations of this sort in the world – and we’re thoroughly embedded into it,” Professor Ball said……….

…..what is causing Professor Ball concern. “The drone program puts some of these dilemmas on a plate in front of you,” he said. “You have to start confronting this conflation of intelligence and operations, which has been an ongoing process now for some time.

“But the drones bring it right out in front, including on your television sets, and including the fact that I don’t know either how many terrorists have been killed by drones.

“But I would not be surprised if the total number of children exceeds the total number of terrorists. I don’t know.”

And he fears support of lethal US operations is becoming a steadily increasing part of what Pine Gap does.

“Aspects of what is collected there, the general surveillance function expanding, and the now increasing military operational uses, if they were really to change the balance around so that Pine Gap basically became a war fighting machine rather than an intelligence collector, then I think we all have to have second thoughts.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-13/pine-gap-us-drone-program-ethically-unacceptable-analyst/5669336

August 14, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Northern Territory, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

An Australian apologises for the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

We inherit from the past our own conditions of living. We inherit the burdens, responsibilities and sacrifices, as well as the opportunities. Whether I like it or not, I am part of the rationale against you, that led to the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. All this I owe to you, Japan, when I apologise. ....

Apologising for the bomb: a letter on our anniversary. The Drum, Luke Stickels, 5 August 11

Dear Japan, Today marks 66 years since your city, Hiroshima, faced the world’s first ever nuclear attack, and I thought I would write to apologise……..

at approximately 8.15am on 6 August, 1945, the United States dropped a gun-type atomic bomb called Little Boy on Hiroshima. Between 70,000-80,000 people, or approximately 30 per cent of Hiroshima’s population, were killed instantly by what the subsequent US Bombing Survey termed “inefficient” nuclear fission, which nevertheless cleared 12 square kilometers of the city and 69 per cent of its buildings.[1] I am sorry that Little Boy was not even less efficient; in fact I wish it had failed altogether. Another 70,000 of your people were injured, with 90 per cent of doctors and 93 per cent of nurses among the casualties, significantly disabling treatment for the injured and substantially raising the final death toll. Continue reading

August 4, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, religion and ethics | Leave a comment