Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

CSIRO study proves climate change driving Australia’s 800% boom in bushfires.

CSIRO study proves climate change driving Australia’s 800% boom in bushfires, The Age, By Mike Foley, November 26, 2021 Climate change is the dominant factor causing the increased size of bushfires in Australia’s forests, according to a landmark study that found the average annual area burned had grown by 800 per cent in the past 32 years.

The peer-reviewed research by the national science agency, CSIRO — published in the prestigious science journal, Nature — reveals evidence showing changes in weather due to global warming were the driving force behind the boom in Australia’s bushfires.

Lead author and CSIRO chief climate research scientist Pep Canadell said the study established the correlation between the Forest Fire Danger Index – which measures weather-related vegetation dryness, air temperature, wind speed and humidity – and the rise in area of forest burned since the 1930s.

“It’s so tight, it’s so strong that clearly when we have these big fire events, they’re run by the climate and the weather,” Dr Canadell said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison went to the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow to commit Australia to reach net zero emissions by 2050, and to upgrade his expectations for Australia’s 2030 carbon cuts, but he defied a global push to commit to phasing out fossil-fuel use. Instead, the Coalition government is backing a significant expansion of the gas industry, which it predicts will be 13 per cent larger in 2050 than it is now.

Under the federal government’s gas industry strategy, taxpayers will support the private sector to develop viable new gas fields and develop an extensive network of new pipelines and related infrastructure.

The bushfire royal commission identified climate change as a key risk to ongoing bushfire catastrophe but did not make recommendations about reducing greenhouse emissions to curb the threat.

The CSIRO report found other factors have an impact on the extent and intensity of bushfires such as the amount of vegetation or fuel load in a forest, the time elapsed since the last fire, and hazard reduction burning. But Dr Canadell said the study showed the link between weather and climate conditions and the size of bushfires was so tight, it was clear these factors far outweighed all other fire drivers…………….

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Mega-fires, which burn more than 1 million hectares, have “markedly” increased with three of the four recorded from 1930 occurring since 2000, while the gap between big blazes has had a “rapid decrease”, the study says.

Last year, the bushfire royal commission reported fuel-load management through hazard reduction burning “may have no appreciable effect under extreme conditions” that typically cause loss of life and property.  https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/csiro-study-proves-climate-change-driving-australia-s-800-percent-boom-in-bushfires-20211126-p59cgr.html

November 27, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

COP 26, especially Australia, has failed First Nations people

 At this supposedly historic event, I saw a conference that relied on dated colonial constructs and ignored Indigenous people. I watched the Australian pavilion used to promote gas and carbon capture and storage, sponsored by corporations such as Santos. Outnumbered by fossil fuel lobbyists, First Nations people witnessed an aggressive big business approach to climate negotiations, hardly the turning away from and permanent closure of extractive, polluting industries that we are all calling for.

 Guardian 15th Nov 2021

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/15/empty-words-no-action-cop26-has-failed-first-nations-peopl

November 16, 2021 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australia at COP26 – a damaging presence


COP26: it’s half-time at the crucial Glasgow climate change summit – and here’s the score, The Conversation, Wesley Morgan, 5 Nov 21, Research Fellow, Griffith Asia Institute and Climate Council researcher, Griffith University

………………….Missing the moment: The Australian Way

While the rest of the world is getting on with the race to a net-zero emissions economy, Australia is barely out of the starting blocks. Australia brought to Glasgow the same 2030 emissions target that it took to Paris six years ago – even as key allies pledged much stronger targets.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrived with scant plans to accompany his last-minute announcement on net-zero by 2050. The strategy titled The Australian Way, which comprised little more than a brochure, failed to provide a credible pathway to that target. It was met with derision across the world.

On the way to Glasgow, at the G20 leaders meeting in Rome, Australia blocked global momentum to reduce emissions by resisting calls for a phase out of coal power. Australia also refused to sign on to the global pledge on methane.

Worse still, Australia is using COP26 to actively promote fossil fuels. Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor says the summit is a chance to promote investment in Australian gas projects, and Australian fossil fuel company Santos was prominently branded at the venue’s Australia Pavilion.

The federal government is promoting carbon capture and storage as a climate solution, despite it being widely regarded as a licence to prolong the use of fossil fuels. The technology is also eye-wateringly expensive and not yet proven at scale……. https://theconversation.com/cop26-its-half-time-at-the-crucial-glasgow-climate-change-summit-and-heres-the-score-170869

November 6, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment

Australia’s credibility at a low point, with Scott Morrison’s lying and appalling performance at COP26

Bonne chance? Australia might need it on AUKUS nuclear submarines deal  https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7492847/bonne-chance-australia-might-need-it/ 2 Oct 21,

The AUKUS nuclear submarines deal had better pay off, because the costs for Australia are beginning to appear far greater than first suggested.

In case Prime Minister Scott Morrison really thought some time, and some space, would quell Emmanuel Macron’s anger at the announcement – which abruptly ended a $90 billion submarines contract with France’s Naval Group – the French president disabused him of that idea on Sunday.

Mr Macron knew very well what he was doing when he spoke to Australian journalists about the AUKUS deal, and Mr Morrison’s actions. There was an air of calm calculation about his words. If his intent was to express the depth of his disappointment, the damage the nuclear submarines deal had done to the Australia-France relationship, and to raise questions about Mr Morrison’s handling of the AUKUS move, then he was bang on target.

He didn’t overplay his anger, and even couched his disapproval of Mr Morrison’s actions with a respectful recognition of Australia and France’s friendship and shared history.

With two words, he also highlighted what is becoming increasingly clear about the AUKUS nuclear submarines arrangement: As an exercise in Australian defence procurement, it appears chimeric.

“Good luck,” he said, noting that far from a signed contract, Australia right now has to wait 18 months for a review before the next steps in its new quest for submarines. Bonne chance, Australia.

This is where the nation sits less than a couple of months after the AUKUS deal, in a region with heightening geopolitical tensions and unresolved questions about Australia’s ability to defend itself. Australia is falling out with its friends (France), while its closest ally gives a different version of events in the lead-up to the AUKUS announcement (it was “clumsy”, Joe Biden says).

In hindsight, the AUKUS announcement seems true to form for Mr Morrison. It was high in marketing, fanfare and gloss, but lacking in substance, ham-fisted in execution and questionable in the respect it afforded to those who deserved it.

Add Australia’s reputation as obstructing progress in international climate talks, its pathetically bare minimum net zero by 2050 position, and its refusal to support international agreements phasing out coal, and the nation cuts an increasingly lonely figure on the world stage.

Mr Morrison’s trip overseas for both G20 and COP26 is, at this stage, disastrous. Australia’s credibility seems to be ebbing, not just because of AUKUS but on climate action, too. Middle powers cannot afford to put their reputations at risk like this.

November 2, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment

Scott Morrison’s ‘net zero plan’ includes small nuclear reactors

Australia’s net zero plan includes ‘small, modular nuclear reactors’  Paul Osborne, 27 Oct 21, Australia will closely watch the development of small modular nuclear reactors as the government seeks to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.  The Morrison government’s emissions plan released on Tuesday said “all technologies” were on the table.

…….. The plan noted that Australia was working with the UK on low emissions technology, including research into small modular reactors.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Perth radio 6PR on Tuesday he did not intend to lift the current ban on nuclear power in Australia…….https://inqld.com.au/news/2021/10/27/australias-net-zero-plan-includes-small-modular-nuclear-reactors/

Australia will closely watch the development of small modular nuclear reactors as the government seeks to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.  The Morrison government’s emissions plan released on Tuesday said “all technologies” were on the table.

October 28, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics, technology | Leave a comment

Dirty Power: Big Coal’s network of influence over the Coalition Government (Director’s Cut)

October 25, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

National Party did a secret climate deal with Morrison, but nuclear power was not included.

Some Nationals had been pushing for nuclear to be included as part of Australia’s clean energy mix. But ahead of the meeting, Nationals deputy leader David Littleproud indicated it would not be part of the plan.

Nationals provide in-principle support for a net zero 2050 target, nuclear not part of plan, ABC News, By political reporter Stephanie Borys  24 Oct 21,  The Nationals have given their in-principle support to back a target of net zero emissions by 2050, just days before Prime Minister Scott Morrison is due to fly to Glasgow for global climate talks.

Key points:

  • Mr Joyce says a majority of Nationals members and senators are on board with the plan
  • He says most concerns with the climate plan have been allayed
  • Cabinet will meet to sign off on the plan, which Mr Morrison will take to Glasgow

The party met on Sunday afternoon to discuss its ongoing concerns about adopting the policy, with some worried it could result in job losses in regional areas…….

The Nationals met for just over two hours and all 21 members and senators spoke on the matter but no formal vote was held…..

………Federal Cabinet will meet within days to formally sign off on the plan, which the Prime Minister will then take to the Glasgow climate summit.

What did the Nationals get inserted into the climate plan?

There are conditions attached to the Nationals backing net zero emissions by 2050, but those details remain a secret.

Just days ago, the junior Coalition partner presented a list of demands to the Prime Minister about the proposed climate change policy.

The Nationals have not publicly outlined the changes they want. Mr Joyce again refused to provide details about what Mr Morrison had offered or agreed to.

……….. Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said Australians deserved to know the details of the deal.

Some Nationals had been pushing for nuclear to be included as part of Australia’s clean energy mix. But ahead of the meeting, Nationals deputy leader David Littleproud indicated it would not be part of the plan.

“You have got to educate before you legislate and we’ve got to bring the community with us,” he said

“They are not there with us at this stage; unfortunately, they are getting their education from Chernobyl and The Simpsons.

“That takes time to build that education up,” he said.

New South Wales Liberal Treasurer Matt Kean said the proposal did not stack up on practical or economic grounds, and that his government had been told by experts it would take at least 15 years to train the workforce.

“People talking about nuclear to solve our current needs are chasing a unicorn,” he said……  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-24/nationals-provide-in-principle-support-for-net-zero-2050-target/100564192

October 25, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

National Party may demand that nuclear power be part of Scott Morrison’s ”net zero by 2050” aim.

Nationals may put nuclear energy on the agenda as the party negotiates Scott Morrison’s net zero proposal,  The Nationals could put nuclear power on the agenda as part of Scott Morrison’s proposed net zero by 2050 target, the chair of the Environment and Energy Committee said. Sky News Tyrone Clarke, Digital Reporter, October 21, 2021 –  Liberal MP Ted O’Brien has flagged the possibility of the Nationals pushing nuclear energy on the agenda as the Coalition debates Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s net zero proposal.

The Nationals party room met again on Thursday afternoon to finalise a set of climate demands to be presented to Mr Morrison as the Prime Minister hopes to take a net zero target to the upcoming COP26 summit in Glasgow.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has remained tight-lipped about his party’s preferences towards the policy, but has categorically ruled out committing to a more aggressive 2030 emissions reduction target.

But Mr O’Brien said nuclear power had the backing of many Nationals members and could be on a list of demands set to head to the Prime Minister’s desk…………………. https://www.skynews.com.au/australia-news/politics/nationals-may-put-nuclear-energy-on-the-agenda-as-the-party-negotiates-scott-morrisons-net-zero-proposal/news-story/0d476f4bbec9af57ecfb6eab864b8930

October 23, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Politicians playing dress up, as Australia’s ”leaders” pretend they’re interested in climate change

October 19, 2021 Posted by | Audiovisual, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Nuclear power? It’s of zero use to Australia’s emissions plan


I have no problems with nuclear power. But the only way it would be viable is with an extremely high carbon price. I say bring that on!

Except a high carbon price makes renewables an even better investment, and thus nuclear less needed.

And even a high carbon price won’t get enough nuclear plants built soon enough to prevent temperatures rising above 2C.

Nuclear power is too costly, too slow, so it’s zero use to Australia’s emissions plan, EXCELLENT GRAPHS Guardian, Greg Jericho  18 Oct 21, With a 20-year development timeline, nuclear plants won’t be built soon enough to stop temperatures rising above 2C. So why are we wasting precious time debating them?

The catch-22 of nuclear power in Australia is that you would only consider it if you wanted to reduce emissions because of climate change, but if you agree climate change is real and we need to reduce emissions, you would not consider nuclear power.

Currently Australia burns a lot of coal – more than other comparable economies with nuclear power.

Even worse, Victoria relies greatly on the dirtiest and least-efficient brown coal.

But if you think climate change is a load of bunk then, as current head of charging with ChargeFox, Evan Beaver, puts it in his excellent blog post on the issue, “we might as well burn all the coal we have. And we have a lot.”

But if you do agree climate change is real then what we need to do is reduce emissions as fast as possible. As I noted last month, at a certain point there will be so much CO2 in the atmosphere that we won’t be able to limit temperatures rising above either 1.5C or 2C above pre-industrial levels, no matter when we get to net zero afterwards.

Projected cumulative emissions between 2021 and 2050

6,161Gt is the carbon budget to stay below 2C; 3,521Gt is the carbon budget for 1.5C

We must cut emissions fast – at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030, and probably by about 75% if we want to limit temperature rises to less than 1.5C.

Nuclear power is of zero use on that score.

We know this because nuclear power has already been examined a lot.

One excellent study was in 2006 under the Howard government, by Ziggy Switkowski. It noted that “the earliest that nuclear electricity could be delivered to the grid would be 10 years, with 15 years more probable”.

Alright then. Firstly, not even the National party is insane enough to make nuclear power an election promise.

So let’s assume if the Coalition wins next year’s election, but announces a move to legalise nuclear power, that even with the best intentions, given the task of getting the votes, it’d be lucky for that to happen until the end of 2022.

Now all that has to happen is choose the type of reactor, and oh, pick a spot (have fun).

Ignore the coming election in 2025 and assume everything gets in place by 2024 (not a hope, but hey, let’s play pretend). That means at best we’re looking at 2035 but more likely 2040 before the first nuclear plant comes on line.

That is already too late to help prevent temperatures reaching 2C, and by then an overwhelming amount of our electricity will already be generated by renewables.

That means the need for such a plant is gone. Markets know this, which is why no one will ever invest in such a plant here.

The CSIRO’s latest “GenCost” report suggests the capital costs of small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear power plants by 2030 and even out to 2050 will be greater than renewables, including solar thermal plants.

But perhaps rather surprising is that nuclear becomes even less viable when the CSIRO projects the world getting to net zero by 2050.

The reason is that, under such a scenario, the push for renewables accelerates so greatly that the development of nuclear power effectively stalls, meaning Australia would have to be a leading investor in new plants – thus paying the first mover costs.

As the CSIRO notes, “a major source of discomfort” for nuclear stakeholders is that the high cost estimate of nuclear power “is of theoretical value only” because “a nuclear SMR plant is not planned to be built in Australia anytime soon”………………….


I have no problems with nuclear power. But the only way it would be viable is with an extremely high carbon price. I say bring that on!

Except a high carbon price makes renewables an even better investment, and thus nuclear less needed.

And even a high carbon price won’t get enough nuclear plants built soon enough to prevent temperatures rising above 2C.

Nuclear power: too costly, and too slow. https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2021/oct/19/nuclear-power-too-costly-too-slow-so-its-zero-use-to-australias-emissions-plan

October 19, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australia set to disappoint key allies on 2030 emissions target.

Australia set to disappoint key allies on 2030 emissions target, SMH,  By Mike Foley October 18, 2021 Australia’s decision not to boost its 2030 emissions reduction target will disappoint key allies that have called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to do more ahead of next month’s United Nations climate summit in Glasgow.Mr Morrison told Parliament on Monday he would stick with the target that he took to the 2019 election, which was set by former prime minister Tony Abbott in 2015, to reduce emissions by at least 26 per cent from 2005 levels. His decision comes after Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce on Sunday all but ruled out support for a higher 2030 commitment.

British cabinet minister Alok Sharma, who will head the COP26 climate change conference, has called on Australia to set a 2030 emissions reduction target of up to 50 per cent. The United Kingdom has committed to cut emissions 68 per cent by 2030 while the United States has set a goal to reduce emissions by 50 per cent and urged Australia to increase its near-term target. Japan is targeting 46 per cent.  South Korea 40 per cent and the European Union 55 per cent.

Climate scientists say deep emissions cuts by 2030 are needed to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees, and as close to 1.5 degrees as possible to avoid the worst damage from climate change. Waiting longer to 

 reduce greenhouse gases will allow too much carbon to build up in the atmosphere and cause heating long after 2050, even if net zero is achieved by then.

The government’s “technology not taxes” policy is focused on investment in low-emissions technologies to replace current carbon-intensive systems…………….

A report released on Monday by the Asian Investor Group on Climate Change, Ceres and the Investor Group on Climate Change, which represent investors with a cumulative $62 trillion in assets, called for G20 leaders including Australia to set ambitious 2030 targets. It said Australia was among the least attractive countries for green investment, alongside Argentina, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Investor Group on Climate Change policy director Erwin Jackson said global investors, which Australia relies on for foreign investment, would flow away from countries without ambitious 2030 targets………https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/for-the-love-of-god-act-now-church-leaders-join-chorus-urging-government-to-boost-2030-climate-target-20211018-p590uy.html

October 19, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Prince Charles urges Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other leaders to attend COP26 

Prince Charles urges Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other leaders to attend COP26 ABC By Jack Hawke in London 11 Oct 21, Prince Charles has urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other world leaders to attend the UN’s climate change conference, calling it a “last chance saloon” to save the planet.

Key points:

  • Prince Charles appeared surprised to learn Prime Minister Scott Morrison may not attend the COP26 UN climate change conference
  • More than 100 world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, the Queen and the Pope will attend the summit
  • Prince Charles also said he shared the concerns of younger generations that not enough is being done to combat cliamte issues

World leaders including Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, the Queen and the Pope will be at the event, but Mr Morrison has not yet made a decision on whether he will attend.

The Prince of Wales was giving an interview to the BBC when he was pressed about Australia’s action on climate change ahead of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow at the end of this month.

Prince Charles seemed genuinely surprised when told by the BBC’s climate editor Justin Rowlatt that Mr Morrison was still on the fence about coming.

“Is that what he says?” Charles asked……… https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-12/prince-charles-scott-morrison-climate-change-cop26/100531092

October 11, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Scott Morrison gets a mention on global summary of climate change leaders – and it’s not good!

Who’s who at Cop26: the leaders who hold the world’s future in their hands, Guardian 11 Oct 21,

”……..Scott Morrison

“A rogue nation on the climate” is how one Cop expert describes Australia, urging other countries to ostracise the coal exporter, which under Morrison has refused to take on new commitments on emissions. But if anything the Aukus deal appears to have buoyed the Australian prime minister’s sense that he can get away with it – he may not even attend……..”  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/11/whos-who-at-cop26-the-leaders-who-hold-the-worlds-climate-in-their-hands

October 11, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Scott Morrison confirms he’s unlikely to attend UN climate summit in Glasgow

Scott Morrison confirms he’s unlikely to attend UN climate summit in Glasgow,  SBS, 2 Oct 21, Scott Morrison says attending COP26 would require him to go into quarantine for a fourth time, disrupting his ability to “engage in my normal duties” as prime minister.

Scott Morrison has given the strongest indication yet he will not attend United Nations climate talks in Glasgow, blaming coronavirus quarantine requirements……

“I will have spent, if I do that, a total of four times 14-day quarantine, basically, in this building, not being able to engage in my normal duties around the country as much as I would like to.”

“That’s a long time for a prime minister to be in quarantine in a six-month period.”

More than 100 world leaders have so far indicated they will attend the summit in person………

Meanwhile, Nationals resisting coalition attempts to get a 2050 net zero emissions target over the line before Glasgow say they are yet to see the government’s plan for how to achieve it……… https://www.sbs.com.au/news/scott-morrison-confirms-he-s-unlikely-to-attend-un-climate-summit-in-glasgow/6649bcbf-6bcc-4ae5-8572-70e988624437

October 2, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Liberal Coalition prepares for greenwashing at the Glascow climate summit


Right faction hardheads will accept greenwashing ahead of Glasgow if that’s required to keep the Coalition in power, Guardian Katharine Murphy 2 Oct 21,
But even if Scott Morrison lands net zero he would rather market his climate pivot at home rather than abroad – there’s an election to prepare for……………………………………….. Right now, Morrison is trying to land new climate commitments ahead of the Cop26 in Glasgow. While senior people insist Morrison’s net zero plane is going to land, on a runway, with zero casualties, either in the second or third week of October, climate policy can be lethal territory for Australian prime ministers, and not just prime ministers called Malcolm Turnbull (as Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard can attest).

Morrison’s current trouble seems to be confined to a handful of Queensland Nationals as opposed to the entire right faction of the Liberal party, which was Turnbull’s cross to bear during rounds one and two of his internal climate wars.

Thus far, the right has been quiet. People say the majority view is grudging acceptance because of the shifting politics – although some conservatives report a growing backlash bubbling up from the base about a net zero commitment.

Morrison referenced the shifting politics when he met a deputation of mainly moderate Liberals earlier this week. This group of MPs was given some face time with Morrison after they asked to see him. The objective was to send a clear message: the group wanted a commitment to the net zero target. They did not want a handful of Queensland Nationals writing the government’s climate change policy.

……   If the centre of political gravity has shifted in favour of climate action in parts of the country where the Liberals need to hold or win seats, then the Liberal party will need to act, or (more pertinently) at least look like it’s acting.

If that’s the electoral reality, political hard heads in the right faction of the Liberal party can hold their noses about net zero if they believe greenwashing ahead of Glasgow is what’s required to keep Labor out of power.

But for some hardcore conservatives, Morrison revisiting the Coalition’s climate crime scene will be a provocation. It will be yet more proof of his obnoxious dictatorial pragmatism. It is not clear yet whether or not conservative feet will be stamped or rhetorical punches thrown. Perhaps they won’t, because there are always consequences for picking fights. But wise prime ministers prepare for all contingencies………..

Assuming the prime minister can land his net zero deal with Barnaby Joyce, Morrison would rather market his climate pivot at home rather than abroad……….https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/oct/02/right-faction-hardheads-will-accept-greenwashing-ahead-of-glasgow-if-thats-required-to-keep-the-coalition-in-power

October 2, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment