Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Government and media silence on the bushfire danger to Lucas Heights nuclear reactor

Lucas Heights nuclear reactor: The untold threat of the Sydney bushfires.   https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/sydney-bushfires-raged-towards-lucas-heights-nuclear-reactor,11401 

Emergency warning issued as out-of-control bushfire rages across Sydney

As fires raged in Sydney, there has not been a peep out of the mainstream media about the fire hazard to Lucas Heights nuclear complex. Noel Wauchope reports. 

THE LATEST news on the bushfires raging in Sydney’s south-west is that the firefighters are “cautiously optimistic” and that emergency warning advice has been downgraded to “watch and act”.

However, the fire continues to burn in an easterly direction towards Barden Ridge and weather conditions are still dodgy, as Sydney’s record-breaking heatwave looks like coming to an end.

It’s been an anxious time — the fire has burned over 2,400 hectares. On Sunday (15 April), more than 500 firefighters in almost 100 fire trucks, along with 15 aircraft, battled the blaze throughout the day. Residents were told that it was too late to leave their homes. Heat from the bushfires was impacting the high voltage lines. There is very little rain forecast over the next few days.

So, it has all been a worry. But you wouldn’t know, would you, that the fire is so close to the Lucas Heights nuclear complex? The latest maps shown on The Guardian and NSW Rural Fire Service websites don’t really show how close this fire is getting to Lucas Heights. I have previously written about the safety hazards of Lucas Heights, with its reactor, cooling pond and accumulation of nuclear wastes — the amount of which is not publicly available.

The fires have reached about four kilometres from Lucas Heights. Embers carried by wind can form spot fires well ahead of the firefront — even up to 20 kilometres away. In the dense and rugged bushland, with predicted west to north-west winds up to 30 kilometres per hour – not forgetting that bushfires create their own weather systems – is not that hazardous to the nuclear complex?

But we don’t hear a word about this. What makes the silence easier, is that the residential area previously part of Lucas Heights was renamed Barden Ridge in 1996 to increase the real estate value of the area, as it would no longer be instantly associated with the High Flux Australian Reactor (HIFAR) — and now the Opal nuclear reactor.

Of course, now, because of the name change, there’s no public awareness that Australia’s nuclear reactor is anywhere near the fires. You can bet that the government wants to keep us all in blissful ignorance.

What we do know, is that fires are certainly a hazard to nuclear sites and there is the possibility of radiation release across a wide area, if fire invades a nuclear complex, with the fuel rods in cooling pools at great risk. When fires do happen near a nuclear site, there may be a security panic going on but that is not communicated to the public.

Whenever there have been wildfires threatening nuclear sites – in Russia, Europe or the U.S. – the pattern is to downplay, to not mention, the nuclear danger. The publicity pattern is always to ignore the radiation hazard.

For example during the recent Californian wildfires:

“It’s being fought by security site fire crews, with help from a helicopter able to detect any aerial release of radiation.”

As though any amount of monitoring is going to help or that any data would be publicly shared. Not a peep about the radiation numbers during the fires in and around Los Alamos, even though they were “monitoring” it.

And in the case of this fire in Russia, the emergency minister threatened to “deal with” those who spread radiation “rumours”:

For the current Sydney bushfires, it seems as though there will have been a lucky escape for the communities, despite the fact that two giant aircraft, the DC10 Nancybird and the C130 Hercules “Thor” — normally used for aerial water bombing — were not available to help fight the Sydney fire, having been sent back to the U.S., because by March, the fire risk is supposed to be over.

It will have been a much luckier escape that they realised if the nuclear complex remains unscathed — this time!  https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/sydney-bushfires-raged-towards-lucas-heights-nuclear-reactor,11401

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April 16, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, safety | Leave a comment

The latest sally in the fight to further dumb down the ABC

Murdoch press hails the inquiry it demanded into ABC’s ‘privileged status’, Guardian, Amanda Meade  30 Mar 18, News Corp embraces competitive neutrality terms of reference. Plus: forget Bureaucracy Stop, meet Reveal Capture

 

The Coalition has handed Rupert Murdoch something his outlets have been lobbying for pretty hard recently: an inquiry into whether the public broadcasters are “using their privileged status to smother commercial operators”. That’s how the announcement of the terms of reference for a competitive neutrality inquiry was reported by the Australian this week.

Just nine months ago the Oz lined up Australia’s media giants to complain about the ABC cutting their grass by operating in the digital space or daring to buy award-winning programs like The Handmaid’s Tale – which, in hindsight, the commercial networks wished they had bothered to bid for.

“The ABC is crowding out and threatening the survival of commercial news organisations because it enjoys that privileged status and has become a state-funded player across every media channel in the digital age,” Oz media editor Darren Davidson wrote last year.

“That is the judgment not only of News Corp, publisher of the Australian, but of every other big commercial operator including Fairfax Media, Seven West Media and Nine Entertainment.”

 The inquiry, which will take six months to consult with national broadcasters, commercial media, advertisers and viewers, will include a call for public submissions.

For fans of The Handmaid’s Tale, season two returns to SBS TV on Thursday 26 April, and episodes will be available on SBS On Demand after they have aired.

Stop, it’s efficiency time

The ABC is of course no stranger to inquiries, either being subject to them or conducting them internally. We told you last week about Bureaucracy Stop, an initiative to cut red tape from the ABC’s chief technology officer, Helen Clifton.

Now from Michelle Guthrie’s right-hand woman, Louise Higgins, comes Efficiency Project and Reveal Capture.

“As you know, we are driving a number of key initiatives, including Bureaucracy Stop and the Efficiency Project,” Higgins, the chief financial officer, wrote to staff this week………https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/mar/30/murdoch-press-hails-the-inquiry-it-demanded-into-abcs-privileged-status?CMP=share_btn_tw

 

March 31, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | 1 Comment

Jacinda Ardern’s ‘sexist, creepy’ 60 Minutes interview angers New Zealand

Guardian,  Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin 26 Feb 18 
Australian journalist Charles Wooley criticised for calling PM ‘attractive’ and discussing the conception of her baby. 

New Zealanders have criticised an interview with their prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, as “creepy” and “sexist”.

In the opening segment of the Australian current affairs show 60 Minutes , which aired on Sunday night, the veteran reporter Charles Wooley described the 37-year-old Ardern as “attractive”.–

“I’ve met a lot of prime ministers in my time,” says Wooley, filmed strolling the corridors of Parliament House with Ardern, the camera pulling in for a close-up on Ardern’s smiling face. “But none so young, not too many so smart, and never one so attractive.”

Wooley goes on to say that like the rest of New Zealand, he is “smitten” with their prime minister, with Channel Nine describing the interview in promos as a behind-the-scenes special with a world leader “like no other”, who is “young, honest and pregnant”.

“Admittedly, although somewhat smitten just like the rest of her country, I do know, that what’s really important in politics has to be what you leave behind,” Wooley says.

The interview was immediately met with derision from many New Zealanders on social media, who leapt to the defence of Ardern at having to endure the overly personal line of questioning, and dismissed Wooley as misogynistic and inappropriate. Other viewers said the interview was “repugnant”, “creepy” and “painful”.

“How did a nice person like you get into the sordid world of politics?” Wooley asked Ardern

“Nice people go into politics,” replied Ardern, smiling.

Wooley’s questions about her pregnancy appeared to make her and her partner, Clarke Gayford, rather uncomfortable.

“One really important political question that I want to ask you,” Wooley said. “And that is, what exactly is the date that the baby’s due?”

Ardern replied that her baby was due on 17 June, to which Wooley replied: “It’s interesting how many people have been counting back to the conception … as it were,” which made Gayford blush and laugh uncomfortably, responding: “Really?”

Wooley continued: “Having produced six children it doesn’t amaze me that people can have children; why shouldn’t a child be conceived during an election campaign?”

At this, Ardern appeared to roll her eyes, responding: “The election was done. Not that we need to get into those details.”

Wooley’s interviewing style obviously irked Gayford, who later alluded to the program when he tweeted about great places in New Zealand where you could “escape for 60 Minutes or longer”……..

In her weekly media standup Ardern said she did not find the interview offensive though she was initially taken aback by the question concerning the conception date of her child. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/26/sexist-creepy-jacinda-ardern-60-minutes-interview-angers-new-zealand

February 28, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Media silence on Julian Assange’s precarious situation

Wikileaks specifically noted Reuters’ coverage of these latest developments: “Depo Akande, an international law professor at Oxford University, said that Ecuador could argue that Britain had no right under international law to reject its declaration that Assange had diplomatic status.”

Additional press reports indicate that if the UK were ordered by the International Court to accept Ecuador’s decision to treat Assange as a diplomat, and were then to “declare him persona non grata, it would then ‘have to give him facilities to leave’ the country unhindered.” One hopes that the current Ecuadorian President, Lenín Moreno, will not bow to pressure from the United States to withdraw support from Assange. Ecuador’s former President, Rafael Correa, has indicated that this is a real possibility.

So far, legacy press has not taken the UK to task for attempting to “ignore” Assange’s new diplomatic role. Now more than ever, the media’s silence is important in informing or misinforming the public regarding Assange’s situation. The legal implications of Ecuador’s decision to confer Assange diplomatic status are potentially massive, but many outlets have been atrociously silent on the matter when they are not outright lying regarding Assange’s circumstances.

In light of the precariousness of recent events, human rights activist, journalist and Wikileaks supporter Randy Credico recently issued a call for Wikileaks supporters to ‘mobilize‘ in his support. This is a statement which should be taken seriously by the public and by independent media, which has increasingly been tasked with filling the void left by mainstream outlets that no longer function in the interest of honest reporting.

Telesur recently reported that former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa had warned: “It will only take pressure from the United States to withdraw protection for Assange.” He added: “Surely it’s already being done, and maybe they await the results of the Feb. 4 (referendum) to make a decision.” Correa also referred to Ecuador’s current president as a “traitor.”

Over the last twelve months, Disobedient Media has reported extensively on the hypocrisy of legacy press, including The Washington Post. The outlet’s recent coverage of Assange’s circumstances serves as an emblem of the overall problem of intelligence agency narratives being pushed by a corporate press with which they are entangled.

The Washington Post exemplified the issue when it published an article erroneously titled: “Ecuador’s president calls Julian Assange ‘more than a nuisance.” The article in question incorrectly referenced Assange in the following incorrect terms: “the WikiLeaks founder was wanted in Sweden on sexual assault charges. Those have since been dropped. ” Assange was never charged with sexual assault, and Sweden ended their investigation into the subject.

Although false narratives around Wikileaks are nothing new for establishment press, the latest smear attempts are particularly important due to the precarious nature of Assange’s current position.

The Washington Post’s allusion to non-existent sexual assault charges dishonestly paints Assange and the reasons for his exile in the Ecuadorian embassy in a light that not only is factually untrue, but conveniently distracts from the manifold ways in which Assange and Wikileaks employees have been directly targeted as a result of their journalistic endeavors. As this author previously reported, there have been a plethora of calls to assassinate Assange from media pundits, as well as individuals associated with the Democratic Party establishment.

In light of all this, it is absurd to discuss Assange’s predicament without also addressing the intelligence community and plutocratic establishment that has fundamentally driven the situation from the beginning.

UN rulings on the matter of Assange’s detention have stated: “Assange has been arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom since his arrest in London on 7 December 2010, as a result of the legal action against him by both Governments, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said today.” In essence, even the UN has recognized that Assange’s longstanding exile in the Ecuadorian embassy is due to governments who feel threatened by the content of Wikileaks publications.

At this juncture, it bears reminding that Jeff Bezos, the current owner of the Washington Post, has a $600 million contract with the CIA in relation to his monolithic company Amazon. The Nation wrote in 2013:

“Amazon, under the Post’s new owner, Jeff Bezos, recently secured a $600 million contract from the CIA. That’s at least twice what Bezos paid for the Post this year. Bezos recently disclosed that the company’s Web-services business is building a “private cloud” for the CIA to use for its data needs. Critics charge that, at a minimum, the Post needs to disclose its CIA link whenever it reports on the agency. Over 15,000 have signed the petition this week hosted by RootsAction.”

The Nation’s coverage of the CIA’s contract with Amazon has since been removed from their web page for unknown reasons, but is available through archive services.

When discussing The Washington Post’s exercise in gaslighting, it is important to keep the outlet’s well-documented financial connection with the CIA through Bezos in mind. In so doing, it is also pertinent to note that the CIA has made its hatred for Assange very clear, especially over the course of the last year. CIA Director Mike Pompeo put the agency’s hatred for Wikileaks were on full display as recently as yesterday, when the CIA Director lambasted the journalistic organization as a threat on par with Al Qaeda. Pompeo said of Al Qaeda and Wikileaks: “They don’t have a flag at the UN, but they represent real threats to the United States of America.”

That a group who publishes information that is inconvenient for the CIA would be likened to a terrorist network speaks to the threat which Wikileaks represents not to the safety of the American public, but to the plutocratic class and the American deep state.

Pompeo is well known for his previous reference to Wikileaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” The Hill wrote of the incident: “In his first major public appearance since taking the top intelligence post in the Trump administration, Pompeo took aim at WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden…” The Hill also cited Pompeo’s characterization of Assange as a: “fraud, a coward hiding behind a screen.”

Pompeo’s vitriolic characterization of Wikileaks is helpful, because it demonstrates that the CIA’s response to Wikileaks is on par with the force with which terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda are pursued. In that light, the magnitude of the threat faced by Assange and Wikileaks associates cannot be over-estimated. Pompeo’s words are not only absurd in light of Wikileaks being an extremely accurate journalistic organization, but also depict the real impetus behind Assange having been trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy for years.

The CIA Director’s statements, even taken at face value, completely undercut the manipulative coverage of Wikileaks and Assange by outlets like the Washington Post. That providing evidence of corruption is considered an existential threat by the establishment is indicative of the value of Wikileaks to the public. The publisher is only a threat to those whose lies are exposed by their publications. The same plutocracy that has aggressively targeted Assange and Wikileaks has progressively strangled free press and freedom of thought in the United States and the world for decades.

The anger of intelligence agencies towards Assange and Wikileaks may seem superficially unrelated to the disgracefully inaccurate treatment of the publisher in American press. However, it is necessary to view mainstream outlet’s coverage of Assange, including both their misinformation and their resounding silence on his having been targeted by the intelligence community, as an expression of aggression from the American ‘deep state.’ This is especially noteworthy given the close ties of the intelligence community to legacy media, as encapsulated by The Washington Post.

Disobedient Media previously reported on the unanimous echo chamber of establishment political think-tanks and apparently left-wing news organizations when it comes to issues pushed by the intelligence community, including the reauthorization of deeply flawed FISA legislation. In the case of Assange, the litany of lies and gaps in coverage over the years are too numerous to recount in full, but represent a concerted effort to silence truth through deflection and manipulation.

Alternative media must refuse to be silenced by the American deep state’s fanatical crusade against Wikileaks and its supporters. If it were not for Wikileaks, the growing niche of independent journalism would have virtually zero factual standing when attempting to counter disinformation by press outlets that have completely abandoned their role as a watchdog against government abuses.

If there was ever a time to support Wikileaks and its Editor in Chief, that time is now. To abandon Assange at this critical moment would be more profound than its deleterious effect on the life of an individual: it would represent a complete forfeiture of integrity across the entire spectrum of journalistic endeavors.

See link for associated tweets; https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/01/op-ed-washington-post-legacy-press-betray-assange-as-his-freedom-hangs-in-the-balance/

January 31, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, media | Leave a comment

The decline of journalism in the mainstream media

Independent media: Our democracy depends on it, Independent Australia.  Cathy McQueen “………It is hard to open a newspaper of the mainstream media (MSM) or indeed watch a television “report” today without seeing content littered with the journalistic opinion of the person writing or reporting it — even if it purports to be “straight” news.

I hate to think of what Keating would think of the Australian MSM now. We have a good 70 per cent of it — the Murdoch press — that only publishes far-right propaganda most of the time and blatant lies the rest of the time.

The Honourable Paul Keating – The Privacy Imperative in the Information Age Free for All

The remainder of the MSM does its best to do their jobs – I am talking Fairfax and The Guardianand the ABC – but even they are not immune from serving the far-right agenda of the Liberal Party at times. The African gangs outrage in Victoria provides the perfect example in recent times. The ABC and Fairfax both fell into the trap of pushing Minister for Home Affairs Dutton and Prime Minister Turnbull’s divisive agenda with this, instead of calling power to account and debunking it as the myth it was.

The Guardian is another great example of a publication that is less than perfect on this front at times. While its content is usually truthful and could even be said to be somewhat left-leaning, its headlines make the whole idea of language intelligence pointless.

Every day The Guardian’s Australian edition serves us up a slew of headlines that not only reinforce the far-right by directly quoting the latest outrage from a Turnbull Government minister – as in, ‘Victorians are scared to go to restaurants because of African gang violence: Peter Dutton ‘ – but they almost seem to glory in it. Headline after headline does this. Are they just being lazy or are they deliberately trying to confuse?……….

My disgust with my former profession extends to the entirety of News Corp’s workforce.

How do they sleep at night, I often wonder? Apparently, a lot of News Corp journalists, vote Labor, which begs the question: How on earth do they get through a day at the office?………

What I wonder about these people is this: How can anyone who cares about journalism – a profession whose main role is to call power to account, to uncover corruption and act as society’s democracy watchdog as well as informing and educating – write far-right propaganda and lies every single day? Every single day. They obviously believe it but how can seemingly intelligent people believe this dangerous rubbish? Are they sociopathic? You have to wonder.

And it is not just the aforementioned [the Andrew Bolts, Miranda Devines and Niki Savvas ] who are the offenders. The ordinary, everyday journalists at Murdoch publications are frequently called on to rabble rouse about “dole bludgers”, or “Kooris”, or African “gangs” or you name it. They attack the very working class and middle-class people that read their publications and write stories that push the agendas of the one percenters and Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal Party mates — the banksters and Big End of Town.

It must be either soul-destroying or they must be so desperate for money that they have no choice. I could not live with myself — which is why I am studying law now. I have two years to go and I am hoping the ethics of my future profession is not going to be besmirched like the ethics of my former one. It is safe to suggest that many Australian journalists have forgotten that ethics even exist.

So is there any hope left for journalism in this country? Will we ever see reporting that is free from opinion, like Keating encouraged, or that actually does the job a member of the Fourth Estate should do — call power to account, uncover corruption and act as a watchdog on our democracy?

I remain positive. Publications like Independent Australia are leading the charge against the right-wing propaganda that has crept into our MSM — and they are doing a great job. Every time I click on an IA story I am so grateful that journalists like David Donovan and Martin Hirst still exist and are brave enough to carry on a tradition that has kept democracies healthy all over the Western world.

By only writing right-wing propaganda thanks to the Murdoch Press and the rest of the MSM, we lost a decent ALP government under Rudd and Gillard. We have been left with the current travesty of far-right ideology that governs only for its mates and the one per cent — the banksters and big business. The rest of us, along with health, education and the social safety net and, indeed, the greater good of the country can go to hell. Throw in a little racism and lack of humanity in the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees for good measure. And don’t even start me on the egregious way the MSM have dealt with climate science and climate change.

Australians should think long and hard about their media and what it serves up to them. We have a lot of talented journalists in this country who I know would like to write the truth, be independent and not serve up right-wing propaganda, constantly. We need to encourage independent media like Ias much as possible by republishing its stories on social media like Twitter and Facebook, by telling our friends and family about it and generally supporting it with our clicks every single day. We need to thank people like David Donovan and Martin Hirst, personally, for what they do.

If we don’t, we risk the only decent journalism – The Guardian and Fairfax press sometimes excepted – left in the country. The ABC has moved so far to the right it is almost unrecognisable.

Next time you open an MSM paper read it and its headlines critically; remember most are serving the far-right agenda of Murdoch and his cronies, the IPA and the Liberal Party.

Tell your family and friends to be sceptical and read your independent media and press as much as possible.

Our democracy depends on it. https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/independent-media–our-democracy-depends-on-it,11112

January 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | 1 Comment

Australia’s independent media versus nuclear propaganda – theme for January 2018

Australians don’t need to worry about corporations controlling what we can see or hear on the Internet.  Well, not yet, anyway.

Overseas, governments in totalitarian countries, Russia, China, do control the media, even including the Internet to a large extent.

But now, in a democracy – the United States of America, comes the first move to control the Internet.   Donald Trump’s Republican-dominated Federal Communications Commission (the US equivalent to the Australian Communications and Media Authority)   has just voted to end the 2015 Open Internet Order which protects net neutrality.

Australia’s mainstream media is already largely controlled by the Murdochracy, anyway. From the point of view of nuclear information, there’s a strong government influence, as we see in the handouts from Australian Nuclear Science and Technology, religiously regurgitated by the South Australian media.

For nuclear information Australians do depend on independent media, and on a few brave investigative journalists, like the ABC’s Mark Willacy.

I think that, in 2018, all of us who care about our country, and especially about the nuclear threats, will need to foster, support, and follow, the independent media that we still do have, and the social media outlets that spread the information that the nuclear lobby does not want us to know.

 

December 27, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes, media | Leave a comment

UK tribunal rules that WikiLeaks is a media organisation, not a “hostile intelligence agency”

Julian Assange welcomes UK ruling that WikiLeaks is a media organisation, WikiLeaks founder welcomes ruling by UK tribunal. IBT ,By Jason Murdock, December 14, 2017  WikiLeaks has been recognised as a “media organisation” by a UK tribunal in a ruling that flies in the face of claims by US officials who have branded it a “hostile intelligence agency”.

The anti-secrecy website – helmed by Julian Assange – has faced the ire of CIA director Mike Pompeo, who has compared its work to Hezbollah, Isis and al-Qaeda. Over the years, WikiLeaks has disclosed countless documents pilfered from the US government……….

The tribunal, in a section detailing the public interest for disclosing any withheld information, described Assange as “the only media publisher and free speech advocate in the Western world who is in a situation that a UN body has characterised as arbitrary detention”.

It added: “The circumstances of his case arguably raise issues about human rights and press freedom, which are the subject of legitimate public debate.”….http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/julian-assange-welcomes-uk-ruling-that-wikileaks-media-organisation-1651567

December 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Australia needs special laws to protect its independent broadcaster – the ABC

Special laws needed to budget-proof the ABC, says former PM Kevin Rudd, The Age, Peter Hartcher and James Massola, 25 Nov 17, 

The ABC needs to have its budget protected from future attack by special legislation, according to former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

The former Labor leader said that while the national broadcaster’s independence was enshrined in law, its $1.04 billion annual budget was vulnerable. In an interview on the 10th anniversary of leading Labor to power, Mr Rudd said that one of his regrets was that his government didn’t protect the ABC budget against assault by a future Coalition government.

“To fix its baseline budget and entrench it in legislation with an automatic CPI acceleration would have been helpful,” Mr Rudd said.

The ABC was at particular risk from a future conservative government doing the bidding of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, he said.

 “Given Murdoch’s historical commitment to kill public broadcasting, something to have considered at the time was not to re-legislate the independence of the ABC but to entrench its budget,” he said. Mr Rudd also rued that he didn’t declare “open war” on News Corporation during his time as prime minister.

“I regret deferring constantly to the advice of my cabinet colleagues and not declaring open war on News Corporation. “It became clear early in the government’s life that, when we would not commit to the News Corporation agenda, they set out to destroy the government.”

His government’s decision to build the National Broadband Network was a threat to Murdoch’s Fox entertainment channels distributed through Foxtel cable, said the current president of the New York-based Asia Society Policy Institute.

“The current dominance of Murdoch represents a growing cancer on Australian democracy,” Mr Rudd said. He urged a future Labor government to hold a royal commission into New Corporation’s relationship with the Coalition…….http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/special-laws-needed-to-budgetproof-the-abc-says-former-pm-kevin-rudd-20171124-gzskmq.html

November 25, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, media | Leave a comment

Fairfax media uncritically regurgitates China-Bill Gates pro nuclear propaganda

This isn’t the first time that Cole Latimer has regurgitated nuclear propaganda –  this time from China, (though Latimer also regurgitates some good stuff, and even writes some of his own)
Of course – they didn’t say that the reasons for Bill Gates’ doing this in China:
1. Because China does not have the strict safety regulations that USA has – so Gates can’t do this in USA
2. Because China’s nukes are tax-payer funded – so no worries about getting funding – (in USA there’s quite an outcry about the govt funding nukes)
3. The article made a virtue out of the reactor using ‘waste fuel’ from conventional reactors –  ignoring all the transport safety problems etc.
4 The article brushed over the fact that even this new reactor leaves long-lasting radioactive trash –   smaller in volume, yes, but so toxic that it need equal space to safely store
The article glosses over the fuel “waste uranium”  “depleted uranium” as if that’s fine.
There’s an area that I find ambiguous:
This joint venture aims to design and construct multiple nuclear power plants generating around 1150 megawatts over the next two decades which utilise this fourth generation nuclear technology. ….”    “the reactor would only need eight tonnes of this material to power 2.5 million homes for a year.”
Do they mean that ONE reactor would provide all this power?  They might. But as I understand it, the Travelling Wave Reactor is a small model, that would need to be set up as  a bunch of multiples –  (further making it difficult to market, as a country would have to order them en masse.  I say a country, because apart from Gates and a few mates, private enterprise is unwilling to take this huge financial risk)

Bill Gates and China partner on world-first nuclear technology , Cole Latimer SMH, The Age, and global media outlets, 8 November 17 

Bill Gates’ nuclear firm TerraPower and the China National Nuclear Corporation have signed an agreement to develop a world-first nuclear reactor, using other nuclear reactors’ waste

TerraPower chairman Bill Gates and Chinese premier Li Keqiang signed a joint venture agreement to create the Global Innovation Nuclear Energy Technology company, which will build a Travelling Wave Reactor and commercialise the technology……   http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy/bill-gates-and-china-partner-on-worldfirst-nuclear-technology-20171106-gzfrf0.html

November 8, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Nuclear propagandist Michael Shellenberger hated ABC interview, loved shock jock Alan Jones

6 Nov 17           The pro nuclear Twittersphere was alive with angry comments about the ABC’s interview with nuclear propagandist Michael Shellenberger.

I missed that interview, but apparently the ABC interviewer asked some hard questions.

Shellenberger commented: “fighting to survive a brutal interview by a tough young reporter in Oz On ABC (the Aussie BBC)”

Australia’s own nuclear propagandist, Ben Heard,  commented:  “Shabby interview. Host evidently unfamiliar with topic”

However, those pro nuclear spinners were happy with shock jock Alan Jones on 2GB Alan Jones Breakfast Show.  Jones said:

“Michael has turned on wind and solar with a passion: he’s now advocating for an all-atomic energy future, simply because the latter provides reliable power, whereas the former are a childish nonsense…..

the Finkel review totally ignored nuclear power as an option and pushed harder for more and more renewable energy. So Victoria’s looking at 25% renewables by 2025, South Australia 50%, the ACT 100%, Queensland 50%……

one of the world’s leading new-generation environmental thinkers has said the renewable energy experiment with wind and solar has failed. Michael Shellenberger is a former renewables advocate and adviser to Barack Obama when he was President. [ed. not true. Shellenberger sent an unsolicited  submission to President Obama]  He is now global champion for nuclear energy, which he said was the only option to replace coal and gas on a global scale. ……”

Shellenberger  said:

every major study for the last 40 years finds that nuclear power is the safest way to make reliable electricity. You don’t have the risks that come with coal and fossil fuels, both in terms of mine collapses and air pollution, and the accidents themselves that everyone worries so much about hardly have any impact on people’s lives…

Wind and solar – They’re the worst. Really, all renewables are. The reason is easy to understand, in the sense that the fuels are very dilute, they’re very diffuse, and so you have to cover a huge amount of land with wind and solar……. solar produces huge quantities of toxic waste…… They produce two to three hundred times more toxic waste than nuclear plants, which are the only way of producing electricity that contain all of their potentially harmful waste. Of course it’s been contained so well that nobody has ever been harmed by the radiation from nuclear power waste, ever……

The other problem is that you just end up getting too much wind energy when you don’t need it, like the middle of the night. Solar and wind, it’s like they’re almost set up to destroy cheap, clean, reliable energy.

What happened was that there was a smaller group of anti-human so-called environmentalists that opposed nuclear precisely because it allowed for so much cheap and abundant power, and they thought, “Well, if we’re going to stop the human cancer, we have to cut off its energy supplies.” …..

You’ve got some really crazy anti-nuclear people down there…..

Alan Jones: “I’ll tell you something, when you arrive in this country, Michael we’ll have you on again. We can’t hear enough of you. It’s time we had a good healthy dose of common sense”

November 6, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, spinbuster | Leave a comment

The ABC swallows the nuclear lobby line on medicine – hook line and sinker

The post below this is an extract from the ABC article “Nuclear medicine production in Australia at risk if dump site can’t be found, industry head says”.  I  left out the bits where ANSTO officials orgasmically discussed how much Australia needs the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor for medical reasons.

Anyone would think that this humanitarian motive is the sole raison d’etre for this nuclear reactor. The ABC apparently buys that story.

BUT, Medical radioisotopes have been made without need of a nuclear reactor. They are made in a linear accelerator https://antinuclear.net/2016/12/23/usa-to-produce-medical-radioisotopes-by-using-particle-accelerator-not-a-nuclear-reactor/
or by a cyclotron https://antinuclear.net/2016/11/27/cyclotrons-for-medical-uses-a-better-option-than-lucas-heights-nuclear-reactor/
ANSTO at Lucas Heights I believe already has a cyclotron. . The Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission recommended expanding a cyclotron industry in South Australia, to develop medical radioisotopes.
Reactor at Lucas Heights was initially intended as prelude to nuclear weapons production. The medical use was tacked on to make it look more respectable. It remains a fig leaf on the nuclear industry.

August 19, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina reviews, media, spinbuster | 5 Comments

Murdoch media again attacks the Bureau of Meteorology

Another attack on the Bureau, but top politicians have stopped listening to climate change denial, The Conversation Michael J. I. Brown  Associate professor, Monash University, August 4, 2017 Has the Australian climate change debate changed? You could be forgiven for thinking the answer is no.

Just this week The Australian has run a series of articles attacking the Bureau of Meteorology’s weather observations. Meanwhile, the federal and Queensland governments continue to promote Adani’s planned coal mine, despite considerable environmental and economic obstacles. And Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions are rising again.

So far, so familiar. But something has changed.

Those at the top of Australian politics are no longer debating the existence of climate change and its causes. Instead, four years after the Coalition was first elected, the big political issues are rising power prices and the electricity market. What’s happening?

A few years ago, rejection of climate science was part of the Australian political mainstream. In 2013, the then prime minister Tony Abbott repeated a common but flawed climate change denial argument:

Australia has had fires and floods since the beginning of time. We’ve had much bigger floods and fires than the ones we’ve recently experienced. You can hardly say they were the result of anthropic [sic] global warming.

Abbott’s statement dodges a key issue. While fires and floods have always occurred, climate change can still alter their frequency and severity. In 2013, government politicians and advisers, such as Dennis Jensen and Maurice Newman, weren’t shy about rejecting climate science either.

The atmosphere is different in 2017, and I’m not just talking about CO₂ levels. Tony Abbott is no longer prime minister, Dennis Jensen lost preselection and his seat, and Maurice Newman is no longer the prime minister’s business advisor.

Which Australian politician most vocally rejects climate science now? It isn’t the prime minister or members of the Coalition, but One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts. In Australia, open rejection of human-induced climate change has moved to the political fringe……..

Have those who rejected global warming and its causes changed their tune? In general, no. They still imagine that scientists are up to no good. The Australian’s latest attacks on the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) illustrate this, especially as they are markedly similar to accusations made in the same newspaper three years ago.

This week, the newspaper’s environment editor Graham Lloyd wrote that the BoM was “caught tampering” with temperature logs, on the basis of measurements of cold temperatures on two July nights at Goulburn and Thredbo. For these nights, discrepant temperatures were in public BoM databases due to automated weather stations that stopped reporting data. The data points were flagged for BoM staff to verify, but in the meantime an amateur meteorologist contacted Lloyd and the Institute of Public Affairs’ Jennifer Marohasy.

In 2014, Lloyd cast doubt on the BoM’s climate record by attacking the process of “homogenisation,” with a particular emphasis on data from weather stations in Rutherglen, Amberley and Bourke. Homogenisationis used to produce a continuous temperature record from measurements that may suffer from artificial discontinuities, such as in the case of weather stations that have been upgraded or moved from, say, a post office to an airport.

Lloyd’s articles from this week and 2014 are beat-ups, for similar reasons. The BoM’s ACORN-SAT long-term temperature record is compiled using daily measurements from 112 weather stations. Even Lloyd acknowledges that those 112 stations don’t include Goulburn and Thredbo. While RutherglenAmberley and Bourke do contribute to ACORN-SAT, homogenisation of their data (and that of other weather stations) does little to change the warming trend measured across Australia. Australia has warmed over the past century, and The Australian’s campaigns won’t change that…….

How will Malcolm Turnbull’s government respond to The Australian’s retread of basically the same campaign? Perhaps that will be the acid test for whether the climate debate really has changed. https://theconversation.com/another-attack-on-the-bureau-but-top-politicians-have-stopped-listening-to-climate-change-denial-81993

August 5, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, media | Leave a comment

The disgraceful state of Australia’s politics and media on clean energy

It is an absurd situation we find ourselves in. The public support for these new technologies is overwhelming, as it is in business (apart from those seeking to protect stranded assets), and among most politicians – even many in the Liberal Party, as NSW energy minister Don Harwin revealed late last month.

Yet here we are: Short-term policies; a patchwork of rules on energy efficiency; the worst building stock in the world; the most inefficient and polluting cars; and the world’s most expensive and dirty grid, soaring emissions, and rising temperatures.

And two years after obtaining power, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is still defending policies he once describes as “bullshit,” too afraid to call out the nonsense spread by those keeping him in power.  

How did Australia get this stupid about clean energy? http://reneweconomy.com.au/australia-get-stupid-clean-energy-99268/, By Giles Parkinson on 14 July 2017, Just when you thought that the public debate around clean energy in Australia could not possibly get any worse, any dumber, or any further divorced from reality, it did.

Conservatives have been railing against renewables and carbon pricing for at least a decade. So ingrained has it become in our national psyche that it is like a State of Origin contest between energy sources and their fans. “Queenslander”, shout the league fans. “Fossil fuels” screech the incumbents.

But it plumbed further depths this week. And it got really stupid and really nasty. Conservatives in the government and the media rebooted their attacks on wind and solar energy, and extended it to battery storage and vehicle emission standards, with the Murdoch media dubbing the latter as a “carbon tax on cars.”

Craig Kelly, the chair of Coalition’s energy policy committee, said renewable energy “would kill people”, a claim happily repeated by columnist Andrew Bolt.

 Resources Minister Matt Canavan urged the Queensland government to “forget about climate change”, while the LNP in Queensland will this weekend consider a motion urging Australia to quit the Paris climate deal.

Worse, the conservatives started attacking individuals. The verbal assault on chief scientist Alan Finkel was launched way back in February when it was clear he would not toe the fossil fuel line. And even after delivering what many consider a “soft option”, the conservatives rekindled their attack. Continue reading

July 17, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, politics | 2 Comments

Aboriginal Referendum Council and The ABC’s Q and A betrayal of the Aboriginal cause.

Perfecting Trickery: Referendum Council #noconsent to Recognition   http://www.sovereignunion.mobi/content/perfecting-trickery-referendum-council“On his return from Uluru, Ghillar, Michael Anderson, Convenor of the Sovereign Union, last surviving member of the founding four of the Aboriginal Embassy and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic, details the rigged processes of the Referendum Council’s National Convention and the subsequent media:

““I was absolutely shocked and horrified at the disjointed discussion that occurred on ABC TV  Q&A last night ( 29 May 2017) from Parliament House, Canberra.

“In my opinion the conclusions that occurred at the Referendum Council’s National convention at Uluru were totally betrayed by the Q&A panel.

“Having been permitted to sit as an observer in the main National Convention of the Referendum Council at Yulara near Uluru, I was privy to observe the proceedings and I sat through the ‘Synthesis’ of the Regional Dialogues and  what they called the breakout workshops as well, where the key topics were ‘The Voice’, ‘Treaty’, ‘Strategy’.

“In respect of the Synthesis (summary) of the Dialogues it was very clear that nationally the specially selected people by the Land Councils (invitation-only delegates) independently concluded  that is must be made clear that First Nations sovereignty was never ceded.

“The next key point was the fact the people, from around this island continent, who attended these Regional Dialogues, were emphatic that they did not want a minimalist approach to constitutional reform and they did not want it to be symbolic. They wanted something substantive that would effect real and positive change.  It was very clear that they did not just want to remove Section 51(26) the Race Power,  because they did not want anything in the constitution that could be used in a manner that
would be detrimental to First Nations Peoples exercising their rights and their right to be self-determining.

“More importantly, the presentation in the Synthesis/Summary does suggest that an overwhelming majority of people, who attended these Regional Dialogues, were determined that, because sovereignty was never ceded, that Treaties should be made with Sovereign First Nations throughout the continent and they determined that our ancient tapestry of languages and cultures cannot be destroyed and lost forever to our future generations. …

“Despite all the rigging and wrongdoings, the consensus that was finalised was:

1)    Sovereignty was never ceded;

2)    Rejection of being ‘recognised’ in the constitution;

3)    No support a minimalist approach to constitutional reform;

4)    Agreement that a Treaty/Makaratta Commission be established to develop a national framework going forward
that would permit each Sovereign Nation State to negotiate their own respective Treaty;

5)    Removal of section 51 (26) from the constitution;

6)    Establishment of Truth and Justice Commission;

7)    Resolved also that the constitution of Australia should have a Bill of Rights; and

8)    Establishment of an elected Voice to the parliament and to ensure that this Voice has constitutional backing. … 

June 2, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Breitbart media calls Great Barrier Reef bleaching “fake news”

Breitbart’s James Delingpole says reef bleaching is ‘fake news’, hits peak denial.more https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2017/mar/24/breitbarts-james-delingpole-says-reef-bleaching-is-fake-news-hits-peak-denial Graham Readfearn  A claim like this takes lashings of chutzpah, blinkers the size of Trump’s hairspray bill and more hubris than you can shake a branch of dead coral at   24 March 2017 

It takes a very special person to label the photographed, documented, filmed and studied phenomenon of mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef“fake news”.

You need lashings of chutzpah, blinkers the size of Donald Trump’s hairspray bill and more hubris than you can shake a branch of dead coral at.

It also helps if you can hide inside the bubble of the hyper-partisan Breitbart media outlet, whose former boss is the US president’s chief strategist.

So our special person is the British journalist James Delingpole who, when he’s not denying the impacts of coral bleaching, is denying the science of human-caused climate change, which he says is “the biggest scam in the history of the world”.

Delingpole was offended this week by an editorial in the Washington Post that read: “Humans are killing the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, and there’s nothing Australians on their own can do about it. We are all responsible.”

Delingpole wrote:

Like the thriving polar bear, like the recovering ice caps, like the doing-just-fine Pacific islands, the Great Barrier Reef has become a totem for the liberal-left not because it’s in any kind of danger but because it’s big and famous and photogenic and lots and lots of people would be really sad if it disappeared. But it’s not going to disappear. That’s just a #fakenews lie designed to promote the climate alarmist agenda.

Now before we go on, let’s deal with some language here.

When we talk about the reef dying, what we are talking about are the corals that form the reef’s structure – the things that when in a good state of health can be splendorous enough to support about 69,000 jobs in Queensland and add about $6bn to Australia’s economy every year.

The Great Barrier Reef has suffered mass coral bleaching three times – in 1998, 2002 and 2016 – with a fourth episode now unfolding. The cause is increasing ocean temperatures.

“Is the Great Barrier Reef dying due to climate change caused by man’s selfishness and greed?” asks Delingpole, before giving a long list of people and groups who he thinks will answer yes, including “the Guardian” and “any marine biologist”.

“Have they been out there personally – as I have – to check. No of course not,” says Delingpole.

Yes. James Delingpole has been out there “personally” to check, but all those other people haven’t. He doesn’t say when he went but he has written about one trip before. It was back in late April 2012. Everything was fine, he said, based on that one visit. I can’t find any times when he has mentioned another trip since.

So here’s the rhetorical question – one that I can barely believe I’m asking, even rhetorically.

Why should there not be equivalence between Delingpole’s single trip to the reef (apparently taken 10 years after a previous severe case of bleaching and four years before the one that followed) at one spot on a reef system that spans the size of Italy [takes breath] and the observations of scientists from multiple institutions diving at 150 different locations to verify observations taken by even more scientists in low-flying aircraft traversing the entire length of the reef?

I mean, come on? Why can those two things – Delingpole making a boat trip with mates and a coordinated and exhaustive scientific monitoring and data-gathering exercise – not be the same?

So it seems we are now at a stage where absolutely nothing is real unless you have seen it for yourself, so you can dismiss all of the photographs and video footage of bleached and dead coral, the testimony of countless marine biologists (who, we apparently also have to point out, have been to the reef ) and the observations made by the government agency that manages the reef.

Senator Pauline Hanson and her One Nation climate science-denying colleagues tried to pull a similar stunt last year by taking a dive on a part of the reef that had escaped bleaching and then claiming this as proof that everything was OK everywhere else…….

Government ministers at federal and state levels, of both political stripes, claim they want to protect the reef.

They are running this protection racket, somehow, by continuing to support plans for a coalmine that will be the biggest in the country’s history.

That’s some more hubris right there.

March 27, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, media, Queensland | Leave a comment