Sorry to harp on about South Australia’s Royal Commission into Nuclear Power – but it IS the most important matter to come up in Australia’s recent nuclear history. And, it’s all being done in such a hurry.
Senator Scott Ludlam wrote a wonderful, courteous (what a novelty for an Aussie politician!) article, on how this Commission might be done properly. Alas, few people are confident that this will happen.
This Royal Commission looks like a cover for an old agenda – to make South Australia the world’s nuclear waste dump. Last time they tried this, the nuclear lobby was beaten in a campaign led by a bunch of Aboriginal women - The Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta. A court decision in 2004 resulted in the dump plan being abandoned.
The public has until March 13 to send submissions about the draft Terms of Reference. These draft terms areextraordinarily narrow – ignoring comparative costs, health, agricultural and tourist impacts, and they exclude uranium mining and the current situation of radioactive contamination at Maralinga. The Conservation Council of South Australia provides clear and simple guidance for anyone wanting help in sending a submission.
South Australian farmers have lately been flat out selling berries , as uproar has gone out about people getting sick, from eating imported berries. I wonder how our fruit and vegies would go, if South Australia did become the world’s hub for radioactive trash importing.
The Renewable Energy Target saga drags on – but that’s the way that the Abbott government likes it – the inertia that slowly kills off investor interest. Victoria’s new Labor government now starting some pro renewable initiatives – funding a Community Solar Energy Farm in Macedon. Even some Victorian Liberals are making pro renewable energy noises.
Nuclear weapons. The focus has been on this issue throughout February. This weekend, experts in studying nuclear weapons and war have been gathering in New York at the Symposium: The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction. It’s streaming live – and podcasts, transcripts and a book will later be available.
This week – Lots of (not very good) news on nuclear weaponry and war risks, e.g USA law-makers wanting to spend $577 billion on defense, China, Russia, India ramping up their nuclear weaponry. North Korea, too.
This month, the focus on http://www.nuclear-news.net, (and on http://www.antinuclear.net) will be on the growing movement for a clean nuclear-free planet. At the same time, a global revolution is happening at extraordinary speed – the change from “top-down” “vertically integrated” systems to “small scale or “horizontal” systems. Some business examples – Airbnb, Taskrabbit, Uber, They work through the “digital ecosystem” . Political examples – extreme religious activist groups. So it’s not all good. But most of it is good- based on trust between individuals, building “reputational capital” between strangers with a common vision.
The nuclear lobby has no grasp of this 21st Century transition.
Even the current nuclear PR for Small Modular Reactors is based on huge centrally organised, government funded, mass purchase and mass distribution – imposed from above. Compare that with the millions of homes and small businesses and institutions where individuals made the choice for solar energy – it was not imposed by government.
The clean planet movement is happening at the local level, most often led by indigenous people – and they are linking up globally. The new digital ecosytem has opened the way for millions of people to work together for a healthy nuclear-free planet.