Climate and nuclear threats this week – Australia

a-cat-CANNUCLEAR.  It is generally acknowledged that the risk of nuclear war is greater right now than it was at the height of the Cold War, and that includes the risk of a nuclear war started by accident.  Some “nuclear umbrella” States feel trapped by their nuclear weapons protection.

CLIMATE. It is also becoming acknowledged that the tipping point is approaching, might even be upon us already. Unprecedented pace of global climate change – NASA. $8.8 Trillion Climate Tab left for next generation, if climate “business as usual”.

Governments, media, the public still see these issues in terms of “national interest”, but haven’t made that necessary leap of understanding that demands a global  collaborative approach. Pope Francis gets it. So do those most sober and deliberative of scientists – geologists. At the  International Geological Congress in Cape Town, on 29th August, an official expert group recommended that a new geological epoch be defined – the Anthropocene epoch.  Human impact on Earth is so profound that the most recent epoch, the 12,000 year Holocene, must give way to an epoch defined by nuclear tests, environmental pollution, and changing climate. The most appropriate commencement marker would be the spread of radioactive elements from the nuclear bomb tests beginning in 1950s.

AUSTRALIA

CLIMATE We Aussies are so mad keen to be TOPP, of anything. If we couldn’t top the gold medal tally at the Olympics, well, we’ve managed to top the list of the worst performer on climate change, in every category!. That”s the Australian score from Climate Transparency‘s comprehensive assessment of nations’ climate policies before the G20 summit in China.

The Turnbull government is celebrating this international leadership at the bottom, by gutting the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.   This will mean scuppering the solar power industry, and the loss of many jobs, including from CSIRO, and also a damper on the Australian Capital Territory‘s (ACT’s) world-leading push towards 100% renewable energy. Turnbull has also appointed Craig Kelly MP, an outspoken climate denialist, as  chairman of the backbench environment and energy committee, that advises the government on environment and energy policies.

Still, there are some silver linings. In ACT the Liberals are backing the ACT government’s renewable energy targets! The Victorian government is banning  unconventional gas exploration – fracking and CSG extraction. In South Australia, a State-commissioned report recommends a transport revolution that would cut greenhouse gas emissions, and supply thousands of jobs.

NUCLEAR.  South Australia It all fizzes along, with the government’s propaganda forums not always turning out quite the way they wanted. Intrepid souls are attending, and asking awkward questions. This site shows the progress at some forums. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052/  The government arranged a secret one for schoolchildren and teachers – secret in order to protect them from anti nuclear activists, (such a dangerous species!)   Meanwhile the nuclear-free movement organises its own educational forums. 

Federal govt slashes safety checks at Ranger uranium mine. Uranium miner ERA forced to cut its assets value.

INTERNATIONAL

CLIMATE.

NUCLEAR. An awful lot in the media about marketing of nuclear reactors, especially to South Asia. China’s aggressive nuclear marketing is causing it some problems.

UK. PM Theresa May to be pressured at G20, by China, to approve Hinkley nuclear power project. Chinese build nuclear project at Bradwell, Essex, UK might be postponed. Great danger in air transport of nuclear wastes: anger in Aberdeen.

JAPAN. 

Fukushima:

USA.  Legal challenges to New York nuclear power subsidies.  Watts Bar nuclear reactors shut down indefinitely, following transformer fire. Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant to shut down permanently on October 24.

NORTH KOREA‘s  grandiose plans for ‘nuclear backpack’ squad, and giant submarine.

SOUTH KOREA  worried about North Korea, plans its own Missile Defense System

PHILIPPINES   bishop, climate movement, oppose revival of mothballed nuclear plant

ISRAEL under pressure from UN to ratify nuclear test ban treaty.

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