Archive for the ‘general news’ Category

Charles Freeman -USA fighting Russia ‘to the last Ukrainian’. Interview with full transcript

March 26, 2022

UNMISSABLE – and in my opinion, the very best commentary on the Ukraine situation

23 Mar. Transcribed by Noel Wauchope, This is  Aaron Mate. joining me is Charles Freeman.  He is a retired veteran U.S diplomat who has served in a number of senior positions including as the Assistant Secretary of Defense and U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia. 

Question, What is your assessment of the russian invasion so far and how the biden administration has responded to it?

FREEMAN A huge question. I thought in the run-up to this that Mr Putin was following a classic form of coercive diplomacy massing troops on Ukraine’s border issuing very clear offers to negotiate threatening indirectly to escalate beyond the border not in Ukraine which the Russians repeatedly said they did not intend to invade but perhaps through putting pressure on the United States similar to the one the pressure that the Russians feel from us namely missiles within no warning distance at all of the capital.

Of course Washington doesn’t have quite the significance in our case that Moscow does for the Russians but still I thought that was what was in store.  I don’t think his troops were prepared for it. There’s no evidence that they had the logistics in place or that the troops were briefed about where they were going and why and so it looks like an impetuous decision and if so it ranks with the decision of Tsar Nicholas ii the last tsar to go to war with japan in 1904. That had disastrous consequences for political order in Russia and I think this is a comparable blunder.

There are lots of things being said about the course of the war which is now about a months old and many of them are I think frankly tendentious nonsense for example it’s alleged that the Russians are deliberately targeting civilians but I think in most wars the ratio of military to civilian deaths is roughly one to one and in this case the recorded civilian deaths are about one-tenth of that which strongly suggests that the Russians have been holding back. We may now see the end of that with the ultimatum that has been issued in connection with Mario Paul where if I understood correctly what the Russians are saying, they were saying surrender or face the consequences and the consequences would be a terrible leveling of the city

We don’t know where this war is going to end . whether there will be a Ukraine or how much of a Ukraine there will be , what the effects inside Russia will be. There’s clearly a lot of dissent in Russia although i’m sure it’s being exaggerated by our media .

The war is a fog of lies on all sides. It is virtually impossible to tell what is actually happening because every side is staging the show the champion of that is mrZielensky who is brilliant as a communicator. It turns out he’s a an actor who has found his role and probably helps Ukraine a great deal to have a president who is an accomplished actor who came equipped with his own studio staff, who is um using that brilliantly and I would say Mr Zielinski was elected to head a state called Ukraine and he has created a nation called Ukraine he is he is somebody who’s perceived heroism has rallied Ukrainians to a degree that no one ever expected .

But we don’t know where this is going and more to the point the United states is not part of any effort to negotiate an end to the fighting. To the extent that there is mediation going on it seems to be by Turkey possibly Israel, maybe China that’s about it and the United States is not in the room.

Everything we are doing rather than accelerating an end to the fighting and some compromise seems to be aimed at prolonging the fighting assisting the Ukrainian resistance, which is a noble cause I suppose but that will result in a lot of dead Ukrainians as well as dead Russians.

And also, the sanctions have no goals attached to them there’s no conditions which we’ve stated which would result in their end. And finally we have people now calling, including the President of the United states and the Prime Minister of Great Britain calling Putin a war criminal and professing that they will intend to bring it to trial somehow.

Now this gives Mr Putin absolutely no incentive to compromise or reach an accommodation with the Ukrainians and it probably guarantees a long war and there seemed to be a lot of people in the United States who think that’s just dandy. It’s good for the military-industrial complex. It reaffirms our negative views of Russia it reinvigorates NATO. it puts China on the spot.

You know what’s so terrible about a long war – you know if you’re not Ukrainian you probably see some merit in a long war so this has not gone as anybody predicted, not Mr Putin not the intelligence community of the United States which extrapolated war plans from the disposition of forces on the ukrainian border. Not the way the Germans who are now rearming anticipated

It’s got a lot of shock value to it and it’s changing the world in ways we still don’t understand. I wonder if U.S intelligence extrapolated that Russia would invade based on the certainty that the U.S would reject Russia’s core security demands – namely neutrality for Ukraine and Ukraine not joining NATO and I’m wondering if their assurance that Biden would reject those demands – if that’s what made them all the more confident that Russia would then invade.

Question, And on that point about NATO, I wanted to get your response to some comments that Zeilinski recently made. He was speaking to Farid Zakaria of CNN and he made what that was a really telling admission about what he was told to say publicly about NATO before the war.

I requested them personally to take to say directly that we are going to accept or not NATO in a year or two, or just say it five and clearly or just say no. And the response was very clear you are not going to be a member but publicly the doors will remain open but if you are not ready if you just want to see us straddle two worlds if you want to see us in this dubious position where we do not understand whether you can accept us or not you cannot place us in this situation you cannot force us to be in this limbo.

So that’s Zielinski saying that he was told by NATO original members presumably the U.S. that we’re not going to let you in but publicly we’re going to leave the door open. I’m wondering Ambassador Freeman your response to that?

FREEMAN. Well those are two questions. First in my experience the intelligence community does not start from estimates of U.S. policy and I think what we saw was an order of battle analysis with the judgment as expressed at one point by Secretary of State Lincoln – that you know if we masked 150 000 troops on somebody’s border that would mean we were about to invade in other words mirror imaging. You know that’s what we would do therefore that’s what the Russians will do.

I think Mr Putin was surprised by being stiff-armed on the after all 28 year old demands that NATO stop enlarging in the direction of Russia that at root this is a contest over whether Ukraine will be in the U.S sphere of influence, the Russian sphere of influence or neither’s, and neutrality, which is what mr putin had started out saying he wanted .

What’s compatible with neither side having ukraine within its sphere? Whether that’s now possible or not I don’t know. I think one of the mistakes Mr Putin made in upping the ante was to make it very difficult for Ukraine to become neutral but on the question of what mr Zielinski was told Ithink this is remarkably cynical or perhaps it was not even unrealistic on the part of leaders in the West.

Zielensky is obviously a very intelligent man and he saw what the consequences of being put in what he called limbo would be – namely Ukraine would be hung out to dry and the west was basically saying we will fight to the last Ukrainian for Ukrainian independence, which essentially remains our stand . It’s pretty cynical despite all the patriotic fervor and I’d add .

I have heard , I know people who have been attempting to hold an inquiry in the West. It’s very depressing. really we should rise to this occasion we should be concerned about achieving a balance in Europe that sustains peace. That requires incorporating Russia into a governing Council for Europe of some sort. Europe historically has been at peace only when all the great powers who could overthrow the peace have been co-opted into it. A perfect example is the Congress of Vienna which followed the Napoleonic wars where Kissinger’s great hero met in it and others had the good sense to to reincorporate France into the governing Councils of Europe.

That gave Europe a hundred years of peace. Of course there were a few minor conflicts but nothing major. After World War One when the victors, the United States and Britain and France insisted on excluding Germany from a role in the affairs of Europe as well as this newly formed Soviet Union, the result was World War Two, and the cold war.

It’s really depressing that instead of trying to figure out how to give Russia reasons not to invade countries and to violate international laws, instead of trying to give Russia reasons for being well behaved, – with the use of force you take us back.

Question. In the 1990s you served in the Clinton administration at a time when there was a big discussion, big debate in washington over the future of European security architecture. This is after the soviet union had collapsed. Russia was never weaker. There were people, including inside the George H.W. Bush administration, who talked about pledging support for neutrality not trying to bring the former Soviet states into one camp or the other.

Ultimately President Clinton went with NATO expansion, went with violating the pledges that accompanied the end of the Soviet Union to expand NATO to Russia’s borders. can you take us back to that time and the debates that were taking place and how that’s fueled the crisis we’re in today?

FREEMAN. Well I actually had a good deal to do with the formulation of what became known as the Partnership for Peace and this was two things. It was a pathway to responsible application for NATO membership but it was and it was also a cooperative security system. Rather than a collective security system for Europe it left the members to decide whether they defined themselves as European or not so Tajikistan joined the partnership, but it made no effort to civilianize ts defense establishment or subject its military to parliamentary oversight. And it didn’t learn the 3 000 standardization agreements that are the operating doctrine of NATO that allow Portuguese soldier to die for Poland or vice versa so that process was the the question of what countries would have what relationship with NATO was left to those countries,which is what happened in 1994 and which was a midterm election year.

In 1996, which was a presidential election year was interesting. In 1994 Mr Clinton was talking out of both sides of his mouth he was telling the Russians that we were in no rush to add members to NATO and then our preferred path was the Partnership for Peace. At the same time he was hinting to the ethnic diasporas of Russophobic countries in Eastern Europe , (and by the way it’s easy to understand their russophobia given their history), that no no we were going to get these countries into NATO as fast as possible and in 1996 he made that pledge explicit.

1994 he got an outburst from Yeltsin who was then the President of the Russian Federation. In 1996 he got another one and as time went on when Mr Putin came in he regularly protested the enlargement of NATO in ways that disregarded Russia’s self-defense interests. So there should have been no surprise about this in 2018, For 28 years Russia has been warning that at some point it would snap and it has. And it has done it in a very destructive way both in terms of its own interests and in terms of the broader prospects for peace in Europe.

There really is no excuse for what Mr Putin has done to understand it is not to condone it

It’s hard for people to be objective about this and and they’re immediately accused of being Russian agents or let us just say the price of speaking on this subject is to join the pom-pom girls in a frenzy of support for our position and if you’re not part of the chorus you’re not allowed to say anything. SoI think that this has very injurious effects on Western liberties and it has enforced and almost Iwon’t say it’s totalitarian but it’s certainly a similar kind of control on freedom of expression.

So I think that what happened here was a combination of forces. There were those people in the United States w ho were triumphalist about the end of the cold war. There were those who felt that what they perceived as victory – think it was a default by the Russians but anyway the game was over. This allowed the United States to incorporate all the countries right up to Russia’s borders and beyond them. Beyond those borders in the Baltics – into an american sphere of influence and essentially they posited a global sphere of influence for the United States modeled on the Monroe Doctrine and that’s pretty much what we have. Ukraine entered that sphere of influence it was not neutral after 2014.

That was the purpose of the coup – to prevent neutrality or a pro-Russian government in Cuba and to replace it with a pro-American government that would bring Ukraine into our sphere since about 2015 after this is of course Russia reacted by annexing Crimea

Since 2015 we have – let me say about Crimea – of course Russia reacted because it’s major naval base on the Black Sea is in Crimea . And the prospect that Ukraine was going to be incorporating into NATO and an American sphere of influence would have negated the value of that base . So i don’t think it had anything to do with the wishes of the people of Crimea who however were quite happy to be part of Russia rather than Ukraine. So since about 2015 the United States has been arming training Ukrainians against Russia.

A major step up in in 2017 in that ironically because of Mr Trump , who was actually impeached for trying to leverage arms sales to Ukraine for political dirt on dividends. But at any rate it isn’t as though Ukraine was not treated as an extension of NATO. It was, and this had a good deal to do with the Russian decision to invade.

I understand that the Ukrainian forces, although they’ve lost their command and control , there are major units that are surrounded and in danger of being annihilated by he Russians. There are cities that are in danger of being pulverized. None of this has happened yet but the ukrainians do not lack weaponry. They have more than enough to deal with the Russian forces on a dispersed basis in there and they have shown themselves to be very courageous in defending their country with those weapons. A lot of them are dying for their country one can admire that and but one must also lament it

Question, I quote you. Elliott Cohen served as a counselor to Condoleezza Rice when she was the Secretary of State , and he writes this in the Atlantic magazine: he says the United States and ts NATO allies are engaged in a proxy war with Russia they are supplying thousands of munitions and hopefully doing much else. sharing intelligence. For example with the intent of killing Russian soldiers and because fighting is as the military theorist Carl von Clausewitz said –

a trial of moral and physical forces through the medium of the latter we must face a fact to break the will of Russia and free Ukraine from conquest and subjugation many Russian soldiers have to flee surrender or die, and the more and faster the better.”

That’s Elliot Cohen, former state department advisor in the Atlantic. I’m wondering what your response is to that, especially him calling just openly declaring that the U.S. is using Ukraine for what he calls a proxy war against Russia?

FREEMAN. Well Professor Cohen is a very honest man, which is to his credit, and therefore his adherence to neoconservative objectives is entirely transparent, and what he just said what you quoted him as saying, is consistent with the neoconservative objective of regime change in Russia and it’s also consistent with fighting to the last ukrainian to achieve it

I find it deplorable but I have to say it’s probably representative of a very large body of opinion in Washington. Why why does this view of Ukraine as essentially a cannon fighter against Russia why is it so prevalent in Washington. This is essentially cost free from the united states as long as we don’t cross some Russian red line that leads to escalation against us we are engaged as Professor Cohen said, in a proxy war, and we’re selling a lot of weapons that makes arms manufacturers happy . We’re supporting a valiant resistance which makes gives politicians something to crow about. We’re going against an officially designated enemy Russia which makes us feel vindicated.

Question, So from the point of view of those with these self-interested views of the issue this is a freebie and as someone with extensive experience in China you serve as President Nixon’s translator interpreter when he did his historic visit to China, I’m wondering what you make of China’s response to Russia’s invasion so far? And these warnings that they’ve been receiving in recent days from the Biden administration trying to basically tell them not to help out Russia or else there will be consequences?

FREEMAN, Well this has been fascinating to watch. The Chinese clearly agree with Mr Putin and Russian nationalists in objecting to NATO enlargement um having been subjected to foreign spheres of influence in the 19th and 20th century they don’t like them. They don’t believe Ukraine should be part of either the Russian or the U.S. sphere of influence they are the last citadel of Westphalianism in the world. They really do believe strongly in sovereignty and territorial integrity. Mr Putin went to Beijing for the winter olympics and had a long discussion with Xi Jinping the Chinese President and they agreed that NATO should not enlarge . There should not be spheres of influence and that the security architecture in Europe needed to be adjusted to relieve Russia of the sense of menace that it experiences. I don’t believe for a minute that mr mr putin told mr c that he planned to invade Ukraine. In fact he may have said he had no intention of doing it. I don’t know.

He may indeed have had no intention of doing it at that point, assuming that his coercive diplomacy was going to get a response. ut of course it got no response. It got an evasive set of counter proposals about arms control which didn’t address the main question he was raising which was how Russia could feel secure when a hostile alliance was advancing to its very borders. Anyway poor Mr Xi Jinping – he now has to straddle something he probably almost certainly had no idea was in prospect. On the one hand he can oppose spheres of influence and demand consideration for the security concerns of great powers as he does with regard to Russia and with regard to his own country. But on the other hand Ukraine is being violated .

So the Chinese have had an awkward straddle. The irony is Idon’t think this was intended, but inadvertently this has put them in a position where they’re one of the few countries that might conceivably mediate an end to the fighting. I noticed that recently the Chinese have played , emphasized heavily, the need for there to be negotiations to bring that fighting to an end at the earliest possible moment. That doesn’t mean that they’re going to end up mediating. Mediation is a very difficult thing, and often the mediation with two friends can end up with two enemies.

So this is not something you take on lightly. At this point however, I would just say nobody knows what’s going on. At least if anybody does know they’re not saying what’s going on between Russians and Ukrainians in the meetings that they are having. The Turks claim that the two sides are close to an agreement on various points. Lavrov and Cabela. the Ukrainian foreign minister. have both said something similar. But there is no agreement and it’s not clear at this point whether there can be an agreement by taking the land corridor from Donetsk to Crimea

Mr Putin has taken something that he probably will be very unwilling to give up and as I said you ask Ukrainians to accept neutrality when they’ve been battered around the way they have been and lost all the people lives and property that they have. It’s not at all easy for them so even though from the very beginning the solution has been obvious, which is some variant of the Austrian State tree of 1955 meaning a guaranteed independence in return for two things.

One – decent treatment of minorities inside the guaranteed state and

Second – neutralityfor the guaranteed state.

Question. This should have there from the beginning. This is still the objective as far as we can tell but it’s been made more difficult rather than less by the outbreak of war what’s your sense of the agency and the free reign that zelinski actually has to make decisions and the extent of u.s influence over him?

FREEMAN. One of the things that the late Professor Stephen F Cohen warned about it to me in 2019, was that unless the U.S steps up and supports Zielinski in his mandate of making peace with the rebels in the East then he has no chance because otherwise he’ll have to submit to the far right inside Ukraine who are very influential. Since then i’ve seen no indication there has been any sort of support from Washington for making peace with Russia. Trump of course was impeached when he paused those weapons sales. There’s that famous incident where Lindsey Graham and John m\McCain and Amy Klobuchar go to the front lines in late 2016 of the uUrainian military’s fight against the rebels in the donbas and Lindsey Graham says:

‘this is 2017 it is going to be the year of offense and Russia has to pay a heavier price. Your fight is our fight”All of us will go back to Washington and we will push the case against Russia. Enough of Russian aggression. It is time for them to pay a heavier price. I believe you will win. I am convinced you will win and we will do everything we can to provide you with what you need to win.”

Question. fast forward to when Biden came in. Time magazine reported that when Zielinski shut down the three leading opposition TV networks in Ukraine that was conceived as a welcome gift to the Biden administration to fit withtheir agenda so what do you think is the extent of U.S’s influence over Zielensky’s decisions?

FREEMAN. Zielenski was selected by a landslide not because of anything except – he wasn’t all the other candidates so his political capital very quickly evaporated and he really had no power to make decisions Whether there were other people behind him making decisions or that he mouthed or whether he was taking instructions from the Biden administration or the Trump administration or whoever is unclear.

But what it what is clear to me is that Mr Zielensky’s performance as the leader of wartime Ukraine has gained him enormous political capital. He has the ability now to make a compromise. It will not be easy as you indicated. There are elements in the coalition that supports him who are very right-wing and anti-Russian perhaps even neo-Nazi. And by the way anti-semitism is a disastrous aspect of Nazism but it’s not the definition of Nazism, and apparently you can be a Nazi and have and have a Jewish President and not feel uncomfortable about it. So I think this is a simplistic argument – well because Ukraine has a secular Jewish president who apparently doesn’t really identify as Jewish but is identified as Jewish this means somehow that there can’t be any Nazis backing him. It’s ridiculous.

Anyway it’s clear that Ukraine has been very divided in multiple directions ever since its independence and I’m sure those fissures continue to exist. Mr Zielinski however -has he really has empowered himself? I think if he gets backing from the United States and others here we have a problem

Not only do we have the statements that Putin is a war criminal and must be brought to trial -statements coming out of leaders in the West including President Biden but we also have people like Boris Johnson saying the sanctions have to stay on, whatever Russia does, because Russia has to be punished. Well this means russia has absolutely no incentive to accommodate, and it also means that Mr Zielinski has no freedom to accommodate

So this is the opposite of an effort to resolve the issue. It’s an effort in effect, whatever its intent, to perpetuate the fighting. And and that is going to be disastrous for the Ukrainians, for the Russians and and for Europe and ultimately from the United States

Question. You mentioned the neo-Nazi issue in Ukraine let me quote you from a new article in the washington post by Rita Katz. She’s the executive director of the site Intelligence Group. Her article is called ”Neo-Nazis are exploiting Russia’s war in Ukraine for their own purposes” . Not since Isis have we seen such a flurry of recruitment activity, and she writes this – in many ways the Ukraine situation reminds me of Syria in the early and middle years of the last decade. Just as the Syrian conflict served as the perfect breeding ground for for groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, similar conditions may be brewing in Ukraine for the far right. I’m wondering your response is to that as well?

FREEMAN. I think she’s got logic on her side. I frankly don’t know Ukraine personally well enough to know exactly what the definition of a member of the Azov brigade or other neo-Nazi groups is.

I think right-wing populism is ugly enough in our own country, to imagine that it’s even uglier in a country as divide as Ukraine and you know –

I don’t dismiss the whole thing at all because Ukraine has a horrible history of running pogroms uh first against Jews and then frankly against Russians , and so to dismiss the argument that there are people with violent tendencies and great prejudice, ethnic prejudices involved in this fight, seems to me to be wrong. So I hadn’t read the article you cited. I don’t know the the author but she makes sense to me.

Question. I’m curious what you make now of the allegations we’re getting from both the U.S and Russia against the other that the other side is plotting false flag chemical attacks. This has only surfaced in recent days

In the case of the U.S, it strikes me that they’re recycling a playbook that they employed under the Obama administration, which was there were people inside the Obama white house who wanted to put out the option of military intervention, and the red line was a good way to pursue that. I’m wondering if you think the Biden administration, especially the remnants of the Obama administration, Blinken, Sullivan and Biden himself , are recycling that playbook. I certainly hope not but it does have a resemblance to the probably false flag use of chemical weapons in Syria and it it almost worked in Syria?

FREEMAN. This isn’t the slam dunk there are real questions. There are the questions about whether this was the Turkish or Turkish and Saudi or whoever, was afalse flag intended to force an American escalation over Syria. It was only when that happened that it almost worked in Syria and this could well be a replay. From a military point of view, I can’t see any reason that the Russians would want to use chemical weapons. Usually they are a defensive device against a mass attack, but there’s no such thing going on in Ukraine. They don’t need chemical weapons. They have enough rightful weapons of other types without having to do that, so this does strike me as on its surface it’s suspicious.

Question. As the former U.S Ambassador to Saudi Arabia what do you make of their positioning so far ?There’s a lot of talk of them essentially moving closer with Russia. A lot was made that MBS (Mohammed bin Salman) refused to take Joe Biden’s call when he phoned him recently, and Saudi Arabia considering accepting payments for oil in the Chinese currency and the implications of that. yYur thoughts there when it comes to Saudi Arabia’s apparent shifting stance here?

FREEMAN. Saudi Arabia has been very ill at ease with its U.S. relationship for a long time. The affection that the Saudis once enjoyed in the United States from a limited number of people to be sure, has been replaced by mass Islamophobia. Saudi Arabia has been successfully vilified in U.S politics. Saudi Arabia’s assumption that the United States would back the monarchy against the tax on it from at home or abroad, was thrown into doubt when the United States rather gleefully saw Mubarak overthrown in Egypt. The United States is now the competitor for oil production and exports, no longer a consumer. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi and its attribution to Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince, obviously does not endear him to us or us to him and so mr biden has refused to speak with him.

So at this point the Saudis have gone full bore, looking for alternative partners to rely upon and there is no single partner that they can rely upon. But they have every interest in exploring alternative relationships not just with Russia or China but with India and others and they are doing the same thing with the United Arab Emirates. Even if bound to the United States in the so-called Abraham Accords it has a reputation well deserved for real politique.

It too is crafting its own future and it is not prepared to mortgage that future to American policy especially when the common view in the Gulf is that the United States is retreating. So this brings us all to back to the Chinese the Indians the Brazilians, others who have not got onto the bandwagon hurling invective at Russia. I think the Chinese ambassador the other day it was – onto someone of the Sunday talk shows and to the extent they let him get a word in, he he said very clearly and I agree with him, that you know condemnation does not accomplish anything very much at all, and what is required is serious diplomacy, and what has been missing has been serious diplomacy.

There have been condemnations, there have been sanctions, there have been armed shipments to the Ukrainians from a remarkable range of sources by the way.

I mean it illustrates the extent of Mr Putin’s mistake that even Austria and Switzerland, two neutral countries have provided aid to the Ukrainian resistance, as has Finland.

So Mr Putin has paid a huge price in terms of arousing animosity against this country. India and Brazil are in the same situation as as China. They’re in the same straddle. They see no benefit in alienating a partner, namely Russia, and while they both may care about the independence of Ukraine. I think taking sides with the United States against Russia, which is what they’re being asked to do, is a step too far. You know, let’s face it, this is in large measure as I said at the outset. a struggle between the United states and Russia for a sphere of influence that will include Ukraine. It’s U.S. Russia.

It’s not Russia versus Europe so in this context, why would a great power that values its cooperation with Russia want to alienate Russia?

Question. We’re going to wrap any final words for us. At the beginning of this interview you said that the you know that long-term geopolitical implications of this crisis are unknown. The world is changing in ways we don’t know, but I wonder if there’s any speculation that you are comfortable engaging in about what the geopolitical implications are. A lot of people are are speculating that this could mean the weakening of us dollar supremacy, as a result of China and Russia drawing closer together. Any thoughts on that and anything else you want to leave us with?

FREEMAN. No, I think the reliance on our sovereignty over the dollar, to our abuse of that sovereignty if you will, to impose sanctions that are illegal under the U.N Charter, which are unilateral, ultimately risks the status of the dollar, and we may in fact be in a moment when the dollar is taken down a notch or two

Well, I should just say that the dollar serves two purposes. One is as a store of value. If you have dollars you’re fairly confident that they’re going to have a significant value 10 years from now as well as today so that is why countries keep reserves in dollars and it’s why people stash dollars in mattresses all over the world.

The other use of the dollar is to settle trade transactions. It’s the most convenient currency in which to do that and in many cases when other currencies are used they are used with reference to the dollar and the dollar exchange rates.

Both these things are now in jeopardy. The oil trade commodities being priced in dollars is the basis for the dollar’s international value.

Iif you look at the united states trade and development’s balance of payments patent you will see that we are in chronic deficit that says the dollar is overvalued [ and that means it’s vulnerable to devaluation

The communications system in Belgium, that handles most of the world’s transactions was established to ensure that the trade could be conducted unencumbered by politics. And now it’s being encumbered by U.S. imposed unilateral sanctions on a huge array of countries – Iran Russia China , even threatened against India . So if the use of the dollar is now encumbered. It’s less desirable and people will want to make workarounds around it .

Will the dollar hold its value now we have a Congress that repeatedly goes to the brink of defaulting on our national debt?

This is not something that inspires confidence, and I’ll add a final factor which I think is very injurious potentially and that is bankers get deposits because they are fiduciaries they are meant to hold the deposits for the benefit of those who deposit the money and not to rip it off themselves.

But we’ve just confiscated the entire national treasury of Afghanistan. We’ve confiscated the Venezuelan reserves. We hav eour allies – the British have confiscated Venezuela’s gold reserves. And we’ve confiscated half of Russian reserves. The Anglo-American reputation as bankers. as fiduciaries, is in trouble, and so the question is, if you’re a country that thinks well maybe you might have some serious policy difference with the United States someday why would you put your money in dollars

The answer has been – there’s no alternative. But there are now major efforts being made to create alternatives so we we we’re not there yet. I don’t want to make a prediction, but I think this is a major question that we need to monitor carefully. because if the dollar loses its value, the American influence on the global level decreases enormously.

Aaron. Yes Freeman. Thank you as always for your time and insight. I say this on behalf of many people in my audience who have come to rely on your expertise. It’s really really appreciated.

Nuclear Consulting Group – a new source of expert information

November 1, 2018

Nuclear Consulting Group https://www.nuclearconsult.com/about/ 1Nov 18,  Nuclear Consulting Group (ncg) comprises leading academics and experts in the fields of environmental risk, radiation waste, energy policy, environmental sustainability, renewable energy technology, energy economics, political science, nuclear weapons proliferation, science and technology studies, environmental justice, environmental philosophy, particle physics, energy efficiency, environmental planning, and participatory involvement. The group members are listed below.

Dr Abhishek Agarwal

Senior Lecturer, Energy Strategy
Aberdeen Business School

Prof Frank Barnaby

Nuclear Issues Consultant
Oxford Research Group

Prof Keith Barnham

Emeritus Professor of Physics
Imperial College London
Co-Founder and CTO QuantaSol Ltd

Duncan Bayliss MRTPI

Senior Lecturer in Geography
University of the West of England

Dr Margaret Beavis MBBS, FRACGP

Secretary, Medical Association for the Prevention of War
Member, ICAN

Oda Becker

Independent Nuclear Consultant
Germany

Dr Katherine G Begg

Research Institute for Geography and the Lived Environment
School of Geosciences
University of Edinburgh

Craig Bennett

Chief Executive Officer
Friends of the Earth (FoE)
England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Prof Andy Blowers

Emeritus Professor
The Open University

Prof Stefan Bouzarovski

School of Environment and Development
University of Manchester

Prof Peter Bradford

Adjunct Professor, Vermont Law School
Member of the China Sustainable Energy Policy Council
Vice Chair of the Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists
Former Member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Paul Brown

Co-Editor, Climate News Network
Author, ‘Global Warning: The Last Chance for Change’

Prof Tom Burke

Founding Director of E3G
Chairman of the Editorial Board of ENDS
Visiting Professor at Imperial and University Colleges

Shaun Burnie

Independent Nuclear Consultant

Prof Roy Butterfield

Professor (Emeritus) Civil Engineering
University of Southampton

Dr Noel Cass

Lancaster Environment Centre
Lancaster University

Dr Jason Chilvers

Lecturer, School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia

Dr Carl Iwan Clowes FFPH

Board Member, Public Health Wales

Dr Steve Connelly

Department of Town and Regional Planning
University of Sheffield

Dr Matthew Cotton

Sustainability Research Institute
School of Earth and Environment
University of Leeds

Dr Richard Cowell

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Policy and Planning
Cardiff School of City and Regional Planning
University of Cardiff

Emily Cox

Research Associate, Sussex Energy Group
Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU)

Dr Sarah J Darby

Senior Researcher
Lower Carbon Futures
Environmental Change Institute
Oxford University

Prof Jonathan Davies

Professor of Critical Policy Studies
Faculty of Business and Law
De Montfort University

Tim Deere-Jones

Marine Environment and Pollution Consultant

Dr Mark Diesendorf

Associate Professor and Deputy Director
Institute of Environmental Studies
UNSW Australia

Prof Andrew Dobson

Professor of Politics
University of Keele

Dr Charles W Donovan

Director, Centre for Climate Finance and Investment
Principal Teaching Fellow, Department of Management
Imperial College Business School

Dr Paul Dorfman

Founder, Nuclear Consulting Group
The Energy Institute, University College London
JRCT Nuclear Policy Research Fellow

Dr John Downer

Lecturer in Risk and Resilience
Global Insecurities Centre
University of Bristol

Prof David Elliott

Emeritus Professor of Technology Policy
The Open University

Herbert Eppel CEng CEnv

HE German Technical Translations
Founder member of Pro Wind Alliance

Dr Nick Eyre

Senior Research Fellow
Programme Leader, Lower Carbon Futures
Environmental Change Institute
University of Oxford

Dr Ian Fairlie

Independent Nuclear Consultant

Dr Ben Fairweather

Senior Research Fellow
Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility
De Montfort University
Editor, Journal of Information, Communication & Ethics in Society

Prof Frank Fischer

Professor of Political Science
Rutgers University

Dr Jim Green

Editor, Nuclear Monitor (World Information Service on Energy and Nuclear Information & Resource Service)
National Nuclear Campaigner, Friends of the Earth, Australia

Rika Haga MSc

PhD Student
St Andrews University

Marcin Harembski

Civil Nuclear Monitor, Poland

Prof Gabrielle Hecht

Frank Stanton Foundation Professor of Nuclear Security
Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC)
Stanford University

Prof Jeffrey Henderson

Professor of International Development
University of Bristol

Dr Richard Hindmarsh

Associate Professor, Griffith School of Environment
Griffith University
Editor, Nuclear Disaster at Fukushima Daiichi: Social, Political and Environmental Issues

Pascal Hingcamp

Université de la Méditerranée, Bioinformatique et Génomique
Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)

Dr Dan der Horst

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham

Dr Kate Hudson

Chair, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)

Charly Hulten

World Information Service on Energy (WISE)
Sweden

Tetsunari Iida

Executive Director
Institute of Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP)

Dr Phil Johnstone

Research Fellow
Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU)
University of Sussex

Dr Aled Jones FRSA

Director
Global Sustainability Institute
Anglia Ruskin University

Dr Dominic Kelly

Lecturer in International Political Economy
Department of Politics and International Studies
University of Warwick

Tom Kelsey BA MA

PhD Candidate
Centre for Science, Technology and Medicine in History
King’s College London

Bruce Kent

Vice President CND

Dr Peter Wynn Kirby

Research Fellow
School of Geography and the Environment
University of Oxford

Prof Nic Lampkin

Executive Director
UK Organic Research Centre

Dr Peter Lee

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham

Michel Lee

Senior Policy Analyst, Promoting Health and Sustainable Energy
Chair, Council on Intelligent Energy & Conservation Policy

Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen

Independent Consultant, Energy Systems

Jeremy Leggett

Founder and Chairman of Solarcentury and SolarAid
Author of The Carbon War and Half Gone

Dr Markku Lehtonen

Research Fellow, Sussex Energy Group
Science and Technology Policy Research (SPRU)
University of Sussex

Dr Mark Lemon

Principal Lecturer
Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development
De Montfort University

Dr David Lowry

Independent research consultant
Specialist in UK and EU nuclear & environment policy

Senator Scott Ludlam

Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia
Spokesperson for Nuclear Issues, Infrastructure and Sustainable Cities
Spokesperson Assisting on Defence, Resources and Energy

Yves Marignac

Director, WISE, Paris

Dr Darren McCauley

Department of Geography and Sustainable Development
School of Geography & Geosciences
University of St. Andrews

Jean McSorley

Former Head, Nuclear & Energy Campaign Asia, Greenpeace International
Author, Living in the Shadow, the Story of the People of Sellafield

Prof Ian Miles

Professor of Technological Innovation and Social Change
Manchester Institute of Innovation Research
Manchester Business School, University of Manchester

Craig Morris

Coauthor Energy Democracy, the first history of Germany’s Energiewende

Prof Maggie Mort

Professor of the Sociology of Science, Technology & Medicine
Dept of Sociology
Lancaster University, UK

Prof Carmel Mothersill

Department of Medical Physics and Applied Radiation Sciences
McMaster University, USA

Prof Hideki Murai

Professor of Environmental Accounting
Nihon University, Tokyo

Prof Majia Holmer Nadesan

Arizona State University
Author, Fukushima and the Privatization of Risk

Dr Jari Natunen

Independent Nuclear Consultant
Helsinki, Finland

Prof Jenny Nelson

Professor of Physics, Imperial College London
Fellow of the Royal Society, Faraday Medal and Prize

Dr Peter North

School of Environmental Sciences
Department of Geography
University of Liverpool

Prof Monica Oliphant AO

Adj A/Prof University of South Australia
Fellow Charles Darwin University
Former President, International Solar Energy Society

Andrey Ozharovskiy

Independent Nuclear Consultant
Bellona Russia

V T Padmanabhan

Independent Nuclear Consultant
India

Jinyoung Park

PhD student at School of Law
Member of Center for Energy & Environmental Law and Policy
Seoul National University, South Korea

Dr Stuart Parkinson

Executive Director
Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR)

Dr Mark Pelling

Reader in Geography
Department of Geography
King’s College London

Jonathon Porritt

Founder, Director and Trustee, Forum for the Future
Co-Director of the Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme

Dr Jerome Ravetz

Institute for Science, Innovation and Society
Oxford University

Prof Susan Roaf

Emeritus Professor, Architectural Engineering, Heriot-Watt University
Author, Adapting Buildings and Cities for Climate Change

Pete Roche

Energy Consultant
Editor of No2NuclearPower
Policy Adviser to the Nuclear Free Local Authorities

Dr Alex Rosen MD

Pediatrician
Vice-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) Germany
Scientific Council of the German Nuclear Waste Report
Environmental Health Committee of the German Medical Association

Prof Harry Rothman

Institute of Innovation Research
Manchester Business School
University of Manchester

Dr Gabor Sarlos

Senior Lecturer
School of Media
University of Wolverhampton
Author, Risk and Benefit Perceptions in the Discourse on Nuclear Energy

Prof Ingmar Schumacher

Professor in Environmental Economics
IPAG Business School, Paris

Dr Jonathan Scurlock

Chief Adviser, Renewable Energy and Climate Change
National Farmers’ Union (NFU)

Prof Benjamin K Sovacool

Professor of Energy Policy, University of Sussex
Professor of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University

Prof Andy Stirling

Director of Science for SPRU
Co-director Centre on Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability
University of Sussex

Prof Peter A Strachan

Group Lead, Strategy and Policy Unit
The Robert Gordon University
Aberdeen Business School

Dr Johan Swahn

Director, MKG
Swedish NGO Office for Nuclear Waste Review

Prof Donald Swift-Hook FRSA

Visiting Professor, Kingston University
Director & Secretary to the Board of the World Renewable Energy Network

Prof Erik Swyngedouw

Professor of Geography
School of Environment and Development
Manchester University

Dr Joseph Szarka

Author on energy and climate policy in France and EU

N A J Taylor

Lecturer, Australian Indigenous Studies, The University of Melbourne
Honorary Associate, Environmental Humanities Collaboratory, Linköping University

Dr Alan Terry

Senior Lecturer in Geography
Geography and Environmental Management
Geography Research Unit, UWE

Prof Stephen Thomas

Professor of Energy Policy
Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU)
University of Greenwich

David Thorpe

Patron, One Planet Life
Sustainability Consultant and Author

Oliver Tickell

Editor, The Ecologist

Dr Youri Timsit

Director of Research
Institut de Microbiologie de la Méditerranée
French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)

Dr David Toke

Reader in Energy Politics
Department of Politics and International Relations
University of Aberdeen

Prof Toshihide Tsuda MD, PhD

Graduate School of Environmental Life Science
Okayama University

Prof Scott Valentine

Associate Professor
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
National University of Singapore
Co-author, The National Politics of Nuclear Power

Prof Gordon Walker

Chair of Environment, Risk and Social Justice
Department of Geography
Lancaster University

Dr John Walls

School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham

Andrew Warren

Chairman, British Energy Efficiency Federation
Honorary President, Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE)

Dr Matt Watson

Lecturer in Social and Cultural Geography
Department of Geography
University of Sheffield

Prof Dave Webb

Chair of CND
Emeritus Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies
Leeds Metropolitan University

Dr Philip Webber

Chair of Scientists for Global responsibility (SGR)
Non-Executive Director, YES Energy Solutions
Research Fellow, Leeds University

Prof Stuart Weir

Visiting Professor, Government Department
University of Essex

Dr Ian Welsh

Emeritus Reader in Sociology
University of Cardiff
Author, Mobilising Modernity: The Nuclear Moment

Prof Brian Wynne

Associate Director of CESAGen
Professor of Science Studies and Research Director of the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change (CSEC)

Dr Natasha Zaretsky

Associate Professor SIU, USA

Author Radiation Nation

Macho Madness – Nuclear Power Nuclear Weapons

February 1, 2018

The “Me Too” movement exposed the sexual exploitation of women at work, and the men in authority who make the decisions to cover this up.

Men in authority have forever been making decisions to cover up the exploitation of women, children and men in every arena of society. But in no arena more than in violence and war.

Without “Me Too” in decisions on nuclear power and nuclear war – we are all finished.

Dubious arithmetic by Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission

August 1, 2016

South Australia blanket

SA’s nuclear debate: The sums don’t add up but the danger is very real, argues Craig Wilkins Craig Wilkins, Conservation Council SA, The Advertiser July 28, 2016  NUCLEAR DOSSIER SPECIAL REPORT: Everything you need to know about SA’s nuclear debate

LET’S be clear: the Nuclear Royal Commission is pushing a plan to make money by importing into our state high-level radioactive waste from overseas nuclear reactors.

Most people think it’s about burying this waste deep in the SA Outback.

  • That’s not the half of it. Before then, waste cargo ships will enter our waters at least once a month for the next 70 years.
  • After unloading, the waste will be stored above ground a few kilometres inland from our coastline for the next 80 years.
  • Fifty thousand tonnes will be stockpiled in this above-ground site for around 20 years even before we know the underground dump will work.

The scale in creating the world’s largest nuclear dump site is staggering. So are the risks. It will change our state forever.

Central to the Royal Commission’s grand waste plan is an eye-popping revenue number.

However, Commissioner Scarce’s numbers are so huge it raises an equally big question: if there is so much profit in taking the world’s nuclear waste, why aren’t other countries or states rushing to do it?

Something just doesn’t add up. Either the money’s not there, or it’s a hell of a lot harder to do safely. The answer is: it’s both.

As there is no international market for high-level nuclear waste, any revenue or profit modelling is simply guesswork and assumption.

 So why has the Commission only requested economic modelling from one consultant with a keen interest in seeing the nuclear industry expand? Economists can’t agree what interest rates will be in three months, let alone the price of nuclear waste in 70 years.

The Conservation Council of SA commissioned leading economic think tank The Australia Institute to take a deeper look at the numbers.

Far from making a motza, they found it could actually end up costing us money. Their view is backed by Professor Dick Blandy, respected Professor of Economics at the UniSA Business School.

The nuclear industry is notorious for massive cost over-runs. There are huge doubts about how much other countries are willing to pay, and how much demand there will be in the future. Also unknown is the economic impact on our other vital industries like food, wine and tourism. And taxpayers will need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars even before we know if it will proceed.

We are being told there are super-safe options for storage. We are also being told we can make enormous windfall profits.

The problem is, the gold standard level of safety the SA public rightly expects will take decades to achieve, and be ridiculously expensive, if it can be done at all.

We can try for the highest standard of safety, or we can make money, but we can’t have both.

There is no doubt there is a great deal of concern in our state about our economy and jobs for our children. But a decision for us to become the world’s nuclear waste dump should not be made in fear or desperation.

A nuclear dump is not our only choice. If we are willing to invest billions, there are many better options worth exploring, with far lower risks and many more jobs.

Taking the world’s nuclear waste is a forever decision – once we decide to do it there is no going back. We can’t change our minds or send it somewhere else. Neither can future generations of South Australians.  As a proud state we can do much better. Craig Wilkins is the Conservation Council SA’s chief executive

2015 – Nuclear Free Australia: highs, lows and observations

December 23, 2015

Sweeney, Dave 1

Dave Sweeney, 24 Dec 15 

 Positives:

·         Uranium: the sector remains actively contested and deeply under-performing. Production rates, company value and exploration expenditure are all down. In WA no new uranium mines have been fully approved, in Qld the state prohibition on uranium mining was restored and Rio Tinto advised subsidiary ERA that it would not finance further mining at Ranger – a major step towards the end of uranium mining in Kakadu.

 

·         Politics and policy: Against the run of play the cross party Joint Standing Committee on Treaties recommended no uranium sales to India at this time or under the terms of the current Agreement. WA Labor reaffirmed a strong anti-uranium policy, Queensland Labor were returned to office and shut the door on uranium mining while federal Labor’s national conference saw moves to weaken policy on domestic nuclear power and international nuclear waste headed off. The Australian Greens kept the industry under active scrutiny through public profile and effective Parliamentary action.

 

·         Indigenous collaboration: The nuclear free movement’s foundation platform of green-black cooperation continued and grew through a series of initiatives. The Walkatjurra Walkabout linked communities and country in the West, there was extensive regional outreach in South Australia – especially in response to the state nuclear Royal Commission and Adnyamathanha positioning on radioactive waste, public recognition saw Karina and Rose Lester share the SA Conservation Council’s Jill Hudson prize while Jack Green received ACF’s Rawlinson award for his work highlighting the impacts of the Macarthur River mine, the Mirarr people’s sustained resistance was heard loud and clear by Rio Tinto and continues to inspire, Aboriginal presenters took their stories to global forums and there was a powerful and positive Australian Nuclear Free Alliance national gathering in Quorn.

 

·         Radioactive waste: the revised federal approach acknowledges the principle of community consent and keeps the door open to consider other management options. There is clear community concern/opposition at each of the six sites currently under consideration for a national facility. Reprocessed spent nuclear fuel waste was returned and is now in storage at ANSTO – without major incident or calls for it to be moved ‘out bush’. Information materials and outreach sessions have gone widely.

 

·         International connections: the year saw strong and growing global connections and included active engagement in the US walk and other activities based around the NPT Review, the World Uranium Symposium in Quebec and subsequent Canadian nuclear communities road trip, ICAN’s extensive international work and forums in Taiwan, Europe, Japan and the Nuclearisation of Africa gathering in Johannesburg.

 

Negatives:

·         South Australian nuclear Royal Commission: with a surprise announcement in February this initiative has opened the door to all sorts of unfounded and unhelpful pro-nuclear talk. There is a clear need for industry review, but not framed around industry expansion. At best it is a dangerous distraction from the real energy challenges we face – in practise it is a cause for massive community stress and a platform for the promotion of domestic nuclear power and the toxic Trojan horse of international high level radioactive waste dumping.

 

·         Indian uranium sales: despite a unanimous JSCOT recommendation against any sales at this time due to severe and unresolved safety and security concerns the federal government moved swiftly into override mode with Andrew Robb and Julie Bishop fast-tracking a deal. This dismissal of Parliamentary process and evidence based policy is a shameful retreat from any pretence at nuclear responsibility.

 

·         Resource curse: Generally this refers to the situation where nations with extensive natural resources find these a constraint rather than an aid to equitable development. In relation to the Australian nuclear free movement it more relates to the fact that we swear and gnash teeth over how little cash and resources we have to cover so many issues. Our movement’s appetite, vision and ideas are not matched by our capacity. That we do so much so well is a profound tribute to people’s passion, smarts, tenacity and generosity – but this planetary benefit for all comes at a personal cost to many.

 

·         Lack of evidence based assessment: Still no review of the Australian uranium sector post Fukushima as requested by the UN Secretary General, incomplete project applications routinely accepted for fast tracked assessment by state agencies while the federal government talks ‘one stop shop’, no public release of long overdue accident and incidence assessments, JSCOT’s India concerns overridden, absurd and unsubstantiated industry claims re economic benefits and the prospects for future nuclear power accepted and rehashed by politicians and commentators, critics misrepresented or derided as emotional or ill-informed – the nuclear industry’s tiresome pattern continues……

 

 

Looking ahead:

2016 is shaping up as a very significant year. A federal election always provides colour and movement along with opportunity and threat. Against this backdrop some of our key work will include:

 

·         SA Royal Commission: the Commission’s interim report is expected on February 15 with a final report by May 6. It is likely that this will be largely supportive of nuclear expansion plans with a chorus line of industry boosters. We need to prepare for a media blitz and ensure there is public contest, support those communities – especially Aboriginal people – most directly affected, and buttress federal Labor’s opposition to domestic nuclear power and international nuclear waste.

 

·         National radioactive waste: the community comment period around the six current sites closes on March 11 (Fukushima’s fifth anniversary). We will continue to support affected communities and provide information and access to resources – including the film Containment.  We need to keep finding ways to advance the long standing civil society call for a detailed, public and independent review of responsible waste management options.

 

·         Uranium: maintain pressure to help ensure ERA transitions from creating to cleaning radioactive mine mess in Kakadu, hold the line against any full project approvals in WA ahead of the March 2017 state election by taking this story from Cottesloe to Canada, track heap leaching plans at Olympic Dam and support calls for action on BHP’s failings in Brazil.

 

·         Federal election/policy: ensure no nuclear policy retreats and oppose moves to fast-track state and federal project approvals through changes to environmental laws and the ‘one stop shop’ At election time we need to remind all politicians that no one has a mandate to radiate.

 

·         Lest we forget: 2016 is a big anniversary year – 5 years since the Australian uranium fuelled Fukushima crisis, 30 years since Chernobyl and 60 years since the creation of the flawed International Atomic Energy Agency. All provide opportunities to reflect and revisit.

 

·         Braid the pieces and tell the story:  join the dots nationally and internationally about how Australian uranium drives local damage and division and fuels global insecurity in the form of risky reactors, nuclear weapons and forever wastes.

Environment Minister Hunt joining the stampede for nuclear Australia?

November 2, 2015

nuclear dance troupe  15 A

Greg Hunt open to nuclear industry for SA  http://www.afr.com/news/policy/climate/greg-hunt-open-to-nuclear-industry-for-sa-20151031-gknvu6  1 Nov 15 Environment Minister Greg Hunt has an “open mind” on nuclear power generation and the creation of a nuclear waste industry in South Australia.

Mr Hunt said is waiting for the findings of the South Australian royal commission into nuclear, which is considering whether Australia should become more involved in the nuclear fuel cycle.

“We approach this with an open mind. We will look at the results of the royal commission,” Mr Hunt told ABC on Sunday.

“Nuclear energy is one of the many forms of zero emissions energy which will be available and what’s my broad vision, and our broad vision, we progressively move towards low and zero emissions energy over the coming decades.” The royal commission will be hosting a series of public sessions until December.

The Australian Financial Review reported on Wednesday that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was backing the creation of a nuclear fuel industry.Mr Turnbull said Australia should become involved in the nuclear fuel cycle to produce fuel rods, export them and then transport them back home once used, and store them in outback nuclear waste dumps.

Assistant Science Minister Karen Andrews told the Financial Review on Wednesday that developing a nuclear waste disposal industry was an option, and pointed out that there is Australian nuclear waste in transit from treatment in France which is expected to be stored by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.  Mr Turnbull is yet to confirm the federal government’s short list of potential sites for a nuclear waste dump.

Australia’s worst ever Prime Minister Bites The Dust

September 14, 2015

Abbott hallelujah

South Australia’s Conservation Council appeals to people to make submissions to the Nuclear Royal Commission

July 6, 2015

Submissions for the Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle are closing soon.

This Commission could change our State forever.

Make sure you have a say in it.  The Conservation SA team 26 June 15 

This is too big an issue not to have your voice heard. Currently, our State government is weighing up a future that could see nuclear power, uranium enrichment and nuclear waste dumping here in South Australia. The window for the public to make comment on these issues closes in a month.

We encourage you to make a submission and draw on our resources to assist you.

Submission wizards

In May nuclear expert Dr Jim Green produced some information resources about each of the issues the Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle is investigating. Please see a summary and full report here.

Only last week renewables expert Dr Mark Diesendorf from the University of NSW finished an exciting report showing that South Australia could be run on 100% renewable energy is just 15 years. You can view and download the summary version and Dr Mark Diesendorf’s full report online here.

The issue papers generated by the Royal Commission are available here and submissions are due:

  • Issues Paper 1 (Extraction) and/or Issues Paper 4 (Storage and Disposal of Waste) is 24 July, 2015
  • Issues Paper 2 (Further Processing) and/or Issues Paper 3 (Electricity Generation) is 3 August, 2015.

If you wish to provide a consolidated written submission addressing all Issues Papers you have until Monday August 3, 2015.

If you wish to make an oral submission call the Royal Commission on 08 8207 1480 to make arrangements.

It’s critical that your voice is heard. This commission could change our State for generations to come.

Now is the time to act.

Australia has downgraded previous G20’s commitment to fairness

November 12, 2014
G20-danse-macabreG20: Australia criticised for removing commitment to ‘fair’ economic growth C20 civil society groups say Australia has downgraded the commitment of previous G20 summits to ‘inclusive growth’, political editor theguardian.com, Tuesday 11 November 2014 Australia is sidelining the idea of “fair” or “inclusive” economic growth in G20 discussions this weekend, civil society leaders have alleged.

Tony Abbott has said the first aim of the G20 is to “promote economic growth and jobs growth by strengthening the private sector” and on the weekend, leaders will unveil the “Brisbane Action Plan” which compiles the individual policies they say will increase cumulative growth in their economies by 2%.

But the co-chairs of the civil society groups advising the leaders, the so-called C20, say Australia has downgraded the commitment of previous G20 summits to “inclusive growth”.

World Vision chief executive and C20 chair Tim Costello told Guardian Australia, “It appears the language about equality and inclusive growth has been taken out and we are hearing that is at Australia’s instigation … we are hearing the Abbott government doesn’t like that language.”

Oxfam has released a report stating that in the year since Australia has held the G20 presidency (between 2013 and 2014) total wealth in the G20 nations increased by $17tn, but 36% of that amount went to the richest 1% of citizens in those countries………http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/11/g20-australia-criticised-for-removing-commitment-to-fair-economic-growth

Hypocrisy as Brisbane Airport allows fossil fuel company ads, but bans ads for climate action

November 5, 2014

hypocrisy-scaleFossil fuel ads approved by Brisbane airport despite political intent   Activist groups hoping to attract the attention of G20 delegates had their adverts declined – but Chevron and the controversial Reef Facts campaign were given the green light    theguardian.com, Tuesday 4 November 2014 

Three advertisements have been banned from appearing in Brisbane airport because they were deemed “too political” – but it has emerged that similar material from energy giant Chevron and the Queensland government’s controversial mining-funded Reef Facts campaign was approved.

In the run-up to the G20 meeting in Brisbane this month, activist groups tried to place adverts inside the terminal, but were rebuffed by Ooh Media, the airport’s media buyer.

As Guardian Australia revealed on Sunday, environment and development groups led by the WWF attempted to place a billboard ad depicting a farmer calling for action on climate change, featuring the words: “Action on climate change is #onmyagenda, Dear G20 leaders please put it on yours.”

The groups agreed to remove the words “Dear G20 leaders”, but Ooh Media still rejected the new advert.

On Tuesday it emerged that campaign group Transparency International had had its own billboard advertisement rejected for the same reasons – it was “too political”……..

According to Business Spectator, Brisbane airport’s head of corporate relations, Rachel Crowley, acknowledged that Chevron’s ads had a political purpose – but did not row back on the bans on the WWF, Transparency International and C20 displays…..http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/04/fossil-fuel-ads-approved-brisbane-airport-despite-political-intent