Archive for the ‘climate change’ Category

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

October 19, 2021

Nuclear lobby stooge Senator Matt Canavan wants Australia to boycott COP 26

September 2, 2021

On Wednesday, Queensland Nationals Senator Matt Canavan called on Australia to boycott Glasgow, labelling the conference a “sham” in reaction to news that the nuclear industry has not been granted permission to host exhibits at the conference.

“They have banned nuclear technologies – reliable, emission-free power – from presenting. Climate change activism is not about changing the climate, it is about changing our politics. Australia should not bother going,” Senator Canavan tweeted.

Retiring Flynn MP Ken O’Dowd said Britain, the USA and Canada use nuclear power and he would “tend to agree” with Mr Canavan.

Why would the Glasgow conference not want to discuss it? It should be one of the first items on the agenda,” Mr O’Dowd said.

Business urges government to take net zero pledge to UN climate talks,   https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/business-urges-government-to-take-net-zero-pledge-to-un-climate-talks-20210831-p58nma.html By Mike Foley,  September 2, 2021 Australia’s energy, business and oil and gas lobbies are joining calls from key international allies for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to set a net zero emissions deadline ahead of the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow this November.

But division within the federal government threatens to block the Prime Minister’s push for a commitment, with the Nationals still opposed to a deadline that is supported by every major farming group.

Senior officials from the European Union, Britain and US have urged Australia to set more ambitious goals. US presidential climate envoy John Kerry said scientists’ dire warnings over global warming placed more pressure on Australia.

Australia has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas contribution by at least 26 per cent by 2030, based on 2005 emissions, but has not set a deadline to hit net zero emissions. Most other developed nations have committed to roughly halve their emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 or earlier.

But the government has not committed to greater action because the Nationals party, which has not yet backed a carbon-neutral deadline, has demanded to see the economic cost of greater climate action before signing up.

Mr Morrison says he wants to achieve net zero as soon as possible – “preferably by 2050.”

On Wednesday, Queensland Nationals Senator Matt Canavan called on Australia to boycott Glasgow, labelling the conference a “sham” in reaction to news that the nuclear industry has not been granted permission to host exhibits at the conference.

Australia’s petroleum lobby, its peak employer association, big power generators and investors from the booming clean energy industry say the government should head to the high-profile international climate talks armed with a 2050 commitment for carbon neutrality.

“They have banned nuclear technologies – reliable, emission-free power – from presenting. Climate change activism is not about changing the climate, it is about changing our politics. Australia should not bother going,” Senator Canavan tweeted.

Retiring Flynn MP Ken O’Dowd said Britain, the USA and Canada use nuclear power and he would “tend to agree” with Mr Canavan.

“Why would the Glasgow conference not want to discuss it? It should be one of the first items on the agenda,” Mr O’Dowd said.

However, former Nationals leader Michael McCormack said, in response to Mr Canavan, that Australia must be “at the table” in Glasgow.

“We have to be part of discussions, part of finding the way forward,” Mr McCormack said.

Australian Energy Council, which represents Australia’s largest electricity providers and major emitters including AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia, backs a net zero deadline. Chief executive Sarah McNamara said the industry had a key role in climate action.

Settling on an economy-wide target will let us then decide the best ways to get there at the lowest cost and undoubtedly prompt a steady reduction in our emissions,” Ms McNamara said.

The Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox said it was crucial government deliver on its promise to release a long-term strategy for climate change before Glasgow.

“(It) should include a clear long term national goal of net zero emissions by 2050 to guide government policy and private investment (and) medium term emissions reduction goals in line with the long-term goal and Australia’s peers,” Mr Willox said.

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association also backed net zero by 2050 and said the industry was investing heavily to reduce emissions.

“Anyone reading the sobering report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this week knows the world has no other option but to take practical steps to address the climate challenge,” an APPEA spokesman said.

Peak mining lobby the Minerals Council backs the Prime Minister’s current policy stance to reach net zero by as soon as possible and preferably by 2050. It called for Australia to open its carbon credit scheme, which pays private industry for emissions reduction, to international trading.

The council lodged a submission this week on the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement which said Japan’s commitment to decarbonise its economy provided a significant opportunity for the mining industry to supply “technologies of the future, including hydrogen with carbon capture storage”.

The Clean Energy Investor Group, which represents Macquarie Bank, Andrew Forest’s Squadron Energy and the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock said Australia would take an economic hit if it took weaker climate commitments to Glasgow.

Chief executive Simon Corbell said Australia should set an economy-wide net zero deadline of 2040 including a 2035 deadline for the electricity sector.

“This would only result in the cost of capital for clean energy projects in Australia remaining more expensive than other advanced economies,” he said.

The Investor Group of Climate Change, backed by funds managing $2 trillion of assets, said many nations had moved beyond net zero and were making more ambitious near term goals

“Australia risks being the only major advanced economy to not substantially and formally increase its 2030 target by Glasgow,” said policy director Erwin Jackson.

“Capital is mobile and will move to countries which deliver the best long-term returns. For long-term investors this is a net zero emission economy. Investors expect nations to demonstrate strong ambition to 2030 to get on an orderly pathway to net zero emission by 2050.”

US and Allies’ military machine – out of Afghanistan (where it’s needed) and into the Pacific – against its new enemy – The Great Barrier Reef

July 17, 2021

War games on despite pandemic, threat to Great Barrier Reef  https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/war-games-despite-pandemic-threat-great-barrier-reef, Kerry SmithJuly 16, 2021  Lurking off the coast of China’s eastern seaboard now are three United States aircraft carrier battle groups (each with about 30 support vessels).

They will be joined by a British aircraft carrier group and Australian and Canadian warships as part of biennial military exercises, which start on July 18 and last until the end of the month.

Talisman Sabre 2021 (TS21) will involve a US expeditionary strike group from the USS America, the amphibious assault ship based at Sasebo Naval Base in Japan, and 17,000 Australian, US and foreign troops in combined land, sea and air war exercises.  

According to Stars and Stripes, for the first time, there will be live-fire training: the US Army will fire a Patriot missile defense system from Shoalwater Bay in Queensland at a pair of drone targets on July 16.

This is within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and other environmentally and culturally significant areas.

The war games will also take place in Darwin in the Northern Territory and Evans Head, New South Wales. 

All are thousands of kilometres away from their home base, and provocatively close to the new declared enemy — China.

Forces from Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea will take part and Australia-based personnel from India, Indonesia, France and Germany will observe.

Meanwhile, the ABC’s “defence correspondent” hyperventilated on July 14 that a solitary Chinese military ship, outside Australian territorial waters, poses a threat to national security.

The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) is concerned about both the war games and its impact on environmentally and culturally significant sites.

“TS21 will involve amphibious assaults, movement of heavy vehicles, use of live ammunition as well as the use of U.S. nuclear-powered and nuclear-weapon capable vessels,” IPAN spokesperson Annette Brownlie said.

“These activities are incompatible with the protection of the environment and, in particular, the Great Barrier Reef.

“During Talisman Sabre 2013, the US jettisoned four unarmed bombs on the Great Barrier Reef when they had difficulty dropping them on their intended target, Townshend Island,” Brownlie said.

The objective of Talisman Sabre is to further integrate the Australian military with the US — now ranked among the world’s worst polluters.

IPAN said the ADF did not engage in a Public Environment Report process for TS21 and has yet to release an environmental assessment for the areas in which TS21 will take place.

However, the Department of Defence did produce an environmental awareness video for visiting troops that promotes the military use of the Great Barrier Reef. The video reminds troops to consider the reef and not to litter.

“Talisman Sabre is a threat to the reef and to the environment. Putting out a video is a completely inadequate response,” Brownlie said.

This comes as federal environment minister Sussan Ley is lobbying to keep the Great Barrier Reef off the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Committee’s “in danger” list.

Despite a global pandemic, about 1800 foreign military personnel have arrived in Darwin to participate.

Australian Nuclear Technology and Science Organisation using bushfires to promote nuclear power?

January 15, 2020

Today, 15 January, there was a ’round table” meeting, (I think in Canberra) of “top scientists” on the urgent need to develop new bushfire adaptation and mitigation techniques.

And guess who’s at the top of the list in these TOP SCIENTISTS ON CLIMATE CHANGE. Why, none other than The Australian Nuclear Technology and Science Organisation, (ANSTO)

Of course, ANSTO is prominent in promoting the lie that nuclear power is the solution to climate change. They’ve put in submissions to parliamentary inquiries, You can bet that they’ve got one in now, to the Victorian Inquiry (submissions close 28 February.) One must admire the timing of the nuclear lobby’s manipulations, and the speed with which they are jumping on the bushfire-fix bandwagon.

Bushfire danger to nuclear waste transport across Australia

January 2, 2020

In all the propaganda for a nuclear waste dump in Kimba, South Australia, there was no mention of bushfire risks.  An extraordinary omission, don’t you think?

The whole bizarre plan to trek the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor wastes some1700km by land, or even longer by sea, would entail trucking highly radioactive  (they call it intermediate) wastes through forest areas, towns, ports, to what used to be an agricultural area.

The nuclear industry touts itself as the cure for climate change. In reality,it is the other way around. For Australia especially, climate change, bushfires, water shortages –  make every aspect of the nuclear industry ever more dangerous.

The Lucas Heights nuclear reactor itself is uncomfortably close to the bushfires. But nobody’s talking about that. That reactor shoud be shutdown, and no more wastes produced.

Nuclear power for Australia? NO SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE (or anything else)

August 16, 2019

Friends of the Earth Australia Statement August 2019 http://www.nuclear.foe.org.au 

  1. Introduction 2. Nuclear Power Would Inhibit the Development of More Effective Solutions 3. The Nuclear Power Industry is in Crisis 4. Small Modular Reactors 5. Nuclear Weapons Proliferation and Nuclear Winter 6. A Slow Response to an Urgent Problem 7. Climate Change & Nuclear Hazards: ‘You need to solve global warming for nuclear plants to survive.’ 8. Nuclear Racism 9. Nuclear Waste 10. More Information
  2. Introduction 

Support for nuclear power in Australia has nothing to do with energy policy – it is instead an aspect of the ‘culture wars‘ driven by conservative ideologues (examples include current and former politicians Clive Palmer, Tony Abbott, Cory Bernardi, Barnaby Joyce, Mark Latham, Jim Molan, Craig Kelly, Eric Abetz, and David Leyonhjelm; and media shock-jocks such as Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt and Peta Credlin). With few exceptions, those promoting nuclear power in Australia also support coal, they oppose renewables, they attack environmentalists, they deny climate change science, and they have little knowledge of energy issues and options. The Minerals Council of Australia – which has close connections with the Coalition parties – is another prominent supporter of both coal and nuclear power.

In January 2019, the Climate Council, comprising Australia’s leading climate scientists and other policy experts, issued a policy statement concluding that nuclear power plants “are not appropriate for Australia – and probably never will be”. The statement continued: “Nuclear power stations are highly controversial, can’t be built under existing law in any Australian state or territory, are a more expensive source of power than renewable energy, and present significant challenges in terms of the storage and transport of nuclear waste, and use of water”.

Friends of the Earth Australia agrees with the Climate Council. Proposals to introduce nuclear power to Australia are misguided and should be rejected for the reasons discussed below (and others not discussed here, including the risk of catastrophic accidents).

  1. Nuclear Power Would Inhibit the Development of More Effective Solutions 

Renewable power generation is far cheaper than nuclear power. Lazard’s November 2018 report on levelised costs of electricity found that wind power (US$29‒56 per megawatt-hour) and utility-scale solar (US$36‒46 / MWh) are approximately four times cheaper than nuclear power (US$112‒189 / MWh).

A December 2018 report by the CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator concluded that “solar and wind generation technologies are currently the lowest-cost ways to generate electricity for Australia, compared to any other new-build technology.”

Thus the pursuit of nuclear power would inhibit the necessary rapid development of solutions that are cheaper, safer, more environmentally benign, and enjoy far greater public support. A 2015 IPSOS poll found

that support among Australians for solar power (78‒87%) and wind power (72%) is far higher than support for coal (23%) and nuclear (26%).

Renewables and storage technology can provide a far greater contribution to power supply and to  climate change abatement compared to an equivalent investment in nuclear power. Peter Farley, a fellow of the Australian Institution of Engineers, wrote in January 2019: “As for nuclear the 2,200 MW Plant Vogtle [in the US] is costing US$25 billion plus financing costs, insurance and long term waste storage. For the full cost of US$30 billion, we could build 7,000 MW of wind, 7,000 MW of tracking solar, 10,000 MW of rooftop solar, 5,000MW of pumped hydro and 5,000 MW of batteries. That is why nuclear is irrelevant in Australia.”

Dr. Ziggy Switkowski ‒ who led the Howard government’s review of nuclear power in 2006 ‒ noted in 2018 that “the window for gigawatt-scale nuclear has closed”, that nuclear power is no longer cheaper than renewables and that costs are continuing to shift in favour of renewables.

Globally, renewable electricity generation has doubled over the past decade and costs have declined sharply. Renewables account for 26.5% of global electricity generation. Conversely, nuclear costs have increased four- fold since 2006 and nuclear power’s share of global electricity generation has fallen from its 1996 peak of 17.6% to its current share of 10%.

As with renewables, energy efficiency and conservation measures are far cheaper and less problematic than nuclear power. A University of Cambridge study concluded that 73% of global energy use could be saved by energy efficiency and conservation measures. Yet Australia’s energy efficiency policies and performance are among the worst in the developed world.

  1. The Nuclear Power Industry is in Crisis 

The nuclear industry is in crisis with lobbyists repeatedly acknowledging nuclear power’s “rapidly accelerating crisis”, a “crisis that threatens the death of nuclear energy in the West” and “the crisis that the nuclear industry is presently facing in developed countries”, while noting that “the industry is on life support in the United States and other developed economies” and engaging each other in heated arguments about what if anything can be salvaged from the “ashes of today’s dying industry”.

It makes no sense for Australia to be introducing nuclear power at a time when the industry is in crisis and when a growing number of countries are phasing out nuclear power (including Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Taiwan and South Korea).

The 2006 Switkowski report estimated the cost of electricity from new reactors at A$40–65 / MWh. Current estimates are four times greater at A$165‒278 / MWh. In 2009, Dr. Switkowski said that a 1,000 MW power reactor in Australia would cost A$4‒6 billion. Again, that is about one-quarter of all the real-world experience over the past decade in western Europe and north America, with cost estimates of reactors under construction ranging from A$17‒24 billion (while a reactor project in South Carolina  was abandoned after the expenditure of at least A$13.3 billion).

Thanks to legislation banning nuclear power, Australia has avoided the catastrophic cost overruns and crises that have plagued every recent reactor project in western Europe and north America. Cheaper Chinese or Russian nuclear reactors would not be accepted in Australia for a multitude of reasons (cybersecurity, corruption, repression, safety, etc.). South Korea has been suggested as a potential supplier, but South Korea is slowly phasing out nuclear power, it has little experience with its APR1400 reactor design, and South Korea’s ‘nuclear mafia‘ is as corrupt and dangerous as the ‘nuclear village‘ in Japan which was responsible for the Fukushima disaster.

  1. Small Modular Reactors 

The Minerals Council of Australia claims that small modular reactors (SMRs) are “leading the way in cost”. In fact, power from SMRs will almost certainly be more expensive than power from large reactors because of diseconomies of scale. The cost of the small number of SMRs under construction is exorbitant. Both the private sector and governments have been unwilling to invest in SMRs because of their poor prospects. The December 2018 report by the CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator found that even if the cost of power from SMRs halved, it would still be more expensive than wind or solar power with storage costs included (two hours of battery storage or six hours of pumped hydro storage).

The prevailing scepticism is evident in a 2017 Lloyd’s Register report based on the insights of almost 600 professionals and experts from utilities, distributors, operators and equipment manufacturers. They predict that SMRs have a “low likelihood of eventual take-up, and will have a minimal impact when they do arrive”.

No SMRs are operating and about half of the small number under construction have nothing to do with climate change abatement – on the contrary, they are designed to facilitate access to fossil fuel resources in the Arctic, the South China Sea and elsewhere. Worse still, there are disturbing connections between SMRs, nuclear weapons proliferation and militarism more generally.

  1. Nuclear Weapons Proliferation and Nuclear Winter 

“On top of the perennial challenges of global poverty and injustice, the two biggest threats facing human civilisation in the 21st century are climate change and nuclear war. It would be absurd to respond to one by increasing the risks of the other. Yet that is what nuclear power does.” ‒ Australian

Nuclear power programs have provided cover for numerous covert weapons programs and an expansion of nuclear power would exacerbate the problem. After decades of deceit and denial, a growing number of nuclear industry bodies and lobbyists now openly acknowledge and even celebrate the connections between nuclear power and weapons. They argue that troubled nuclear power programs should be further subsidised such that they can continue to underpin and support weapons programs.

For example, US nuclear lobbyist Michael Shellenberger previously denied power–weapons connections but now argues that “having a weapons option is often the most important factor in a state pursuing peaceful nuclear energy”, that “at least 20 nations sought nuclear power at least in part to give themselves the option of creating a nuclear weapon”, and that “in seeking to deny the connection between nuclear power and nuclear weapons, the nuclear community today finds itself in the increasingly untenable position of having to deny these real world connections.”

Former US Vice President Al Gore has neatly summarised the problem: “For eight years in the White House, every weapons-proliferation problem we dealt with was connected to a civilian reactor program. And if we ever got to the point where we wanted to use nuclear reactors to back out a lot of coal … then we’d have to put them in so many places we’d run that proliferation risk right off the reasonability scale.” 

Running the proliferation risk off the reasonability scale brings the debate back to climate change. Nuclear warfare − even a limited, regional nuclear war involving a tiny fraction of the global arsenal − has the potential to cause catastrophic climate change. The problem is explained by Alan Robock in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists“[W]e now understand that the atmospheric effects of a nuclear war would last for at least a decade − more than proving the nuclear winter theory of the 1980s correct. By our calculations, a regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan using less than 0.3% of the current global arsenal would produce climate change unprecedented in recorded human history and global ozone depletion equal in size to the current hole in the ozone, only spread out globally.” 

Nuclear plants are also vulnerable to security threats such as conventional military attacks (and cyber-attacks such as Israel’s Stuxnet attack on Iran’s enrichment plant), and the theft and smuggling of nuclear materials. Examples of military strikes on nuclear plants include the destruction of research reactors in Iraq by Israel and the US; Iran’s attempts to strike nuclear facilities in Iraq during the 1980−88 war (and vice versa); Iraq’s attempted strikes on Israel’s nuclear facilities; and Israel’s bombing of a suspected nuclear reactor site in Syria in 2007.

6. A Slow Response to an Urgent Problem 

Expanding nuclear power is impractical as a short-term response to climate change. An analysis by Australian economist Prof. John Quiggin concludes that it would be “virtually impossible” to get a nuclear power reactor operating in Australia by 2040.

More time would elapse before nuclear power has generated as much as energy as was expended in the construction of the reactor. A University of Sydney report states: “The energy payback time of nuclear energy is around 6.5 years for light water reactors, and 7 years for heavy water reactors, ranging within 5.6–14.1 years, and 6.4–12.4 years, respectively.”

Taking into account planning and approvals, construction, and the energy payback time, it would be a quarter of a century or more before nuclear power could even begin to reduce greenhouse emissions in Australia … and then only assuming that nuclear power displaced fossil fuels.

  1. Climate Change & Nuclear Hazards: ‘You need to solve global warming for nuclear plants to survive.’ 

“I’ve heard many nuclear proponents say that nuclear power is part of the solution to global warming. It needs to be reversed: You need to solve global warming for nuclear plants to survive.” ‒ Nuclear engineer David Lochbaum

Nuclear power plants are vulnerable to threats which are being exacerbated by climate change. These include dwindling and warming water sources, sea-level rise, storm damage, drought, and jelly-fish swarms.

At the lower end of the risk spectrum, there are countless examples of nuclear plants operating at reduced power or being temporarily shut down due to water shortages or increased water temperature during heatwaves (which can adversely affect reactor cooling and/or cause fish deaths and other problems associated with the dumping of waste heat in water sources). In the US, for example, unusually hot temperatures in 2018 forced nuclear plant operators to reduce reactor power output more than 30 times.

At the upper end of the risk spectrum, climate-related threats pose serious risks such as storms cutting off grid power, leaving nuclear plants reliant on generators for reactor cooling.

‘Water wars’ will become increasingly common with climate change − disputes over the allocation of increasingly scarce water resources between power generation, agriculture and other uses. Nuclear power reactors consume massive amounts of cooling water − typically 36.3 to 65.4 million litres per reactor per day. The World Resources Institute noted last year that 47% of the world’s thermal power plant capacity ‒ mostly coal, natural gas and nuclear ‒ are located in highly water-stressed areas.

By contrast, the REN21 Renewables 2015: Global Status Report states: “Although renewable energy systems are also vulnerable to climate change, they have unique qualities that make them suitable both for reinforcing the resilience of the wider energy infrastructure and for ensuring the provision of energy services under changing climatic conditions. System modularity, distributed deployment, and local availability and diversity of fuel sources − central components of energy system resilience − are key characteristics of most renewable energy systems.” 

  1. Nuclear RacismTo give one example (among many), the National Radioactive Waste Management Act dispossesses and disempowers Traditional Owners in every way imaginable:
    • The nomination of a site for a radioactive waste dump is valid even if Aboriginal owners were not consulted and did not give consent.
    • The Act has sections which nullify State or Territory laws that protect archaeological or heritage values, including those which relate to Indigenous traditions.

The nuclear industry has a shameful history of dispossessing and disempowering Aboriginal people and communities, and polluting their land and water, dating from the British bomb tests in the 1950s. The same attitudes prevail today in relation to the uranium industry and planned nuclear waste dumps and the problems would be magnified if Australia developed nuclear power.

The Act curtails the application of Commonwealth laws including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 and the Native Title Act 1993 in the important site-selection stage.

  • The Native Title Act 1993 is expressly overridden in relation to land acquisition for a radioactive waste dump.

9. Nuclear Waste

Decades-long efforts to establish a repository and store for Australia’s low-and intermediate-level nuclear waste continue to flounder and are currently subject to legal and Human Rights Commission complaints and challenges, initiated by Traditional Owners of two targeted sites in South Australia. Establishing a repository for high-level nuclear waste from a nuclear power program would be far more challenging as Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan has noted.

Globally, countries operating nuclear power plants are struggling to manage nuclear waste and no country has a repository for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste. The United States has a deep underground repository for long-lived intermediate-level waste, called the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). However the repository was closed from 2014‒17 following a chemical explosion in an underground waste barrel. Costs associated with the accident are estimated at over A$2.9 billion.

Safety standards fell away sharply within the first decade of operation of the WIPP repository ‒ a sobering reminder of the challenge of safely managing nuclear waste for millennia.

  1. More Information 
  • Climate Council, 2019, ‘Nuclear Power Stations are Not Appropriate for Australia – and Probably Never Will Be‘
  • WISE Nuclear Monitor, 25 June 2016, ‘Nuclear power: No solution to climate change‘
  • Friends of the Earth Australia nuclear power online resources

Australia can be a global leader on combating climate change, and rejecting nuclear

May 25, 2019

Australia is now a divided society.  The Adani coal mine dispute is symbolic of this division. The majority see climate change as an urgent issue.  But others see coal mining as a lifeline for rural communities.

It is now the job of the environmental movement to explain to those communities, how clean energy is economic – provides jobs, can revitalise rural areas, can play  a role in conserving  water, and bring this society together, in positive action.

We also need to revive Australia’s role as a good global citizen.  It takes a comedian to work this out. Charlie Pickering of the ABC’s “The Weekly” pointed out that Australia emits less than 2% of global greenhouse gases.  The big emitters, like China and USA emit far more. (graph – not perfectly accurate, adjusted from Charlie Pickering’s Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/officialcharliepickering/videos/295306311406255/?v=295306311406255  )

However, the countries like Australia, that emit 2% or less of the total, together make up 41% of the global total, the largest contributor.  If these countries together took action on climate change, they  would make a major difference. But if each decides that they’re too small to matter, – the world is in trouble,

Australia used to be a leader in so many humanitarian and environmental areas.  What Australia does IS WATCHED by the world. Australia has the opportunity to act on global warming, and show itself once again to be a good global citizen. Australia needs also to retrieve its former international respectability , also by giving REAL help to Pacific Islanders, as sea levels rise.  (We also might want help from other countries when we have an environmental crisis, e.g bushfires.)

The Greens get it. Labor might get it.  The COALition have shown that their loyalty is to the fossil fuel industries, not to the Australian public.

In working to deal with the climate crisis, we must not fall prey to the blandishments of the nuclear industry. Their shills will be coming out from under their rocks, touting nuclear power as the cure.  It’s like how the tobacco lobby might recommend smoking as a cure for obesity, (a thought first expressed by Dr Helen Caldicott.)

Josh Frydenberg, driving force in Australian government, determined against further action on climate change

May 20, 2019

Don’t be fooled by folksy, blokey Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The suave and slick Josh Frydenberg is the brains of the outfit. And he knows whom he is working for –  the fossil fuel industries, not the public.

Our plan is very clear’: No climate revamp for re-elected Coalition,  Australians should not expect any change to the Liberal-National government’s climate change policies after their federal election win.   SBS, 20 May19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has hosed down any suggestion that the Coalition will be going back to the drawing board on climate change after the government’s come-from-behind election win.

“Our plan is very clear and it’s the plan that we took to the Australian people,” he told ABC’s Insiders on Sunday. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has hosed down any suggestion that the Coalition will be going back to the drawing board on climate change after the government’s come-from-behind election win.

“Our plan is very clear and it’s the plan that we took to the Australian people,” he told ABC’s Insiders on Sunday.

Mr Frydenberg was among Coalition members who faced a swing against them on Saturday, in the face of challenges from independent or Green candidates campaigning largely on climate change.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott lost his seat to Independent Zali Steggallfor whom climate change was pivotal.

As the results rolled in, outgoing MP Julie Bishop said the Coalition must reassess its position on climate change and possibly revisit former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s signature energy policy.

“It will have to end the uncertainty and the National Energy Guarantee was the closest thing we had to a bipartisan position.” …..

Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek hopes the government finally grapples with climate and energy with a policy aimed at bringing down pollution, reducing power prices and boosting investment in renewables.

“How is this government going to manage that when they are still so broken inside with climate change deniers on one side and people who at least accept the science on the other side, but 14 different energy policies?” https://www.sbs.com.au/news/our-plan-is-very-clear-no-climate-revamp-for-re-elected-coalition

Australia’s Environment Ambassador, Patrick Suckling, promoted coal at the Climate Summit!

December 13, 2018

Climate Mobilisation Australia, 11 Dec 18, The Australian Ambassador for the Environment, Patrick Suckling, appeared on a panel for a US government side-event pushing clean coal technologies as climate solutions. The session on Monday 10 December was called: “U.S. Innovative Technologies Spur Economic Dynamism – Promoting innovative approaches”.

One must ask was Ambassador Suckling’s presence sanctioned at Ministerial level? His attendance on the panel is hardly good diplomacy for Australia, even given the Liberal Government support for coal and weak climate targets and climate policy.

After about 9 minutes the first speaker was disrupted and youth and civil society delegates unfurled a banner and made their own testimonies on the disruptive and dangerous nature of coal for health and climate.

They chanted “Keep it in the ground” and “Shame on you”, before leaving the session. After they left, there were very few people to listen to the myths being spouted of clean coal.

Watch the Facebook Livestream video of young delegates taking over the side event about 9 minutes in and making their own testimony on the fossil fuel industry.

The Australia Institute Director of Climate & Energy Program Richie Merzian was there to document the session in the tweets below.

“How could this be good for Australia? The Ambassador finding himself in the middle of the largest cultural battle at #COP24” remarks Richie Merzian……  https://www.facebook.com/groups/859848424161990/

Australia’s bushfires, climate change, and nuclear site risk

December 1, 2018

Bushfires in Queensland have ushered in the “new normal”  of superfires in Australia. California has already experienced this new normal. It means that these fires are now catastrophic. They encroach on human habitation. Fire behaviour has changed.  Their intensity is greater. Their severity is greater: their flames are higher. Fires last longer, and come with increasing frequency. They spread at higher rates, and jump gaps such as roads, rivers and fire breaks. .

These fires now do long -term damage to the ecosystem. The earth underneath is affected, habitat destroyed, killing all the normal bacteria and inhabitants of the soil. Many are fires that are impossible to put out.

The background to these new superfires is climate change. Climate change has brought higher temperatures and  drought – resulting in drier trees and other vegetation – meaning that tinder-dry fuel is ready for ignition.

Australia is uniquely vulnerable, as the driest continent, with its prevailing eucalypt forests.

In California, the authorities are trying hard to cover up the reality that the wildfires started at an abandoned and still radioactively contaminated, nuclear facility . The fire would undoubtedly have caused radioactive ash to be blown about. (The fact that it’s not measured doesn’t mean that it is non existent) 

Australia is vulnerable to a similar radioactive threat. Last year, bushfires went uncomfortably close to the  Lucas Heights nuclear reactor. Plans to transport Lucas Height nuclear waste 1700 km across Australia to Flinders Ranges area mean that this radioactive trash would be at risk of accident, and one of the worst risks would be bushfires.

Australia must face up to the climate change threats – floods (as more water vapour, due to heat, will come down as flooding) , sea level rise, and super bushfires. Lucas Heights nuclear reactor should be closed, and ANSTO’s nuclear dream prevented from becoming Australia’s climate-nuclear nightmare.