Archive for the ‘climate change’ Category

Australia’s Turnbull Government releases transparent video on Climate Policy and Coal Mining

December 11, 2016

Honest Government Advert – Carmichael Coal Mine

Nuclear power as climate treatment – a cure worse than the disease

September 13, 2016

dangerous-medicine

Let’s pretend that nuclear power is really “zero carbon” (which it isn’t)

Let’s pretend that thousands of “conventional” nuclear reactors, or millions of little geewhiz new Small Modular Nuclear Reactors could be set up within just  a few years, in time to be effective against climate change ( we know they would take from about 70 years at the earliest)

Do we need a dirty,  dangerous, unsafe, land and water polluting industry as an environmental cure?

(Especially when clean renewable energy and energy efficiency can be set up quickly)

The web of climate denialism, and Australia’s part in it

July 13, 2016

liar (2)

US Senators detail a climate science “web of denial” but the impacts go well beyond their borders Australians have been both helpers and victims of the fossil fuelled web of climate science denial being detailed in the U.S Senate,Guardian, , 12 July 16, By the middle of this week, about 20 Democratic Senators in the US will have stood up before their congress to talk about the fossil fuelled machinery of climate science denial.

The Senators are naming the fossil fuel funders, describing the machinery and calling out the characters that make up a “web of denial”……

Australia has been a consumer, a contributor and a victim of the web of climate science denial.Australia has long provided personnel and contributors to the efforts of several of the key groups being named in the US Senate.

The late Dr Robert Carter, once of James Cook University, was an advisor and active contributor to several of the groups, including the Heartland Institute and the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI).

Malcolm Roberts (the wannabe One Nation Australian Senator) and bloggers JoNova and her husband David Evans have all written reports for the SPPI that claim human-caused climate change is some sort of elaborate hoax.

Retired Australian meteorologist William Kininmonth is also an SPPI science advisor.

Australian politicians have flown over to the United States to speak at conferences for climate science denialists hosted by the Heartland Institute – the group that once compared the acceptance of human-caused climate science to the values of terrorist and mass murderer Ted “Unabomber” Kaczynski.

Former Family First Senator Steve Fielding, current Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi and the current Nationals MP George Christensen have all spoken at Heartland’s conferences. The conferences themselves have been enthusiastically sponsored by several Australian groups over the years.

Australia’s role in the web of denial has been running since the 1990s, when groups like the CEI flew staff to Australia to firm up opposition to greenhouse gas regulations around the world.

Partnerships were formed with groups like the Melbourne-based Institute of Public Affairs, which has hosted and supported many visits from US-based climate science denialists.

Once here, those speakers will write columns for newspapers, do radio and television interviews and travel around the country to give talks.

In 2011 when the Gillard Government was trying to introduce laws to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions, the stopgillardscarbontax.com enlisted Pat Michaels, of the Cato Institute, as a science advisor. Cato is another member of the web of denial. Michaels once estimated that about 40 per cent of his funding came from the petroleum industry.

The impact of all this on the Australian public and the way the media covers climate science is clear.

There remains a split among Australians about the cause of climate change, despite multiple studies showing that more than 90 per cent of climate scientists are in agreement that it’s the burning of fossil fuels that’s driving up temperatures, fuelling weather extremes, raising sea levels, melting ice sheets and killing corals (and that’s just a few of the impacts).

The public becomes doubtful and the media, so often looking for controversy and conflict, has been a conduit for the fossil fuelled messages.

The fossil fuel companies, meanwhile, retain a grip on their so-called “social licence to operate.”

When Senator Whitehouse said the web of denial is “so big, because it has so much to protect” we might also think that we have so much to lose.

In failing to unravel the web of denial and by allowing our public discourse to be polluted by fossil fuelled PR outfits, ideologues and pseudo-science, who knows how much time we may have lost.

Twenty five yearshttps://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2016/jul/12/us-senators-detail-a-climate-science-web-of-denial-but-the-impacts-go-well-beyond-their-borders

Australia’s embarrassment: govt praising coal at Paris Climate Summit!

November 30, 2015
hypocrisy-scale
Australian Delegation To Present ‘Coal Is Amazing’ Video At Climate Conference http://www.theshovel.com.au/2015/11/30/australian-delegation-to-present-coal-is-amazing-video-at-climate-conference/   Australia’s contribution to the Paris climate change talks will be a short animated  video explaining the benefits of coal.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said he was looking forward to sharing the ‘little gem of a video’ on the conference’s main stage. “The broader global community has a bit of catching up to do when it comes to understanding coal’s amazing qualities. This video will be the talk of the conference I feel,” he said before leaving for Paris.

A Rational Fear – This Little Black Rock is gonna F you Up!

[Oh dear, I think I might have put up the wrong video – what  a shame!]

Mr Hunt said the little black rock provided endless possibilities. “It can provide light. And jobs,” he said, holding up a piece of coal for reporters to see.

Following Australia’s presentation, delegates will receive a take-home bag containing a genuine piece of Australian coal. “It’s a little memento to remember the Aussies by,” Mr Hunt said.

Wangan & Jagalingou Aboriginals join with Kiribati for climate action, and against coal

November 23, 2015

Kiribati 15Wangan & Jagalingou leader in historic meeting with Kiribati president http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/category/latest-news/ November 19, 2015 Joins president’s call for no new coal mines; seeks support to defend W&J’s rights and country

Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owner, and senior spokesperson Adrian Burragubba, will this morning meet with President Anote Tong of Kiribati and offer support to his call for a global moratorium on new coal mines. The meeting will bring together for the first time two leaders of traditional peoples in the region vulnerable to the devastating impacts of coal mining and burning.

President Anote Tong has called for no new coal mines, as coal-driven climate change and resulting sea level rise present a grave existential threat to his people, and to continued life on his island nation.

Mr. Burragubba said “My people have heard the concerns of the President on behalf of the people of Kiribati and empathise with them. As traditional people, we too face devastation of our lands, our culture and our people by coal”.

Mr. Burragubba said the Federal and Queensland Governments must put  a halt to Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine on Wangan and Jagalingou traditional lands – the biggest mine in Australian history – which will destroy W&J’s ancestral Country, and escalate climate change.

“The W&J people have said No to Adani’s Carmichael mine, time and again, yet our Governments have overridden our rights and are giving it their approval. This mine  would obliterate our country and drain and poison our waters. It would destroy ancient and irreplaceable cultural landscapes and heritage sites. It would sever our deep and abiding connection to our ancestral lands. And it would play a massive part in detonating ‘a carbon bomb’, fueling run-away climate change and leading to the very thing President Tong fears for his nation”.

Mr. Burragubba will seek President Tong’s support in the struggle of the W&J people to stop this devastating project. “As first nations people, Indigenous people, we have rights recognised under international law and the UN declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People – including to withhold our consent to mining on our land. We ask President Tong to join us in our efforts to ensure this destructive mega-mine never goes ahead; to use his good offices to encourage Governments in Australia to respect our rights, and to consider the catastrophic global impacts of their support  for Carmichael, and for coal more generally”, he said.

“We welcome this dialogue with President Tong”, said Mr. Burragubba, “as an important first step in the collaborative efforts of our traditional peoples to draw a line in the sand, say “enough is enough”, and fight to preserve our homelands, our ways of life, and the very future of our children from the impacts of coal. ”.

Is it sane to locate a nuclear waste dump in bushfire prone South Australia?

November 21, 2015

bushfire & rad gif

Bushfires threaten South Australia. After the hottest October on record, in what will be the hottest year on record, South Australia already faces an extraordinarily dangerous fire season.

text-cat-questionIs it sane for the South Australian government and its Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission to be contemplating setting up this State as the world’s radioactive trash dump?

Are they not aware of the agonies that went on in Ukraine over the forest fires threatening Chernobyl region. and radioactive waste sites in California?

It is simply crazy, in view of climate change and increasingly hot, dry , long bushfire seasons to  suggest placing dangerous radioactive trash in South Australia

Catastrophic fire danger warning as SA faces extreme heat  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-18/hot-weather-forecast-sa-change-later/6952632 Another day of extreme heat has been forecast across South Australia for Thursday and total fire bans have been imposed for 10 districts, with catastrophic ratings in four of them.

Adelaide is expecting a high of 35 degrees Celsius, after the mercury peaked above 40C on Wednesday….. The Education Department said catastrophic fire danger ratings meant it would close some state schools and preschools in bushfire-prone areas of the Riverland, mid-north, Flinders and North-West Pastoral regions on Thursday.

Some national parks and reserves would remain closed on Thursday, the Environment Department said, on eastern Eyre Peninsula, in the far north, and through the mid-north, Flinders Ranges, Riverland and Murraylands.

Firefighters will be on high alert and crews are still at a blaze south of Adelaide, which first broke out on Tuesday.

The Country Fire Service said the scrub fire at Yundi on the Fleurieu Peninsula was yet to be controlled.

Country Fire Service crews continue to tackle fires as South Australia goes on full alert for 2015 bushfire season, Advertiser, 18 Nov 15  POLICE are patrolling bushfire-prone areas and aerial bombers remain on standby as extreme fire conditions are forecast across the state just days into the fire-danger season.

Operation Nomad patrols and other police will target known firebugs and ask that anyone who notices suspicious activity or people in fire danger areas to contact the police assistance line on 131 444.

“Landowners are also asked to adhere to local harvest codes of practice which are available from your local council,’’ a police spokeswoman said.

Total fire bans are in place across most of the state as the temperature is tipped to soar into the 40s in the north and west of the state…….

CFS volunteers are currently monoriting a grass fire at Burma Rd, Kyeema, near Hope Forest, that began on Tuesday.

The blaze, which has burned about 75ha of scrub, is burning in Kyeema National Park, about 15km away from Wilunga. It is not threatening any buildings but is creating smoke across land around Willunga and Aldinga.

Residents are advised that changing conditions may cause the fire to threaten their safety.

The fire is not controlled and is burning in a south-westerly direction towards the Yundi township.

On Tuesday, more than 130 firefighters in 36 trucks, with the assistance of three aerial bombers, battled to contain the blaze.

A fire at Cleve, on the Eyre Peninsula, is under control after burning about 600ha of scrub.

In an ominous sign of the summer ahead, Country Fire Service crews fought several large grass fires throughout Tuesday.

Crews managed to contain a fire sparked by a header at Woolshed Flat near Rhynie, which burnt 360ha……

extreme fire danger ratings in the Mt Lofty Ranges, Northwest Pastoral, West Coast and Lower Eyre Peninsula districts.

Severe fire conditions are predicted in the Eastern Eyre Peninsula, Flinders, Mid North, Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Riverland, Murraylands and Upper South East regions……..

Landowners are urged to ensure they have their bushfire plans ready and have taken steps to prepare their properties for the bushfire seasonhttp://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/country-fire-service-crews-continue-to-tackle-fires-as-south-australia-goes-on-full-alert-for-2015-bushfire-season/story-fnl1ee8j-1227612426355

South Australia’s pro nuclear Premier – to tout “nuclear for climate” in Paris?

November 14, 2015

Weatherill,-Jay-wastes

Beware that little phrase “low carbon” . These days it is code for “nuclear”

They used to use the term “renewable” to mean nuclear – so including it with clean energy  as in solar, wind power. They still tout “clean” quite often, but can get pulled up on that.

Note that Jay Weatherill, pinning his political future on nuclear, could have chosen the term “renewable”, but he didn’t.

Energy plan: Jay Weatherill wants the State Government powered totally by “low carbon electricity” PREMIER Jay Weatherill wants the State Government to be powered totally by“low carbon electricity”, as he prepares to leave for an international climate change conference in Paris next month.(subscribers only) 
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/energy-plan-jay-weatherill-wants-the-state-government-powered-totally-by-low-carbon-electricity/story-fni6uo1m-1227605480514

Malcolm Turnbull all tangled in knots over Paris Climate Conference

November 9, 2015

Turnbull straightjacket
Malcolm Turnbull: Verbal acrobatics required for Paris climate

talks
Independent Australia, 8 November 2015, Malcolm Turnbull will need to utilise his obvious talent for rhetoric to convince a global audience at the Paris climate talks in November, as there is no substance to the Government’s “Direct Action” climate policy, says Noel Wauchope.

Australia’s new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has an appealing and glib turn of phrase. He’s going to need that talent when he speaks at the United Nations Paris Climate Conference in late November.

The thing is, Malcolm has to sell to the conference Australia’s current policy on climate change. The Government’s “Direct Action” climate policy is unchanged, despite the departure of climate sceptic Tony Abbott. Its flagship is the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).

The ERF boils down to tax-payer handouts to polluting companies that volunteer to cut their greenhouse emissions. There is no enforcement policy, meaning that the companies get the money, and for a year or more, do not need to show that they have reduced emissions.

After a year, the government proposes a ‘safeguards mechanism’, to be explained fully then, so allowing the companies plenty of leeway to lobby to make it meaningless. ……..

What happened to Turnbull? Mark Kenny & James Massola wrote in The Age in February:

‘Amid feverish speculation over the leadership, unconfirmed reports also claimed Mr Turnbull had moved to assuage fears in the conservative wing of the party that his return to the leadership would see a reprise of the carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme. It was claimed Mr Turnbull had promised, in a secret deal, that there would be no such reprise if elected.’

More recently, Kenny expressed it in this way:

‘Turnbull has his hands tied, having lost the leadership in 2009 to Abbott for supporting emissions trading, and then having regained it in 2015 on the express condition of opposing it. Release from such Houdini-esque chains will take some doing.’…….

Turnbull’s support for nuclear waste dumping in Australia might go down okay at the Paris talks. There will be a strong push there for nuclear power to be portrayed as cure for a climate change. At present, “new nuclear” is hamstrung in the U.S. because there has to be a waste solution before it can go ahead. ……

However, to persuade the world on Australia’s entire climate inaction package is a task that will demand Turnbull’s very best linguistic acrobatics.

Malcolm Turnbull faces an epic task to keep faith with Liberal Coalition climate denialists, while making Australia’s pathetic climate policy look at all reasonable to the global audience.  https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/malcolm-turnbull-verbal-acrobatics-required-at-the-paris-climate-talks,8356

Climate change making the South Australian nuclear plan unviable

August 1, 2015

As the global nuclear lobby, and Kevin Scarce’s South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Commission continue their machinations, there is a powerful force ensuring that their new “nuclear renaissance” is not going to happen in Australia, or anywhere.

Climate change is bringing  extreme temperatures and weather events, and sea level rise, to Australia.

bushfire & rad gif

For Australia, the threats from global warming are very real:

  • bushfires would pose the greatest threat to any nuclear facilities, (as Ukraine and USA are already finding out).
  • Droughts bring water shortages, meaning that precious water is not easily available for water guzzling nuclear reactors.
  • Where inland reactors are water-cooled – the threat to river life of heat pollution becomes greater.
  • There would be increased danger to the Great Artesian Basin , especially  for any nuclear facilities located in South Australia
  • For coastal nuclear facilities, sea level rise and storm surges are dangers.
  • For many nuclear facilities ( reactors, fuel processing, waste disposal), coastal or inland, flooding brings more danger.

 

 

BHP discovers climate change – as a way to promote the nuclear industry?

July 10, 2015

a-cat-CANAs a proud non-subscriber to THE AUSTRALIAN, I haven’t been able to read this article. But on past performance of BHP, I reckon that I can have a pretty good guess on what BHP’s enthusiasm for climate action really means.

Last month, all the nuclear big-wigs met somewhere in Europe to plan a campaign about the Paris Climate Summit in December . The idea is to have nuclear power established as a solution to climate change.

BHP would love that – otherwise they couldn’t give a damn about climate change.

 

BHP embraces climate debate, THE AUSTRALIAN, ? 8 July 15  
The private sector needs to play a part in this year’s Paris climate talks, says BHP Billiton’s Dean Dalla Valle…. (subscribers only)